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FEBRUARY 27, 2015 3:54PM

The Second Netanyahu Speech

For MEB, may you live long and prosper.

No, this not about Mr. Spock passing away, if it's in the back of my mind and front too.

Mr. Spock of course was about jettisoning emotions and relying about reason.

People like him are often frustrated by the actual emotions that often… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

Lately it has seemed like the Middle East has exploded or imploded. which you will.

In the long run view, such turbulence is understood to be normal in times of great change, especially in Yemen.

Yemen has a scary-looking at first glance, with a population closing in on… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 7, 2015 4:24PM

Whither and Where Ukraine?

for mebforever

The last ten years have been witness to oscillation between pro-Russian and anti-Russian forces, which at some times involved various uses of force.

Right now the anti-Russian forces in the Ukraine have the diplomatic high ground, since Russia's annexation of Crimea marks a serious bre… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 6, 2015 4:23PM

Airstrikes and ISIS

for mebforever

Airstrikes are central to modern war, managing the consequences an importand job of the insurgents or terrorists.

Some will say that airpower cannot win alone, citing the experience with the Nazis, and also in Korea and Vietnam.

In fact, since WWI so astonished people by being so blood… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 5, 2015 4:20PM

Thinking Over the Meaning of Terrorism

for meb  forever

Using language in a way that makes what you want sound more favorable is common in political discourse.

Here that claim one can see as accurate in the abortion debates, as one side prefers that the key remains choice while the other side prefers that discussion to be… Read full post »

JANUARY 28, 2015 4:26PM

Libyan Policy Re-Considered

 For MEB, forever.

Foreign policy often remains obscure to most average people, and more the realm of the 1 percent we see as talking heads, or people who would be plausible in that role.

That is because foreign policy deals with topics not likely to be known well by the… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 9, 2014 3:21PM

American Strategy with ISIS

For MEB, forever.

President Obama has been much criticized for his denial of having a strategy. 

Announcing the strategy on the other hand could look like the SNL satire of the  media, like the cast member who as satire asks "Sir, could you state precisely where and when our strik… Read full post »

For MEB forever.

It has always struck the author's curiosity as to recognition of Israel in the Middle East.

They still talk, just through mediaries, like Egypt and Jordan. 

Neither the Israelis nor the Hamas side will concede that Hamas or Israel have a right to coexist, at… Read full post »

AUGUST 11, 2014 3:31PM

Realism and Iraq

MEB forever

Realism predicts that states are driven by the fear of a lack of a world sovererign to settle disputes.

Realism posits in some, if not all, versions, that an individual President is unlikely to end up of doing different things that any President would come to, as to security… Read full post »

AUGUST 8, 2014 4:57PM

Obama's Move back to Iraq

For MEB forever

One of the major premises of his celection and re-election was to leave Iraq.

Thus, to go back in any fashion was bound to trigger partisanship, and yet, we really did have to do something to try to stabilize Iraq, especially when the opposition in Iraq are millitants who… Read full post »

AUGUST 5, 2014 6:02PM

What Price Ukraine, and What Not?

Forever MEB.

The sanctions we impose on foreign countries are a hard weapon to use with Will ususally thought to be important.

In the case of Ukraine, Russia was unlikely to just rollowever, and Western politicians in fact wil have to see what teh risks to doing more will entail for th… Read full post »

For MEB, forever

When Reagan outlinedhis vision of missile defense, many ccrtics emerged.

That's fair enough, as the vision of Star Wars critics was in fact not ready.

That has now emerged as excessive too, as can be seen in Iron Dome.

It's scaled back to a single locati… Read full post »

For MEB forever.

If Hamas can claim it a triumph of engineering under very difficult conditions, Israel can claim a similar triumph with the Iron Dome Missile Defense System.

They both have their limits, limits worth thinking about technically and politically.

As to the Qassam, Katyusha and … Read full post »

FOr MEB forever.

Israel's much vaunted missile defense (BMD) system hasn't completely shut down Hamas, but if has worked pretty well in a real live fire excersise. 

Now normally one would label Iron Dome a short range missile defense, unlike the SA 17 that may well have shot down the Malays… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

Rational actor doesn't mean good, just having a set of goals that link together. Hamas saying it will destroy Israel now, or in ten years, is rational within the framework of rational actor, although a stretch too, since it isn't very likely that Hamas will ever be strong enoug… Read full post »

MEB forever

It's curious how the number seven ties to the tragic plane crash of Malaysian flight designated flight MH 17 on a 777.

That is not to make light6 of what has happended, a massive loss of life. 

Then the date, 7 July, 7, in a 777, and again on  the seventh mon… Read full post »

MEB forever

There are many problems facing America in foreign affairs, not however mainly of our making.

We didn't invent the 1667 conquest of Ukraine by the suceessor state to the original Russian Empire of Kievan Rus.

As to Netanyahu, there is an analogy to Nicon going to China,… Read full post »

For MEB forever.

The author cannot be described as being pro-Israel or anti-Palestinian.

Rather that situation has tragic origins now  is niniety years old.

Although that length of time doesn't induce hope, proplems are what they are too.

As to the current dispute, it is biased to repo… Read full post »

For MEB, forever.

Iraq and the Middle East have had a very mixed bbag of experiences as independent states since the Great War ended in 1917.

It didn't reaaly end then, as France had to bomb areas of Damsxus in 1930, and the British even used mustard gas to beat down tri… Read full post »

For mebforever.

My glasses are broken and so any errors as to typos have that cause. 

IN the end, Iraq has to govern iitself, just like children have to leave their parents too, someday.

It is obvious that the Iraqi Security Foreces need something of an apron string, the… Read full post »

JUNE 20, 2014 2:50PM

The Kurds Dreams of Independence

For MEB, forever.

When you hear certain towns fall, it's easy to see why ISIS chose the routes that they did, save for one: Kurds.

When you see their path and strongholds, it then is more obvious that the Kurds cannot be said to be so passive afterall, and that some are trying to… Read full post »

JUNE 18, 2014 5:41PM

A Non-Partisan Debate on Iraq

For MEB, forever. And "Johnny Ramrod," for a 15 month tour.

It might have been predictable that Iraq would become a painful issue in the history of American foreign policy. 

If you don't see that, think about what would have happened if Saddam had lived as long as Mubara… Read full post »

JUNE 17, 2014 11:08AM

Iran and The Iraqi Crisis of 2014

For MEB, forever.

The best titles of works on the Middle East have a commonality as to title, if not optimistic ones; Quicksand, A Peace to End all Peace being my personal favorites.

Iran of course borders Iraq completely in the East of Iraq, for right around 1,000… Read full post »

JUNE 16, 2014 4:40PM

Iraq in Modern History: Part I

For MEB.

Iraq is going back into the news cycle, because it looks like a civil war is a distinct possibly, a civil war that would endanger the contractors there, and the diplomats too, as in thousands of lives.

Deploying more American ships to the Gulf as has been announced is jus… Read full post »

JUNE 13, 2014 2:59PM

Dienbienphu and Iraq

For MEB, forever.

It is never easy to make policy in international relations.

That is because there are just too many complexities to know with a very high degree of certainty what the policy options will actually do in practice.

That has led to some researchers using analogy as a method of … Read full post »