September 2, 2014
SITUATION REPORT

The United States and its allies are inching toward greater involvement in the civil war in Iraq and Syria as the White House continues to try to recover from President Obama’s controversial remark last week that he has “no strategy” to deal with the terrorist army of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
As NATO Weighs ISIS Action, US Still Has ‘No Strategy’
An Iraqi fighter from Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Saraya al-Salam (Peace Brigade), waves a flag next to a rocket launcher during heavy clashes with Islamic State fighters in Tuz Khurmatu in Salaheddin province, south of Kirkuk, on Aug. 31, 2014. (JM Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)
Hamas Could Keep Arms Under Egyptian Peace Plan
August 18, 2014
SITUATION REPORT

The end of the Gaza-Israel conflict may be in sight,
although Israel and Hamas are still far apart on major issues and Hamas has rejected a new Egyptian peace plan. Successful cease-fires and progress in negotiating some issues have created hope for a negotiated settlement, especially since the Palestinian Authority indicated it can accept most of the Egyptian plan. With or without a truce agreement, Israel appears prepared to end the conflict through its “quiet-for-quiet” cease-fire strategy.
Israel Readies Futuristic Laser Cannon to Zap Enemy Artillery
August 15, 2014
Israeli scientists have developed Iron Beam, a high-tech laser cannon that could, like Iron Dome, knock Palestinian rockets out of the air but also destroy low-tech mortars.
Burma’s Lost Democratic Momentum Imperils Future Progress
August 15, 2014
Reclusive Burma was hailed as a Southeast Asian success story after easing decades of military rule in 2010, but the nation’s progress toward democracy has faltered over the last year. The regime is intimidated by the public adoration of outspoken opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, but it will likely try to quietly maintain the status quo in next year’s elections without provoking a backlash from the international community.
Iraq Has a New Prime Minister, but Who Will Defeat the ISIS?
August 15, 2014
The abrupt resignation Thursday of Iraq’s embittered prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, ended a challenge to the man selected to replace him. But who is Haider al-Abadi and how will he save the country from the brutal terrorist army of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria?
World Ignores Systematic Slaughter of Christians in Mideast
August 14, 2014
The Vatican’s condemnation this week of the massacre of Christians and other religious minorities by the Islamic terrorist army in Iraq was a rare call to action from the world’s religious leaders. Most have remained silent in the face of the systematic destruction of the ancient Christian communities in the Middle East.
Putin Moves Beyond Sophisticated Propaganda to Internet Control
August 14, 2014
The open, pervasive and constantly evolving Internet continues to frustrate authoritarian regimes intent on filtering the information reaching their citizens. Russia — unlike states such as China, Iran and North Korea — has resisted overtly controlling the flow of online information, preferring instead to control the mass media narrative at home and abroad with an effective and ongoing propaganda offensive.
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