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Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Is Iran an Ally or Enemy?

by Bing West via Analysis
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In Syria, the besieged government of the Assad regime clings to about half of the territory, while Sunni factions fight over the other half. In Iraq, the Shiites control the south, the Kurds control the northeast, and the Sunnis in the northwest are controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The Sykes-Picot division of Mesopotamia no longer exists, except in the minds of Obama White House operatives who will leave a full-scale disaster to the next administration.

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Realism about Allies: What the U.S. Can Expect from Middle Eastern Partners

by Frederick W. Kaganvia Analysis
Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Americans must be realistic about what they expect from allies. We rightly prefer to engage on a multilateral basis and with as broad a coalition as possible. But too often we find ourselves surprised, offended, and alienated when our partners, especially regional states, seem to pursue their own interests at the expense of what we see as the common good.

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Friends, Enemies, and 'Frenemies'

by Max Bootvia Analysis
Monday, February 9, 2015

The United States has few stalwart friends in the greater Middle East; even nominally allied states such as Qatar, Turkey, and Pakistan play a double game. The United States needs to make clear to them the costs of flirting with Islamists while trying to broaden the coalition to include substate actors such as the Sunni tribes of Iraq.

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Terror Now

by Ralph Petersvia Analysis
Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Although we have become much more capable at detecting terror threats to the homeland, our enemies are determined and ingenious. The most-frequent threats we will face are lone-wolf or small-group terrorists inspired by notions of jihad but acting in relative autonomy; however, Islamist fanatics will not stop attempting to stage dramatic large-scale strikes against the United States.

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ISIS: A Threat?

by Williamson Murrayvia Analysis
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The past suggests that for the short term ISIS does not represent a significant threat to the strategic security of the First World’s homelands. A few returnees may slip though the intelligence net, but it is unlikely that they will cause anything other than local mayhem. Such acts may cause similar overreactions among the security fanatics, as was the case after 9/11, and undoubtedly will excite the media enormously; but the damage they might inflict will remain limited.

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What Terrorism Could Have in Store for America

by Mark Moyarvia Analysis
Monday, February 2, 2015

The scarcity of significant terrorist attacks in recent years has led Americans to assume that the days of mass casualty attacks are in the past. But history teaches us to beware of the assumption that recent trends foretell the future. Americans are paying insufficient attention to unexpected events in which terrorists inflict serious harm on the United States.

A More Balanced Approach to Climate Change Policy

by Thomas F. Stephensonvia Analysis
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Our country urgently needs a more balanced approach to the global warming and climate change issue. On its own, it is a major policy problem, and it has also come to dominate discussions over our country’s broader energy strategy.
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Managing the Cyber Security Threat

by Abraham D. Sofaervia Analysis
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The cyber threat is part of a transnational game, with low barriers of entry, increasing sophistication, increasing cost, and no prospect that any state will be victorious.  The U.S. needs to manage the risk by focusing on those aspects of cyber insecurity that relate to commerce and critical infrastructure, leaving traditional forms of intelligence and military activities unregulated; and by allowing private companies and individuals to use strong encryption or open source software without built-in vulnerabilities. 

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Transnational Terrorism

by Stephen D. Krasnervia Analysis
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Given the low probability of a mass casualty terrorist attack and the lack of new attacks since 9/11, the U.S. is probably devoting too many resources to fighting terrorism. However, no political leader could endorse this conclusion, so the challenge of counterterrorism policy is channeling the political will terrorism engenders effectively.

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Moral Hazard and the Obama Doctrine

by James D. Fearonvia Analysis
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The U.S. war against ISIL risks helping the enemy in the long run by lessening locals’ incentives to develop their own military and state capabilities, and that it also helps with the enemy’s recruitment and PR. The more the U.S. does militarily, the less our friends and allies in the region do.

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