inFOCUS Quarterly

Spring 2014

Borders, Nations and Conflict

New Media

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How the US Went Wrong and Why

by Shoshana Bryen
April 14, 2014 | American Thinker

It is tempting to simply list all the ways the Obama administration -- particularly Secretaries Kerry and Hagel -- has been wrong on foreign and defense policy. After all, Russia/Ukraine, Syria, Iran, China, and Israel/Palestinians are nothing to sneeze at. But finding a common thread among the mistakes might be the beginning of a corrective policy -- if not by this administration, then perhaps by Congress or the next administration.

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Book Review: War Front to Store Front

by Shoshana Bryen
April 10, 2014 | inFocus Quarterly: Spring 2014

Americans, by a fairly wide margin, tell pollsters that the Iraq war "wasn't worth it." This reflects, perhaps, an isolationist sentiment and desire to ignore a divisive and painful episode—a public more interested in "cocooning" than in foreign policy. The public can turn away and does. Policymakers and analysts, however, should require of themselves an understanding of the military, diplomatic, economic and social slices of the war, some of which were more successful than others.

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Where Did the Peace Process Go?

by Shoshana Bryen
March 30, 2014 | American Thinker

Check your newspaper, Twitter feed, or CNN.  You will find the Malaysian airplane, Ukraine, the mudslide in Washington State, and in Washington, D.C. the terrible story of a missing 8-year-old girl.  There is the occasional story about the Syrian civil war, the Central African Republic, or the declining U.S. defense budget.  You are unlikely to learn much about the meeting between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and President Obama, or about the current state of Secretary of State Kerry's "American Framework" for Israel-Palestinian peace.

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America's 'Provocative Weakness'

by J. Michael Waller
March 28, 2014 | inFocus Quarterly

Editor's Note: As part of our ongoing coverage of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, America's 'Provocative Weakness' by Prof. J. Michael Waller looks back at America's role influencing Moscow's behavior. The article originally appeared in the JPC's inFOCUS Quarterly (Winter 2014).

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What's Happening to the Internet?

by Shoshana Bryen
March 20, 2014 | American Thinker

It sounds like something you don't want to know too much about. When you type an address into your computer's browser, you go to that address. How your computer knows where to find the Google image of kittens and puppies isn't your problem, is it? Well, it might be. Not kittens, perhaps, but what if you want to find the Israeli Ministry of Tourism or the American Constitution?

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EU Report, EU Money Threaten Israel

by Shoshana Bryen
March 14, 2014 | PJMedia

As Israelis in the southern part of the country have taken to shelters and safe rooms under a barrage of more than 60 (and counting) rockets from the Gaza Strip, and as the Israeli General Staff considers a response, it is worth a look at the just-released EU Heads of Mission report on Gaza. It got a few things right, including:

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An "Unfriendly Gesture"

by Shoshana Bryen
March 12, 2014 | American Thinker

In response to mounting unhappiness in the West with Russia's acquisition of Crimea and plans to split Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has struck again. The Russian Defense Ministry released a statement over the weekend saying, "The unfounded threats... are seen by us as an unfriendly gesture," raising the possibility of "new circumstances, giving Russia the right to pull out of the inspections" required under the START treaty with the U.S.

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The Permanent Crisis of the Russian State

by Stephen Blank
March 10, 2014 | inFocus Quarterly Winter 2014

"Today's Russian state fundamentally remains the patrimonial Muscovite state originating in the medieval formation of the Tsar surrounded by his Boyars, an aristocratic tier of society that formed the early supreme council, the Duma. This system characterized both Tsardom and Soviet power." - Stephen Blank, PhD.

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Articles Archive


India Begins Six Weeks of Voting

by Michael Johnson
April 10, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Over 110 million Indians cast their ballots this week as the country's nine-phase election process began on April 7th. Over the next month, in the worlds largest democracy, more than 814 million people will be eligible to vote for 543 members of Parliament. After the ballots are counted on May 16th, India's new legislators will elect a Prime Minister.

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Egypt Denies Bail to Detained Reporters

by Michael Johnson
April 8, 2014 at 2:11 pm

An Egyptian court refused bail last Monday to three al-Jazeera journalists arrested in late 2013. The court's decision, and a one-day strike by Egyptian reporters on Friday, highlights the government's attempts to influence Egyptian media during unrest following President Mohamed Morsi's overthrow.

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Boko Haram Violence Escalates in Nigeria

by Alex Finkelstein
April 3, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Amnesty International estimates so far this year that Boko Haram-related violence in Nigeria has killed 1,500 people, according to a report released Monday. The Islamist terror group has carried out the majority of the killings, especially against civilians, but Amnesty also reports that Nigerian security forces have also committed human rights violations.

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Erdogan Claims Victory Following Municipal Elections

by Alex Finkelstein
April 2, 2014 at 10:45 am

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory on behalf of his Islamist Justice and Development Party (AK) in municipal elections held Sunday. After almost all the ballots were counted, AK had 47% of the vote while the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) obtained only 27%. However, in Turkey's capital Ankara, the poll remained close with AK ahead of CHP by 44% to 43%, with the CHP planning to contest the count.

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Iraqi Election Commission Resigns Ahead of Polls

by Alex Finkelstein
March 28, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Board members of Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) resigned on Tuesday, just one month before nationwide parliamentary elections scheduled for April 30th. The IHEC is caught between the judicial and legislative branches over the exclusion of certain candidates running in the election. The dispute leaves the integrity of upcoming elections in doubt.

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Russian Economy Weaker after Crimea

by Alex Finkelstein
March 26, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Western leaders increased pressure on Russia Monday, suspending the country's membership at the G8 in response to Moscow's annexation of Crimea. Diplomats also canceled an upcoming June summit in Sochi, relocating the G7 meeting to Brussels. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the diplomatic restriction was not a big deal and another senior Kremlin advisor voiced similarly dismissive views over newly enacted economic sanctions.

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