October 21, 2014

By Alec Weisman

Worried by the recent success of Shiite tribesmen in Yemen, Sunni-ruled Bahrain is desperate to deter its Shiite-majority population from reviving their Arab Spring protests. However, the latest aggressive crackdown in the tiny island kingdom just before parliamentary elections next month may backfire and lead to greater unrest for the strategically important American ally torn between the two main factions of Islam.

Islamic Tensions Rock Strategic US Ally Bahrain
Anti-government protests demand democratic reforms in a September demonstration in Bahrain. (Mohammed al-Shaikh/Getty Images)
Chaos Opens New Options for Israel, as US Ties Suffer
September 4, 2014
In the spreading chaos and rapidly shifting geopolitics of the Middle East, Israel for the first time finds itself in a position of formal or informal alliance with much of the Sunni Muslim world but increasingly at odds with its strongest historical backer in the West, the United States.
EU-Russian Standoff Traps Moldova, Europe’s Poorest Nation
September 4, 2014
As the standoff between the European Union and Russia over the fate of Ukraine and the other former Soviet republics of Eastern Europe intensifies, the Kremlin seems likely to increase its efforts to destabilize Moldova — the continent’s most impoverished country. Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to punish Moldova for moving closer with the EU.
Russia, Iran Eying Sanctions-Busting Barter Deal
September 4, 2014
Russia and Iran are negotiating an agreement to trade oil for goods in a barter deal that would violate international sanctions on Iranian oil exports. Moscow and Tehran have signed a preliminary agreement, and both sides have powerful incentives to move forward.
Nightmare in Libya: Unlikely Player Takes on the Jihadists
September 3, 2014
The West has been mesmerized by the social-media-savvy Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. But who is dealing with out-of-control Libya, where the government admits it has no authority over its own ministry buildings in Tripoli and where 11 airliners have gone missing, posing a 9/11 anniversary terrorist threat?
S. Asia Also Alarmed by ISIS Threat From Returning Jihadists
September 3, 2014
From Pakistan to Indonesia, countries across southern Asia are intensifying counterterrorism operations over growing fears of radical Islamists returning home after fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Their concerns — like those in Europe, the United States and northern Africa — are proving well-founded, as local militants strive to hitch their fortunes to the brutal terrorist army.
US Navy Drone Could Protect Against Carrier-Killing Missiles
September 3, 2014
The U.S. Navy is successfully testing a combat drone that can launch and land on aircraft carriers – one of the most difficult maneuvers in aviation. A squadron of these armed unmanned vehicles could eventually fly bombing missions over Iraq against extremist groups without the risk of losing pilots. Their long range would also allow U.S. aircraft carriers to stay out of the death zone and be protected from China’s huge arsenal of “carrier-killing” ballistic and cruise missiles.
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