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inFOCUS Quarterly

Winter 2015

Ideas for a New Congress


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A Blueprint for Failure

by Gabriel Scheinmann
March 23, 2015 | The Weekly Standard

A half-century of estrangement is over, President Obama declared late last year, in a surprise announcement that he was transforming U.S. policy towards Cuba. Having broken the ice, the administration hopes that normalizing diplomatic relations and lifting the economic embargo will, as the recently released National Security Strategy explains, "enhance our engagement in our own hemisphere, where there are enormous opportunities to consolidate gains in pursuit of peace, prosperity, democracy, and energy security." Actually, it's a geopolitically insignificant decision—except for the pattern it continues, one we would do well to recall as the deadline for a deal with Iran looms.

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Obama's Nuclear Deal Could Mean War

by Gabriel Scheinmann
March 12, 2015 | Time Magazine

The Obama Administration may be on the verge of completing a deal that leaves Iran with a substantial nuclear capability, but about a year away from a bomb's worth of fissile material. By not insisting on the dismantlement of any major nuclear infrastructure, or even on the complete cessation of enrichment activities, the White House is betting that not only is Iran likely to heed the deal, but also that the United States would have enough time to act appropriately and decisively if it does not. Believing it has headed-off the seemingly unavoidable march towards war with Iran, the White House is crowing about its impending diplomatic feat.

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Shoshana Bryen on Voice of Israel

by National Security with Dan Diker
March 1, 2015 | Voice of Israel

Jewish Policy Center Senior Director Shoshana Bryen appeared on Voice of Israel's National Security program with Dan Diker on March 1st. The panel discussion titled "How the American Heartland Perceives the Iranian Threat and Israel" also featured former U.S. Army Intelligence officer Jerry Gordon and U.S. talk-radio personality Mike Bates.

Shoshana Bryen Talks Middle East Policy on Northwest Florida Radio.

February 24, 2015 | 1330AM WEBY Radio

Senior Director Shoshana Bryen talks to the Middle East Round Table on Your Turn with host Mike Bates on 1330AM WEBY radio on February 24, 2015.

NYPD had it Right a Long Time Ago

by Shoshana Bryen
February 27, 2015 | American Thinker

Better than a plea for understanding "root causes" and sympathy for certain people's inability to find a "legitimate" outlet for grievances, would be a hard-headed consideration of the fact that professional jihadists are trolling for susceptible people - primarily males, but increasingly females - to take up the cause of religious violence and rush to the battlefields. The fault lies there, not with the West's lack of empathy.

The U.S.-Israel Divide on Iran

by Shoshana Bryen
February 23, 2015 | American Thinker

Portrayed mainly as a tiff between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, the U.S.-Israel divide over how to deal with Iran's nuclear program is much more serious and dates to the 1980s. It reflects the difference in each country's margin of error. President Obama has only widened an existing divide by suggesting Iran might be returned to the family of nations short of dismantling its nuclear program. Prime Minister Netanyahu's planned appearance before Congress will articulate Israel's existential concerns and try, perhaps, narrow the differences over ends, if not means.

Gabriel Scheinmann on Newstalk KGVO

February 11, 2015 | KGVO Radio

On February 11th, Jewish Policy Center Director of Policy Gabriel Scheinmann appeared on KGVO's Newstalk to discuss a variety of topics related to the Middle East.

Is This the Way to Run a War?

by Shoshana Bryen
February 19, 2015 | Gatestone Institute

A Jordanian, 21 Egyptians and 4 Americans – sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it is not. They, along with thousands of others, have been murdered by the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) in the Middle East, and by Boko Haram in Nigeria. The victims are Muslim, Christian (Nigerian Christians, Egyptian Copts beheaded in Libya, plus Yazidis, Chaldeans and 45 members of smaller sects in Iraq burned alive), and others (Japanese hostages and some who professed no religion). They are killed in places where governments have lost control of their territory to bands of increasingly well-armed Islamic radical forces.

Blaming the Jews for Fun and Profit

by Shoshana Bryen
February 9, 2015 | Gatestone Institute

Thomas Friedman of The New York Times does not want Israel mucking in American policy-making toward Iran, and so counsels Prime Minister Netanyahu to cancel his planned speech to the U.S. Congress. He seems to believe Iran's determined march toward nuclear weapons and genocidal rhetoric about Israel, in fact, has nothing to do with Israel, and that Israel should avoid getting in America's way. But understand that Friedman is only trying to protect Israel.

The U.S. as 'Pindostan'

by Shoshana Bryen
January 30, 2015 | American Thinker

It is a mistake to belittle Vladimir Putin. Dislike and distrust him, fine. Believe he is a monomaniacal empire-builder determined to restore Russia's former colonies and holdings, OK. To snicker at his bare-chested antics, particularly with animals, is probably unavoidable. But for all that, Putin is a man with a plan that should be understood by the American government, and in particular by Victoria Neuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Instead, Ms. Neuland glibly poked at RT (Russia Today) while assuring Putin of the peaceful intentions of the U.S. and the West.

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Iraqi Forces Retake Tikrit

by Michael Johnson
March 31, 2015 at 3:14 pm

After nearly a month of stalled fighting, Iraqi forces regained control over much of Tikrit on Tuesday, displacing Islamic State militants who had captured the city last June. During their fight to take back the city, about 80 miles northwest of Baghdad, the Iraqi government revealed an important, yet controversial part of their strategy–Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

Riyadh Intervenes Against Yemeni Rebels

by Michael Johnson
March 26, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Saudi Arabia began a series of airstrikes against Iranian-backed militias in Yemen yesterday in conjunction with other regional allies. Riyadh's ambassador to the U.S. announced "Operation Storm of Resolve" on Wednesday night in Washington, justifying the measure as a last resort in protecting Yemen's "legitimate government" against Houthi rebels.

IS Claims Responsibility for Tunis Attack

by Michael Johnson
March 19, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Islamic State claimed responsibility Thursday for an attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis that killed 20 foreigners earlier this week. Security forces killed two terrorists during the assault, which has highlighted Tunisia's growing susceptibility to Islamic State terrorists in the region.

Renewed Palestinian Rivalry Threatens Rebuilding in Gaza

by Michael Johnson
March 12, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Palestinian Authority security forces arrested up to 100 Hamas members during a series of raids in the West Bank over the past two weeks. The detentions mark only the latest setback in Fatah-Hamas relations following the adoption of an unity agreement last spring.

Boko Haram Reverts to Old Tactics Amid Setbacks

by Michael Johnson
March 11, 2015 at 3:53 pm

At least 34 people were killed during an attack in the capital of Nigeria's Borno State on Tuesday when, according to witnesses, a female suicide bomber detonated her explosives in a crowded marketplace. While no group claimed responsibility for the incident in Maiduguri, the bombing bore the hallmarks of killings committed by Boko Haram in northwestern Nigeria.

Tehran Stages Military Drills Near Strait of Hormuz

by Michael Johnson
February 25, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) staged a series of military exercises near the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, in Tehran's largest show of force in recent years. The wargames, named Great Prophet 9, come as neighboring Arab states prepare to spend billions on countering the threats posed by the Islamic Republic.

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