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Disarmament & Suffrage in Libya – On the Right Course?

Disarmament & Suffrage in Libya – On the Right Course?

Geoff Porter’s op-ed in the International Herald Tribune provides an outstanding discussion on Libya’s new electoral law (view the law in Arabic) and its implications for the government’s ability to democratically represent citizens, encourage political unity, and further disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of former fighters. In sum, Porter highlights concerns that surround the law’s exclusion of […]

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Setting a Path for Justice – UN Human Rights Report on Libya

Setting a Path for Justice – UN Human Rights Report on Libya

On 2 March, the UN Human Rights Council released an extensive report (over 200 pages) covering extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detention, disappearances, torture, sexual violence, and attacks on civilians by armed parties in Libya. The report details activity undertaken by pro and anti-Gaddafi forces, as well as NATO’s air campaign. As most would agree, the Human Rights Council […]

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The Massacre in Words and Pictures – Syria

The Massacre in Words and Pictures – Syria

21 February marked the deaths of a prominent foreign journalist and a foreign photographer covering the unrest in Homs, Syria: Marie Colvin of The Sunday Times and French photographer Remi Ochlik. Again, their deaths cast light upon the apparent crimes against humanity that are raging unabated in Syria. Colvin’s and Ochlik’s deaths in Baba Amr, […]

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Iran & Israel – Diplomatic Road Rage

Iran & Israel – Diplomatic Road Rage

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s assertion that Israel is preparing to attack Iran in either April, May, or June has added more speculation and fuel to the sensitive situation surrounding Iran’s nuclear program. David Ignatius’ article in The Washington Post provides us with a bit of evidence that Israel may be preparing for war, […]

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A Failure of Civilian Protection – Libya

A Failure of Civilian Protection – Libya

News from Libya that torture is occurring in state and militia-administered detention facilities is horrific, but should be of little surprise. Amnesty International’s recent statements assert that torture is a wide-spread practice in Libya and has resulted in several deaths. The statements further that no investigations are occurring. Add to these statements a recent announcement by Medecins Sans […]

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Iran’s Intelligence Operations – Are They Suffering?

Iran’s Intelligence Operations – Are They Suffering?

Amir Mirzaei Hekmati – sentenced to death in Iran for espionage (credit: IRIB TV) There’s a lot of rhetoric out there concerning Iran, so I wanted to draw attention to a few ideas that should better allow us to analyze Iran’s foreign policy in respect to the US and its nuclear program. First, I recommend […]

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Separatism – Looking for Your Views

Separatism – Looking for Your Views

2011 proved a tumultuous year for states. The Arab Spring evidenced that stifling dissent through oppression and supporting autocracies should not be the status quo policy of the United States. Now we see states being made anew. How will these states fully differ from their previous forms? Will their previous economic or political strongmen truly be ousted […]

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2011 – An Unexceptional Year for American Exceptionalism?

2011 – An Unexceptional Year for American Exceptionalism?

2011 evidenced our inability to predict substantial change and respond to tumultuous events. The ramifications of foreign policy decisions will not show their true colors for some time. Below, I discuss notable states – Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Qatar, Cuba, Burma, Ivory Coast, Norway, Israel, and Palestine – that I believe are important because of their effects on peace […]

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Iran & The Science of Killing

Iran & The Science of Killing

Anyone in the business of studying violence should look askance at recent US claims that Iran’s Quds Force – a unit belonging to the Pasdaran, aka the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – is behind the amateurish plot to assassinate the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the US. The main issue in contention here is […]

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The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming American Foreign Policy

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming American Foreign Policy

Has America exhibited moral courage by addressing change, or the lack there of, in the world? Or has it squandered our hope for a principled effort to rid American foreign policy of its realist inclinations and desire to cling to paradigms? Many of us have placed our trust in America (i.e., President Obama) to challenge […]

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Israel & Palestine – In Peace, Everyone Hurts

Israel & Palestine – In Peace, Everyone Hurts

Do positive opportunities exist because of the upcoming vote on Palestinian statehood at the UN? Are our diplomats really trying for peace, or are they adhering to a diplomacy of intransigence? Will the development of a mutually hurting stalemate finally allow for peace between Israel and Palestine? The impending vote to recognize Palestinian statehood has inspired […]

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Seeing through the Smoke – Petraeus, the CIA, and Afghanistan

Seeing through the Smoke – Petraeus, the CIA, and Afghanistan

Whether due to the hunt for Gaddafi, or in anticipation of Obama’s new plan to create jobs, Afghanistan has taken a backseat to other news developments vying for Americans’ attention. The Washington Post’s David Ignatius has an intriguing article, consequently, that some may have missed. Ignatius discusses a classified CIA analytical piece on the state of […]

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Keeping up with International Affairs – Tweeting or Fleeting

Keeping up with International Affairs – Tweeting or Fleeting

Keeping up with policy and international developments can be exhausting. Do certain tools make it easier or better for you? Do you believe that Twitter, for example, exposes you to different opinions and news that you wouldn’t normally read? Without a doubt, Twitter and other social media outlets have provided intangible assistance to the wave […]

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Turkey, Palestine, the Kurds, and Many Questions

Turkey, Palestine, the Kurds, and Many Questions

Is Turkey’s grandstanding vis-a-vis the Palestine issue hypocritical in light of its own continually deleterious approach to another stateless group – the Kurds? What conditions support the notion that there should or should not be a dichotomy between Turkey’s approach to the two groups – Kurds and Palestinians? With this, how does the apparent contrast […]

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Reminiscing about Peace – Israel’s Founding Fathers

Reminiscing about Peace – Israel’s Founding Fathers

News broke recently from various outlets that Israel has been providing training and non-lethal supplies for Jewish settlers in Palestine to defend themselves from an expected onslaught of unrest during the days surrounding Palestine’s bid to seek official recognition from the UN in September. Palestine’s attempt at recognition, while doomed at the outset because of […]

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About the Author

Ali A. Riazi
Ali A. Riazi

Ali is an independent advisor on conflict and foreign affairs and an advocate for civilian protection. He has advised the Office of the Secretary of Defense, US military, NGOs, and intelligence oversight staff on topics, such as Afghanistan, civilian protection, irregular warfare, and civil-military affairs. His 13+ years of career experience have spanned humanitarian and national security circles and involved extensive experience throughout the Near East and Central Asia.

Ali earned a BA in Government & Politics (summa cum laude) and a Minor in International Development & Conflict Management from the University of Maryland, College Park. Additionally, he served as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant in International Political Economy. He is currently pursuing an MLitt in Terrorism Studies through the University of St. Andrews.

Ali's other blog interests can be followed at http://www.abeingforitself.com, and he can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/ali_riazi.

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