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inFOCUS Quarterly

Fall 2014

Europe: Whole and Free?

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Support Allies, Not Terrorists

by Shoshana Bryen
October 15, 2014 | Gatestone Institute

Fighters in Kobani found desperate ways to slow down ISIS over the weekend, but lack serious weapons and intelligence to advance their position. Under the circumstance of immediate and critical fighting, Kerry's international party should have been trying to aid the Kurds, our friends and the mortal enemy of ISIS, instead of trying to lavish more international funds on Hamas and Fatah -- two sides of a movement dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

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Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Kobani

by Shoshana Bryen
October 13, 2014 | American Thinker

Pentagon spokesman Adm. John Kirby told reporters he understood that U.S. air power wouldn't save Kobani, but there is a "larger strategy" in place.  The primary goal of the campaign is not to save Syrian cities and towns, U.S. Central Command officials said, but to go after ISIS senior leadership, oil refineries, and other infrastructure that would curb the group's ability to operate.  If the strategy is to allow ISIS to advance its murderous agenda against Kurds and others while we "plink" its leaders from above, it is a humanitarian, military, and political disaster of a strategy.

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Every War Must End

by Shoshana Bryen
September 29, 2014 | American Thinker

"The fact that from generation to generation, powerful people make the same horrendous mistakes allows us to get meaningful lessons by writing about the past. Indeed, when it comes to starting, fighting and ending wars we find that we, our ancestors, and those before them have continued that march of folly… from the Battle of Troy to Vietnam. Now happily folly is sometimes canceled by prudence and foresight, and sometimes by sheer good luck. The good luck, or you might call it providence, explains why we are still here."

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We Already Built an Iraqi Army Once, Now What?

by Shoshana Bryen
September 12, 2014 | American Thinker

Secretary of State Kerry is in the Middle East, looking for regional allies for President Obama's proposal to deal with the threat of the Islamic State (IS). That is entirely appropriate -- IS poses a more immediate and dire threat to regional players than it does to the United States. Convincing Turkey and Qatar to stop funding and supporting jihadists, for example, would be an excellent start.

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The Conditions of Victory and Peace

by Shoshana Bryen
September 9, 2014 | Gatestone

The Israeli public is in a notably bad mood. The Hamas rockets have, for the time being, stopped; the current cease-fire is holding. The tunnel threat, a strategic one most Israelis had not understood until several days into the war, has been alleviated; many Hamas rocket manufacturing facilities have been destroyed; a substantial percentage of the Hamas arsenal has been used up; and Hamas achieved none of its strategic goals.

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North Korea's Hamas Connection: "Below" the Surface?

by Gabriel Scheinmann and Victor Cha
September 4, 2014 | The National Interest

Since the recent conclusion of the war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, the United States and Israel have begun pointing fingers at the Islamist terrorist group's usual benefactors: Iran, Syria, Qatar and Turkey. However, there's an additional, somewhat-oddball patron about five thousand miles away—North Korea. As then secretary of defense Robert Gates asserted in August 2010, "The fact is that North Korea continues to smuggle missiles and weapons to other countries around the world—Burma, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas—and they continue with their development of their nuclear program." A recent report in The Telegraph highlighting an arms deal between North Korea and Hamas only grazes the tip of a much deeper relationship. Below the surface, Hamas' vast tunnel architecture and its tactical use of tunnels to conduct surprise assaults behind Israeli lines suggest an even more nefarious North Korean role.

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The Grim Lessons of "Protective Edge"

by Gabriel Scheinmann and Raphael Cohen
August 31, 2014 | The American Interest

After nearly two months of fighting, Israel and Gaza have agreed to an open-ended ceasefire, and for the third time in six years, Israel finds itself looking back at its attempt to stop the barrage of rockets fired at its citizens from the Hamas-controlled enclave of Gaza. Ever since withdrawing from Gaza in 2005, Israel has sought to prevent the smuggling of weaponry into the coastal territory and to deter militants from firing rocketry by exacting significant tolls on Hamas and other terrorist organizations operating in the Strip. While many have highlighted Protective Edge's technological innovations and the calls for radical changes to the status quo—be it in the reoccupation of Gaza, the international demilitarization of Hamas, or a jump-start to a true peace negotiation—in the end, most of the operation's tactical and strategic lessons were quite traditional. For all the attempts to find technological quick fixes or enforce a permanent settlement, Operation Protective Edge has highlighted that a war of attrition, known as a "long war", remains the only viable strategy in the current environment.

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India and Pakistan Face Off in Kashmir

by Michael Johnson
October 7, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire in Kashmir on Tuesday, for the second time this week. Soldiers from both countries shot small arms and mortar rounds across their disputed border, while accusing the other side of starting the violence.

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Turkish Parliament Debates Military Authorization

by Michael Johnson
October 2, 2014 at 1:26 pm

The Turkish Parliament is expected to approve a proposal on Thursday that would authorize cross-border military operations to fight jihadists in Iraq and Syria. Ankara is also likely to vote on whether allied countries can use Turkish territory and army bases to fight the Islamic State.

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Kabul and Washington Sign Long Awaited Agreement

by Michael Johnson
September 30, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Afghanistan and the United States signed a long delayed Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) on Tuesday in Kabul, guaranteeing a Western presence in the country beyond 2014. The signing comes shortly after the inauguration of Ashraf Ghani as president and months of political infighting.

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House Approves Plan to Aid Syrian Rebels

by Michael Johnson
September 18, 2014 at 5:16 pm

By a vote of 273 to 156, the House of Representatives approved President Obama's plan to train and arm Syrian rebels on Wednesday. With support from Congress, the White House hopes that assisting vetted opposition groups will help contain the spread of Islamic State (IS) fighters. The provision was attached to a continuing resolution to fund the U.S. government through December. Until now, the CIA had been covertly assisting the rebels for months.

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Fatalities Rise as Migrants Cross the Mediterranean

by Michael Johnson
September 17, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Approximately 500 migrants to Europe are feared to have died after their ship sank in the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend. The incident highlights the increasing danger for many Middle Eastern and African migrants and refugees illegally crossing into the EU.

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Islamists Free Fijian Peacekeepers in Golan

by Michael Johnson
September 11, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Jabat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliated rebel group fighting in Syria, released 45 Fijian soldiers serving in the Golan on Thursday. The IDF confirmed that the UN peacekeepers safely arrived in Israel following approximately two weeks in captivity.

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