Putin's Losing Streak

The Malaysia Airlines Disaster and the New Sanctions on Ukraine

Stephen Holmes and Ivan Krastev
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Brasilia, July 14, 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Brasilia, July 14, 2014. (Ueslei Marcelino / Courtesy Reuters)
Russia's annexation of Crimea came with few consequences for Russia, while an accidental attack on a civilian airliner by semi-anarchical rebel forces, only loosely controlled by Moscow, may redefine the country's place in the world order. Here's why.

The Dishonest Broker

Bilal Y. Saab
Qatar’s diplomatic intervention in Gaza has exposed the risks inherent in its broader grand strategy. Although Qatar’s foreign policy has not changed, it is no longer going to be able to pose as a neutral arbiter.

An Unnecessary Plague

Jessica Hatcher
What’s particularly disturbing about the latest Ebola outbreak is that the United States has recently developed treatments for the disease. But, despite lobbying from scientists, the drugs have not been put to the test.
Capsule Review

Today's Book: Superfuel

Richard N. Cooper
According to Martin, thorium is a far superior reactor fuel because it is less radioactive and more abundant than uranium and also produces much less waste.
Khaled Elgindy

For Israeli policymakers, another concentrated war against Gaza was preferable to the possibility of another West Bank uprising against Israel, akin to the so-called intifadas that occurred in the late 1980s and the early 2000s. Contrary to what Israelis may have hoped, however, the present war has made a third intifada more, not less, likely.

Wreckage at Tripoli International Airport, July 2014.
Jason Pack

The violence tearing apart Libya might appear to be an ideological struggle. In fact, it is an economic competition between two rival criminal networks.

A demonstrator outside the Israeli Embassy in London, July 26, 2014.
Dalia Dassa Kaye

The longer the conflict in Gaza continues, the harder it will be to insulate the negotiations from other events in the region -- and that does not bode well for a successful outcome.

The ink-stained finger of an Iraqi soldier, April 13, 2013.
Erica De Bruin

The problem of how to improve Iraqi military capacity without undermining civilian control won’t go away when Maliki leaves office. It will persist until norms of democratic and civilian rule become entrenched in Iraq -- a process that could take decades, if not longer.

A Dutch flag hangs at half-mast as a sign of respect for those killed in the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, July 19, 2014
Mitchell A. Orenstein

Out to earn a dollar on the Russian natural resource trade, European nations such as the Netherlands have long kept smiling as the Kremlin has continued to humiliate them. But now the airline disaster, combined with Moscow’s attempts to cover up its role in the tragedy, will likely force Europe to get real about its eastern neighbor.

Israeli tanks outside the northern Gaza Strip, July 18, 2014.
Ariel Ilan Roth

Israel's tactical achievements against Hamas can't be minimized. But they do not equal a strategic victory. War, as Clausewitz famously taught, is the continuation of politics by other means. Wars are fought to realign politics in a way that benefits the victor and is detrimental to the loser. But the Israelis have lost sight of this distinction.