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The debate over the merits of the interim nuclear agreement with Iran should turn on whether enhanced sanctions could break Iran’s will, if not lead to regime change. If that possibility seams remote, then the interim agreement and what is likely to follow will be good deals in an imperfect world.
There is some basis to the argument that the deal with Iran has implicitly recognized the country as a threshold nuclear power. Here's why that isn't a problem.
During negotiations over a new security pact, Kabul demanded that Washington apologize for its military’s bad behavior. Such apologies are generally unnecessary and sometimes even counterproductive. Still, reconciliation requires some acknowledgement of past harm.
The recent al Shabab attack on a Nairobi mall might have come as a surprise to Western observers, but it should not have. In form and motivation, the attack mirrored several others in the last few years.
As Rouhani mounts his charm offensive at the UN General Assembly, it is worth remembering that sanctions alone did not bring about Iran's new willingness to negotiate. Nor can they ensure that the mood will last.
Abbott models himself on his mentor and predecessor: the last Liberal prime minister, John Howard. Howard is commonly assumed to have repositioned Australia away from Asia and even closer to the United States. In reality, though, he went a long way to court Beijing, too. Abbott will try to do the same.
The Assad regime has lost the legitimacy to govern Syria, and months of fighting have underlined the harsh reality that the opposition is outmatched. In this respect, a military backing of the opposition is not a contradiction to a negotiated transition through regional diplomacy but, rather, a precondition.
For those surprised by the military coup in Egypt, it is worth remembering that democracy was never the Egyptian protesters’ main goal. Rather, most were more interested in a stronger economy. No wonder that Morsi was pushed out when he failed to deliver on that priority.
The Arab Spring was and remains a good thing; turmoil is not a bug in political development but a feature of it.
After months of negotiations, Kosovo and Serbia have finally agreed to normalize relations. The deal pushes some questions aside and requires both parties to accept certain fictions. Nevertheless, it could as a template for melting the region's other frozen conflicts.
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