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inFOCUS Quarterly

Summer 2014

America's Global Withdrawal

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The Doctrine of Proportionality

by Shoshana Bryen
July 20, 2014 | Gatestone

Proportionality in international law is not about equality of death or civilian suffering, or even about [equality of] firepower. Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against suffering that the action might cause to enemy civilians in the vicinity.

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The "Long War" Strategy: Israel's War of Attrition Against Hamas

by Gabriel Scheinmann and Raphael Cohen
July 17, 2014 | The National Interest

In the provocative documentary The Gatekeepers, Avraham Shalom, former director of Israel's internal security agency, the Shin Bet, articulated the common critique of Israeli security policy: "there was no strategy, just tactics." He is not alone. For the Obama administration and much of the Israeli political left, the absence of a two-state solution constitutes a lack of strategic foresight. As Secretary of State John Kerry derisively warned, "the alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos. . . .I mean does Israel want a third Intifada?" Likewise, outspoken Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman bemoaned, "every minister in the government has a strategy, but the Israeli government has no strategy." For him, as well as many on the Israeli right, a true strategy consists of Israel "go[ing] all the way" and "eradicat[ing] the Hamas regime in Gaza." Superficially, the fact that Operation Protective Edge is Israel's fourth in nine years against Hamas reinforces the "tactics, but no strategy" assessment.

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China Hacks US Think Tanks

by Stephen Bryen and Shoshana Bryen
July 14, 2014 | American Thinker

Shifting its focus from spying on the countries on its periphery, cyber experts say China has moved to interests farther afield. Specifically, China's leaders have apparently been trying to figure out what the United States is going to do about the emerging chaos in Iraq after ISIS seized over a third of Iraqi territory. In an operation called "Deep Panda," Chinese cyber spies targeted the top strategic think tanks and policy organizations in Washington for answers.

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How Does Israel End Up the Bad Guy?

by Shoshana Bryen
July 10, 2014 | American Thinker

It is a terrible irony that Israel, revolted first by the murder of three of its teenage citizens and then by the revenge attack on a Palestinian teen, is the object of riots, bombs, and demands.

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The JPC Condemns Rocket Attacks from Gaza

July 9, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Jewish Policy Center unequivocally condemns the ongoing rocket fire against Israel and expresses solidarity with the Israeli government and the Israeli people during this time of war. Over the past month, Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, and the European Union, has fired over 400 rockets at Israel, each of which constitutes a war crime according to international law. Israel has the right and responsibility—just like any state—to defend itself against such indiscriminate attacks on its citizenry.

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The Minority Strategy: A New Path for American Interests in the Middle East

by Gabriel Scheinmann
July 8, 2014 | The Tower

In the Middle East, the Arabs are king, sometimes quite literally. The term "Middle East" is a geographic label, broadly describing an area from the Moroccan shores to the Hindu Kush, but it is often referred to—erroneously—as the "Arab World" because of its politically dominant inhabitants. The advent of Islam was an Arab phenomenon and its holiest sites lie in the doyen of Arab puritanism—Saudi Arabia. Arabic is the region's lingua franca. All but five modern Middle Eastern states have Sunni Arab majorities, Sunni Islam being the dominant religious sect among the Arabs. A Middle Eastern minority is thus, by definition, one that is neither Sunni, nor Arab.

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A Requiem for Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel, and Mohammed Karaka

by Shoshana Bryen
July 2, 2014 | American Thinker

On June 30, the Embassy of Israel announced: "With great sadness we must announce the bodies of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali have been found near Hebron. Our thoughts are with their families."

Their tragic end wasn't inevitable, but almost so.

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Guarding American Interests in the Sunni-Shiite War

by Shoshana Bryen
June 20, 2014 | Gatestone

Either way, bottom line: no nuclear Iran. The U.S. retains a still-vast ability to meet its national defense priorities. The open questions are: the political skill to define them, and the will to ensure that that the greatest threat to regional and world stability -- Iranian nuclear capability - is stopped for good.

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Attack Near Tunisian Border Kills 14 Troops

by Yael Rein
July 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Gunmen attacked several military checkpoints near the Algerian border on Thursday killing at least 14 Tunisian soldiers. The Tunisian army had been carrying out an operation to wipe out Islamist radicals in the area.

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Militias Fight at Tripoli Airport

by Yael Rein
July 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm

A militia attack on the Tripoli airport destroyed around 90 percent of parked planes on Monday evening. At least 15 people have been killed since the Tripoli militia clashes between Islamists Islamist Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room (LROR) and the liberal Zintan militia.

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Kerry Brokers Deal to Audit Afghan Votes

by Yael Rein
July 14, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Secretary of State John F. Kerry help brokered an agreement between two Afghan presidential candidates on Saturday. As part of the deal, the Afghan government will recount all 8 million votes from the June 14th election. The losing candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, has accused the election commission of fraudulently influencing the election count to benefit Ashraf Ghani.

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Egypt To Cut Subsidies, Ease Deficit

by Yael Rein
July 10, 2014 at 5:27 pm

On July 6th, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that he would support a proposal to cut fuel subsidies and raise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. He hopes the move will help balance the government's budget deficit and reduce government debt, estimated to be 92 percent of GDP. Partly as a result of recent political turmoil, the Egyptian economy is suffering its worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

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ISIS Hits Close to Saudi Arabia and Jordan

by Yael Rein
July 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Three mortar bombs landed near the Saudi Arabian city of Arar, close the country's border with Iraq, on Monday. Officials do not know exactly who launched the projectiles, but authorities suspect Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) of being behind the attack.

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Hamas Vows Revenge Following IDF Strike

by Yael Rein
July 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm

On Monday, Hamas vowed to take revenge for the deaths of seven of its members killed during Israeli airstrikes in Rafah, Gaza. The IDF airstrikes came in response to the nearly fifty rockets fired into Southern Israel since Sunday night. Over 200 rockets have been fired at Israel in the past month alone.

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