Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Article from Ilan Berman

Toward A New Uzbekistan

November 22, 2017  •  U.S. News & World Report

You could call it "Extreme Makeover: Central Asian Edition." Today, among the five post-Soviet republics that make up the region, there are heartening signs of political dynamism and a newfound drive for integration. At the center of these changes is the Republic of Uzbekistan, which has launched a far-reaching program to reform and modernize the state. This effort finds its roots in the passing of Uzbekistan's first president, Islam Karimov, last September, which precipitated a far-reaching policy rethink on the part of his successor, Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The product was "Uzbekistan's Development Strategy for 2017-2021," formally adopted by the country's government back in January.

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Latest Article from Clifford May

The battle for the lands of the caliphate

November 22, 2017  •  The Washington Times

Soon after taking office, President Trump ordered his national security advisers to provide "a complete strategic review of our policy toward the rogue regime in Iran." Last month, based on that review, he announced a new strategy "to confront the Iranian regime's hostile actions," including its development of missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, its support for terrorists, and its neo-imperialist aggressions. This month that strategy is facing its first serious test.

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Latest Article from Soeren Kern

Germany: Spike in Stabbings

November 17, 2017  •  Gatestone Institute

A recent surge in stabbings and knife-related violence across Germany is drawing renewed attention to the deteriorating security situation there since Chancellor Angela Merkel's 2015 decision to allow in more than a million migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

In recent months, people armed with knives, axes and machetes have brought devastation to all of Germany's 16 federal states. Knives have been used not only not only to carry out jihadist attacks, but also to commit homicides, robberies, home invasions, sexual assaults, honor killings and many other types of violent crime.

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Latest Article from Michael Freund

Aliya as an act of faith

November 16, 2017  •  Jerusalem Post

As they emerged from the plane at Ben-Gurion Airport this past Tuesday night, exhausted yet suffused with excitement, the latest batch of 82 Bnei Menashe immigrants from northeastern India to arrive in Israel marched toward passport control and suddenly burst into song.

Invoking the verse in the Book of Jeremiah (31:16), where the Creator consoles our biblical matriarch Rachel that her descendants, the people of Israel, will one day be restored to their land, the new arrivals mustered every ounce of their remaining energy and proceeded to chant the ancient Hebrew promise, "and the sons shall return to their borders."

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Latest Article from Judith Miller

Trump gets it half right, half wrong about his Asia trip

November 16, 2017  •  Fox News

Not since Marco Polo has a Westerner been received in Asia with such fanfare and respect as Donald J. Trump, according to President Donald J. Trump.

In an infomercial and trip report masquerading as a press conference Wednesday afternoon, President Trump continued his orgy of self-congratulation, pronouncing his 12-day trip to five Asian nations a diplomatic and economic triumph or – as he called it before leaving his last stop – "epic."

"America is back," the president said, drawing his own bottom line on the results of his tour of the newly coined Indo-Pacific, his longest foreign trip to date.

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Latest Article from Matthew RJ Brodsky

Iran's Future in Syria and the Strategic Partnership with Russia

November 15, 2017  •  ClearCut with Michelle Makori / i24News

Matthew RJ Brodsky joins Michelle Makori on i24News "ClearCut" to discuss the plan in Syria that allows Iran to set up shop too close to the Golan Heights. He believes a plan that relies on Russian assurances to keep Iran at bay is as worthless as Moscow's 2013 assurances to rid Syria of all of its chemical and biological weapons. Russia and Iran have long had a strategic partnership and the only way to change Putin's calculation is to weaken Iran and lessen its value to Moscow. The Trump administration has leverage but so far appears unwilling to use it.

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Latest Article from Asaf Romirowsky

How the Quakers Became Champions of BDS

November 10, 2017  •  Tablet

In a not-so-earth-shattering move, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has appointed a Palestinian-American, Joyce Ajlouny, as its new Secretary General. Ajlouny is a native of Ramallah and formerly the head of the Quaker school there, a "passionate" advocate for Palestinians and for "evenhandedness."

Ajlouny may be the perfect candidate to run the AFSC, the leading American Quaker organization, which over the years has cultivated its image as peaceful and supremely benign. Few suspect, much less know, that one of their central missions these days is promoting the BDS movement that opposes Israel's existence.

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Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer

US Treasury takes on terrorism: Non-kinetic warfare that works

November 6, 2017  •  The Hill

America's foreign policy challenges are mounting. From North Korea and Iran to ISIS and Russia, the news cycle churns with reports of new threats and new concerns.

President Donald Trump has called for an increase in defense spending. Congress went even further than Trump expected, in recognition of the challenges that lie ahead. But somehow, Congress and the administration may be poised to cut funds from an office on the front line of America's most important battles: the U.S. Treasury.

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Latest from Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi's Blog

The Situation in the Mt. Hermon Area: Interview with the Hermon Regiment

November 7, 2017 at 10:38 pm

The vicinity of Jabal al-Sheikh (aka Mt. Hermon), which lies at the intersection of Lebanon, Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, contains the last pockets of rebel-held territory in the southwestern Damascus countryside, centred around the localities of Beit Jann and Mazra'at Beit Jann. To clarify the difference, the former locality is the original one, whereas the origins of Mazra'at Beit Jann only date back to around the mid-20th century. Both Beit Jann and Mazra'at Beit Jann are Sunni localities. The main families in Beit Jann are:

- al-Safadi
- Hamada
- al-Badawi

As for Mazra'at Beit Jann:

- Othman
- Qablan
- Hamuda
- Abu Assaf
- Zaytun

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Latest Article from Henry I. Miller

Gene Editing Is Here, and Desperate Patients Want It

October 12, 2017  •  The Wall Street Journal

Should Americans be allowed to edit their DNA to prevent genetic diseases in their children? That question, which once might have sounded like science fiction, is stirring debate as breakthroughs bring the idea closer to reality. Bioethicists and activists, worried about falling down the slippery slope to genetically modified Olympic athletes, are calling for more regulation.

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Latest Article from Tevi Troy

In Hurricane Relief, 2 out of 3 Ain't Good

October 2, 2017  •  The Wall Street Journal

The federal government deserved the rave reviews it earned for its responses to back-to-back hurricanes in Texas and Florida. The Federal Emergency Management Agency worked well with state and local officials and predeployed key resources and personnel. It seemed as though Washington had learned from its failed response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Yet as President Trump visits a Puerto Rico devastated by Hurricane Maria, cheers for FEMA have turned to boos. What went wrong?

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