Syria

Examining the Democratic Peace Hypothesis: A Neorealist Critique

April 26, 2012 by

Referred to as the “closest thing we have to law in international relations,” the democratic peace theory – the idea that democratic states do not go to war against each other – has been used as a champion ideology during the latter half of the post-World War II era and into the new millennium. For the theory’s mostly Western advocates, it is believed that as democracy is spread to all corners of the globe, so shall peace.

Isolation and Hegemony: A New Approach for American Foreign Policy

April 23, 2012 by

In modern foreign policy the United States faces a complicated irony: in a bid to ensure national security and maintain global primacy the U.S. spends a large quantity of blood and treasure on interventionist policies that may actually compromise national security and the future of American hegemony. The culmination of these exercises in grandiose foreign policy has been the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, at the combined cost of between three and four trillion dollars.

An Unlikely Peace: Iran’s Quest for Nuclear Weapons is Likely to Lead to War

April 21, 2012 by

As Israel has faced the threat of Arab armies and Islamic terrorism throughout its history, it has struggled to maintain a strong deterrence in the Middle East, one that will prevent other countries in the region from continuing to attack and to kill Israeli citizens. One of today’s most important issues in foreign affairs is Iran’s quest to obtain nuclear weapons and how their journey towards nuclear dominance in the Middle East might bring America and Israel into the conflict.

The Revolution on a Laptop: YouTube Journeys through the Arab Spring

April 12, 2012 by

I chose to be here and now I want to leave. But I’m actually already at home, sitting in my living room. Yet what I saw was real. I just saw a Syrian protester moments after he’d been shot in the neck. I’d heard the shots that might be delivering the same fate to others. I’d felt the adrenaline of the survivors running over to do what they could for a boy whose blood trailed thirty feet into a ditch.

Why Iran will Compromise This Time

April 12, 2012 by

As we inch closer to the crucial nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers, the so-called P5+1, the primordial question is whether this time will be different: Is Tehran willing to make necessary compromises – from greater nuclear transparency to more stringent restrictions on its enrichment activities - to reverse the economic siege that is bringing the country close to the edge? Is she going to use the talks as a delaying tactic or will she finally strike a mutually-acceptable deal with the West?

U.S. Expectations Must Change in the Middle East

April 11, 2012 by

News that the proposed Syrian ceasefire has fallen apart, that the Muslim Brotherhood has put forth a candidate for the presidency in Egypt, that challenges to the new government in Tunisia have already arisen, that there remains a risk of civil war in Libya, and that there is a good chance Israel may unilaterally bomb Iran later this year should not be much of a surprise to those Middle East foreign policy pundits who mix a good dose of realism in with any grand illusions about what the future holds for the region.

Lessons Hidden in Afghanistan

April 10, 2012 by

What should be striking about the reported news out of Afghanistan lately is the extent to which the headlines have been about tragic, non-military events. Korans were defaced and a U.S. servicemember is suspected of murdering seventeen Afghan civilians. These acts have both had a profound, negative impact on U.S.-Afghan relations and, by extension, have put our troops and our mission in Afghanistan in greater jeopardy.

See You in Nuclear Tehran

April 6, 2012 by

If someone wanted to back out of the April 13-14 meeting between Iran and the P5+1 group of international mediators to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, here is an excuse – Tehran has suddenly asked to move the venue from Istanbul to Baghdad. Now the question is whether the key participant in the talks, the United States, wants talks to go forward and why. On the one hand, one gets the impression that the Obama administration considers any form of communication with Tehran to be distasteful and would like to have an excuse to back out of talks. But, on the other hand, failing to produce any results is no good either.

The Foreign Policy President?

April 3, 2012 by

Elections are decided by economics. Voters respond to pocketbook issues and are swayed by the huge sums that candidates lavish on advertising. Foreign policy issues, by contrast, are what the British call “noises off,” those sounds from off-stage that you hear occasionally to punctuate the main actions, sounds like exploding bombs and the distant cries of suffering people. According to recent polling, global issues barely register at all with Americans right now.

Annan’s Plan for Syria has Limited Horizons for a Country Snared in Distrust

April 1, 2012 by

The conflict in Syria has often assumed the ominous characteristic of being insoluble or endless. The government and its various opponents have shown little interest in compromise. The Assad regime’s increasingly ferocious efforts have so far failed to suppress the activities of the resistance movements, who, in turn, have been unable to strike a serious blow against the regime. As soon as one part of the country has been subdued by ruthless force, protests have broken out in another.

The Syrian Crisis Needs a Political Solution

March 31, 2012 by

More than a year after the onset of anti-regime protests, the Syrian uprising increasingly resembles a bloody marathon with no finish line on the horizon. With more than 7,000 people killed and ongoing deadly clashes between security forces and the armed opposition, the international community —splintered along geo-strategic lines — is still struggling to craft and establish a clear “road map” for Syria.

Romney’s Foreign Policy and Russia

March 30, 2012 by

Obama’s recently concluded trip to South Korea to liaise with world leaders to address nuclear security and the Iranian nuclear saga went according to schedule, until an “open mic” caught Obama making rather casual comments to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stating he believed he would have more flexibility to address lingering issues related to nuclear arms reduction after the November election.

Coming Up: A Tehran Communiqué?

March 23, 2012 by

Arguably, growing tensions over Iran’s nuclear impasse represent today’s greatest international security challenge. Current Western sanctions against Iran are biting hard, but they are also hurting both the Iranian population and global consumers. With rising concerns over a possible “supply shock” — as Iran struggles to sell its oil and alternative producers such as Saudi Arabia and Libya scramble over dwindling spare capacity — energy prices are inching closer to their staggering 2008 levels.

Bombings in Iraq a Sign of Deep Domestic Problems

March 23, 2012 by

When US President Obama announced the end of America’s involvement in Iraq, he deliberately did not claim victory. But he did say, when welcoming the last contingent of combat troops home in October last year, that the war in Iraq was over. For Americans, Australians and the media in both countries, that may be how the situation is seen. Iraqis could be excused for disagreeing.

Iraq and the Limits of U.S. Power

March 19, 2012 by

“Washington has lost a valuable opportunity to nurture and support a key counterweight to Iranian influence among Shiites in the Arab world,” lament Danielle Pletka and Gary Schmitt of the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute in an op-ed for the Washington Post. They subsequently call on the Obama administration to bulk up its already grossly overloaded staff at the gigantic U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

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