It is that time of year again when analysts are asked to put on their thinking cap and try to predict what the coming 12 months may hold for some the more troubled regions of the world. This is by no means a simple exercise.
It is said that war is a failure of diplomacy. It is. But the assassination of a humane and intelligent diplomat is an even greater default, for it is the equivalent of international suicide. Chris' love for diplomacy was not that of large abstraction but of intimate humanity.
What accounts for that greatness? What does it take to become a global icon, one mourned by the entire planet, one whose incalculable legacy many have already rushed in to claim?
Someone should launch a feature somewhere on American foreign and war policy under the rubric: How could anything possibly go wrong? Here are just two recent examples.
In a way, Kerry's affinity with a now-moribund elite goes beyond style. Trying to resolve conflicts in the Middle East, investing time and energy on dealing with Iran, or schmoozing with the Russians, seem like parts of an outline for a plot of a movie from the 1970s or '80s.
Amidst the great uncertainty that prevails in the Middle East today there is at least one thing that is certain: we are living through a great shift in the region's politics and alliances, the repercussions of which are yet to be fully felt.
The recent and unprecedented Saudi decision to refuse its first-ever seat on the United Nations Security Council, and to downgrade cooperation with the United States, is as baffling as it is significant.
Can the Europeans ever overcome their parochial defense thinking and construct a European defense capability? I believe they can, but it will take a dose of straight talk and tough medicine from Washington to point them in the right direction.
Anything but stable Libya, flooded with weapons and still without a constitution, with remarkably little progress since the fighting ended, may be on the verge of civil war.
In the big world beyond the vastly expensive Beltway sandbox of vicious political ping pong and hyper-partisan gamesmanship, China's official press agency is using the debacle to call for "a de-Americanized world."
Intelligence gathering is certainly one important aspect of the counterterrorism business, but ultimately the U.S. needs to prosecute and incarcerate these individuals -- and our federal court system remains the most effective way to bring terrorists to justice.
Last weekend, in the midst of all the tumult over the debacle that is the federal government shutdown, came word of these two dramatic US special operations forces raids against jihadist leaders in Libya and Somalia.
Here are some random but real hints: He chose not to pursue da office; justice delayed; we don't like the way they're purging their voter rolls; and during Lent they offer a fish alternative. Answers are at the bottom of the quiz.
The capture of alleged al-Qaeda operative Abu Anas al-Libi by American forces last weekend in Tripoli raises a range of troubling questions. But the answer to one of them -- what to do with him now -- is clear.
We're continuing to raid, bomb and terrorize Fourth World countries and pointlessly harvest global metadata. We're still "completing our mission" in Afghanistan. We're just phasing out the government functions that have value.
Most Americans focus only on what their home media provide them -- spectacular terrorist violence or swashbuckling U.S. military responses to it -- without any historical context and little relation of current events to past happenings, even those occurring only a short time ago.