Francis Fukuyama on the future of history, Andrew J. Nathan and Andrew Scobell on how China sees America, Ned Parker on the Iraq we left behind, Ruchir Sharma on why the rest stopped rising, and more.
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Iran is holding terrorist leaders as an act of defense -- so long as it has them, al Qaeda will likely refrain from attacking Iran. But the strategy also has a defensive component -- if the United States or Israel bombed the country, it could employ al Qaeda in responding.
The conversation in Israel about an operation against Iran's nuclear program is centered on whether or not Jerusalem should strike, not on what might happen if it does. The lack of public debate about the "day after" may leave Israel unprepared both to attack and to defend itself.
The U.S. government has begun to think of Anonymous, the online network phenomenon, as a threat to national security. This is the wrong approach. Seeing Anonymous primarily as a cybersecurity threat is like analyzing the breadth of the Vietnam antiwar movement and 1960s counterculture by focusing only on the Weathermen.
Although shooting female FARC members first during battle is not official policy, a retired Colombian colonel told the author in 2009, any sensible soldier would do so. With their "Kamikaze-like" mentality, he said, they are the deadliest combatants. This profile of one former member illustrates how the abuses women face once inside the group create such a mindset.
Militant Buddhism was a driving force behind the 25-year war between Sri Lanka's majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils. Combative monks remain, inflaming religious tensions on the island and threatening to shake up the country's fragile peace.
Secularists have taken to the streets to argue that Egypt's new constitution, likely to be ratified this week, is an illegitimate document produced in an undemocratic process. What they really fear, however, is that normal politics will soon return to the country -- setting up a fight that they know they can't win.