The group's perversion of Islam in the service of its barbaric goals needs to be confronted first and foremost by those for whom it purports to speak.
But to succeed, the coalition must encompass the entire Muslim world and cannot exclude the most important Shiite nation, Iran.
Obama’s foreign policy needs conviction of leadership
IT’S NO secret that President Obama has had a troubled year in foreign policy. Critics from left, right, and center have lamented a global strategy lacking in toughness, strategic direction, and results. During the past few months, many of America’s closest friends have openly worried about America’s leadership deficit in responding to war and revolution in the Middle East as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive push into Ukraine.|
But in the past few weeks, Obama has shown signs of a rethink and course correction that provide some hope of resurrecting America’s lead global role and Obama’s own foreign policy legacy. Obama is focusing first on the Iraq-Syria crisis, where the Islamic State’s swift and stunning advance this summer from its base in Northern Syria threatens the entire region. Obama unveiled this week a set of sensible steps to thwart the Islamic State over the long term.
If carried out, the confiscation near the Etzion bloc south of Jersualem would be the biggest by Israel in 30 years.
The announcement set off a chorus of diplomatic condemnations, including from the Barack Obama administration.
This Week’s Internet Conference in Istanbul Follows an Historic Debate at Brazil’s NETmundial
“History,” John W. Gardner reputedly said, “never looks like history when you are living through it.” Maybe that is why one of the recent years’ biggest events in shaping the future of the Internet got so little attention recently. Global news media largely ignored the conference, called NETmundial, which took place in April in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Yet some potentially historic developments took place there. In true Internet form, the results were slightly ambiguous.
NETmundial was one of a series of conferences and debates that gradually are shaping the future model of governance for the Internet. Its biggest impact may have been to reverse the momentum in that debate away from those (led by Russia) who favor an internet run mainly by governments – and toward pluralists (mostly from liberal democracies) who want to keep civil society and the private sector involved. Still, this battle will continue, leading up to what is seen as a potentially critical conference to be held in fall 2015 in New York. And the discussions at NETmundial suggest that the pluralist, or “multi-stakeholder” vision for the Internet may need a little help if it is to survive.
Conflict and bloodshed on the periphery of the NATO region must be dealt with head-on at this year’s summit if the Alliance is to remain relevant to its members’ interests, argues Damon Wilson
As NATO leaders gather in Wales, transatlantic security faces the most serious challenges it has confronted since the end of the Cold War. From Ukraine and Syria, to Iraq and Libya, the frontiers of the Alliance are plagued by conflict and bloodshed. Yet, as NATO seeks to look beyond Afghanistan and chart its future course in Wales, many Allies are reluctant to face these new challenges head-on. Dodging these issues at the UK Summit would be a mistake. In fact, focusing exclusively on the defence of NATO Allies’ risks would leave the Alliance less secure over time.
From Libya to Yemen, Gaza to Iraq, outside powers are intervening in complex confrontations that pit religious fundamentalists against secularists, dictators against democrats and ethnic minorities against each other.
Ukraine, the Middle East and Afghanistan test alliance’s future, writes Nicholas Burns
When allied leaders meet in Wales at the end of this week, they will confront three critical tests for Nato's future.
Given all that has happened in the past half-year alone, these three challenges – Vladimir Putin's aggression in Ukraine, the disastrous unravelling of the Middle East and an Afghanistan in peril – may make this among the most consequential summits in Nato's 65-year history.
- Opposing militias are battling for the control of Libya among the worst violence since the fall of the Qadhafi regime in 2011; a civil war which may continue for years has begun
- The Libyan government's mistakes early during the transition process after the fall of Qadhafi included delegation of policing authority to newly formed militias whose members were bound by allegiance to clan, city, or region rather than the newly formed government
- The civil war is increasingly taking the form of casts of many ethnic and sectarian factions
- After the 2011 revolt, the economy went into a tailspin, but surged in 2012 as oil and natural gas exports and commensurate GDP growth resumed; but failed governance in late 2012 caused energy sector exports to plummet
- Since mid-2013, GDP declined by almost 10%, and the government's current account is almost in negative territory, infrastructure investment has ground to a halt, and government payrolls are at risk
- Stabilization efforts will most likely be led by military forces from the nearby and broader region—Algeria, Egypt, and United Arab Emirates, with material assistance and logistical advice provided by NATO and the US
- The stabilization of Libya is critical, however, to regional states' national interests as the conflict can easily spill into nearby Tunisia, Egypt, Niger, Algeria, and Mali.