The Jihad Next Door
By Rania Abouzeid
"'There are now Farouk training camps, not a camp, in Syria,' Abu Maria, a senior Nusra emir in Idlib province, told me one night not long ago. 'The one Farouk training camp in Afghanistan, it's very famous. Its graduates include [9/11 hijacker] Mohmmad Atta,' he added. 'If it did all of this to the world, then what do you think the many camps in Syria will do?'"
By Mujib Mashal
"The Afghanistan that Karzai leaves behind is certainly a more inclusive and cohesive country than the fractured mess he inherited. ... But because of the president's leadership style, these gains appear tenuous. Under Karzai, a relatively free press has blossomed, but every time threats against it have emerged, they have been blunted not by the institutions or laws Karzai put in place, but by the president's personal intervention. The same can be said for women's participation in society, which has grown tremendously, but with few institutional safeguards."
The Failed Economy of Ukraine
By Roger Guiu and Enrique Jorge
"The treaty proposed by the EU and the IMF will go down in history as a big mistake. Ukraine was a dysfunctional economy with an overvalued currency, burdened with an uncompetitive industry that could only survive thanks to favourable treatment from Russia, and an ever-increasing fiscal, commercial and energy deficit. An opening up of free trade with the far more competitive European common market was not feasible without structural reform. Neither would it have been beneficial for Ukrainian crop exports given the EU's protectionist agricultural policy. In any case, the country would have defaulted."
Inaugurating the Digital Fourth Amendment
By Richard Re
"There's a lot to love in Riley v. California, and privacy specialists will be celebrating this one for a long time. In a nearly unanimous opinion packed with references to gigabytes, apps, and the cloud, Chief Justice John Roberts proved that the Justices get it. They get that digital technologies are different from anything our culture has seen before. They get that people are using those technologies in a million dynamic ways that were unimaginable a generation ago. And they get that, in at least some contexts, the Old Rules need to change."
Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology
Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
"[U.S.] partisan polarization – the vast and growing gap between Republicans and Democrats – is a defining feature of politics today. But beyond the ideological wings, which make up a minority of the public, the political landscape includes a center that is large and diverse, unified by frustration with politics and little else. As a result, both parties face formidable challenges in reaching beyond their bases to appeal to the middle of the electorate and build sustainable coalitions."