US Opinion and Commentary

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How Should Washington Respond to Iran’s Ballistic Missile Tests?

Posted December 22nd, 2015 at 12:12 pm (UTC-4)
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Rather than pursuing additional unilateral sanctions at this time or taking the draconian step of suspending the sanctions relief as outlined in the July 14 P5+1 and Iran nuclear agreement, the United States, our allies and partners should consider other effective means to curb Iran’s missile development.

My Father’s Continued Captivity Proves the Nuclear Deal has Not Made Iran Safe

Posted December 21st, 2015 at 1:58 pm (UTC-4)
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American and European companies are drafting plans to begin doing business in Iran with the lifting of sanctions as part of this summer’s nuclear-weapons agreement, and Westerners are planning visits to the country. My family and I cannot emphasize enough how dangerous traveling to Iran remains.

Iran Nuclear Agreement Faces ‘Significant Turbulence’

Posted December 21st, 2015 at 1:43 pm (UTC-4)
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By Barbara Slavin Eager to see relief of punishing economic sanctions, Iran is moving swiftly to implement the landmark nuclear deal it reached with the international community in July. But other actions in Tehran and Washington are souring the climate for compliance. Stephen Mull, the State Department’s lead coordinator for the agreement, faced tough questioning […]

Syria: The Need for Diplomacy and De-escalation

Posted December 10th, 2015 at 10:42 am (UTC-4)
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The current policy—gradually escalating the war in the hope of forcing a comprehensive political transition—is unlikely to succeed. … Assad is backed not only by sizeable military forces and a considerable portion of his population but also—and perhaps most importantly—by major outside powers determined to prevent the collapse of his regime.

Obama’s Call for Muslims to Stand Up

Posted December 8th, 2015 at 11:11 am (UTC-4)
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Among the president’s anti-Islamic State tactics is an appeal to Muslim leaders to assert an Islam based on universal values such as dignity, respect, and tolerance. Yet the US and Europe also must embrace these values to defeat all types of terrorism.    

Why ISIS Is Winning

Posted November 23rd, 2015 at 5:52 pm (UTC-4)
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The U.S. needs to assume a stronger role in coordinating the anti-ISIS coalition and step up its intervention in the region, both military and diplomatic. At present, ISIS is benefiting greatly from the strategic confusion among its opponents.

Iranian Devolution: Tehran Fights the Digital Future

Posted November 23rd, 2015 at 1:44 pm (UTC-4)
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Iran’s halal internet will reroute them to regime-approved search engines, websites, and online content. By doing so, it will effectively sever Iran’s connection to the Web and give Iranian authorities the power to create an isolated, regime-approved online reality for their citizens.

Netanyahu Offers Soothing Words, But No Clear Plan for Peace

Posted November 11th, 2015 at 11:23 am (UTC-4)
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My late editor at The Economist, Peter David, once inserted into an article this reporter had written about Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu the words “too mellifluous” before his name. At several appearances during Netanyahu’s visit to Washington this week, the four-term prime minister lived up to that description as he defended Israeli policies in dulcet […]

The Pakistan Nuclear Nightmare

Posted November 8th, 2015 at 11:39 am (UTC-4)
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Persuading Pakistan to rein in its nuclear weapons program should be an international priority. The major world powers spent two years negotiating an agreement to restrain the nuclear ambitions of Iran, which doesn’t have a single nuclear weapon. Yet there has been no comparable investment of effort in Pakistan…

Partition Syria to Crush the Islamic State

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 12:32 pm (UTC-4)
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… [R]epresentatives of all the Syrian factions should assemble under United Nations auspices to design the future Syrian state. Given the differences among these factions, this process could take years. In the interim, each faction should govern the territory it holds …

Iran’s War on Drugs Shows How it Would ‘Help’ in Syria

Posted October 30th, 2015 at 10:12 am (UTC-4)
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Like the U.N. partnership against drugs, participation in the Syria peace process is another victory for a rogue state that seeks legitimacy from the community of nations it works so assiduously to undermine.

Iraqi Shi’ite Cleric Hopes for New U.S. President ‘Between Bush and Obama’

Posted October 26th, 2015 at 12:39 pm (UTC-4)
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by Barbara Slavin Nearly 4,500 American military personnel have died in Iraq since 2003. The latest, Delta Force Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler, was killed during a raid on an Islamic State prison compound last week. Many in the Middle East, as well as in the United States, fault the Bush administration for invading the country […]

Where New Cooperation Could Lead

Posted October 20th, 2015 at 10:16 am (UTC-4)
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One of the ironies of our time is that the people of Iran are among the most pro-American in the greater Middle East…. At the political level, however, the history of the two countries is full of bitter memories…. Could that ugly history ever give way to a sunnier view?

Key US Allies Israel and Turkey Face Tough Challenges

Posted October 13th, 2015 at 9:55 am (UTC-4)
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By Barbara Slavin As the Middle East continues a downward spiral, two important U.S. allies that had seemed relatively stable – Israel and Turkey — are both confronting significant new violence.   In Israel, a spasm of Arab attacks — and Israeli retaliation — is prompting fears of a third intifada. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu […]

Saudis Should Reveal a Political Endgame for Yemen

Posted October 8th, 2015 at 4:55 pm (UTC-4)
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By Barbara Slavin As Saudi planes continue to bombard one of the world’s poorest nations, it is time for the Barack Obama administration to use its leverage as the Kingdom’s major arms supplier to put pressure on Riyadh to enter negotiations on a political solution to the conflict in Yemen. Testifying this week before the […]