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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chinese Salafism and the Saudi Connection


Chinese Salafism and the Saudi Connection


http://thediplomat.com/2014/10/chinese-salafism-and-the-saudi-connection/

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Doctors Without Borders Hits Ebola Breaking Point


Doctors Without Borders Hits Ebola Breaking Point


http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/21/doctors-without-borders-hits-ebola-breaking-point.html

Al-Qaeda Declares War on China, Too

Al-Qaeda Declares War on China, Too



http://thediplomat.com/2014/10/al-qaeda-declares-war-on-china-too/

Obama’s Last Chance to Save His Presidency


Obama’s Last Chance to Save His Presidency


http://nationalinterest.org/feature/obama%E2%80%99s-last-chance-save-his-presidency-11513

Is China Destined to Be Number One?


Is China Destined to Be Number One?

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/china-destined-be-number-one-11518

Why the Putin Peace Plan Is Working

Why the Putin Peace Plan Is Working


http://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-the-putin-peace-plan-working-11519

Disturbing Similarities: Iraq in 2006 and 2014


Disturbing Similarities: Iraq in 2006 and 2014

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/disturbing-similarities-iraq-2006-2014-11520

America's Costly Foreign-Policy Follies

America's Costly Foreign-Policy Follies 

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/americas-costly-foreign-policy-follies-11522 

Stay Out of Middle East Wars

Stay Out of Middle East Wars

Let’s not fight for generals, politicians, oil companies and arms makers

October 22, 2014 12:00 AM
Americans learned Monday that U.S. forces have proceeded from air strikes on Islamic State forces in Kobani, Syria, to providing arms to Kurdish forces there.
All of this is taking place without members of Congress, absent without leave as they run for election back home and scoop up campaign contributions, having discussed or voted on a new war. Neither has the U.N. Security Council nor any other international body provided cover for U.S. attacks in Syria, a new target in the Middle East for us.
First of all, it is unrealistic to expect that ground forces, including those of the Islamic State, which have a reasonable track record against both Iraqi government and Kurdish fighters, can be chased off definitively from Kobani or anyplace else by air attacks. But let us assume that feat can be accomplished. What next?
Islamic State forces may turn their attention for the time being away from Kobani, which has little other than symbolic value, to other targets. One possibility is the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. They already are within 30 miles of Baghdad and Iraqi government forces have demonstrated just how unmotivated they are. The U.S. general tasked with making Iraqi forces effective estimates that it will take at least a year before they will be capable of mounting a campaign to retake Mosul, Iraq’s third largest city, lost to Islamic State forces in June.
The fall of Baghdad to the Islamic State might actually be useful, in terms of making clear to Washington once and for all just how futile continued U.S. efforts in Iraq are and by putting an end to thoughts of a third war there.

Obama's counterrevolution against the Founding Fathers - Washington Times

Obama's counterrevolution against the Founding Fathers - Washington Times


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/19/bruce-fein-obamas-counterrevolution-against-the-fo/

The Intensity Gap Can a pro-life platform win elections?

The Intensity Gap

Can a pro-life platform win elections?

By



http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/27/intensity-gap?utm_source=tny&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyemail&mbid=nl_102214_Daily&CUST_ID=20985530&spMailingID=7223212&spUserID=Nzk3OTExODQwMDIS1&spJobID=542412996&spReportId=NTQyNDEyOTk2S0

Remembering Ben Bradlee

Remembering Ben Bradlee

by David Remnick
 

Exclusive: Ban Cancels Visit to Ebola-Ravaged West Africa

Exclusive: Ban Cancels Visit to Ebola-Ravaged West Africa

The U.N. secretary-general's surprise trip has been -- surprise! -- shelved to avoid "disruption."



http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/10/21/exclusive_ban_cancels_west_africa_visit_to_avoid_taxing_anti_ebola_effort?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Flashpoints&utm_campaign=2014_FlashPoints21%2F10

Khamenei says Iraq can battle IS without foreigners

Khamenei says Iraq can battle IS without foreigners
Tehran Oct 21, 2014 - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday told Iraq's visiting premier that the Baghdad government is capable of defeating Islamic State jihadists without foreign troops being deployed. "We stand beside you and will seriously defend your government like the previous government," Khamenei said in a meeting in Tehran with Iraq's Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi. "Iran recognise ... morehttp://www.spacewar.com/reports/Khamenei_says_Iraq_can_battle_IS_without_foreigners_999.html

Americans Need to Get a Grip: Ebola Is Not a Crisis in the U.S.

Americans Need to Get a Grip: Ebola Is Not a Crisis in the U.S.


http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/americans_need_to_get_a_grip_ebola_is_not_a_crisis_in_the_us_20141021

Iran Proposes an Axis Against Islamic State to Iraq as an Alternative to the U.S. Coalition

Iran Proposes an Axis Against Islamic State to Iraq as an Alternative to the U.S. Coalition


http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/iran_proposes_axis_islamic_state_iraq_alternative_us_coalition_20141022

Thor Benson on Twitter's Power Play "Why Twitter's Lawsuit Could Make or Break Transparency"

Thor Benson on Twitter's Power Play
"Why Twitter's Lawsuit Could Make or Break Transparency" -- President Obama has called his administration the "most transparent in history," but instead of allowing companies to be completely transparent regarding their involvement in government surveillance, Washington has muzzled them.
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/why_twitters_lawsuit_could_make_or_break_transparency_20141021

Here Are Some Robots We Could Use To Fight Ebola in Africa

Here Are Some Robots We Could Use To Fight Ebola in Africa



http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2014/10/here-are-some-robots-we-could-use-fight-ebola-africa/97100/?oref=defenseone_today_nl

NSA approves Samsung Knox devices for government use

NSA approves Samsung Knox devices for government use


http://www.pcworld.com/article/2836612/samsung-knox-devices-approved-for-government-use-by-nsa.html

MERS


MERS

On the Move
Turkey has confirmed its first MERS-CoV case, according to Today's Zaman, an English language newspaper in the country.

The man, who passed away on October 11, had recently returned from Saudi Arabia—linked to most cases in the Middle East. Turkey is now the 23rd country to report MERS cases on a list from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has announced steps to fight an ongoing cluster of cases in the city of Taif—where 3 out of 5 new cases have emerged since the weekend. Measures include assessing and monitoring infection control practices at a pair of Taif hospitals: King Abdulaziz and King Faisal.
** CIDRAP, University of Minnesota (http://jhsph.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0a43ad874dbe00d8f0545cfef&id=ef628aea88&e=9c1fcebfa3)

Global Health Now Ebola Round-Up 10/22

EBOLA ROUND-UP


* Within weeks Liberians may have access to serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients, says the WHO, though is still unclear how much will become available and whether it could meet demand. ** BBC (http://jhsph.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0a43ad874dbe00d8f0545cfef&id=1b4cd584fc&e=9c1fcebfa3)

* Ebola vaccine trials could start as early as January in West Africa, and more than 20,000 front-line health care workers and others in West Africa could participate in an expanded and accelerated rollout pressed by the WHO. ** Associated Press (http://jhsph.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0a43ad874dbe00d8f0545cfef&id=cf7675c497&e=9c1fcebfa3)

* Ebola could trigger a decades-long food crisis in West Africa, warns Shenggen Fen, MD, director-general of the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), citing farmer deaths, labour shortages, rising transportation costs, and rising food prices in countries already already plagued by undernourishment. ** IPS (http://jhsph.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0a43ad874dbe00d8f0545cfef&id=ad94a2e3e5&e=9c1fcebfa3)
** (http://jhsph.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0a43ad874dbe00d8f0545cfef&id=4aa1883de1&e=9c1fcebfa3)

* Rwanda is screening and monitoring passengers from Americans and Spaniards for Ebola; adding to travel restrictions already in place for other affected countries—but possibly already a rub to a New Jersey school that tried to keep 2 Rwandan exchange students out (despite the fact that Rwanda is far from Ebola-affected West Africa). ** Washington Post (http://jhsph.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0a43ad874dbe00d8f0545cfef&id=908a47aa79&e=9c1fcebfa3)

* Travelers from countries affected by Ebola will have to travel through 5 airports in the US—New York's John F. Kennedy, New Jersey's Newark, Washington Dulles, Atlanta, and Chicago's O'Hare—a step that falls short of the all-out ban demanded by some American law-makers. ** Reuters (http://jhsph.us3.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=0a43ad874dbe00d8f0545cfef&id=4cb995d538&e=9c1fcebfa3)



The Secret Weapon Against Ebola
I caught a flash of hope in the fight against Ebola yesterday on Wolf Blitzer’s CNN newscast. As reporter Elizabeth Cohen detailed ** new CDC guidelines for health workers (http://jhsph.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0a43ad874dbe00d8f0545cfef&id=c8ab988c5a&e=9c1fcebfa3)
in the U.S., video rolled of trainees suiting up. (Sorry, I couldn’t find the video on CNN.)

One challenge: How to seal the gloves to the gown? ** Duct tape (http://jhsph.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0a43ad874dbe00d8f0545cfef&id=234cb8f9b9&e=9c1fcebfa3)
.

Yes, one of humanity’s greatest tools is being used to fight one of humanity’s greatest threats. In addition to creating ** wallets, refrigerator shelves and hammocks, removing warts and male chest hair (http://jhsph.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0a43ad874dbe00d8f0545cfef&id=e01030f477&e=9c1fcebfa3)
, the humble duct tape appears to offer some help in virus protection.

** projectc.u.r.e. in Colorado (http://jhsph.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0a43ad874dbe00d8f0545cfef&id=696d291745&e=9c1fcebfa3)
has mounted a “** Stick It to Ebola (http://jhsph.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0a43ad874dbe00d8f0545cfef&id=1674f64c70&e=9c1fcebfa3)
” campaign, noting that "Duct tape helps medical staff seal tents, gowns, masks, gloves, and boots against the spread of the Ebola virus."

In truth, the CDC recommends “selecting gowns or coveralls with thumb hooks to secure sleeves over inner glove.” But when those aren’t available, taping the sleeve to the inner glove is okay.—Brian W. Simpson

US limits travel from Ebola-hit countries to 'enhanced screening' airports

US limits travel from Ebola-hit countries to 'enhanced screening' airports

All passengers originating from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea must land at one of five hubs


http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/10/21/us-ebola-airports.html

Ebola: WHO emergency team holds talks on travel curbs

Ebola: WHO emergency team holds talks on travel curbs


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29721853

CFR Daily News Brief 10/22 North Korea Frees U.S. Citizen

Council on Foreign Relations Daily News Brief
October 22, 2014

Top of the Agenda

North Korea Frees U.S. Citizen
U.S. citizen Jeffrey Fowle was released from a North Korean prison (Yonhap) on Tuesday after being held for over six months on charges of promoting Christianity. Two other Americans are still detained for allegedly committing anti-state crimes. The move comes amid speculations surrounding Kim Jong-un's almost forty-day absence, debate at the UN (AP) on North Korea's human rights violations, and exchanges fire with South Korea along the border and in disputed waters. Nevertheless, North Korea is making a diplomatic push, including last week's high-level inter-Korean dialogue, the first of its kind in three years.

Analysis

"Our position has been very consistent and well-known. We totally rejected the resolution on human rights against my country offered by—sponsored by the European Union and Japan at the U.N. Human Rights Council and the United Nations General Assembly every year. We totally and categorically reject the contents of the report. None of such violations exist in my country, and in no way can they exist," said North Korean envoy to the UN Jang Il Hun at a CFR Meeting.
"North Korea subsequently released its own report in response, saying that it had 'the world's most advantageous human rights system.' Although the report was widely criticised as deceitful, the bar for North Korean transparency is so low that the fact that it is even engaging on the issue was considered progress," writes Anna Fifield in the Washington Post.
"North Korea has been far less forthcoming about its intentions. It remains to be seen whether it seeks to engage the rest of the world in a constructive and sustained manner, or whether DPRK officials and diplomats are merely putting a good face forward to divert international attention from their country's reputation as a nuclear weapons-monger and human-rights violator," writes Katharine H.S. Moon in Project Syndicate.

Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change. - Ideas - The Boston Globe

Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change. - Ideas - The Boston Globe


http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/10/18/vote-all-you-want-the-secret-government-won-change/jVSkXrENQlu8vNcBfMn9sL/story.html?event=event25

Don't Mistake Russia for Iran

Don't Mistake Russia for Iran
Foreign Affairs - 18 hours ago
With sanctions beginning to bite, Russia is starting to play a new ... Don't Mistake Russia for Iran ... And treating Russia the same way would be a mistake. ... Ultimately, such a strategy could backfire.http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/142278/eric-lorber-and-elizabeth-rosenberg/dont-mistake-russia-for-iran

Afghanistan: ‘A Shocking Indictment’

Rory Stewart

USA: Ebola travel restrictions imposed


USA: Ebola travel restrictions imposed:
 The Obama administration will require all travelers from countries affected by the Ebola epidemic to arrive at one of five major U.S. airports in order to undergo a health screening, officials announced Tuesday.

Top Ebola Experts: This Strain Is Much Worse Than We've Ever Seen Before (Video)


Top Ebola Experts: This Strain Is Much Worse Than We've Ever Seen Before (Video):
The Head of Special Pathogens at Canada's health agency, Gary Kobinger - has found that the current strain of Ebola appears to be much worse than any strain seen before ... and that the current virus may be more likely to spread through aerosols than strains which scientists have previously encountered.

Gareth Porter: How a US and International Atomic Energy Agency Deception Haunts the Nuclear Talks

Gareth Porter: How a US and International Atomic Energy Agency Deception Haunts the Nuclear Talks:
Analysis - In 2008, the Bush administration and a key IAEA official agreed on a strategy of misrepresenting Iran's position on the authenticity of intelligence documents, which they used to establish an official narrative of Iran "stonewalling" the IAEA investigation.

When It Comes to Beheadings, ISIS Has Nothing Over Saudi Arabia:


When It Comes to Beheadings, ISIS Has Nothing Over Saudi Arabia:
People will gather to watch you die. According to British author John R. Bradley, public beheadings are the "only form of public entertainment" in Saudi Arabia, aside from football matches.

The Fix Is In Fed Stops Stock Slide with Talk of QE Extension By Mike Whitney


The Fix Is In
Fed Stops Stock Slide with Talk of QE Extension

By Mike Whitney

Unbelievable. On Wednesday, stocks were hammered after economic data showed that the US and global economies were headed for a major slowdown.

Better A Hundred Palestinians Killed Than One Israeli Soldier By Uri Avnery

Better A Hundred Palestinians Killed Than One Israeli Soldier

By Uri Avnery

Israelis are quite unable to comprehend the turn of world public opinion.

The US is a Leading Terrorist State By Noam Chomsky

The US is a Leading Terrorist State

By Noam Chomsky

In western political culture, it is taken to be entirely natural and appropriate that the Leader of the Free World should be a terrorist rogue state and should openly proclaim its eminence in such crimes.

How the very concept of human rights has failed Palestinians

http://972mag.com/how-the-very-concept-of-human-rights-has-failed-palestinians/97883/





By 

 |Published October 20, 2014

How the very concept of human rights has failed Palestinians

Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman MK David Rotem laid out some of his beliefs and world views in an extensive interview with Israeli financial daily Globes a few weeks ago. One of Rotem’s statements – which made the headline of the piece – was that “human rights are [reserved] for people who are citizens of the state.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Eighth Annual Terrorism Conference: Al-Qaeda and Its Heirs


The Jamestown Foundation
 
Presents
 
 
Eighth Annual Terrorism Conference
Al-Qaeda and Its Heirs

 


Tuesday, December 9, 2014
8:30 A.M.–4:00 P.M.

The University Club of Washington, D.C.
Grand Ballroom (2nd Floor)
1135 Sixteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036


*To register for the conference please click here.
 
            

When discussing the conference on Twitter, please use the hashtag #JTFTerrorism.

Agenda
 
Registration
 8:00 A.M.–8:30 A.M.
 
*     *     * 
 
Welcome
 8:30 A.M.–8:40 A.M.
 
Glen E. Howard
President, The Jamestown Foundation
 
*    *     *

Panel One:
The Rise of Islamic State: Implications for the United States
8:40 A.M.–10:00 A.M.
 
Bruce Hoffman
Director, Center for Security Studies,
Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University &
Board Member, The Jamestown Foundation
 
Bruce Riedel
Senior Fellow, The Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution &
Former Board Member, The Jamestown Foundation  
 
Q & A
 
*     *     *
 
Coffee Break
10:00 A.M.–10:30 A.M.
 
*     *     *
 
Panel Two:
The Impact of Islamic State on Regional Security in Syria and Iraq
10:30 A.M.–12:00 P.M.
 
“Understanding Islamic State: What Victory Means in Its Grand Strategy”
Michael W.S. Ryan
Senior Fellow, The Jamestown Foundation
 
"Swimming in a Turbulent Sea? Non-State Threats to Islamic State”
Nicholas A. Heras
Middle East Analyst, Center for a New American Strategy (CNAS)
 
“The Political Economy of Islamic State and Its Financial Resources for War”
Murad Batal al-Shishani
Correspondent, BBC &
Analyst, The Jamestown Foundation
 
“Islamic State’s Threat to the Kurds in Syria and Northern Iraq”
Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Middle East Analyst, al-Monitor &
Analyst, The Jamestown Foundation
 
Q & A
 
*     *     *
 
Luncheon
12:00 P.M.–1:00 P.M.
 
*     *     *
 
Panel Three:
Trends and Strategies in Militant Groups in Egypt and Northwest Africa
1:00 P.M.–2:45 P.M.
 
“The Need for a Comprehensive Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Combatting Regional Jihadism: The View from Cairo”
Adel El-Adawy
Ph.D. Candidate, War Studies Department, King’s College London
 
“Libya’s Descent into Chaos: Warring Clans and Its Impact on Regional Stability”
Dario Cristiani
Adjunct Professor in International Affairs, Vesalius College &
Senior Analyst, Global Governance Institute in Brussels
 
“Boko Haram, Islamic State and the Archipelago Strategy in Northwest Africa”
Jacob Zenn
African and Eurasian Affairs Analyst, The Jamestown Foundation
 
Q & A
 
*     *     *
 
Coffee Break
2:45 P.M.–3:00 P.M.
 
*     *     *
 
Concluding Remarks
3:00 P.M.–4:00 P.M.
 
General Michael V. Hayden
Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency &
Board Member, The Jamestown Foundation
 
Q & A
 
*     *     *
 
Conclusion
4:00 P.M.

Participant Biographies
 
 
Adel El-Adawy
 
Adel El-Adawy is a Ph.D. Candidate at the War Studies Department, King’s College London. His dissertation focuses on the impact of transnational security threats on patterns of civil-military relations in post-Mubarak Egypt. His research and publications have looked at security issues across the Middle East, and U.S.-Egyptian relations. Previously, he has held positions at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, American Security Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and the Middle East Institute. He holds a B.A. from the College of Wooster and an M.A. in political science from American University in Washington. He is fluent in Arabic, German and speaks basic Swedish.
 
 
Dario Cristiani
  
Dario Cristiani deals with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern security and history, with a specific focus on terrorism and sub-state groups, and is a frequent contributor to Jamestown’s publications Eurasia Daily MonitorTerrorism Monitor and Militant Leadership Monitor. He is adjunct professor in International Affairs at the Vesalius College in Brussels and senior analyst at the Global Governance Institute in Brussels. He is also a political risk consultant, working with a number of consultancies and organizations in Europe and the United States. 
 
 
Gen. Michael V.  Hayden (ret.)
 
General Michael V. Hayden (USAF Ret.) served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009 and was responsible for overseeing the collection of information concerning the plans, intentions and capabilities of America’s adversaries, producing timely analysis for decision makers and conducting covert operations to thwart terrorists and other enemies of the United States. Before becoming Director of the CIA, General Hayden served as the country’s first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence—and was the highest-ranking intelligence officer in the armed forces. Earlier, he served as Commander of the Air Intelligence Agency, Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center, Director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 and Chief of the Central Security Service. General Hayden graduated from Duquesne University with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1967 and a master’s degree in modern American history in 1969. He was a distinguished graduate of the university’s ROTC program and began his active military service in 1969. General Hayden is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group in Washington, D.C., and a Board Member at The Jamestown Foundation.
 
 
Nicholas A. Heras
 
Nicholas A. Heras is a Research Associate in the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). From 2013 to 2014, he served as a Research Associate at the National Defense University (NDU) where he worked on a project that studied the impact of the Syrian conflict on the greater Middle East region. He has over two years in-depth field research experience in all regions of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan and has also conducted substantive research in Turkey.
 
He has presented on the topic of armed groups in the Syrian civil war, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), at the annual U.S. Naval War College, Center for Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups (USNWC-CIWAG) Symposium; he also presented a lecture on ISIL’s state formation strategy to the U.S. SOCOM J3I. As a regular contributor to The Jamestown Foundation’s Militant Leadership Monitor and Terrorism Monitor, Mr. Heras is a prolific author of analytical works focusing on security issues in the greater Middle East region. He has also authored a monograph, Policy Focus #132, The Potential for an Assad Statelet in Syria, through the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP)’s Soref Fellowship program.
 
 
Bruce Hoffman
 
Professor Bruce Hoffman is a Board Member of The Jamestown Foundation. He has been studying terrorism and insurgency for more than thirty years. Professor Hoffman is currently a tenured professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where he is also the Director of both the Center for Security Studies and the Security Studies Program. Professor Hoffman previously held the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and was also Director of RAND’s Washington, D.C., Office.
 
Professor Hoffman was Scholar-in-Residence for Counter-terrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency between 2004 and 2006.  He was also an advisor on counter-terrorism to the Office of National Security Affairs, Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, Iraq, during the spring of 2004 and from 2004 to 2005 was an adviser on counter-insurgency to the Strategy, Plans and Analysis Office at Multi-National Forces-Iraq Headquarters, Baghdad. Professor Hoffman was also an adviser to the Iraq Study Group.
 
 
Bruce Riedel
 
Bruce Riedel is a Senior Fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He retired in 2006 after 30 years of service at the Central Intelligence Agency including postings overseas. Riedel was a senior advisor on South Asia and the Middle East to four Presidents of the United States in the staff of the National Security Council at the White House. He was a negotiator at several Arab-Israeli peace summits, including at Camp David and Wye River. He was also Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Near East and South Asia at the Pentagon and a senior advisor at NATO in Brussels. In January 2009, President Barack Obama asked Mr. Riedel to chair a review of American policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, the results of which the President announced in a speech on March 27, 2009. In 2011, he served as an expert advisor to the prosecution of al-Qaeda terrorist Omar Farooq Abdulmutallab in Detroit. In December 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron asked him to brief the United Kingdom’s National Security Council in London on Pakistan.
 
Mr. Riedel is the author of The Search for al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology and Future and Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of the Global Jihad.  He is a contributor to Which Path to Persia: Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran, The Arab Awakening and Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979–1988.  He teaches at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies. He is a graduate of Brown (B.A.), Harvard (M.A.) and the Royal College of Defense Studies in London.
 
 
Michael W. S. Ryan
 
Dr. Michael W.S. Ryan is a Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation and an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute. He is the author of the  book, Decoding al-Qaeda’s Strategy: The Deep Battle Against America, published by Columbia University Press. The book examines al-Qaeda’s political military strategy based upon Arabic-language sources. Dr. Ryan is also president of a firm based in Arlington, Virginia, specializing in research and analysis on Middle Eastern security issues. 
 
Dr. Ryan served as Senior Vice President at The Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. (2008–2009). The White House appointed him as Vice President in The Millennium Challenge Corporation (2006–2008). Previously, Dr. Ryan held senior positions in the Departments of State, Defense and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after joining the U.S. federal government in 1979 as a Middle East/North Africa analyst for the Department of Defense. 
 
In 1981, Dr. Ryan earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. During his graduate study, he spent three years in Egypt under Fulbright, Smithsonian and Center for Arabic Study Abroad fellowships. He was also a fellow at The American Research Center in Egypt during this period. He received his undergraduate degree from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.
 
 
Murad Batal al-Shishani
 
Murad Batal al-Shishani is a correspondent for the BBC and an in-house expert on militant groups. For the past decade, he has been a frequent contributor to the Jamestown Foundation publication Terorrism Monitor. An analyst based in London, he is a well known expert on Islamic groups and terrorism issues. Mr. al-Shishani is a specialist on Islamic movements in Chechnya and Islamic militant movements in the Middle East. He has written for several prestigious publications, including Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor, BBC News Online, Le Monde Diplomatique, OpenDemocracy and many others. He has contributed to academic books and he is author of three books; Al-Qaeda: Geopolitical, Strategic Outlook and Social Composition (ECSSR-Abu Dhabi, 2012), The Islamic Movement in Chechnya and the Chechen-Russian Conflict 1990–2000 (Amman, 2001), and Iraqi Resistance: National Liberation vs. Terrorism: A Quantitative Study (Iraqi Studies Series, Issue 5, Gulf Research Center–Dubai, November 2005).  
 
 
Wladimir van Wilgenburg
 
Wladimir van Wilgenburg is a political analyst based in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq who specializes in Kurdish politics. He has written extensively for The Jamestown Foundation’s publications and other journals such as the Near East Quarterly and the World Affairs Journal. In addition to Jamestown, he currently writes for al-Monitor and was the co-author of the Henri Jackson Society report “Unity or PYD Power Play? Syrian Kurdish Dynamics after the Erbil Agreement.” Mr. van Wilgenburg provides commentary and advice to a variety of media outlets, NGOs and think tanks. In 2011, Mr. Van Wilgenburg received an M.A. from the University of Utrecht’s Conflict Studies program, writing his thesis on Kirkuk’s Arab political spectrum, based on first-hand research in Iraq. He will graduate from the University of Exeter’s Kurdish Studies MPhil program in January.
 
 
Jacob Zenn 
 
Jacob Zenn is an expert on Boko Haram and a consultant on countering violent extremism for U.S think-tanks and international organizations in Nigeria and Central Asia. He is the author of “Northern Nigeria's Boko Haram: The Prize in al-Qaeda’s Africa Strategy,” published by The Jamestown Foundation in 2012 and based on his fieldwork in Boko Haram’s main area of operations in northern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, Chad and southern Niger. Mr. Zenn also writes reports on Nigerian security for The Jamestown Foundation Terrorism Monitor and West Point Combating Terrorism Center.
 
In February and November 2013, Mr. Zenn provided testimony on Islamist Militant Threats to Central Asia and the Threat of Boko Haram and Ansaru in Nigeria to the U.S. Congress. Mr. Zenn speaks Arabic, Swahili, Chinese, French and Spanish in addition to his native English. He holds a J.D. from Georgetown Law, where he earned the commendation of Global Law Scholar.


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Is Iran About to Blow It?

Is Iran About to Blow It?

10/21/14
John Allen Gay
Nuclear Proliferation, Iran

Tehran has won the PR battle in the nuclear talks, argues a new report, but that won't lead to negotiating-table victories.

Iran’s negotiators have successfully framed these final days of the nuclear talks on their terms—and that might lull them into making big mistakes. That’s Brookings Iran watcher Suzanne Maloney’s argument in a deep analysis of Iranian tactics ahead of the November 24 expiration of the interim agreement. Tehran, she says, is taking four steps to strengthen its hand.
First, it’s using “the divisions within its ruling system” to play “an elaborate game of good-cop-bad-cop.” Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s regular pronouncements about what the final deal must allow foster a perception that he is reining in his negotiators and insisting on a tougher position, particularly on Iran’s enrichment capacity; the negotiators can then go to their counterparts and claim their hands are tied. However, Maloney writes, “there is no hard evidence that absent the Supreme Leader's public rhetoric, Iran's position on enrichment was particularly flexible.” Rouhani and Zarif, she says, have both made statements of their own about preserving enrichment capacity and mitigating international worries with measures in other areas.
Second, Iran is promoting itself as a bulwark against the marauding Islamic State, one whose “assistance...can be bought” at the nuclear negotiating table. This, Maloney suggests, may explain the increased visibility of powerful IRGC Qods Force commander Ghassem Soleimani on the frontlines in Iraq—appearing in “battlefield selfies,” to use her term. Is Iran showing off its wares?
Third, Iran has sought to “depict [its] rehabilitation as a fait accompli,” with the nuclear deal a minor obstacle standing in the way of an Islamic Republican triumph. “Rouhani and company have sought to persuade the world that the era of Iranian isolation has now passed,” writes Maloney, “...and that business as usual can resume immediately.” In this vein, there have been waves of exploratory talks between Iranian and European commercial interests.
Read full articlehttp://nationalinterest.org/feature/iran-about-blow-it-11502

A Revival of Sanctions: How to Get Iran to Compromise on a Nuclear Deal

A Revival of Sanctions: How to Get Iran to Compromise on a Nuclear Deal

10/21/14
Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminejad
Nonproliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Iran, United States, Europe

The sanctions relief provided by the Obama administration has helped the Iranian economy to the point where Iran doesn't see a need to make concessions on a nuclear deal. Time to increase pressure on Tehran.

When the Obama administration signed the nuclear interim agreement with Iran last November, it insisted that the scope of sanctions relief was limited, its impact modest and the duration of the interim deal so short that whatever benefits Iran may reap were fully reversible.
The administration remains adamant that its predictions were accurate, but in fact, Iran’s current economic data show something altogether different and more troubling. Iran’s economy, on the eve of the interim agreement, was on the verge of collapse. Today, weeks away from the deadline for a final deal, it is on course for recovery. Limited sanctions relief prematurely squandered much of the leverage the Obama administration and its European partners had with Iran. Ten months of sanctions relief failed to deliver a deal and only delivered Iran from economic collapse. Western leverage, already diminished before major Iranian concessions are obtained, will continue to shrink over time, if further extensions are required to reach what has so far proved to be an elusive deal.
According to the Central Bank of Iran, during the first quarter of Iran’s calendar year (Spring 2014), Iran experienced a 4.6 percent growth rate, as compared to the previous year. Even more impressively, this growth touched all sectors of Iran’s economy.
According to Iran’s Ministry of Industries and Business, Iran has manufactured 71 percent more cars in the first four months of Iran’s current calendar year (April to July 2014) compared to the same period last year, a direct result of sanctions suspension against Iran’s automotive sector. According to Masoud Soltanifar, the Chairman of Iran’s Tourism Organization, Iran has enjoyed a 200 percent increase in the number of foreign tourists compared to 2013.
Read full articlehttp://nationalinterest.org/feature/revival-sanctions-how-get-iran-compromise-nuclear-deal-11504