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Ayatollah Khamenei has developed a four-part strategy to avoid a repeat of the 2009 presidential elections, which led to massive demonstrations and the discrediting of the regime. But the eleventh-hour declarations of candidacy by Hashemi Rafsanjani and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei have made his task more difficult.
The debate about what to do in Syria has been sidetracked by discussions of credibility and reputation. But both logic and evidence prove that reputations are mostly imaginary. Obama should not let fears that others might think him irresolute drive him to disaster. Instead, he should refocus on what U.S. interests really are in Syria, and how he can best obtain them.
The high turnout for the recent general election indicates that the Pakistani public is warming up to democracy. But participation is a double-edged sword: by virtue of having had its voice heard, the public now has heightened expectations of government performance. If Sharif fails to deliver, public disaffection could set in rather quickly and powerfully.
Israeli intervention in Syria's civil war has remained very limited. In part, that is because of Israel's long history with the Assad regime, which has consistently maintained peace along the two countries' border. Ultimately, Israel has more confidence in President Bashar al-Assad than in any foreseeable successor.
All in all, the reaction of the online jihadist community to the Boston bombing was unusually tepid. For many, the relatively small attack was simply a sideshow to bigger operations, most notably in Syria. For others, it was an uncomfortable indication of the global jihadist movement’s real limitations in the West.
China's new leaders have interpreted recent unrest as being fueled by anger about inequality. But most Chinese find the gap between rich and poor relatively unproblematic. If the Xi administration hopes to settle the country, it needs to starts focusing on the real reasons citizens are taking to the streets: injustice and corruption.
The Supreme Court decision on Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. seemed to deal a blow to foreign victims of foreign human rights abusers who wished to the Alien Tort Statute to sue their abusers in U.S. courts. But the decision might be a blessing in disguise. The ATS never proved that useful in advancing human rights worldwide, and by slamming the door on it, the Supreme Court has pushed the human rights movement to focus on using other tools.
Mandiant's chief security officer offers lessons for fighting cybercrime.
The Obama administration is still looking for hard evidence that the Assad regime used chemical weapons in Syria. Although finding it is easier said than done, it is possible. The really important question is how the government will use evidence after it is collected.
Although chemical weapons are often considered weapons of mass destruction, they are not. In the case of sarin gas, many tons must be released under favorable conditions before it can inflict significantly more damage than conventional explosives. However repugnant Assad's use of chemical weapons in Syria might be, in other words, it should not change the United States' basic calculations.
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