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Supreme Irony
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, June 30, 2015

Those in America's foreign policymaking circles who are concerned about the emerging U.S.-led nuclear agreement with Iran are increasingly pinning their hopes not on Washington changing its negotiating posture but, instead, on Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei walking away from the table.

Let's Be Real: The South China Sea Is A US-China Issue
By Jeff M. Smith, The Diplomat, June 24, 2015

On June 18, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel offered a press preview of the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue (S&ED) now taking place in Washington, D.C. During the briefing Russel fielded a question about U.S. efforts to reduce tensions with China in the South China Sea. His response was surprising: "As important as [the] South China Sea is... it's not fundamentally an issue between the U.S. and China."

Why Iran's Past Nuclear Actions Matter
By Ilan Berman, The National Interest, June 23, 2015

It would be fair to say that the past year-and-a-half of nuclear talks with Iran has not been America's finest negotiating hour. But even by the comparatively low standards of U.S. diplomacy to date, the collapse of the American position in recent days has been nothing short of breathtaking.

Erdogan Isn’t Finished
By Claire Berlinski, The American Interest, June 22, 2015

The euphoria to which Turkey’s June 7 election results have given rise calls to mind an oncology ward patient learning that an experimental protocol might slow the advance of her tumor. The elation is warranted in rough proportion to the desperation of the situation. In other words, good news is, like most things, relative.

Another Day, Another Cave
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, June 16, 2015

If, as Marx taught, history repeats itself "first as tragedy, then as farce," then Washington's latest reported concession proves that U.S.-led nuclear negotiations with Iran have moved from the tragic to the farcical. 

Don't Rejoice Yet: Erdogan Could Still Win
By Claire Berlinski, Politico Europe, June 15, 2015

For 13 years, the escape routes from Turkey's political haunted-house have been shutting one by one. Suffocation seemed inevitable. The June 7 election, which resulted in the first hung parliament since 1999, cracked open a tiny window in the attic. Turkey's hope is now predicated upon an unlikely scenario: One in which every major political group exits from that window in an orderly fashion, even as the smoke is rising. 

Keep Trade About Trade
By Manisha Singh, U.S. News & World Report, June 8, 2015

After a heated battle last month, the U.S. Senate voted to pass the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, commonly known as trade promotion authority, which gives the president the ability to negotiate trade deals and submit them to Congress as a whole for an up or down vote, which, these days, is an essential step towards passage. The fight now moves to the House of Representatives, where passage is critical as both chambers must agree on the final text of the pending trade promotion authority bill. 

Turkey's political earthquake
By Ilan Berman,, June 8, 2015

Over the weekend, Turkey experienced something resembling an electoral earthquake, with Sunday's general election yielding an array of unexpected outcomes that suggest a major political reconfiguration lies ahead for the Republic. 

China's Linked Struggles For Power
By Joshua Eisenman and Ozzie Chung, The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2015

The Chinese military is expanding disputed islands under its control in the South China Sea, alarming its neighbors. How worried should the world be that supreme leader Xi Jinping is making China into an expansionary power? The history of the People's Republic offers some useful clues. 

The Difficulty of Being Bueno
By Christine Balling, Foreign Affairs, June 3, 2015

Juan Carlos Pinzon Bueno, Colombia's minister of defense, is constantly on the move, traveling all over the country to meet with members of the armed forces and citizens as part of his duties. At any given moment, he may be on a military base awarding medals to the wounded in action, in a helicopter surveying a ministry-funded resettlement village for a displaced indigenous tribe, or in a remote rural village once ravaged by rebel violence, inaugurating five miles of road rebuilt by the Army Corps of Engineers.