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February 4, 2011 04:49 PM

Guest Commentator

Amal A. Kandeel

Adjunct Assistant Professor, SFS, Georgetown University

Assistant Lecturer, Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, Cairo University

Invited Contributor, INEC, United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C., & Economist for Peace and Security, New York

http://inec.usip.org/profile/amal-kandeel

Updated at 7:58 a.m. on February 7.

Events have moved rapidly in Egypt since January 25th. Throughout the last week of that month, tense hours of cautious watchfulness on and off the streets as protests spread across several Egyptian governorates, repeatedly broken by raging clashes and chaos, brought anxiety to this country and its people everywhere. The true identities of the different groups taking to the streets and of forces working behind the scenes during this crisis became increasingly blurred in this ebb and flow of peaceful protests, aggression, and di

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September 13, 2010 03:13 PM

[Our second guest post on this topic comes from Peter Huessy of GeoStrategic Analysis.]

The START treaty neither guarantees nor undermines our nuclear deterrent. That will be largely determined by the extent to which we as a nation commit ourselves to maintaining our deterrent. Maintaining our deterrent may mean very different things to many people, but we should be clear what it does and does not mean. First, it does mean being realistic that, as General Kevin Chilton, the Commander of the US Strategic Command warned this morning, the nuclear deterrent of the US is the bedrock of our defense. Second, it means supporting the people that maintain our nuclear enterprise, rather than appearing to treat them somehow as corporate or government welfare recipients. Third, it means addressing the vexing issue of how, without testing nuclear weapons, our military and civilian leaders can guarantee to the US President that our deterrent is credible, even though they must caveat such a response more and more each year. Fourth, it means being explicit about what

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September 13, 2010 10:05 AM

[From time to time, we invite guest comments from experts who are not in our regular stable of contributors but who are particularly knowledgeable or influential on the topic of the week. Below is a guest comment from John Isaacs of the Center for Arms Control & Nonproliferation.]

John Isaacs, Executive Director, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

This week, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry and Ranking Republican Richard Lugar are bringing the New START Treaty to a vote in committee. It is time to move to the treaty to the end game. Senators like nothing better than avoiding a potentially difficult vote. A careful vote count indicates that 36 of 41 Republican Senators have yet to declare a position on the treaty. This situation is much better than that faced the health care bill, financial reform or the recently-proposed $50 million infrastructure program, where Republicans were overwhelmingly opposed from the beginning.

Kerry and Lugar are correct to move to a vote, and then work for

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April 23, 2010 04:16 PM

Since the discussion began the news from the Korean Peninsula has only worsened. South Korean officials have now said it's likely that the Cheonan was sunk by a North Korean torpedo, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has toughened his rhetoric, publicly calling North Korea "the world's most belligerant force." Worse, this week South Korean intelligence officials gave a rare public account of North Korean-directed assassination plot against Hwang Jang Yop, the former chairman of North Korea's legislatture, the Supreme People's Assembly. Since defecting in 1997, Hwang has repeatedly condemned the dicatorship of Kim Jong Il.

Most of the comments this week have been sober and well-reasoned, and they generally fall into the "there are no good options," for military action or reprisal, and cooler heads should prevail. Robert Killebrew suggested that if a direct link between the North Korean government and the order to sink the South Korean warship is found, South Korea and the United States should jointly announce a naval blockade.

If I'm

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February 25, 2010 05:47 PM

A Blood Red Rorschach Test

This week’s blog discussion convinces me that the Iraq war is destined to serve as Rorschach test for the post-9/11 period, a blood red inkblot whose shape shifts depending on the viewer’s intellectual and emotional reactions to one of the most controversial periods in modern American history. In my own reporting on Iraq I felt that shape shifting constantly, as I tried to assemble a picture of reality from so many fluctuating and often contradictory perceptions.

Saddam Hussein was a bloody dictator who hated America and had a past predilection for weapons of mass destruction. As it turned out, he also lacked the ties to Al Qaeda or stockpiles of WMD that would have made him the imminent threat that the Bush administration described in order to justify the invasion. U.S. forces would be greeted as “liberators” by ebullient (Shiite) Iraqis waving American flags. We also saw stone-faced (Sunni, Baathist) Iraqis make the sign of the knife across the throat as we drove towards Baghdad.

In topplin

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