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December 27, 2011

Holiday Reading

I’m off on vacation for a couple weeks. In the meantime, here are a few books I’ve read over the past year that I’d recommend: The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World. D…

December 21, 2011

Holiday Reading

A man wearing a Santa Claus costume carries a Christmas tree in Jerusalem's Old City (Baz Ratner/Courtesy Reuters) Thanks for a great year, I have really enjoyed hearing from all of you and read…

Holiday Reading

January 8, 2020

Iran
Iranian Interests, Iraqi Oil, And The U.S. Response

My grandmother had a saying: “Think before you speak.” The saying, said to me and my brothers as children, was intended to help us avoid mindlessly blurting out something we would later regret. I can…

DATE IMPORTED:January 06, 2020People attend a funeral procession for Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Tehran, Iran January 6, 2020.

January 8, 2020

Nigeria
The Islamic State Executes Eleven Over Christmas in Nigeria

Members of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA), a faction of Boko Haram, recently executed eleven hostages on camera. The video, released to a Nigerian Journalist on December 26, alleged that all the hostages executed were Christians, and that their murders were in retaliation for the killing of Abubakar al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, by U.S. forces in October. It is ISWA that has identified them as Christians, but the identities of the eleven murdered have not been released.

A bearded man with Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's appearance speaks in this screen grab taken from video released on April 29, 2019.

January 8, 2020

Election 2020
The President's Inbox: The Killing of Qasem Soleimani

Each week between now and the Iowa caucuses, I’m talking with experts with differing views on how the United States should handle a foreign policy challenge it faces. These special episodes are part …

Debris burns outside Baghdad International Airport where a U.S. drone strike killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and seven others on January 3. Iraqi Security Media Cell via Reuters

January 8, 2020

International Law
What Is Extradition?

The extradition process enables governments to bring fugitives abroad to justice, but it can be fraught with political tension, even when a treaty is in place.

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn leaves a Tokyo detention facility in April 2019.

January 7, 2020

Iran
Death of Iranian General Soleimani Provokes Muted Reaction in Africa’s Giants

Nigeria and South Africa are the giants of Africa, with the two largest economies on the continent.  Both have had long-term relationships with Iran, though South Africa’s has been the closer. Thus far, the official reaction to Soleimani’s death from Nigeria and South Africa has been muted or non-existent, reflecting caution. Though the Nigerian inspector general of police has put his forces on “red alert,” likely fearing action by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) or other alleged Iranian proxies, there has been no apparent word from the government. In South Africa, the fiercest reaction came from the African National Congress (ANC), while Naledi Pandor, the South African foreign minister, called for calm.

Women hold pictures of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, during a funeral procession and burial at his hometown in Kerman, Iran, on January 7, 2020.

December 20, 2019

Economics
Am Taking a Few Days Off. Back in 2020 ...

Happy Holidays, and if it fits, Merry Christmas.   Photo is of a Schwarzwälderkirschtorte.*  It tastes as good as it looks.  My brother is an excellent chef. * Blackforest cake, with the…

black forest cake

December 20, 2019

Cybersecurity
Cyber Week in Review: Dec 20, 2019

European Union considers curbs on non-EU state-backed companies; India’s shutdown of internet in Kashmir is the longest ever in a democracy; U.S. technology sector rebuffs Trump administration’s effo…

Kashmiri journalists display laptops and placards during a protest demanding restoration of internet service, in Srinagar

December 20, 2019

Election 2020
Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: The Sixth Democratic Debate

Each Friday, I look at what the presidential challengers are saying about foreign policy. This week: the Democratic debate, financial corruption, and progressive foreign policy.

Senator Bernie Sanders listens to Senator Amy Klobuchar speak at the Democratic presidential debate on December 19.