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inFOCUS Quarterly

Spring 2015

inFocus Examines Israel

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Gabriel Scheinmann Discussing Iranian Nuclear Deal

by The Hard Line
June 26, 2015 | NewsmaxTV

Gabriel Scheinmann discusses the prospects of a U.S.-Iran nuclear agreement on NewsmaxTV.

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A Middle East 'Complete Strategy'? To What End?

by Shoshana Bryen
June 16, 2015 | American Thinker

"Strategy" is the summer watchword in Washington -- strategy for handling ISIS, strategy for Syria, strategy for Middle East peace. The President says, "We don't have, yet, a complete strategy" for ISIS, but presumably one will emerge. In this atmosphere, the debate over sending more American troops to Iraq, and in what capacity, flows in a vacuum -- not a vacuum of strategy, but the vacuum produced by the absence of articulated goals to which strategy can be applied. What is the American goal? What is our national interest? Is it:

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The Government Fails to Protect Sensitive Personal Information

by Stephen Bryen and Shoshana Bryen
June 12, 2015 | American Thinker

While most people were watching the debate over the NSA's "metadata" collection program, a potentially more serious event occurred. Under the rules of metadata, personal information, including the contents of phone calls, is inaccessible; only the general outlines of phone numbers and duration are available. That, one might say, is bad enough – and U.S. courts, backed by Congress, agreed.

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France, Iran and the Peace Process

by Shoshana Bryen
June 10, 2015 | Gatestone Institute

Sometimes, if you smash two stories together, you end up with something interesting; sometimes you get something worrisome. This is one of the latter.

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The Kurds: A Guide for U.S. Policymakers

by Shoshana Bryen
June 4, 2015 | Center for Security Policy

On June 4th, during the Center for Security Policy's National Security Group Lunch on Capitol Hill, Shoshana Bryen who is the Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center offered practical steps that the U.S. can do to help assist the Kurds and advance U.S. interests in the region. Bryen says that the first step "is for the U.S. to recognize the Kurds politically, as an ally, as a partner in the fight against ISIS."

Iran's Quest for World Prominence

by Shoshana Bryen
May 21, 2015 | Secure Freedom Radio

Shoshana Bryen, Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center, appears on the Secure Freedom Radio podcast to discuss Iran's quest to become a world superpower and other Middle East topics.

Iran: The Backdoor to Enrichment

by Stephen Bryen and Shoshana Bryen
May 21, 2015 | American Thinker

It would seem that Iran holds the cards in the nuclear negotiation with the P5+1, primarily because the U.S. is the overeager suitor. The Framework agreement, the basis for the final deal, does not prevent Iran from designing nuclear warheads or building delivery systems. There is also increasing evidence that the language has been configured so Iran could also either enrich uranium or produce plutonium for weapons – even without cheating.

A Tale of Two Sadats

by Gabriel Scheinmann
May 17, 2015 | Foreign Affairs

With varying degrees of vehemence, the United States' Middle East allies all oppose the budding U.S.-Iranian détente. At the head of the pack, of course, is Israel, followed closely by Saudi Arabia. But when the calendar strikes June 30, the Pickett's Charge will come to an end and they will have to reluctantly pivot from accord prevention to accord mitigation. As one senior Gulf official said, "We're not going to do a Netanyahu. We are not wasting time confronting that agreement. . . . Instead we are bracing ourselves for the post-agreement world." In such a world, Israel could decide to strike Iranian nuclear facilities, and Saudi Arabia could decide to acquire its own bomb, but both states, cognizant of how costly these actions might be, will likely consider other options first.

Christians in the Middle East:

by Shoshana Bryen
May 15, 2015 | American Thinker

The Vatican may believe that use of the symbolic title "The State of Palestine" is a reasonable trade-off for trying to formalize the responsibility of the PA for the behavior of Hamas in Gaza, as well as for the harassed and declining Christian population of the West Bank.

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inCONTEXT Blog

Top Prosecutor Killed in Cairo Bombing

by Adam Goldstein
June 29, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Early Monday morning, Egypt's top prosecutor, Hisham Barakat was killed in a bombing on his way to work. This comes after several years of escalating tensions between Islamists and the secular, military-backed government.

Houthi Shelling Kills Three Saudi Soldiers

by Adam Goldstein
June 26, 2015 at 1:03 pm

On Wednesday night, Yemen's Al Houthi militia killed three Saudi Arabian soldiers stationed on the Saudi-Yemeni border. Following the recent collapse of peace talks, violence in Yemen continues to intensify.

U.S. to Deploy Heavy Armor to Baltics

by Adam Goldstein
June 25, 2015 at 1:37 pm

United States Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced on Tuesday that Washington will position tanks, artillery, and other military equipment throughout Eastern and Central Europe, and work with NATO allies to bolster cybersecurity infrastructure of member nations. These moves are designed to bolster the confidence of countries formerly controlled by the Soviet Union following increased Russian bellicosity, including the announcement last week that Moscow will add 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal within the year.

Khamenei Expresses Defiance over Nuclear Deal

by Andy Hazelnis
June 24, 2015 at 2:44 pm

The June 30th deadline to finalize an agreement over Iran's nuclear program may become more challenging for negotiators after pointed comments from Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday.

Taliban Assault Tests Afghan Army in Helmand

by Adam Goldstein
June 18, 2015 at 5:48 pm

The Afghan Taliban seized parts of central Musa Qala, in Helmand Province early Thursday morning, gaining control over the area's police station and other government buildings. The attack took place in the Taliban's traditionally sympathetic Pashtun heartland as part of its annual spring offensive, the first that Afghan security forces will face without NATO military support.

AQAP Replaces Slain Leader

by Andy Hazelnis
June 17, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) appointed longtime commander Qasim al-Rimi as its new leader, according to a video released by the group's senior leadership on Tuesday. Al-Rimi played an integral role in establishing AQAP from other radical Islamists groups in 2009, and has helped it become of the world's most dangerous terrorist organizations.

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