Articles

On the same day that the Senate Intelligence Committee released its blockbuster report on CIA interrogation practices after 9-11, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation declaring December 10 "Human Rights Day."

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OF ALL the international crises facing President Obama in his final two years in office, how to cope with a burning Iraq and disintegrating Syria may be the most daunting. Syria, especially, is facing the most serious humanitarian crisis in the world today.

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Iraq's chances of remaining a unitary state increased significantly with the signing of a new oil and budget agreement between the Baghdad government and the Kurds.

Building on a partial deal reached last month that permitted the Kurds to legally sell 150,000 barrels of oil a day through a pipeline to Turkey, the new agreement will allow the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to sell 550,000 barrels of oil a day, including 300,000 from the disputed Kirkuk region. The KRG and the central Iraqi government will split the revenue.

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After failing to reach their own deadline for a comprehensive nuclear agreement, the world's major powers and Iran settled for an extended truce that avoids the hard political choices that neither Washington nor Tehran could make.

The decision to prolong last year's interim agreement for another seven months – the best negotiators could achieve after yet another round of high-level diplomacy in Vienna – will keep Iran from amassing the fissile material for a nuclear weapon without a significant easing of sanctions or breakthrough in U.S.-Iran ties.

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With only one week to go before a self-imposed deadline, the nail-biting is accelerating over whether Iran will reach an agreement with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) that curbs its nuclear program for years to come in return for sanctions relief.

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Jon Stewart’s new movie, “Rosewater,” was conceived out of guilt and is being born at a potentially pivotal time for U.S.-Iran relations.

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FOR 91-year-old Henry Kissinger, establishing a stable, balanced world order has been the overarching goal of his extraordinary life and career. "World Order" is also the title, not coincidentally, of his important new book, further affirmation of his place as one of the most distinguished foreign policy thinkers and diplomats in American history.

Kissinger returns to Harvard University this week, where he first made his mark as a brilliant young student and professor, following his service in World War II. He will talk with students about his most challenging negotiations with China's Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, the Soviet Union's Leonid Brezhnev and the leaders of Israel, Syria, and Egypt after the October War of 1973.

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Foreign policy – apart from scaremongering about Ebola and terrorism – was not a major issue in U.S. midterm elections. But the imminent Republican takeover of the Senate could impact whether the international community and Iran agree to a landmark deal in talks that are nearing a November 24 deadline.

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Bottom Line Up Front:

• After almost eight years on the ground, African Union troops have nearly beaten the Qaeda-linked militia al-Shabab—at least militarily

• Since 2011, Shabab has steadily lost territory, and on October 5 was pushed out of its last coastal stronghold, the port city of Barawe

• The loss of Barawe, and the successful airstrike on al-Shabab’s leader, Ahmed Godane, on September 1, has dampened the radicals’ morale and precipitated a rash of defections

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Mrs. Mimi Kodheli Addresses Strategy Session at the Atlantic Council


Albanian Defense Minister Mimi Kodheli spoke to an invited audience on October 28 at a policy strategy session hosted by the Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. Here is the text of her address:

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