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Snapshot,
Tom Keatinge

To take out al Shabab, one need look no further than charcoal. The United Nations has repeatedly called for countries in the region to disrupt the group’s trade in this environmentally destructive product, but, as the most recent Somalia UN Monitoring Group report revealed, such efforts have been lackluster. With its patience wearing thin, the UN has now taken matters into its own hands by approving a naval intervention.

Snapshot,
Sigurd Neubauer

As Iran moves closer to receiving international recognition for its nuclear program, Saudi Arabi's nuclear aspirations seem to have stalled completely. Fortunately, there are steps that the United States can take to push its nuclear talks with Saudi Arabia out of their rut.

Snapshot,
J. Trevor Ulbrick

To date, three million Syrians have fled the war in their country. The exodus has now surpassed the Rwandan genocide as the largest refugee crisis since World War II.

Snapshot,
Gunes Murat Tezcur and Sabri Ciftci

The past few weeks have seen a wave of Muslims from all around the world joining the ranks of ISIS. Although most of the attention has been on those coming from the United States and Europe, the bulk of foreign fighters has actually come from places like Turkey, from which the flow of jihadists is particularly puzzling.

Snapshot,
Lauren Harrison

Discussions of the Holocaust aside, Germany and Israel are still rarely mentioned in the same breath. Yet Berlin has long been one of the most successfuland secretiveintermediaries between Jerusalem and its enemies.

Snapshot,
J. Berkshire Miller

After months of back-channel diplomacy, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese leader Xi Jinping finally met this week on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing. The Abe-Xi meeting is long overdue and represents the first time the leaders from the world’s second and third biggest economies have talked since Abe took office in December 2012.

Snapshot,
Michael D. Matthews

Science and technology have always been decisive factors in war. But psychology may have an even more important role to play, particularly in the types of conflicts increasingly common in the twenty-first century.

Snapshot,
Raphael Cohen and Gabriel Scheinmann

Washington's European allies are contributing far less to the war on ISIS than the 2011 campaign in Libya. With time, they will only grow weaker on the battlefield. 

Snapshot,
Piotr Zalewski

Kurds have a right to take Turkey to task for its inaction in Kobani, just as Turks have a right to insist that Kurdish suffering in Syria does not give the PKK license to kill civilians or off-duty soldiers in Turkey.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

Oman tends to feature far less in international discussions about the Middle East than other countries in the region. But that is mostly a reflection of its deliberate preference for avoiding the spotlight. In reality, Oman is a rare regional example of domestic tranquility, cosmopolitanism, religious tolerance, and skillful diplomacy.

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