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The Next Secretary's Task
By Lamont Colucci, Defense News, January 5, 2015

The recent resignation of Chuck Hagel as US defense secretary is a sign of the times. During his short, unglamorous tenure as the Obama administration's defense chief, Hagel had become a symbol of the White House's failed foreign and defense policies. 

Sony Hack Gives Cover To Iran
By Ilan Berman, USA Today, December 30, 2014

In the wake of the hacking of Sony, all eyes are now on North Korea's disruptive online capabilities. But the cyberwarfare potential of another rogue state — Iran — is also growing, and it could soon constitute a major threat to the United States and its allies. 

Russia’s Vladimir Putin Clearly Wants To Dominate All Of Europe
By Stephen Blank, Washington Times, December 29, 2014

Since Vladimir Putin launched his war against Ukraine back in February, speculation has run rampant about the Russian president's objectives. While objectives change in the course of any war, Mr. Putin himself has admitted that the invasion of Crimea was a strategic decision that, therefore, had strategic objectives in mind. Those objectives also relate to the current fighting in the Donbas region (encompassing Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk provinces). As such, Russia's conduct repudiates the speculation in Washington that Russia's Ukraine policy is something of an improvisation. Rather, U.S. policymakers would be well-served in trying to figure out the factors driving Mr. Putin's decision-making, both at home and abroad. 

A North American Missile-Defense Alliance?
By Ilan Berman and Megan Gularte, The National Interest, December 21, 2014

America's discussion about missile defense tends to be a one-sided conversation. More often than not, it revolves around what capabilities the United States has fielded to date, and what it plans to provide to its allies overseas. But in the not-too-distant future, the United States might be able to count on a new voice in the missile-defense debate, as political and intellectual shifts progressively nudge Canada into alignment on the need to defend North America against ballistic-missile attack.

OPEC bets against U.S. fracking
By James Robbins, USA Today, December 20, 2014

This month, the OnCue Express gas station in Oklahoma City lowered its price for a gallon of regular gas to $1.99.


Nationwide, the average price is $2.41 per gallon, down from a high of $3.70 the end of April. Gas prices are the lowest they have been in five years and are expected to decline further, following the $50 collapse in oil prices since this summer.

The Last Line Of Defense
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, December 16, 2014

As talks between U.S.-led global negotiators and Iran over its nuclear program resume this week in Geneva, the most welcome shift on the Iranian nuclear front may be occurring thousands of miles away in Washington. 

Ukraine's Real Crisis: A Demographics and Health Time Bomb
By E. Wayne Merry and Judy Twigg, The National Interest, December 15, 2014

Ukraine suffers more afflictions than Job. Most Western attention focuses on responding to the military confrontation with Russia and then on the economic and political consequences of two decades of oligarchic misrule. However, Ukraine also inherited at independence a genuine crisis in health and demographics, the product of catastrophic policies of the Soviet era compounded by the continuing stress of the post-Soviet transition.

Troubling Signs From Tehran
By James S. Robbins, U.S. News & World Report, December 10, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry is confident that an agreement on Iran's nuclear program can be concluded in three to four months, or sooner. But maybe it will be later - or maybe not at all. 

Rage Comes To Russia
By Ilan Berman, Foreign Affairs, December 8, 2014

In recent months, discussions of Russia in Washington and European capitals have focused on the Kremlin's ongoing neoimperialist aggression against Ukraine. But Wednesday's coordinated terrorist assault on the Chechen capitol of Grozny—which left at least 20 dead and scores more injured—should refocus global attention on a problem that Russia itself increasingly is confronting: a resilient wave of radical Islam.

After Hagel
By James Robbins, U.S. News & World Report, November 25, 2014

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was reportedly eased out of the Pentagon because President Barack Obama did not think he was the right man for the job. But finding the right person to replace him will require clear thinking from the White House on the dangerous state of the world.