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Justice or Peace in Colombia
By Christine Balling, Foreign Affairs, September 30, 2015

Timing is everything. On September 20, Pope Frances met with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Havana. Three days later, Cuban President Raúl Castro was photographed in a three-way handshake with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Rodrigo Londoño, known as Timochenko, the commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Castro’s hands were clasped over theirs as if he were blessing a marital union. And, in a way, he was. The Colombian government and FARC had just announced that, after over two years of negotiations, they had come to an agreement on transitional justice, the last point on their four-point peace talks agenda.

Moscow Rising
By Lawrence Haas, U.S. News & World Report, September 22, 2015

 "We need to get to the negotiation," Secretary of State John Kerry said of efforts to convince Syria's Bashar Assad to step down. "That's what we're looking for, and we hope Russia and Iran, [and] other countries with influence, will help to bring that about, because that's what's preventing this crisis from ending." 

Israel Braces For Obama's Bad Iran Deal
By Ilan Berman,, September 15, 2015

JERUSALEM - It's all over but the shouting. Over the past week, the political tug-of-war over President Obama's controversial nuclear deal with Iran has tilted decisively in favor of the White House. 

Despite widespread disapproval among the American electorate, and last-ditch attempts by some in Congress to delay its passage, it increasingly appears that the agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, will soon be a done deal. 

Paradise Lost In Crimea
By Ilan Berman, Foreign Affairs, September 9, 2015

In mid-August, during the latest wave of violence in the long-running Ukraine crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin and a coterie of other Kremlin officials trekked out to Crimea. The high-profile visit was intended as a public sign of the Kremlin's enduring commitment to its newest territorial holding. But behind the headlines, the story is far less reassuring: Russia is realizing that its Crimean annexation has become an increasingly costly venture in both political and economic terms. 

Pull The Plug On The Iran Deal
By James S. Robbins, U.S. News & World Report, September 3, 2015

When the proposed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1 powers was announced in July, it was sold as a tough deal with robust verification that blocked Iran's pathways to nuclear weapons and would lead to peace and stability in the region. However, it soon became apparent that the deal is much weaker than its proponents first suggested. With a vote on Capitol Hill approaching, members of Congress who rushed early to support the proposed deal need to take another look at their positions. The deal as announced weeks ago is already falling apart. 

The War For Ukraine
By Herman Pirchner, Jr., The Journal of International Security Affairs, August 22, 2015

Ukraine is at war. Since the spring of 2014, Vladimir Putin’s Russia has waged a concerted campaign of aggression against its smaller western neighbor. Moscow’s “hybrid warfare” in support of separatist enclaves in Ukraine’s Donbass region has included the insertion of military forces to augment pro-Russian insurgents, large-scale deliveries of military matériel to these fighters, and the widespread use of propaganda. The Kremlin’s efforts have met with political and economic pressure from the West, in the form of multilateral sanctions imposed by the Obama administration and the European Union. However, the strongly negative effects of this pressure on the Russian economy have not caused the Kremlin to change course in any meaningful way. 

Time To Refocus On The EMP Threat
By Amanda Azinheira, Defense News, August 19, 2015

In late July, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs assembled a number of top experts to discuss a critical threat to the homeland: electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

Why Obama Will Open A US Embassy In Iran
By Ilan Berman, New York Post, August 18, 2015

What's next after the Obama administration's opening to Cuba? Why, an embassy in Tehran, of course. 

On Aug. 14, in a ceremony replete with pomp and circumstance, Secretary of State John Kerry presided over the formal re-opening of the US Embassy in Havana, Cuba. The occasion marked the culmination of nearly two years of quiet diplomacy between the White House and the Castro regime. 

Nothing In Moderation
By James S. Robbins, U.S. News & World Report, August 18, 2015

 In July, President Barack Obama said that he hoped the proposed nuclear deal with Iran could lead to continued conversations with the Islamic regime "that incentivize them to behave differently in the region, to be less aggressive, less hostile, more cooperative," and to generally behave in the way nations in the international community are expected to behave. The most optimistic proponents of the deal believe that the process could open the door to more comprehensive detente, empower Iranian moderates and lead to a gradual, peaceful form of regime change - a change of heart, if not of leadership. 

North Korea: Iran's Pathway To A Nuclear Weapon
By Ilan Berman, The National Interest, August 13, 2015

A central plank of the Obama administration's case for the nuclear deal just concluded by the P5+1 powers is that the agreement closes off "all pathways" by which the Iranian regime could acquire a nuclear capability, at least for the coming decade.