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inFOCUS Quarterly

Fall 2014

Europe: Whole and Free?


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The Hollow Coalition

by Gabriel Scheinmann and Raphael Cohen
November 5, 2014 | Foreign Affairs

Three months since U.S. bombs first struck Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) targets in Iraq, the Obama administration has touted its 62-country coalition as a crowning achievement. Although this number might seem impressive, however, it is misleading. Of the 62 nominal allies for Operation Inherent Resolve (as the campaign is now called), only 16 have actually committed military forces, and only 11 have conducted offensive operations to date. Many appear willing to pay lip service to U.S. President Barack Obama's condemnation of ISIS, only to ignore his subsequent call to arms.

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Iran Leads at Halftime: Game Over?

by Shoshana Bryen
October 31, 2014 | Gatestone Institute

A deal that is not a capitulation requires two conditions: the parties must equally value the process; and there has to be a compatible endgame. The West invested the process with much more value than did Iran, providing the mullahs with instant leverage, but most important, there was no agreed-upon endgame. The P5+1 wanted to negotiate the terms of Iran's nuclear surrender; Iran was negotiating the conditions under which it would operate its nuclear program.

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The Enemy of My Enemy…

by Gabriel Scheinmann
October 31, 2014 | Moment Magazine

At the United Nations in early fall, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that "a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world" could not only help defeat the twin threats of a nuclear Iran and Sunni jihadism but could also help "facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace." Given the perceived regional dominance of Sunni Arabs, such an approach appears tempting. After all, in the Middle East, the Arabs are king‚ÄĒin some cases literally, as with the royal families of Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. All but five modern Middle Eastern states have Sunni Arab majorities. Historic opportunities for collaboration do certainly exist.

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Chemical Weapons Revelations in the Middle East

by Shoshana Bryen
October 17, 2014 | American Thinker

Two chemical weapons-related stories this week should be considered separate, not necessarily interchangeable, parts of a whole.

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Support Allies, Not Terrorists

by Shoshana Bryen
October 15, 2014 | Gatestone Institute

Fighters in Kobani found desperate ways to slow down ISIS over the weekend, but lack serious weapons and intelligence to advance their position. Under the circumstance of immediate and critical fighting, Kerry's international party should have been trying to aid the Kurds, our friends and the mortal enemy of ISIS, instead of trying to lavish more international funds on Hamas and Fatah -- two sides of a movement dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

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Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Kobani

by Shoshana Bryen
October 13, 2014 | American Thinker

Pentagon spokesman Adm. John Kirby told reporters he understood that U.S. air power wouldn't save Kobani, but there is a "larger strategy" in place.  The primary goal of the campaign is not to save Syrian cities and towns, U.S. Central Command officials said, but to go after ISIS senior leadership, oil refineries, and other infrastructure that would curb the group's ability to operate.  If the strategy is to allow ISIS to advance its murderous agenda against Kurds and others while we "plink" its leaders from above, it is a humanitarian, military, and political disaster of a strategy.

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Every War Must End

by Shoshana Bryen
September 29, 2014 | American Thinker

"The fact that from generation to generation, powerful people make the same horrendous mistakes allows us to get meaningful lessons by writing about the past. Indeed, when it comes to starting, fighting and ending wars we find that we, our ancestors, and those before them have continued that march of folly… from the Battle of Troy to Vietnam. Now happily folly is sometimes canceled by prudence and foresight, and sometimes by sheer good luck. The good luck, or you might call it providence, explains why we are still here."

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Articles Archive


Yemeni Government Rescues Eight Hostages

by Michael Johnson
November 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Update: In contrast to previous media reports, no Americans were among the hostages rescued, according to the New York Times. Additionally, two dozen U.S. Special Operation commandos operated alongside their Yemeni counterparts during the raid.

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North Korea Threatens New Nuclear Test

by Michael Johnson
November 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

North Korea threatened on Thursday to conduct a new nuclear test as the country's scientists takes steps that could advance the North's weapons program. The latest development comes amid a failed charm offensive by the North's reclusive leaders and new pressure from the international community over the Pyongyang's human rights record.

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Bill on NSA Surveillance Fails in Senate

by Michael Johnson
November 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm

The U.S. Senate blocked debate over a bill limiting the National Security Agency's ability to collect the phone records of American citizens on Tuesday. In a 58-42 procedural vote, the "USA Freedom Act" fell short of the 60 votes needed to bring the reform package to the Senate floor. The vote was a blow to the Obama Administration's recommended changes made by a special intelligence review board late last year.

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More Europeans Identified in Recent IS Video

by Michael Johnson
November 18, 2014 at 5:00 pm

European authorities believe they have identified at least two Jihadists that appeared in a video recently released by the Islamic State (IS). The video, released over the weekend, shows the mass beheadings of Syrian soldiers, announces the death of Peter Kassig, and shows other European and international fighters who have not yet been identified.

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Bombs Target Egyptian and U.A.E. Embassies in Libya

by Michael Johnson
November 13, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Two car bombs exploded outside the Egyptian and United Arab Emirates embassies in Tripoli on Thursday. No one was injured in the blasts, according to reports from Reuters. Both diplomatic missions have been closed for several months due security threats and political instability in the capital city. The attacks help to highlight the continuing conflict between secularists and Islamists in the country.

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New Attacks Rile Israel

by Michael Johnson
November 11, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Two Israelis were stabbed to death in separate terror incidents on Monday. Police identified the first victim as border policeman Almog Yissocher Shiloni. He was stabbed near a train station in Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon. Police arrested the perpetrator, a Palestinian man from Nablus who had entered Israel illegally, a few blocks away from the crime scene. A few hours later, another man attacked three Israelis with a knife on the West Bank in the town of Alon Shvut, killing a 25-year-old woman. A guard shot and killed the assailant, who had previously served more than four years in prison for throwing a firebomb at Israeli security forces.

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