Snapshots

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Snapshot,
Arthur Herman

Compared with the most sophisticated weapons systems in use today, tunnels have withstood the test of time. There’s no way to know how long drones or lasers or anti-missile defense systems will last, but as long as there is warfare, tunnels will almost certainly be part of the fight.

Snapshot,
Steven Simon

Despite the pandemonium in the Middle East, Sykes-Picot seems to be alive and well. That shouldn’t be surprising. Land borders settled via negotiation, especially when sealed by treaty, tend to be stable, even where relations between the neighboring states remain volatile or even hostile.

Snapshot,
Gregory Clark

The United States cherishes an image of itself as a country that invites in the world’s tired, its poor, and its huddled masses. In reality, the country isn't capable of transforming the life opportunities of disadvantaged populations.

Snapshot,
Seth Kaplan

Life in Nigeria's largest city is changing for the better, offering a potential lesson for struggling states looking to stage a turnaround: mayors and city councils are more likely to embrace positive change than legislatures and presidents -- and far more quickly and effectively.

Snapshot,
Nimmi Gowrinathan

Reports that women have formed their own brigade within the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have confounded experts -- and worried them. For many, the idea of women as violent extremists seems paradoxical. Why should women want to join a political struggle that so blatantly oppresses them?

Snapshot,
Henri J. Barkey

Geography and realpolitik have been cruel to the Kurds. Divided among four countries, they have been easy prey for anyone willing to engage in mischief and machinations in the region -- and engage the United States has.

Snapshot,
Mary L. Dudziak

As the turmoil in Ferguson unfolds, questions about the United States' commitment to human rights are once more headlining news coverage around the world. That should not be surprising. American racial inequality regularly dominated foreign news coverage during the 1950s and 1960s. And U.S. policymakers were eventually forced to respond, in part to protect the United States' image abroad.

Snapshot,
Tarek Osman

As Arab governments become increasingly authoritarian, the region's middle classes will confront a choice: cast their lot with the ruling elites or stand up to the government and risk their social and economic standing. 

Snapshot,
Kevin Russell

Haider al-Abadi, selected to be Iraq’s new prime minister, is already being hailed as a potential savior for his country. But the system of power sharing that resulted in his appointment is part of the reason that Iraq’s politics are so turbulent in the first place.

Snapshot,
Ely Ratner and Elizabeth Rosenberg

The United States will have to face the reality that further Russian isolation might be more costly than it is worth. In particular, further U.S.-led sanctions will start to harm U.S. allies and partners in Asia and, therefore, American interests.

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