July 31, 2014
The cease-fire agreement cooked up by U.S. Secretary of State Kerry in consultation with two of Israel’s worst enemies in the Middle East, Turkey and Qatar, was predictably turned down flat by the Israelis, who are proceeding with military operations in the Gaza Strip to destroy Hamas’ terrorist tunnels and degrade its other military infrastructure.
Hamas Grows Isolated as US Fumbles Gaza Diplomacy
US Secretary of State John Kerry answers questions about Israel’s invasion of Gaza and the current situation in Ukraine following a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin at the State Department in Washington, DC, on July 29, 2014. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Aging Cleric Uses Modern Media to Push for Peace in Iraq
July 10, 2014
An elderly, soft-spoken Muslim cleric with a heart problem has stepped into the chaos of battle-scarred Iraq, seeking to achieve in weeks what has eluded U.S. negotiators for years: convincing a wily prime minister to share power with his religious rivals.
China Is the Winner in Energy Deal With Russia
July 10, 2014
China and Russia signed a 30-year energy deal in May that was widely touted as a political victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin, but a more detailed assessment paints a different picture of the agreement. The culmination of nearly a decade of negotiation produces important benefits for Russia, but China will reap the largest political as well as financial gains, another sign of its changing relationship with Russia.
Turkey: Erdogan On Shifting Sands at Home and Abroad
July 9, 2014
In just a few years Turkey has been transformed from a global showcase of the Middle East to just another regional power dealing with dangerous events over which it has little or no control. The long-term challenge has been the country’s relationship to its Kurdish population as well as the Kurds of neighboring states. Turkey also has struggled with spillover from the Syrian civil war, which has raged on its southern border since 2011.
Spain Bets on Tax Cuts, Not Austerity, to Restore Growth
July 9, 2014
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is moving to ease painful austerity measures implemented in the wake of the European financial crisis, but the strategy carries significant risks. If the shift to growth succeeds, Spain will emerge as a shining example of success. If the gamble fails, Spain could falter quickly, dealing a serious setback to the European Union’s fragile recovery.
ISIS Topples al-Qaeda as Top Terrorist Group
July 9, 2014
The jihadist army that swept across Iraq with stunning speed has toppled al-Qaeda from its rank as the most feared terrorist group. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could tempt a desperate al-Qaeda to craft a plot to rival its 9/11 attack, grab headlines and re-establish its leadership of radical Islam.
Egypt’s Al-Sisi Leads Region in Reversing Islamist Gains
July 8, 2014
Since coming into office a month ago, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has stifled the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood in the name of national security. While other regional leaders lead from behind, Sisi’s out-front, proactive model has been more successful at halting the Islamist drive, an outcome that raises the general’s political profile across North Africa and the Middle East but also increases the risks. Egypt is already facing a threat of an incursion through the Gaza Strip by the jihadist terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
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