Russia and Syria: What pull-out?

know it may be hard to believe after reading multiple media reports about Putin’s latest “surprise pull out from Syria” but the Kremlin did not, repeat, not, really pull its military out of Syria last week. So what were Putin's motives? Read more »

Turkey Takes Aim

Since the deadly terrorist attacks that killed 30 in Suruc two weeks ago, President Recep Erdogan has initiated an air campaign on the Islamic State (Daesh in Arabic). Yet, the Turkish government’s efforts have been aimed largely at Kurdish positions in northern Iraq more than Daesh positions in Syria. While initial airstrikes were on Daesh […]

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The Iran Nuclear Deal and the Middle East

After the signing of the historic nuclear deal between the P5+1 nations and Iran, regional actors denounced the deal for fear it spelled a new regional balance of power, and added to the Islamic Republic’s regional influence. The U.S.’s largest allies in the Middle East were quick to shun the deal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin […]

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Victory for Putin, or Skewed Reporting?

Even during the darkest days of the Cold War, leaders of the US and the Soviet Union met to discuss areas of agreement and disagreement to keep international conflicts from escalating out of control. Such was Secretary John Kerry’s recent meeting with Vladimir Putin in Sochi – the intent of which, I think, was badly mischaracterized in Dale Herszenhorn’s report in the New York Times May 16, 2015. The headline of that article was “Kerry’s Visit Marks Diplomatic Victory, and Affirmation, for Putin.” Herszenhorn’s sources? Spokesmen – or quasi-spokesmen – for the Kremlin. Only many paragraphs down does he describe the reason for the visit from the US government perspective. . . Read more »

What We Are Reading… December 12, 2014

MENA Iraqi army prepares for ‘liberation of Mosul’ Aljazeera Battle over Iraq’s second largest city will be key in fight against ISIL, Iraqi finance minister tells Al Jazeera. ISIS target of 27 strikes by U.S. allies Reuters The United States and its allies carried out 27 airstrikes on Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) […]

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What We Are Reading… November 21, 2014

MENA John Kerry and Iranian Counterpart to Leave Nuclear Talks The New York Times Iran’s chief negotiator in the nuclear talks here is returning to Tehran on Friday afternoon to seek further instructions from his country’s leaders, as negotiators struggle to meet a Monday deadline for an accord. Islamic State attacks Iraq provincial capital: officials […]

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What We Are Reading… November 14, 2014

International News MENA Hagel: ISIL Degraded But Remains Dangerous DoD News United States and coalition forces have made progress in recent months against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, but the campaign will be “a long and difficult struggle,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress here today. Dempsey Urges ‘Strategic Patience’ in Anti-ISIL […]

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What We Are Reading… November 7, 2014

International News Coverage MENA Why Barack Obama is writing letters to Iran’s Supreme Leader David Blair / The Telegraph Analysis: The real aim of the correspondence is to reassure Iran’s leader that “regime change” is not America’s goal Iran stalls probe into nuclear weapons research, U.N. report says Reuters Iran is failing to address suspicions […]

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The Rise of Lithuanian LNG: A Long-term Opportunity for the U.S.

Lithuania officially made its debut in the global LNG market with the arrival of its floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Independence on Monday, October 27, 2014. The welcome ceremony in Klaipeda was attended by the Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius as well as foreign dignitaries, including the Estonian Foreign Trade and Entreprenuership Minister Anne Sulling and […]

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