Playing Russian Roulette with Middle Eastern Oil
Foreign Policy In Focus
by Juan Cole
4d ago
Last September witnessed what used to be a truly rare weather phenomenon: a Mediterranean hurricane, or “medicane.” Once upon a time, the Mediterranean Sea simply didn’t get hot enough to produce hurricanes more than every few hundred (yes, few hundred!) years. In this case, however, Storm Daniel assaulted Libya with a biblical-style deluge for four straight days. It was enough to overwhelm the al-Bilad and Abu Mansour dams near the city of Derna, built in the 1970s to old cool-earth specifications. The resulting flood destroyed nearly 1,000 buildings, washing thousands of people out to sea ..read more
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A Bittersweet Arab American Heritage Month
Foreign Policy In Focus
by Farrah Hassen
4d ago
I’ve always known my Arab culture is worth celebrating. I heard it in Syrian tenor Sabah Fakhri’s powerful voice reverberating in my mom’s car on the way to piano lessons and soccer practice during my youth. I smelled it in the za’atar, Aleppo pepper, allspice, and cumin permeating the air in the family kitchen. I saw it in the intricate embroidery on my grandma’s silk robe. And in the determination etched in the faces of my immigrant parents, who raised seven children in Southern California without relinquishing our rich Syrian traditions. April is National Arab American Heritage Month. It sh ..read more
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Peace From the Baltics
Foreign Policy In Focus
by Ed Corcoran
6d ago
Former Soviet republics directly feel the threat from Putin’s Russia. Ukraine is currently occupied, but the Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia worry that they’ll be next. Former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reasserted last year that the Baltic countries belong to Russia. More recently, in Vilnius, an associate of recently deceased Russian dissident Alexey Navalny was assaulted with a hammer. The Baltic countries are already members of NATO, but it’s a sign of the intensity of regional anxiety that Finland and Sweden have recently joined NATO—to strengthen capabilities to respo ..read more
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The Terrorist Attack in Moscow: Who Was Behind It?
Foreign Policy In Focus
by Vladislav Rogof
1w ago
On March 22, before a concert by the Russian rock band Picnic, a terrorist assault killed 144 people, including six minors, and destroyed the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, a satellite town of Moscow. The terrorists only had 17 minutes to shoot so many people and ignite a major fire in the large contemporary structure. A day later, ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack. According to The Washington Post, about two weeks before the attack, the United States not only presented to Russia information about the terrorist intentions but also provided unusually specific details regarding the ..read more
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The Break-Up?
Foreign Policy In Focus
by John Feffer
1w ago
Critics of Israel once occupied the fringes of the debate in the United States. Then, in 2007, J Street was founded as a loyal opposition to the kind of Israeli politics that received uncritical support from the U.S. mainstream. By organizing “pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy Americans” in favor of a more enlightened U.S.-Israel relationship, J Street has opposed policies of the Israeli government without challenging the foundational principles of that country. A more radical view, however, has been taking shape, thanks largely to the extremism of the Netanyahu government in Israel and the ..read more
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Last Year, You Spent More Than a Month’s Rent on Pentagon Contractors
Foreign Policy In Focus
by Lindsay Koshgarian
1w ago
Ever wonder where your taxes go? Each year, the Institute for Policy Studies releases a tax receipt so you can find out. One item always stands out: the Pentagon — and the contractors who profit off it. In 2023, the average taxpayer spent $2,974 on the Pentagon. Of that, just $705 went to salaries for the troops, who often have to rely on programs like food stamps. A much larger sum — $1,748 — went to corporate Pentagon contractors. That’s more than the average American’s monthly rent, $1,372. From Lockheed Martin (the top federal contractor and longtime weapons maker) to SpaceX (which Elon Mu ..read more
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A Memoir of Murder in the Philippines
Foreign Policy In Focus
by Walden Bello
2w ago
Patricia Evangelista’s Some People Need Killing: A Memoir of Murder in My Country is not an easy read. An account of genocide is never an easy read. Now, some may quibble that former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s taking the lives of only (!) 27,000 people does not qualify as genocide. But Duterte himself knew it was genocide he was unleashing on his country when, in the third month of his war on drugs, he made his celebrated remark: “Hitler massacred three million Jews… Now, there are three million drug addicts…I’d be happy to slaughter them.” Because it is an account of genocide, I w ..read more
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The Forever Failure of America’s Failed Forever Wars
Foreign Policy In Focus
by Nick Turse
2w ago
Dressed in green military fatigues and a blue garrison cap, Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane, a spokesperson for Niger’s ruling junta, took to local television last month to criticize the United States and sever the long-standing military partnership between the two countries. “The government of Niger, taking into account the aspirations and interests of its people, revokes, with immediate effect, the agreement concerning the status of United States military personnel and civilian Defense Department employees,” he said, insisting that their 12-year-old security pact violated Niger’s constitution ..read more
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Labor Holds the Line in Argentina
Foreign Policy In Focus
by Liam Crisan
2w ago
This March, Argentina’s school year began with empty classrooms. The price of learning materials rose by 502 percent over the past year, leaving many children unprepared for the year to come. And the teachers? On strike after President Javier Milei announced deep cuts to their salaries. There’s something much larger happening here: Workers rights are under attack in an already vastly unequal society. Labor income inequality has been on the decline in many Latin American countries like Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. In Argentina, it’s been on the rise. Since the 1960s, Argentina has been in an un ..read more
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The Return of Terrorism?
Foreign Policy In Focus
by John Feffer
2w ago
With its “war on terrorism,” the United States launched a global campaign against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks as well as a number of other targets. The campaign probably created more terrorists than it killed. Moreover, U.S. interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq—the first with only a tangential relationship to al-Qaeda, the second with no connection whatsoever—killed a huge number of civilians as well. Having failed to accomplish its poorly defined objectives, the United States eventually refocused on other national security threats. The “war on terrorism” disappeared from the headlin ..read more
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