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inFOCUS Quarterly

Fall 2014

Europe: Whole and Free?


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Articles by the JPC

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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Support Allies, Not Terrorists

by Shoshana Bryen
October 15, 2014 | Gatestone Institute

Fighters in Kobani found desperate ways to slow down ISIS over the weekend, but lack serious weapons and intelligence to advance their position. Under the circumstance of immediate and critical fighting, Kerry's international party should have been trying to aid the Kurds, our friends and the mortal enemy of ISIS, instead of trying to lavish more international funds on Hamas and Fatah -- two sides of a movement dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

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Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Kobani

by Shoshana Bryen
October 13, 2014 | American Thinker

Pentagon spokesman Adm. John Kirby told reporters he understood that U.S. air power wouldn't save Kobani, but there is a "larger strategy" in place.  The primary goal of the campaign is not to save Syrian cities and towns, U.S. Central Command officials said, but to go after ISIS senior leadership, oil refineries, and other infrastructure that would curb the group's ability to operate.  If the strategy is to allow ISIS to advance its murderous agenda against Kurds and others while we "plink" its leaders from above, it is a humanitarian, military, and political disaster of a strategy.

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Every War Must End

by Shoshana Bryen
September 29, 2014 | American Thinker

"The fact that from generation to generation, powerful people make the same horrendous mistakes allows us to get meaningful lessons by writing about the past. Indeed, when it comes to starting, fighting and ending wars we find that we, our ancestors, and those before them have continued that march of folly… from the Battle of Troy to Vietnam. Now happily folly is sometimes canceled by prudence and foresight, and sometimes by sheer good luck. The good luck, or you might call it providence, explains why we are still here."

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'Every War Must End'

by Shoshana Bryen
September 24, 2014 | American Thinker

"Thirteen years ago this October, we started bombing Muslims in the Middle East. We're still bombing them. Does any sane person think that 13 years from now, we're not going to still be bombing them?" Democratic operative James Carville answered his own question. "Of course we will. And… maybe there is no alternative."

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We Already Built an Iraqi Army Once, Now What?

by Shoshana Bryen
September 12, 2014 | American Thinker

Secretary of State Kerry is in the Middle East, looking for regional allies for President Obama's proposal to deal with the threat of the Islamic State (IS). That is entirely appropriate -- IS poses a more immediate and dire threat to regional players than it does to the United States. Convincing Turkey and Qatar to stop funding and supporting jihadists, for example, would be an excellent start.

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The Conditions of Victory and Peace

by Shoshana Bryen
September 9, 2014 | Gatestone

The Israeli public is in a notably bad mood. The Hamas rockets have, for the time being, stopped; the current cease-fire is holding. The tunnel threat, a strategic one most Israelis had not understood until several days into the war, has been alleviated; many Hamas rocket manufacturing facilities have been destroyed; a substantial percentage of the Hamas arsenal has been used up; and Hamas achieved none of its strategic goals.

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North Korea's Hamas Connection: "Below" the Surface?

by Gabriel Scheinmann and Victor Cha
September 4, 2014 | The National Interest

Since the recent conclusion of the war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, the United States and Israel have begun pointing fingers at the Islamist terrorist group's usual benefactors: Iran, Syria, Qatar and Turkey. However, there's an additional, somewhat-oddball patron about five thousand miles away—North Korea. As then secretary of defense Robert Gates asserted in August 2010, "The fact is that North Korea continues to smuggle missiles and weapons to other countries around the world—Burma, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas—and they continue with their development of their nuclear program." A recent report in The Telegraph highlighting an arms deal between North Korea and Hamas only grazes the tip of a much deeper relationship. Below the surface, Hamas' vast tunnel architecture and its tactical use of tunnels to conduct surprise assaults behind Israeli lines suggest an even more nefarious North Korean role.

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The Grim Lessons of "Protective Edge"

by Gabriel Scheinmann and Raphael Cohen
August 31, 2014 | The American Interest

After nearly two months of fighting, Israel and Gaza have agreed to an open-ended ceasefire, and for the third time in six years, Israel finds itself looking back at its attempt to stop the barrage of rockets fired at its citizens from the Hamas-controlled enclave of Gaza. Ever since withdrawing from Gaza in 2005, Israel has sought to prevent the smuggling of weaponry into the coastal territory and to deter militants from firing rocketry by exacting significant tolls on Hamas and other terrorist organizations operating in the Strip. While many have highlighted Protective Edge's technological innovations and the calls for radical changes to the status quo—be it in the reoccupation of Gaza, the international demilitarization of Hamas, or a jump-start to a true peace negotiation—in the end, most of the operation's tactical and strategic lessons were quite traditional. For all the attempts to find technological quick fixes or enforce a permanent settlement, Operation Protective Edge has highlighted that a war of attrition, known as a "long war", remains the only viable strategy in the current environment.

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