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Losing The War Of Ideas?
By Robert R. Reilly, The Claremont Institute, December 4, 2007

After a short two-year tenure, Karen Hughes now departs as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. She concentrated on the public affairs area of her job by creating the Rapid Response Unit and regional media hubs—things that anyone would find hard to believe the U.S. government was not already doing before her arrival. Hughes inherited the detritus from the 1999 destruction of the U.S. Information Agency, and tried to put back some of the missing building blocks of public diplomacy. However, by almost every index, we are not doing well in the war of ideas. Some say we have already lost.

Flawed Federalism
By Ilan Berman, The Washington Times, October 19, 2007

Timing, the old saying goes, is everything. Just ask Sen. Joseph Biden, Delaware Democrat. For years, he has been sounding the bell about the need to devolve Iraq into its constituent parts: one Kurdish, one Sunni and one Shi'ite. And for years, his suggestions about Iraqi "federalism" have fallen on deaf ears. But now, in the wake of Gen. David Petraeus' long-awaited September report on the "surge," Mr. Biden's idea for the former Ba'athist state is suddenly getting some traction.

Iran, The Rainmaker
By Ilan Berman, The National Interest, October 1, 2007

Ever since its start six years ago, the United States has been waging the War on Terror chiefly on the Sunni side of the religious divide within Islam. The principal targets have been Al-Qaeda and its affiliates. As recently as September 2006, the White House’s counter-terrorism strategy was still focused overwhelmingly on the Bin Laden network and its offshoots, which were seen as the vanguard of “a transnational movement of extremist organizations, networks, and individuals” threatening the United States. By contrast, the vision articulated by the president in his 2007 State of the Union Address is substantially broader. It encompasses not only Sunni extremists, but their Shi‘a counterparts as well. And, for the first time, it clearly and unambiguously identifies not just “terrorism” but a specific state sponsor — the Islamic Republic of Iran — as a threat to U.S. interests and objectives in the greater Middle East.

Getting China Right
By Stephen J. Yates, The Journal of International Security Affairs, September 15, 2007

American politics is entering a phase in which China is likely to increase in prominence, and where the fundamentals of U.S. policy toward the People’s Republic are likely to be called into question. Over the next two years, the White House’s approach is unlikely to change. But the Democrat-controlled Congress and presidential contenders alike can be expected to critique Administration policy and offer alternatives to it.

Goodbye To Europe
By Ilan Berman, Defense News, July 11, 2007

A storm is brewing along the Bosporus. Since late April, when Turkey’s military issued a not-so-subtle threat to intervene in national politics to curb the power of the Islamist government, the country has been mired in political crisis. The current turmoil has everything to do with Turkey’s deepening religious-secular divide.

Russia Shows the US the Central Asia Door
By Ilan Berman, Jane's Defence Weekly, July 11, 2007

Defying all of its critics, the Bush administration may still be hanging tough in Iraq, but on another critical front of the 'War on Terror' – Central Asia – Washington appears to be in full strategic retreat.

Kurdistan Showdown
By Ilan Berman, Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2007

You have to feel sorry for David Petraeus. The commander of the multinational force in Iraq already has his hands full overseeing the "surge." Now he needs to deal with another, equally pressing problem. According to Iraqi officials, Turkey has mobilized some 140,000 soldiers along its common border with Iraq, in a maneuver that many see as a prelude to some sort of military confrontation between the two countries.

Signs of Iranian Troublemaking Are Everywhere
By Ilan Berman, Human Events, July 9, 2007

Just what does Iran have to do in order to get the attention of the United States? That question must be on the minds of officials in Tehran these days. After all, their regime has embarked upon an audacious -- and very public -- strategic offensive throughout the greater Middle East. But officials in Washington, preoccupied with flagging poll numbers and the ongoing insurgency in Iraq, don't seem to be taking notice.

Pakistan Teeters
By Jeff Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 8, 2007

With the Taliban on the march, its cities paralyzed by demonstrations and its president targeted four times for assassination, Pakistan is facing its most severe crisis since the 1999 coup that brought Gen. Pervez Musharraf to power. Over the past few months, surging Islamic extremism and widespread political unrest have erupted into violence, undermining the government's authority. Now, with elections on the horizon and the general's heavy-handed tactics aggravating tensions, Washington is being forced to reexamine one of its most critical and controversial alliances in the war on terror.

The Next Challenge For Turkish-American Ties: Iran
By Ilan Berman, Turkish Daily News, June 4, 2007

Ever since the Turkish parliament's fateful decision to deny the United States a northern front against Saddam Hussein's regime back in early 2003, Iraq has emerged as the defining foreign policy issue between Washington and Ankara. But now, a different—and potentially even more serious—challenge to strategic ties looms on the horizon.