The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery have placed on view a relic from ancient Palmyra in Syria. In addition, the galleries are displaying images of 18th century engravings and 19th century photographs from its archives.
Sorry, Washington -- you probably can't put Iraq back together again. Certainly, the kinetic effects of more bombing won't repair the damage done to the Iraqi nation since the US invaded in 2003.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has complained that Iraqi National Army soldiers have demonstrated "no will to fight" against the Islamic State (IS); the fall of Ramadi was their fault. American soldiers attached to Iraqi units might be needed to "stiffen their spines."
If the United States would tone down its policy in the Middle East and the broader Islamic world, radical Islamists would not go away -- they have always been there -- but they would be far less likely to attack U.S. targets -- as the example of Lebanon indicates.
The fact is, Kobani and Tikrit notwithstanding, on a worldwide basis, the United States is losing the war against Islamic State. The only thing worse than losing a war is losing it without even realizing it.
As China establishes a new infrastructure investment bank for Asia and builds out the new Silk Road trading route westward to Turkey, the U.S. Congress is balking at trade agreements and retreating from the very global institutions that have been the pillars of the American-led order. The European project is unraveling as Greece is poised on the brink of default and an exit from the euro. No doubt President Obama's proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership needs some fixing once on the "fast-track," notably concerning the weight it gives to corporate prerogatives. But something more is going on. In Europe, too, there is mounting opposition to the proposed trans-Atlantic trade pact with the U.S., as well as the rise of anti-foreigner and anti-EU parties. Is the West abandoning globalization and the post-war integration of Europe, a mutiny against what has provided its bounty? (continued)
The Afghan security forces are no longer bound to limit their night time raids and to not use heavy weapons in fighting the Taliban insurgency.
For more than a decade and at very considerable expense, the United States has been attempting to create an Iraqi government that governs and an Iraqi army that fights; the results of those efforts speak for themselves: they have failed abysmally.
The military strategies of the United States and its regional allies focused on bombing campaigns, support for local militias, and inherently weak military forces to fight potential ground battles, have failed to defeat rebel forces in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya.
As one of its barbarous tactics in its war of terror, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threatens, loots and destroys symbols of world civilization: museums and libraries; churches, mosques and synagogues; and treasured archaeological artifacts and sites.
The Obama Administration's announcement that it is sending several hundred additional advisors to Iraq is consistent with America's failed policy in the country.
There will be no return to the fragile stability of even just five years ago. U.S. troops are greatly reduced in Afghanistan and Iraq. Humpty Dumpty cannot be put back together again.
Poverty is a pervasive concern in high fertility countries. The world has made progress in reducing severe poverty, but it's been exceedingly slow in countries where population growth rates remain high. While family planning can reduce demographic vulnerability, developing countries also require other forms of assistance.
The political capital invested by the Obama administration and the Rouhani government gives us good reasons to be not only "cautiously optimistic" but "optimistic" regarding the Iranian nuclear crisis.
Obama's decision to launch a major new training cum advising project in Iraq to be augmented by up to 1,000 more American troops is revealing of how his administration's thinking about Iraq/ISIL/Syria is oriented. Clearly, there remains no coherent strategy; clearly, the incongruities and contradictions among of the various bits and pieces of policy.
"Obama Looks at Adding Bases and Troops in Iraq," read the headline in the New York Times. The irony in that headline fairly jumped off the page.