Foreign Policy Blogs

Defense & Security

Political Showdowns over Gay Marriage

Jack Leonard, for the Los Angeles Times, has written about the upcoming "political showdown" in California over gay marriage. Yesterday, the California secretary of state said that the gay marriage initiate would be on the November 4 ballot. Voters will have to decide whether there should be a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as […]

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Bombings versus Interfaith Dialogue in the Philippines

This past Thursday, there was a deadly bomb attack in the Philippines. Three people were killed outside an Air Force base. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) , the largest Muslim rebel group in the Philippines , denied any involvement in the attack but was accused by the regional police chief. There are other Muslim […]

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Freedom of Conscience in 2008

Amnesty International's Report 2008 considers the current state of the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights,’ sixty years after it was adopted. In the section "At a Glance,' Amnesty International challenges world leaders to apologize for six decades of human rights abuses and "to deliver concrete improvements." The press release said that the "most striking images of 2007 […]

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The UNESCO Peace Prize

The former Finnish president, Martti Ahtisaari, has won UNESCO's annual peace prize. Ahtisaari was the President of Finland from 1994 to 2000. The award is known as the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize, and Ahtisaari is the recipient of the award on account of “his life-time contribution to world peace.” Mr. Ahtisaari is the founder of the NGO, Crisis […]

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THE OTHER WARS WE ARE ENGAGED IN: PART ONE – COLOMBIA

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are largely being fought by conventional military forces. However, America is also engaged in low intensity conflicts in other countries, mostly using US Army Special Forces (SF).   One conflict we have been heavily engaged in over the years is the 40 year long people's war in Colombia. The FARC […]

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Post-Conflict Lebanon

An agreement in Doha, Qatar has been signed among Lebanon's political leaders. UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon has welcomed the agreement and hopes it will be the start of "a lasting period of national reconciliation." The Security Council also supports the agreement and the "decision to continue the national dialogue on ways to reinforce the authority of […]

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The President's Middle East Trip

While Israel has been celebrating its 60th anniversary, US President George W. Bush took a five-day trip to the Middle East (May 13-May 18). On May 15, President Bush addressed members of Israel's Knesset. His remarks were controversial in the US domestic arena on account of his supposed criticism (attack?) of presidential candidate Barack Obama […]

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Integrating Immigrant Communities

After the riots in the French suburbs in 2007 (not to mention 2005), Olivier Roy , an expert on Islam and politics , said, "what these guys want is integration." In a presentation of his book (published the same year), Secularism Confronts Islam, Olivier Roy discussed the "tools" of integration. With respect to the situation […]

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Religious Parties in Secular States

A classic example of the complex dynamics surrounding an “Islamic” party in a secular state is Turkey and the AKP (The Justice and Development Party), which has spent most of its recent political clout trying to remove the headscarf ban in universities. The Eurasia Daily Monitor (Jamestown Foundation) has recently reported on research that shows […]

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Historical Reflections on the Meaning of Jihad

This is a Guest Blog written by Zharmukhamed Zardykhan, an Assistant Professor at KIMEP, the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics, and Strategic Research.   The First World War was noted not only for its horrific physical destruction and tremendous financial ruin, but for the first time systematic international propaganda became one of the most effective means of […]

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Attitude Trends in Iran and the United States

Attitude Trends in Iran and the United States

  (Photographed by Karin Esposito, 2004, Tehran) The organization Search for Common Ground (SFCG), on April 7, 2008, published the results of a second poll that it took of 710 Iranian adults , both in rural and urban areas. The first extensive survey it took of Iranian citizens was published in January 2007. SFCG has […]

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Europol Helps Define Islamist Terrorism

In March 2007, Europol published its first annual report on terrorism in the EU. The "EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report” is also known as TE-SAT. With respect to the subject matter of this blog, what useful information about supposedly "religiously motivated" terrorism can we find in the TE-SAT? "Islamist terrorists aim at mass casualties." […]

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The "Stop-Go" Conflict in Yemen

Many Muslims see Yemen as a sanctuary , a tranquil home of Islam that stays close to tradition. This positive image for the faithful persists despite the conflict that broke out in 2004 between the government and Shi'ite rebels. Young Muslims, who want to study Arabic and religion, in a more authentic environment, often take […]

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The Spurious Excuse

Perhaps you are from one of the countries that U.S. presidential candidate John McCain criticized yesterday in his Vision for Defending the Freedom and Dignity of the World's Vulnerable. Despite his Straight-Talking Express view of the world, Senator John McCain has this to say about the countless differences in today's world: "There is a tendency […]

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The Most Important Benchmark in Iraq

     General Ricardo Sanchez, the former commander of coalition forces in Iraq, has belittled the service of Bernard Kerik for failing to produce results while Kerik was the interim minister of interior of Iraq in 2003. In that position, Kerik was supposed to oversee the rebuilding of the National Police, the Intelligence Service and the […]

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