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President Obama's counterterrorism speech didn't earn its hype. Far from changing the country's counterterrorism policy, it will only preserve the status quo.
The time to fret about when China will acquire drones is over: it has them. The question now is when and how it will use them. But as with its other, less exotic military capabilities, Beijing has cleared only a technological hurdle -- and its behavior will continue to be constrained by politics.
From wigs to dead drops, the espionage tussles between the United States and Russia are increasingly playing by the old Cold War rules -- including the public shaming of the unlucky spooks who get caught.
In his scholarship, Waltz asked the tough questions about the difficult and important issues. He was motivated by both theoretical and policy questions, the latter often setting the agenda for the former. He was intellectually courageous, usually staking out iconoclastic positions -- some of which were initially derided, many of which ended up becoming mainstream thinking. No matter what one’s theoretical persuasion, he was an intellectual force that had to be reckoned with.
With the Iranian government having disqualified two of the country's boldest presidential candidates, it is unlikely the election will address any major ideological questions. But Iranians know that there is a lot more at stake than ideology.
The recent Kerry-Lavrov initiative to end the conflict in Syria through talks was met with skepticism among those who believe that the United States and Russia will bring their own agendas to the table, that Bashar al-Assad will refuse to step down, and that the Syrian opposition is too fragmented to strike a deal. But those are common problems, and successful talks can be -- and have been -- started under just such conditions.
One out of every four refugees in the world is from Afghanistan. Many make their escape via the Tora Larah, the Black Way, a long and dangerous underground railroad that winds through Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, and Greece. Those that travel this path might escape their home country, but they often end up bringing its violence along with them. Here is one migrant's story.
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.
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