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Iranian Devolution: Tehran Fights The Digital Future
By Ilan Berman, World Affairs Journal, November 23, 2015

As we contemplate the complex diplomacy that created the recent agreement between the international community and Iran regarding the Islamic Republic's nuclear future, it is worth remembering Thomas Friedman's momentarily famous remark of a few years ago that, whatever else it may be, Iran is also a country ripe for catalytic political change. In passing this judgment, the New York Times columnist took special note of Iran's youthful and vibrant population, the deep knowledge base of Iranian society as a whole, and its interconnectedness with the outside world.


A Role For China To Rein In Iran
By Robert C. McFarlane and Ilan Berman, Wall Street Journal Asia, November 18, 2015

Beijing is bullish on Iran. In meetings there earlier this month, we heard senior government and party officials express uniform support and optimism in their assessment of the nuclear agreement struck this summer between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 powers, terming it "good for Iran and good for the world." 

The first part is certainly true. Iran has emerged as the undisputed winner of the long-running negotiations with the West over its nuclear ambitions. 

Obama's Iran Gamble Flops
By Lawrence Haas, U.S. News and World Report, November 5, 2015

Like the optimistic boy in Ronald Reagan's charming quip who searches through pile-high manure in hopes of finding a pony, the Obama administration continues trying to entice the cooperation of Iran on regional issues even in the face of its growing hostility toward the United States.

It's your country, not mine: China's new language of discontent
By Joshua Eisenman, South China Morning Post, November 4, 2015

Over the past few months, a new and divisive word has begun provoking debate across China. That word is niguo, translated as "your country", and it is the most prominent of a new lexicon of words that both mainland and overseas Chinese are using online to distance themselves from the injustice, bigotry and bad behaviour that have become commonplace in China. Lacking an open arena within which to freely express their opinions on important matters that affect their lives, a new generation of tech-savvy Chinese is using niguo to rhetorically opt out of the system and distance themselves from the Communist Party.

Needed: A Strategy For Containing Iran
By Ilan Berman, Jack David, Matthew Kroenig, Samantha Ravich, Michael Rubin, Jonathan Schanzer and David Wurmser, National Review Online, October 27, 2015

Last Sunday, Iran and the P5+1 countries (the U.S., U.K., France, China, Russia, and Germany) formally adopted the new nuclear agreement concluded this summer. In coming days, under the terms of the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Islamic Republic is obliged to begin implementing a series of curbs on its nuclear program. 

The US-China South China Sea Showdown
By Jeff M. Smith, The Diplomat, October 21, 2015

 U.S. freedom of navigation operations could take the U.S.-China relationship past a point of no return.

Sowing The Seeds Of More Mayhem
By Lawrence Haas, U.S. News & World Report, October 20, 2015

The global response to recent Palestinian terror in Israel highlights the world's appallingly exceptional treatment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one that infantilizes both sides and only encourages more terror. 

The Continuing Case For Aiding Ukraine
By Herman Pirchner, Jr., The National Interest, October 19, 2015

Those who oppose the gift or sale of defensive weapons to Ukraine have long rested their argument on a simple supposition: that any level of help the West might muster will inevitably be exceeded by Russian military escalation. After all, they argue, Ukraine is more important to Russia than it is to the United States. Lost in this argument, though, is the clear fact that Ukraine is more important to Ukrainians than it is to Russians - including many Ukrainians who are Russian speakers and/or ethnically Russian. 

Ukraine's Memory Palace
By Ilan Berman, Foreign Affairs, October 14, 2015

On a leafy street in the Ukrainian capital, just steps from the ornate building that houses the country's parliament, sits what is perhaps the nation's most powerful weapon in its protracted battle of ideas with Russia. There, tucked away in a once beautiful tsarist-era building, are the offices of the Ukrainian National Memory Institute. It is a tiny government agency with a massive mandate: to counter decades of Russian intellectual disinformation.

Putin Isn
By Ilan Berman, The Moscow Times, October 13, 2015

Don't believe the hype surrounding Russia's involvement in Syria. Ever since President Vladimir Putin launched a major escalation of the 4 1/2-year-old conflict there last month, Western media has been awash with commentary about the Kremlin's strategy, with most interpreting it as a function of Moscow's strength — and Washington's weakness.
It's an image that the Kremlin is eager to stoke, for obvious political reasons. Yet Russia's intervention in Syria also carries serious downsides for the Kremlin — negatives that are likely to come back to haunt Russia's leaders in the not-too-distant future