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U.S., Georgia Face 'Grim Realities' Going Forward
By E. Wayne Merry, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, September 5, 2008
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's visit to Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Georgia this week was intended to reinforce relations with Kyiv and Baku and to restore those with Tbilisi. Georgia's brief war with Russia has negated impressive economic progress, eviscerated the country's U.S.-built military, and shattered expectations of a better future for its people. Many Georgians feel betrayed by Washington in this crisis, but the United States has seen its advice ignored and its assistance wasted.
Nasty Nationalism
By E. Wayne Merry, The National Interest Online, August 28, 2008

Romantic nationalism has been a curse in many countries in the past century, notably in 1990s Serbia. Now, Georgia pays the price. Most commentaries on the South Ossetia conflict describe this dispute as starting in 1992, with the Russian-imposed no-war, no-peace status quo destroyed by the recent fighting. This is comparable to discussing the Cyprus problem only from the 1974 Turkish invasion. History matters, and nowhere more so than in ethnic disputes.

My Grandfather And Solzhenitsyn
By Ilan Berman, National Review Online, August 15, 2008

The first days of August brought with them news that one of Russia’s great public figures, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, had died at the age of 89. There are a great many reasons to mourn his passing. During his more than six decades in the public spotlight, Solzhenitsyn was an intellectual giant, a courageous opponent of Soviet repression, a crusader against communism’s excesses, and a champion of moral truth in a system that brooked no ideological opposition. For me, however, he was also much more.

Russia vs. Georgia
By Herman Pirchner, Jr., Washington Times, August 14, 2008

Russia chose to fight American-armed Georgia over the territory of South Ossetia - a piece of land the size of Rhode Island and containing only 70,000 people. Why? And what are the implications for the United States and Russia's neighbors?

A 'New' New World Order?
By Ilan Berman, The Washington Times, August 7, 2008

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is at it again. In late July, Iran's firebrand president used a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Nonaligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran as the platform for a renewed call to arms in the Third World. In his remarks before the summit, Mr. Ahmadinejad blamed the West for everything from the spread of AIDS to nuclear proliferation, and called on the NAM countries to band together to create an alternative to the United Nations as a way of becoming "the pioneer of peace and justice in the world."

India As A US Hedge Against China
By Jeff M. Smith, Asia Times Online, August 6, 2008

With a housing crisis in full bloom, and a presidential campaign in overdrive, Americans can be forgiven for overlooking the frenetic race to salvage the US-India civil nuclear agreement now underway. First came Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's narrow triumph in a no-confidence vote in parliament last month. Manmohan stood down fierce opposition from the left and, in a chaotic and unruly session, risked his governing coalition by forcing the vote. Only weeks later, on August 1, the International Atomic Energy Agency signaled its approval of India's draft plan for inspection, clearing the second of four hurdles. Only the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), where approval is likely, and the US Congress, where nothing is guaranteed, now stand in the way.

Welcome to the new AFPC.ORG
By Herman Pirchner, Jr., August 1, 2008

As regular visitors to this site will notice, the American Foreign Policy Council's online presence is currently undergoing a major facelift. Once completed, our new website will feature more dynamic content, be more accessible to researchers, the public and the media, and provide greater coverage of our wide range of events and activities. In the meantime, please bear with us as we incorporate our past content into this new format. And, as always, thank you for your interest.

Al-Maliki Raises Hopes For A More Stable Iraq
By Ilan Berman, Jane's Defence Weekly, July 14, 2008

Give Nouri al-Maliki credit. Since assuming his post in May 2006, Iraq's embattled prime minister has been written off by more than a few observers as an agent of Iranian influence or a cat's paw of the US-led Coalition. However, since early this year, Al-Maliki has definitively proven that he is neither. In the process, he has moved his country considerably closer to lasting stability.

Europe Holds The Key To Iran
By Ilan Berman, Guardian (London), June 18, 2008

Officials in Europe are beginning to sound more and more like their American counterparts when it comes to Iran. In the wake of President Bush's trip to Europe, they even appear to be moving towards freezing the assets of Iran's largest bank as a way of signalling their resolve over Tehran's nuclear intransigence. In recent months, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has warned publicly that a nuclear Iran poses an "unacceptable risk for regional and world stability," and his government has taken the lead in calling for tougher international sanctions against the Islamic republic. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made similar noises. "If Iran were to obtain nuclear weapons, it would have disastrous consequences," Merkel told Israel's parliament, the Knesset, during her visit there in March. "We have to prevent this." In practice, however, Europeans are sending a very different signal. Indeed, recent days have seen the Old Continent deal a body blow to efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic.

Bad Timing In Basra
By James S. Robbins, National Review Online, April 8, 2008

What a difference eight months makes. Last September, General David Petraeus was essentially branded a liar for reporting to Congress that the situation in Iraq was improving markedly, that the so-called “surge” strategy was achieving its intended aims. Today, the general returns with more good news: violence in the country down 75 percent; Sunni sheiks cooperating with the government and Coalition (the “Anbar awakening”); and al-Qaeda in Iraq severely weakened and on the run. Unfortunately, General Petraeus will no doubt have to contend with a barrage of questions about the recent weeks’ fighting in Basra and Baghdad.