MH17: Cold War Replay?

The most bizarre conspiracy theory surrounding the recent downing of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine comes from a leading pro-Russian separatist, Igor Girkin. Relying on second-hand information, Girkin asserted that many of the passengers from the crash had already been dead before the plane had even taken off. His underlings had reported to him that the bodies were badly decomposed and...
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Mowing the Lawn in Gaza

The Palestinians of Gaza are guilty of that new post-Cold War misdemeanor: voting while Muslim. The punishment for this crime has been eight years of economic hardship, international isolation, and periodic Israeli bombardments. Like the Algerians in 1990 and the Egyptians in 2012, Gazans went to the polls in 2006 and voted for the wrong party. Rather than supporting the secular choice, they...
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Coup Fever

It’s chaos these days in Libya. Rival militias have carved up the country and the major cities. The security situation has deteriorated to such an extent that legislators in Tripoli recently had to abandon their parliament building for a former royal palace. There they managed to elect a new prime minister—a 42-year-old businessman, the fifth such leader since the ouster of Muammar Gadaffi in...
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The Three-War Doctrine

U.S. troops have left Iraq and are leaving Afghanistan. The “war on terrorism” now seems so last decade. U.S. military spending has leveled off, and the Pentagon is looking at some fairly serious reductions after 2015. Last month, President Obama finally pulled the various threads of his foreign policy approach into a “doctrine” that emphasizes incremental diplomacy and leaves military...
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Obama’s Half-Pivot to Asia

President Barack Obama’s recent tour of Asia was an opportunity to reenergise his foreign policy after a series of setbacks in the global arena. The four countries on the week-long tour — Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines – have all been eager to upgrade their relationships with the United States in light of their concerns over Chinese maritime ambitions and an uncertain...
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Obama in the Funhouse

When Barack Obama enters the geopolitical funhouse these days, the distorting mirrors reflect back very different images of the U.S. president. The mirror held up by the Republican Party shows a presidential beanpole, a 98-pound weakling who is continually getting sand kicked into his face—by Syria’s Assad, North Korea’s Kim, Cuba’s Castro, and assorted other bullies. The...
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