Security

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Snapshot,
Michael O'Hanlon

The most important part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent speech about Iraq and Syria wasn’t how many air strikes the United States will conduct and when -- the elements that have dominated much of the analysis of the event. Rather, it was his call to form, from scratch, an Iraqi National Guard.

Snapshot,
William McCants

Despite ISIS’ success in capturing jihadists’ imagination, the idea of an Islamic state has one fatal flaw: its physical incarnation makes it vulnerable to attack.

Snapshot,
Paul Hidalgo

Last week’s deadly U.S. strike on Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of the Somalia-based Islamist militant group al Shabab, could be the group’s undoing. Even so, the region is not out of the woods.

Snapshot,
David Brown

Vietnam once hoped to manage China's regional ambitions by showing Beijing deference. But Hanoi now has a new strategy: cozying up to its one-time enemy, the United States.

Snapshot,
Eric Lorber

A Russia with a sophisticated military and a cratered economy would pose a substantial threat to its neighbors, especially since many of those neighbors possess large amounts of valuable natural resources. In other words, although sanctions may be intended to deter Russia from adventurism in its near abroad, they could end up doing just the opposite.

Postscript,
Joshua Yaffa

Late last week in Minsk, negotiators representing Ukraine, the separatist forces, and Russia agreed to a ceasefire. If this deal holds -- plenty of earlier ceasefires have fallen apart as soon as they were signed -- then the active phase of fighting in eastern Ukraine will have come to end on terms favorable to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Snapshot,
Nathaniel Zelinsky

What does an ISIS militant mean when he raises his index finger? Or an Egyptian activist who raises four? Although Western observers have largely ignored them, such gestures provide a unique window into the evolving politics of the Middle East.

Snapshot,
Alexander J. Motyl

If Ukraine does manage to pacify the Donbas, it will be saddled with a devastated, unstable, and permanently insecure rust belt that will continue to do what it has done since independence in 1991: serve as a channel for Russian influence on Ukraine’s internal affairs and a home to political forces that oppose reform and integration with the West.

Snapshot,
Fumio Kishida

Next year marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, offering a unique opportunity to forward Japan's vision for a nuclear-free world.

Snapshot,
Nate Schenkkan

The sanctions war between Russia and the West is hurting Russian consumers. But it is buoying the fortunes of several post-Soviet states hungry for Russian markets -- and advancing Putin's vision of a tighter Eurasian community. 

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