The reasons for sectarian dissidence and violence in Iraq are both complex and numerous. While recognizing that there are many factors that contribute to the current situation in Iraq, there are two primary antecedents to the current growth of violence. First, the renewed vigor and aggressiveness of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI); second, government corruption in the Maliki administration.
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October 31, 2013
American cyber security efforts have been severely restricted. Domestic political pressures like sequestration and the government shutdown have undercut U.S. cyber defenses. Foreign political pressures have also increased in the wake of the Edward Snowden incident. These pressures have left the United States more vulnerable to cyber attacks from both state and non-state actors. If these trends continue, America will face increasingly serious threats from state actors and even more serious threats from terrorist organizations.
October 15, 2013
As the United States embraces a plan to get rid of all chemical weapons in Syria, the Syrian rebels are reorganizing themselves into Islamic coalitions that are independent of the US-backed Syrian National Coalition and are in opposition to an ascendant al-Qaeda. This reorganization represents a significant loss of US influence among the rebels, their willingness to adopt a hard-core Islamist character, and the probability of internal fighting between al-Qaeda and the other Sunni rebels in Syria.
October 12, 2013
In order to avoid airstrikes, President Bashar al-Assad has agreed to allow Syrian chemical weapon stockpiles to be destroyed. As the United States engages with Syria in a deal to disarm the regime of its chemical weapons, many still wonder if at some future point the United States could become involved in the conflict.
October 7, 2013
Germany has entered a period of navel gazing, limiting the EU’s ability to become a powerful actor on the world stage. Angela Merkel’s recent victory in the German elections reinforced domestic pressures within Germany to remain pacifist. Policy makers should attempt to strengthen ties politically and institutionally with willing EU partners in the short term.