"An immediate conclusion of this disaster should be the pressing need to dial down tensions in the region. The conflict is clearly escalating and becoming more dangerous; the risk of civilian casualties and spillover will only increase. There must be serious interesting shown by Western Europe to resolve the crisis—since it is literally happening in NATO nations' backyards, just three to four hours away from European capitals who to date have dragged their feet in instituting biting sanctions," writes CFR's Janine Davidson.
"Even if the shooting down of the Malaysian aircraft was accidental and not ordered by the Kremlin, as seems likely, Vladimir Putin is nevertheless ultimately responsible. If you hand a bazooka to a hyperactive teenager and he destroys your neighbor's house, the person providing the weapon is just as culpable as the one firing it," writes CFR's Max Boot for Commentary.
"I suspect that when the histories are written, this will be deemed the day the insurgency lost. Or at least began to lose. Especially given the presence of Americans and other Westerners on MH17, the Kremlin will, for all its immediate and instinctive bluster and spin, have to definitively and overtly withdraw from arming and protecting the rebels," writes Mark Galeotti.
In Foreign Affairs, Hussein Ibish discusses prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conduct of the war.
IRAQ: At least 5,576 Iraqi civilians have been killed this year in violence (Reuters), the United Nations said Friday. The report details violations of international law by the militant group ISIS and government forces.
A new CFR InfoGuide delves into the historical origins and geopolitical consequences of the Sunni-Shia divide.
The Central Intelligence Agency's Berlin station chief departed Germany on Thursday, U.S. and German officials said (Deutsche Welle). Germany expelled the spy chief amid investigations of German nationals alleged to have passed secrets to the United States.