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Iran Says It Will Begin Dismantling Some Nuclear Materials

Iran Nukes

Iran has promised to roll back parts of its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Ariel Sharon, Israeli General, Defense Minister, Foreign Minister, Prime Minister, Dead At 85

Ariel Sharon

After eight years in a coma, Ariel Sharon has passed away.

So Far, The Military Coup Looks Like It Will Be A Disaster For Egypt In The End

Mideast Egypt

Nearly six months later, it’s hard to find any good in the July military coup in Egypt.

What Should We Think About the Syrian Civil War?

travel-suitcase

As Syria enters its third year of civil war, Marc Lynch summarizes the findings of a workshop he convened at George Washington University’s Project on Middle East Political Science. Participants included civil war scholars, Middle East scholars, and Syria specialists. The prognosis for the Syrian civil war isn’t particularly good: The fragmentation and infighting of […]

American Studies Association Israel Boycott is Righteous but Wrongheaded

ASA-boycott-Israel

While I concur with the “intent, justice, legality, and morality” of the decision, I nonetheless oppose it.

On Iran, Diplomacy Beats Containment, And Containment Is Smarter Than Military Action

Iran Nukes

There are many choices in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program there are many choices, but some are better than others.

No, The Iranian Nuclear Program Deal Isn’t Like Munich

Iran Nukes

The opponents of the temporary deal reached in Geneva have been making some ridiculous historical analogies.

U.S., World Powers, Reach Temporary Nuclear Deal With Iran

iran-nuclear-weapons

Small steps from both sides in the Iranian nuclear negotiations, but too early to say that we’ve reached a solution.

Deal On Iranian Nuclear Program Falls Apart, And That’s Mostly Not A Good Thing

Iran Nukes

Thanks largely to France, this weekend’s efforts to reach an interim deal on Iran’s nuclear program fell apart.

Progress On Iran Nuclear Deal?

Iran Nukes

Signs of some progress in the talks over Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Swiss Report Supports Theory Yasser Arafat Was Poisoned, But Doesn’t Prove It

Yasser Arafat

Was Arafat poisoned? A new report raises some questions, but answers none of them conclusively.

Syrian Chemical Weapons Equipment Destroyed Says Syria

travel-suitcase

The Syrian regime has declared its ability to make chemical weapons destroyed.

A U.S.-Saudi Rift, Or Just A Saudi Temper Tantrum?

US Saudi Flags

Relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia seem to have soured in recent years.

Political Science and the Syrian Civil War

travel-suitcase

If the Syrian civil war is like other civil wars, it’s not ending any time soon.

Car Bomb Injures Six Members Of Egyptian Military

egypt-flag

A car bomb injured six members of the Egyptian military today, raising fears of a rising insurgency: CAIRO — A car rigged with explosives detonated outside a military intelligence headquarters in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia on Saturday, wounding at least six military personnel and highlighting the rise in militant attacks on security forces […]

Saudi Arabia Turns Down Seat On U.N. Security Council

Security Council Summit on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has turned down an invitation to take one of the ordinarily coveted rotating seats on the United Nations Security Council, citing as their primary reason the failure of that body to do anything about the situation in Syria: LONDON — Assailing what it called double standards at the United Nations, […]

Violence Continues To Hit Egypt

egypt-flag

Some three months after the coup that deposed Mohammed Morsi and imposed military rule, violence in Egypt seems to have increased, and this weekend we saw yet another indication of that fact: CAIRO — Deadly violence against the government broke out around Egypt on Monday as health officials raised to 53 the number said to […]

Iraqi Kurds Vote in Regional Elections

travel-suitcase

Via the AFP:  Iraq’s Kurds vote amid rows, regional tensions Iraq’s Kurds voted Saturday in their first election in four years as their autonomous region grapples with disputes with Baghdad while fellow Kurds fight bloody battles in neighbouring Syria.The election for the region’s parliament comes as the turmoil roiling the Middle East has raised renewed […]

U.N. Report: Atrocities On Both Sides Of Syrian Civil War

syria-obama-map

A new report from the United Nations finds that both sides in the Syrian civil war have engaged in human rights abuses: A new United Nations report asserts that both sides in the Syrian civil war have committed grave crimes in violation of international law. Government forces continue to attack civilian populations in what amounts […]

Why Some Killing Matters More

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Why are chemical weapons a “red line” in a war where so many have been killed?

The Syrian Refugee Crisis

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Via the BBC:  UN refugee agency says more than 2m have fled Syria More than two million Syrians are now registered as refugees, after the total went up by a million in the last six months, the UN’s refugee agency says. More Syrians are now displaced than any other nationality, the says UNHCR. [...] The […]

Picturing the Syria Strike Force

SyriaStrikeForce

I found this infographic from RIA Novosti of the strike force that could potentially be arrayed against Syria sufficiently interesting that I thought I’d pass it along. You can click on it for a larger version. It’s attached to an op-ed by Simon Saradzhyan, researcher at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. Here’s a snippet: To […]

Rand Paul’s Odd Dichotomy on Syria

travel-suitcase

On today’s MTP Senator Paul said the following: I see Assad, who has protected Christians for a number of decades, and then I see the Islamic rebels on the other side who have been attacking Christians. I see Al Qaeda on one side, the side we would go into support, and I see it to […]

Obama’s Hamlet Act

obama-sad

The president’s public dithering on Syria is drawing jeers from friend and foe alike.

“The current institutional equilibrium has led to a perverse place”

syria-obama-map

Will Congress now take some responsibilty?

Obama to Seek Congressional Approval on Syria

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Or so say various Breaking News e-mail.  I cannot find a direct quote at the moment. This is progress.  Now let’s see how Congress responds. UPDATE (James Joyner):  Here’s a video of the president’s speech: Here’s a transcript: Good afternoon, everybody.  Ten days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women and children were […]

A Useful Primer on Syria

travel-suitcase

Via WaPo:  9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask.

Obama’s Confused Syria Strategy

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Humanitarian wars have their own grammar but not their own logic.

Brits v. the Yanks

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An Example of How Institutions Matter.

The Problem of Secrecy

syria-obama

Persuasion is sometimes an important part of being president.

Resistance to Syria Action in the British Parliament

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Via the BBC:  Labour could still vote against government over Syria MPs had been due to vote on whether the UK should launch an attack against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. But David Cameron was forced to back down after Labour said it wanted to wait for UN inspectors to report first. [...] Mr Cameron was […]

White House: Possible Military Strikes Not Aimed At Regime Change In Syria

syria-obama

The White House confirmed today that the goal of any military intervention in Syria would be very limited. Which makes one wonder what the point of doing anything actually is.

A Counter-Argument on the Use of Force Against Syria

russia-syria

There’s more than one way to look at the civil war in Syria.

Of Course You Realize This Means War

john-kerry-finger-wag-syria

John Kerry’s speech was the crossing of the Rubicon for US military action in Syria.

Syria Intervention Looks Inevitable

syria-obama-map

Western military action in the Syrian civil war now appears likely.

Whoever Wins, America Loses

balance

In both Egypt and Syria, it’s damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

Syria: What Now?

obama-suny-buffalo-syria

As President Obama’s red line has been crossed more brazenly, he continues to sound reluctant to intervene in Syria while positioning forces to do just that.

Obama’s Failed Middle East Strategy

strategy

Walter Russell Mead explains why a well intentioned, carefully crafted and consistently pursued grand strategy failed.

Yemen Wants Its Own Drones

drone-strike-digital

A headline I never thought I’d see: “Yemen Asks U.S. For Drones To Fight Al Qaeda”

Hosni Mubarak Released From Jail

travel-suitcase

Deposed Egyptian leader has been released from jail after being held almost constantly since the day he was removed from power in February 2011: CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s ousted leader Hosni Mubarak was released from prison Thursday and transported to a military hospital in a Cairo suburb where he will be held under house arrest, […]

America Has Options in Egypt

obama-egypt-map

Andrew Bacevich argues, persuasively, that “absence of leverage does not preclude options” with respect to Egypt.

Is the U. S. Relevant to Egypt?

travel-suitcase

Let’s flip the question I asked in this post around. Is the U. S. relevant to Egypt? Does it make any difference to outcomes in Egypt whether we provide military support for the country or not? Does what President Obama say to or about Egypt make any difference to outcomes there?

Is Egypt Irrelevant?

US Egyptian Flags

Does interest in Egypt make the same sense it did 30 years ago?

Baby, Come Back

travel-suitcase

The Associated Press is reporting that, unable to manage their own internal security problems and with the casualty count rising, Iraqi officials are wondering if, possibly, the Americans would return and lend a hand: Faced with security crises across the Mideast, North Africa and Asia, the White House largely has turned its attention away from […]

Sauds Side With Egyptian Millitary

travel-suitcase

Saudi king Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz has issued a statement about what’s going on in Egypt: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz announced on Friday that the kingdom supports Egypt in its fight “against terrorism.” King Abdullah said Egypt’s stability is being targeted by “haters,” warning that anyone interfering in Egypt’s internal affairs is […]

Obama Condemns Egypt Violence, Doesn’t Do Much Else

travel-suitcase

In a speech delivered via audio only from his vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama spoke out against the violence in Egypt, but he didn’t do much else: VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. — President Obama, deploring the military-led Egyptian government’s deadly crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters there, said on Thursday that the United States would […]

Egypt Death Toll Hits 525

travel-suitcase

The death toll in Egypt has reached 525, and is likely to climb higher: CAIRO — The death toll from Egypt’s bloody crackdown on supporters of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, soared beyond 500 across the land on Thursday with more than 3,700 people injured, the Health Ministry said, in a further sign of the […]

White House ‘Strongly Condemns’ Egypt Massacre

egypt-protests

The Obama administration has issued a strongly worded statement on this morning’s massacre by the Egyptian government.

Egyptian Forces Massacre Morsi Supporters, Hundreds Dead

egypt-massacre

Hundreds are dead as Egypt’s military government crack down on supporters of the democratically elected government they ousted.

U.S. Evacuates Consulate In Pakistan

travel-suitcase

The United States has evacuated another diplomatic outpost in response to threats of terrorism: The State Department has ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. Government personnel from the U.S. Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, due to threats against the post. “We are undertaking this drawdown due to concerns about credible threat information specific to the […]

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