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Putin Consolidates Domestic Power
By Ilan Berman, World Affairs Journal, April 20, 2016
 

Largely unnoticed by the West, Vladimir Putin has just launched a radical overhaul of power in Russia. On April 5th, the Russian President formally announced the creation of a new National Guard intended to serve as an umbrella organization and coordinating body for the country's numerous "force ministries." 

 
Don't Apologize For Hiroshima
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, April 19, 2016
 

"I think the president would like to do it," John Roos, President Barack Obama's former ambassador to Tokyo, said the other day about a possible Obama visit to Hiroshima when he attends the Group of Seven Summit next month in Japan. "He is a person who bends over backwards to show respect to history, and it does advance his agenda." 

That a visit to Hiroshima, on which President Harry Truman dropped the world's first deployed atomic bomb, would advance Obama's agenda is clear. He has long envisioned a world without nuclear weapons, announced steps to pursue it in a high-profile speech in Prague in April of 2009, and continues to push for U.S.-Russian cuts in nuclear arsenals and global efforts to secure loose nuclear materials. 

 
Making a Bad Iran Deal Worse
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, April 14, 2016
 

We're witnessing a strange spectacle in U.S. foreign policy, one with no obvious precedent: President Barack Obama is trying desperately to protect his cherished nuclear deal with Iran, making one concession after another in response to Iran's post-deal demands to ensure that Tehran doesn't walk away from it.

 
Russia's Cease-Fire Fiction
By Stephen Blank, U.S. News & World Report, April 5, 2016
 

Russian President Vladimir Putin's March 14 announcement of a partial withdrawal of forces from Syria predictably surprised the Obama administration, which is habitually surprised by the current occupant of the Kremlin. In doing so, it became part of a larger pattern. Recent Russian-American ties demonstrate all too clearly that President Barack Obama still fails to grasp what it is, exactly, that Russia wants - and why it is successfully achieving these objectives despite the country's growing domestic crises.

 
Obama's Iran Sanctions Bait-and-Switch
By Ilan Berman, National Review Online, April 5, 2016
 

Last week, a fresh political scandal erupted on Capitol Hill over Iran. At issue was a new plan being considered by the Obama administration to provide Iran's ayatollahs with limited access to the U.S. financial system as a sweetener for their continued compliance with their government's 2015 nuclear deal with the nations of the P5+1. 

 
Why Russia Is Claiming Victory In Syria
By Ilan Berman, The National Interest, March 24, 2016
 

Call it Vladimir Putin's "mission accomplished" speech. 

The Russian president recently caused an international furor when he abruptly announced that his government was commencing a military withdrawal from Syria. Russia had "radically changed the situation" on the ground through its involvement, and its strategic objectives had been "generally accomplished," Putin said in a televised meeting with top advisors in Moscow, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. As a result, Russia's commander-in-chief declared, he had made the decision "to start withdrawal of the main part of our military group from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic starting from tomorrow." 

 
Our Quickly Unraveling Nuclear Deal
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, March 22, 2016
 

Iranians are famously savvy negotiators, so recent revelations that, under the U.S.-led global nuclear deal, Iran has far more leeway than we had thought to hide its nuclear progress and test ballistic missiles shouldn't surprise us. 

It should, however, alarm us. 

 
No Means To Muster
By Ilan Berman, The Washington Times, March 10, 2016
 

In the current political season, it's the policy dog that isn't barking. 

Over the past several primary debates, candidates on both sides of the aisle have sparred at length over national security, offering contrasting - if still vague - strategies for dealing with Russia, the Islamic State and Iran, among other foreign policy challenges. But precious little attention has so far been paid to a more fundamental question: Does the U.S. military actually have the resources to adequately respond to today's global threats? 

 
Obama's Cuba Trip Up
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, March 8, 2016
 
 
An Ominous Election In Iran
By Ilan Berman, U.S. News & World Report, March 1, 2016
 

On Friday, Iranians went to the polls to select new representatives for the country's legislature, known as the Majles, and its Assembly of Experts, the powerful clerical body that oversees the performance of Iran's supreme leader. The results reflect a stronger-than-expected showing from the country's so-called "reformist" camp, particularly the political circles surrounding Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.