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inFOCUS Quarterly

Fall 2014

Europe: Whole and Free?


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History Tells a Tale Regarding Agreements with Iran

by Shoshana Bryen and Stephen Bryen
December 3, 2014 | American Thinker

A movement is afoot on Capitol Hill to "force" President Obama to submit any agreement between the United States and Iran to lawmakers, even if it isn't a treaty that requires ratification. The administration, not surprisingly, says there is no reason to do so.  It is also not terribly surprising that the president -- a half-term Senator -- is not conversant with the 1972 Case Act (1 U.S. Code § 112b - United States international agreements; transmission to Congress). It is more surprising that those who disagree with the president in this case don't appear to have looked it up.

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The Hollow Coalition

by Gabriel Scheinmann and Raphael Cohen
November 5, 2014 | Foreign Affairs

Three months since U.S. bombs first struck Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) targets in Iraq, the Obama administration has touted its 62-country coalition as a crowning achievement. Although this number might seem impressive, however, it is misleading. Of the 62 nominal allies for Operation Inherent Resolve (as the campaign is now called), only 16 have actually committed military forces, and only 11 have conducted offensive operations to date. Many appear willing to pay lip service to U.S. President Barack Obama's condemnation of ISIS, only to ignore his subsequent call to arms.

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Iran Leads at Halftime: Game Over?

by Shoshana Bryen
October 31, 2014 | Gatestone Institute

A deal that is not a capitulation requires two conditions: the parties must equally value the process; and there has to be a compatible endgame. The West invested the process with much more value than did Iran, providing the mullahs with instant leverage, but most important, there was no agreed-upon endgame. The P5+1 wanted to negotiate the terms of Iran's nuclear surrender; Iran was negotiating the conditions under which it would operate its nuclear program.

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The Enemy of My Enemy…

by Gabriel Scheinmann
October 31, 2014 | Moment Magazine

At the United Nations in early fall, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that "a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world" could not only help defeat the twin threats of a nuclear Iran and Sunni jihadism but could also help "facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace." Given the perceived regional dominance of Sunni Arabs, such an approach appears tempting. After all, in the Middle East, the Arabs are king—in some cases literally, as with the royal families of Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. All but five modern Middle Eastern states have Sunni Arab majorities. Historic opportunities for collaboration do certainly exist.

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Chemical Weapons Revelations in the Middle East

by Shoshana Bryen
October 17, 2014 | American Thinker

Two chemical weapons-related stories this week should be considered separate, not necessarily interchangeable, parts of a whole.

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Articles Archive


Abbas Pushes for Statehood at the UN

by Michael Johnson
December 18, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas began a new initiative for Palestinian statehood at the UN on Wednesday, persuading Jordan to introduce a Security Council resolution backing the cause. European diplomats seemed poised to take up the issue as well, drafting a separate, more conservative proposal.

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Tension Mounts Amid Death of Palestinian Minister

by Michael Johnson
December 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Investigators released an autopsy report on Thursday describing the death of cabinet minister and Fatah member Ziad Abu Ein. The Israeli government promised to launch an investigation into Ein's death following a confrontation with Israeli border police during a demonstration in the West Bank on Wednesday. Thousands of mourners attended the minister's funeral before an honor guard laid him to rest in the Palestinian administrative capital of Ramallah.

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U.S. Senate Approves Sanctions on Venezuelan Leaders

by Michael Johnson
December 10, 2014 at 2:53 pm

The U.S. Senate passed a bill Tuesday imposing new sanctions on Venezuelan leaders accused of human rights abuses. The Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act directs President Obama to impose visa bans and asset freezes against anyone who materially or financially supported a crackdown on opposition protesters earlier this year.

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Senate Report Chastises CIA

by Michael Johnson
December 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm

After a five-year investigation, Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a 500-page executive summary of a report on the CIA's 2002-2007 Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program. The summary lambasts the CIA for its controversial use of enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs), concludes that the interrogations were often more violent than top intelligence officials reported, and charges that the CIA deliberately misled the White House, Congress, and the Justice Department over their use and effectiveness.

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Militants Attack Police in Chechnya

by Michael Johnson
December 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Militants launched a coordinated attack on the Russian city of Grozny early Thursday morning, leaving 10 members of the security forces dead and many more wounded. Government officials said the gunmen had links to Islamist extremists in the North Caucasus.

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Iran Bombs IS Targets in Iraq

by Michael Johnson
December 3, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Iranian fighter jets launched airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq late last week. Even as Tehran and Washington both work to combat IS, Iran has not been included in the U.S.-led coalition fighting the militants.

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