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The Strange Bedfellows of a New Deadlier Iraq

... more by the absence of diligence on the part of Western analysts covering the Middle East than by any miraculous strength of force on the part of ISIS. The ISIS movement in Iraq has been bolstered by the hardened fighters located largely in eastern Syria, where there has always been a heavy population of Sunni Muslims. The reality of life in Iraq, however, is that Sunnis do not dominate throughout the entire country and they are in fact a miniscule percentage in the capital city of Baghdad. Indeed,...

01.07.2014 20:06:00

Spies Don't Tweet: Why Social Media is Only a Grassroots Tool

The Intelligence Community, regardless of regime type, has famously always tried to co-opt and ultimately adopt advancements and evolutions in technology, especially in terms of media. Newspapers, radio, and television have long been appropriated in order to influence, massage, and outright manipulate messages and events important to the national interest. Often the question is not so much whether a country’s intelligence community engages in such activity but rather how explicit and open will...

21.05.2014 19:43:00

Cold War Residue in Syria

Though Syria has somewhat fallen off the media radar in the West because of a Malaysian plane crashing into the Indian Ocean and Crimean referendum consequences booming across Europe, an on-going conflict and crisis continues in a critically important region ...

11.04.2014 05:56:00

Washington changes rules of engagement in Syria

Earlier this week several intelligence websites, among which Debkafile confirmed that Washington had Okayed the delivery of anti-tank missiles to Syria in a last attempt to militarily overpower President Bashar Al Assad’s armed forces, topple his regime and engineer the inception of a puppet government which will pledge allegiance to its western backers as well as recognise Saudi Arabia as ...

10.04.2014 13:07:00

U.S. Foreign Policy vis-à-vis the World: Is America an External Authority Still?

... unipolarity and neoliberal international political economy. A corollary of American hegemonism in the last decades has been the world too reliant on the U.S. as an external authority in the times of crises. In his recent press statements regarding Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama stressed out that Washington is not, indeed, a global cop anymore. But “just as the state that refrains from applying force is said to betray its weakness,” the prominent IR theorist Kenneth Waltz (1967: ...

01.10.2013 07:42:00

Syria: chemical weapons, birds and football

In recent days, the official U.S. position on the situation in Syria has experienced certain transformation. As we know, Russia called for putting Syrian chemical weapons storages under international control which must ultimately lead to its destruction. It is worth noting that the Moscow's proposal hit the ...

17.09.2013 15:47:00

Future of Assad and Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party In Limbo As Syria Sitzkrieg Plays Out

... discussions. But these measures do not include mediating and checking the ongoing efforts of feuding regional powers Qatar and Saudi Arabia, whose big money and disruptive tactics have joined with western interests to advance a parallel government and army in Syria. Earlier this year, U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, who was part of the negotiations along with Kerry and Lavrov ostensibly representing what Kerry has referred to as “the Assad regime” caved in to a Qatar sponsored ...

15.09.2013 13:09:00

Debating Solutions for Syria: Pacted Transition, Not Military Action

Two-and-a-half-years into the Syrian conflict, the balance of power in the embattled state continues to evolve between the government of Bashar al-Assad and the opposition groups, composed of secularists, islamists, and Al Qaeda-trained jihadists. Since the beginning of the Damascus ...

10.09.2013 10:36:00

The Oxymoronic Déjà Vu of Humanitarian Bombing in Syria

In light of the recent developments in Syria and the apparently imminent US military intervention, the blog will take a short break from its relatively academic style and its thematic focus in order to brainstorm and share some thoughts on the broader picture of what is happening in the geopolitical ...

07.09.2013 14:04:00

U.S.-Russian Relations Deadlocked: Post-“Reset” Dynamics

... encouragement to Russia’s opposition movement and democracy scholar Michael McFaul’s nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, the climate in U.S.-Russia relations started to deteriorate leading to USAID’s closure, open confrontation on the Syrian issue, and exchange of the punitive “Magnitsky” and “Yakovlev” bills. Whilst the Obama Administration has been struggling to resuscitate its relations with the Kremlin, the U.S. Congress has sought to do the opposite. U....

16.07.2013 11:20:00

Responsibility to Protect and Syria

... threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." (MLK) The international community strongly denounced the violence in Syria but so far it hasn’t been able to provide an effective framework to prevent and stop these atrocities. The responsibility to protect (R2P) doctrine - adopted in 2005 to embody the promises made by world leaders to prevent a future “Cambodia”,...

21.05.2013 21:18:00

The MENA Saga and Lady Gaga

... including the recent US Army pullout from Iraq, is felt within the GCC (and in France, UK, Israel and Turkey too) as dangerous exposure to a neighboring (increasingly anticipated as assertive) Iran as well as to Russia and China behind it. Right now, Syria pays a proxy-war price for that: This multi-religious country of subtle ancient cultural layers may end up entirely combusted, thereby creating a dangerous security vacuum in the heart of MENA. Or to use the words of frustration of the senior French ...

11.05.2013 17:46:00

Six Criteria for Military Intervention: Right Authority

... non-interference contradict with the spirit of the norm of the responsibility to protect – stating that the international community should step up if endangered civilians are not protected by their own government. Russia and China’s veto on Syria places the UN Security Council in a deadlock, paralyzing any legitimate actions to that end, at a time when the world community should help cease the massive violence in Syria. The combined population of Russia and China constitute only 21% of the ...

08.11.2012 22:08:00

Six Criteria for Military Intervention: Proportional Means and Reasonable Prospect

... thus exceeded its mandate and the norm of the responsibility to protect was damaged in the eyes of some nations, including China and Russia. This is partly responsible for the failure on the part of the Security Council to take any decisive actions on Syria – Russia now suspects Western nations of pushing their own geopolitical agendas in Syria. Such excess of UN mandate as in Libya might have jeopardized the concept of the responsibility to protect and pushed more countries away from arriving ...

02.11.2012 04:52:00

Six Criteria for Military Intervention: Just Cause and Right Intention

... where the UN Security Council condemned war crimes and crimes against humanity in that country and authorized all necessary measures to protect civilians. Even though the lessons from Rwanda are still fresh in memory and the number of victims in the Syrian civil war has already climbed to 30,000 (with the death toll soaring each month) with an additional 355,268 Syrian refugees having fled to neighboring countries, the UN continues to fail to take appropriate actions to stop crimes against humanity....

30.10.2012 22:02:00

Six Criteria for Military Intervention: Last Resort

... means often comes at a cost of more victims and suffering. Thus we should assess upfront if peaceful means will have a chance of success in order to avoid wasting too much time stagnating on approaches that are unlikely to succeed. For example in Syria, for almost two years now the international community has tried unsuccessfully to rely upon peaceful means such as six-point Annan’s plan, the UN observer mission, a GA resolution, and presidential statements to condemn the violence, but these ...

29.10.2012 03:36:00

Politicization of the United Nations: the Human Cost

... the international community in the United Nations Charter quite often collides with the real resources and risks that UN Member States are willing to commit to achieve it. The horrifying levels of human suffering experienced in Somalia, Rwanda and now Syria are just some of examples of the UN’s failure to comply with its founding goal of protecting civilians from mass atrocities and violence. The universalization of human rights and the rights of nations for political self-determination led ...

30.09.2012 16:29:00

Russia’s Reasons for UN Veto

For the third time since the beginning of the bloody crisis in Syria, UN Security Council failed to adopt resolution on Syria. Security Council seems not to be able to perform its main duty – a duty to restore international peace and security, a duty to protect Syrian people from ongoing violence. The blame ...

20.07.2012 14:10:00


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Poll conducted

  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
    U.S. wants to establish partnership relations with Russia on condition that it meets the U.S. requirements  
     33 (31%)
    U.S. wants to deter Russia’s military and political activity  
     30 (28%)
    U.S. wants to dissolve Russia  
     24 (22%)
    U.S. wants to establish alliance relations with Russia under the US conditions to rival China  
     21 (19%)
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