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The Iran Deal, and the Skeptics

The Iran Deal, and the Skeptics

The prospect of a nuclear deal with Iran is in the air. Members of Congress and friends of the United States on multiple continents are pouncing on it. Attention was drawn last week to the failure of negotiations to produce a breakthrough on Iran’s nuclear program. As in the past, the talks included Iran and […]

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Congress Models Itself on the Cuban Missile Crisis

Congress Models Itself on the Cuban Missile Crisis

The politics of the U.S. Congress can be harsh, but we do not usually associate it with the adversarial bargaining of international relations theory, much less with the tactics of “brinkmanship,” as Secretary of State John Foster Dulles used to call it. Times have changed. What we have been seeing in Washington these past few […]

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The Syrian Insurgency

The Syrian Insurgency

As many people are now aware, the Syrian insurgency is a diverse and fractionated operation. Including all the minor, local militias, there are an estimated 1,200 rebel organizations playing some role in it. Western observers tend to divide them into pro-Western and Islamist, but this is a simplification. The independent-minded groups have many shades of […]

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Syria, Intelligence, and the Reasons for War

Syria, Intelligence, and the Reasons for War

Discussions of possible intervention in Syria, like the run-up to the Iraq War, have focused on the nature of the available intelligence. The intelligence task in Syria is fundamentally different from the one in Iraq—and actually much easier—and getting the facts right is certainly worth the effort. Still, the emphasis on intelligence is unusual in […]

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Snowden in the Greater Scheme of U.S.-Russian Relations

Snowden in the Greater Scheme of U.S.-Russian Relations

On Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, Russia granted temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, permitting him to leave the transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport for the first time in nearly six weeks. The Obama administration immediately expressed its disappointment with the Russian decision, and some members of Congress have called for retaliatory measures against Russia. While President […]

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Chong Chon Gang and North Korea’s Arms-Refurbishing Trade

Chong Chon Gang and North Korea’s Arms-Refurbishing Trade

  Sometimes you look at it, and it seems a fairly straight-forward, if somewhat bizarre, story. Then again, it bears a hint of mystery. A North Korean dry-cargo merchant vessel, MV Chong Chon Gang, traveling from Cuba to the Panama Canal, was boarded by Panamanian military personnel on suspicion that it was carrying contraband narcotics. […]

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Egypt after the Coup

Egypt after the Coup

Recent events in Egypt have been tumultuous, to say the least. The country’s first elected president in history was deposed by the military three days after his first anniversary in office. The International Crisis Group’s description of current Egyptian politics gives the impression of a grand competition in short-sightedness. What happens next will depend on […]

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Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria

Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria

Last week I asked, among other things, how people could expect outside intervention to bring peace and stability to Syria given the experience of Afghanistan and Iraq. That calls for some elaboration. There have been instances in which outside forces have brought stability to a postconflict situation. The successful instances tend not to attract fewer […]

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Obama’s Decision to Arm Syria’s Rebels

Obama’s Decision to Arm Syria’s Rebels

More than two years after the beginning of the Syrian rebellion, the Obama administration reported on Thursday, June 13, that it would begin supplying small arms and ammunition to rebels fighting the Syrian government. Proposals for more direct intervention, such as the establishment of a no-fly zone, were rejected, at least for the time being. […]

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Surprises in the Benghazi E-Mails

Surprises in the Benghazi E-Mails

Two weeks ago I discussed the talking points that Ambassador Susan E. Rice had used to discuss the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, on number of TV current-events programs last September. The succession of drafts showed how the document had evolved in the bureaucratic revision process, with the final version being […]

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Surprises in the Benghazi Talking Points

Surprises in the Benghazi Talking Points

  On Friday, ABC News published all 11 versions of the Benghazi talking points that were written by the CIA at the request of Congress and used by Ambassador Susan Rice on several TV talk shows on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. It was widely reported for months that the original talking points had been edited […]

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The Politics of Guantánamo

The Politics of Guantánamo

A hunger strike by prisoners and President Obama’s remarks at a press conference last week have revived interest in the question of Guantánamo, the U.S. naval base in Cuba where 166 men (down from the original 779) have been held for up to eleven years in connection with the war on terrorism. Guantánamo (its nickname, […]

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The ATT, the NRA, and the Politics of Treaty Ratification

The ATT, the NRA, and the Politics of Treaty Ratification

Regular readers of Foreign Policy Blogs may be familiar with the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Trevor Keck and Joe Gurowsky, for instance, have touched on the topic in earlier posts. Having been approved by the General Assembly after two decades of advocacy, the treaty will open for signature on June 3. It will go into […]

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NO: The Rest of the Story

NO: The Rest of the Story

If you have not seen it, you ought to check out the new Chilean movie NO. A fictionalized account of the campaign to remove Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet through a plebiscite, it was one of this year’s Oscar nominees for Best Foreign Language Film. You should be aware, however, that it does not tell the […]

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On WMD and the Origins of the Iraq War

On WMD and the Origins of the Iraq War

The tenth anniversary of the Iraq War is upon us, and we have been inundated with reminiscences and reflections on the war’s conduct and especially on its origins. One that struck me in particular came from Charles Duelfer, who argues that the Bush administration’s case for war — in particular, the part concerning weapons of […]

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About the Author

Scott Monje
Scott Monje

Scott C. Monje, Ph.D., is senior editor of the Encyclopedia Americana (Grolier Online) and author of The Central Intelligence Agency: A Documentary History. He has taught classes on international, comparative, and U.S. politics at Rutgers University, New York University (SCPS), and Purchase College, SUNY.

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