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Israel John Kerry 1b

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Israel -Turkey: Protecting The U.S. Interests In the Broader Middle East..?

The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel, just after his visit in Turkey aiming to persuade both country leaderships to fully restoring their bilateral relations…


War in Afghanistan 1b

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War In Afghanistan: More Diplomacy Or Less War After 2014..?

Does the war in Afghanistan gave a new meaning to “Pax Americana..?” Or NATO has to redefine its war dogma..? But, the post-war situation is still the most important issue…

Afghanistan War

US-Iran War Tensions 1b: War Game Negotiations

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Negotiation: A U.S. – Iran War Game Exercise Of Bilateral Escalating Conflict…

Negotiation: A Hypothetical But Feasible Scenario…

  • Teams playing the roles of U.S. and Iranian policymakers in the Brookings exercise were faced with a hypothetical but feasible scenario that included cyber attacks and assassinations of scientists. Actual former high-ranking U.S. government officials – whose identities Pollack protected – took on roles they had played in real life; Iranian-American and American negotiation experts on Iran comprised the Iranian team. Pollack and his fellow researchers were interested in exploring whether diplomacy could prevail over threats of war in a highly charged atmosphere.

 An Iranian Terrorist Attack…

  • The game opened with an Iranian terrorist attack. The U.S. team decided to respond to the attack by striking a remote Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ facility, a reaction that the American negotiation team hoped the Iran team would view as minimal—the least aggressive response acceptable to the American people.

The Iran Team…

  • In fact, the Iran team viewed the strike as highly provocative—“as the Americans crossing a red line,” according to Pollack. And because the Iranian team had previously committed to closing the Strait of Hormuz (a key route for international trade) in the event of a U.S. attack, they felt compelled to do so.

US-Iran War Tensions 1b: War Game Negotiations

Predator Drone Iran 2 2

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Iran-The Drone Story (2): Questions Of What, Where, When, Why And How..?

What Iran Knows…

  • Iran knows well that a war operations decision is not easy right now not only in Washington but elsewhere in the world.

Challenging Obama…

  • On the other hand, with the drone story, Iran attempts to “challenge” the U.S.

No Money…

  • The global economic crisis and the continuing tragic financial developments in the Eurozone further enhance Tehran’s diplomatic evaluation of the situation.

Predator Drone Iran 2 2

Alliance Formation in Civil Wars 1

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Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Syria: The “Balance Of Power” Creates Alliances In Civil Wars…

Civil Wars: On The Ground In Afghanistan And Bosnia…

  • Christia’s book is based on two years of field research in Afghanistan and Bosnia, combined with an analysis of 53 multiparty civil wars around the globe. She interviewed dozens of political leaders and warlords in the two countries, including some former Taliban leaders, and drew upon a variety of written materials, from alliance agreements to memoirs.

Alliance Formation in Civil Wars 1

 Including A Multitude Of Groups…

  • One of the characteristics of these conflicts is that they often include a multitude of groups, making pragmatic alliances a necessary condition of resolution.
  • “Unless a group is powerful enough to win a conflict on its own, what we’re going to see is this constant conflict and realignment among groups,” Christia explains.

 Mechanisms Which Form Alliances…

  • In Christia’s view, there are two specific mechanisms through which alliances form.
  • The first, she writes, is the “evolution of the relative power balance between groups” in civil wars— such as in the frequently shifting alliances in Afghanistan.
  • The second is what she calls “group fractionalization,” the splitting of seemingly natural allies. During the war in Bosnia, she notes, groups of Bosnian Muslims fragmented from each other.
  • Thus, while much of the violence against them originated with Serbs and Croats, a certain amount of violent conflict in the war pitted members of this formerly solid bloc against each other.