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The True Lesson Of The Arab Spring

Earlier this week Stephen Walt drew the wrong lesson from the Arab uprisings: So let me get this straight: one former dictator ultimately decides not to unleash massive force against anti-government demonstrators, and eventually leaves power more-or-less peacefully, if not exactly voluntarily. His reward? He winds up in jail (maybe deservedly).   Another dictator responds by […]

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The Incentive-To-Step-Down Debate

The UN Security Council should not have referred the Libya situation to the ICC, claim many on the Right, because now Qaddafi has no incentive to step down.  If potential prosecution awaits after his ouster, they say, he has every incentive to hold his ground.  The ICC referral, the argument goes, is a barrier to […]

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Trading With The Enemy: Sino-American Cyber-Espionage

Trading With The Enemy: Sino-American Cyber-Espionage

China has over 400 million internet users, more than any other nation.  This exponentially increasing population of Chinese netizens entering the global  internet community has not come without serious negative externality.   Over the past decade, there has been a marked increase in cyber-espionage and hacking coming from Mainland China.  Espionage is not new, even between […]

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Good King Abdullah

Good King Abdullah

Amman is a vast, sprawling metropolis, but not very exciting. A map of the city looks like the cross section of an enormous anthill, with curving roads criss-crossing each other and leading nowhere in particular. It was an epic hassle to get to our hotel – do no Jordanian taxi drivers know how to read […]

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Egypt, Then And Now

Once again I respond to a post by FPA Israel blogger Ben Moscovitch.  Not to pick on him.  But because we disagree on many things and it seems worthwhile to me to discuss them.  Hopefully he agrees. Ben’s most recent post criticizes Obama for drawing a parallel between the Passover story and the protest movements […]

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Goldstone vs. His Co-Authors

I stand with the FPA Israel blog’s Zev Wexler, The New York Times’ Roger Cohen, and the three Goldstone Report co-authors who are not Richard Goldstone in thinking that Goldstone’s recent recantation is “bizarre,” as Cohen put it.  Goldstone asserts that Israeli military investigations “indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of […]

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Pakistan Says Stop The Drones

Pakistan has told the United States to halt drone strikes on Pakistani territory.  Thus, the debate about the legality of the U.S. drones program has taken a new turn.  (For background, see my analysis of the Wittes-O’Connell debate on this issue from last year.) How does one determine whether the United States can legally continue […]

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Hello Syria

Hello Syria

I’ve fallen a little behind in my Middle East series. Though now a little out-of-date, this is the Syria post. I was there in the middle of February, so this will give you an excellent idea of how quickly things have changed there. Then, things were quiet. Now, things are spiraling out of control. Assad […]

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Whence Peace Came, Where It Went

I wrote a review of a book called Peace: A World History, by Antony Adolf, for The Mantle.  Check it out here.  While I had some problems with the book, as you’ll read in the review, I still think it’s worth a read.  Here’s the first paragraph of my take: As implied by the title […]

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"The Colony" – A short documentary on China in Africa, and African Thoughts On Their Situation

Something I ran across on the ‘net that I wanted to share with readers. The video below was originally posted by Aljazeera in September of 2010: The past decade has seen Chinese economic growth explode across the world and the Chinese economic miracle seems to reach into every imaginable area of manufacturing and natural resources. […]

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Justifying Military Tribunals

Eric Holder’s announcement earlier this week that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) and several other 9/11 plotters will be tried in military tribunals represents another step in Obama’s ‘close Guantanamo’ saga. The saga began in Obama’s first week as president, when he signed the infamous Close Guantanamo executive order (you can read the executive order here).  […]

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Malaysia’s Misguided Immigration Policy

Malaysia’s Misguided Immigration Policy

A recent BBC article highlights an increasing shortage of low-skilled labor in Malaysia after the government imposed stricter policies for legal immigration. The situation is similar to that in many Western countries where governments have reduced the inflow of foreign labor by instituting minimum education requirements for immigrants, making visa application processes longer and more […]

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The Ambiguities of Resolution 1973

UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (which you can download here) authorizes a no-fly zone in Libya, as well as some other things.  The scope of those other things, though, is the source of much contention.  The no-fly zone, as far as I can tell, is pretty straight forward.  Paragraph 8 authorizes member states “to take […]

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China's Predictable Overdue 2010 White Paper

China's Predictable Overdue 2010 White Paper

Readers of this blog will find there is little new to be discussed in the much anticipated China Military Policy White Paper [Full English Text here.]    The paper was released 2 months late because military experts in Beijing wanted to take the time to add additional  nationalist spin to give additional consideration to specific issues […]

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The Economic Advantage of al-Shabaab

The Economic Advantage of al-Shabaab

Many are familiar with the origin of Somalia’s protracted conflict in the fall of Said Barre’s regime in 1991 and the resulting competition for political control among warring clans.  Yet the conditions of warfare in Somalia have evolved dramatically since that time as the impact of the conflict upon the local geography, the role of […]

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