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Parsing the Iran Deal

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Parsing the Iran Deal.

“On July 14, 2015, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) concluded a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) concerning the future of Iran’s nuclear program. The deal, which is the outcome of more than two years of negotiations, includes limits on Iran’s nuclear program as well as provisions for verification, implementation, procurement, sanctions relief, and peaceful nuclear cooperation. It singles out specific nuclear sites in Iran for particular scrutiny and restrictions, including the enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow and the heavy-water reactor, with its supporting facilities, at Arak. Unsurprisingly, the deal is complex—the text and its five annexes stretch to over 100 pages.

Our aim here is to analyze the deal as impartially and objectively as possible…”

Read more at: http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/08/06/parsing-iran-deal/iec5?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRoguKjPZKXonjHpfsX66uskUK%2Bg38431UFwdcjKPmjr1YUBTMN0aPyQAgobGp5I5FEIQ7XYTLB2t60MWA%3D%3D

Where Terrorism Research Goes Wrong – NYTimes.com

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Where Terrorism Research Goes Wrong – NYTimes.com.

“TERRORISM is increasing. According to the Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland, groups connected with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State committed close to 200 attacks per year between 2007 and 2010, a number that grew by more than 200 percent, to about 600 attacks, in 2013.

Since 9/11, the study of terrorism has also increased. Now, you might think that more study would lead to more effective antiterrorism policies and thus to less terrorism. But on the face of it, this does not seem to be happening. What has gone wrong?

The answer is that we have not been conducting the right kind of studies. According to a 2008 review of terrorism literature in the journal Psicothema, only 3 percent of articles from peer-reviewed sources appeared to be rooted in empirical analysis, and in general there was an “almost complete absence of evaluation research” concerning antiterrorism strategies…”

African Nations Show Progress in Uniting to Beat Back Militants in Nigeria – NYTimes.com

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African Nations Show Progress in Uniting to Beat Back Militants in Nigeria – NYTimes.com.

African leaders are stepping up their response to Boko Haram, with Chadian soldiers chasing the militants from a northern Nigerian town and the African Union calling for a 7,500-member regional force to tackle what it called “a serious threat” to the continent.

A communiqué adopted by the peace and security council of the African Union, which is meeting this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, calls on Nigerian soldiers and their counterparts from four neighboring countries — Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger — to “prevent the expansion of Boko Haram,” search for those abducted by the group and conduct joint patrols at their borders. It does not specifically authorize the most sensitive step: cross-border operations.

According to a Chadian military spokesman, Nigerian news media reports and officials in Niger, Chadian forces took control on Thursday of Malam Fatori, a northern town that Boko Haram had held since October….

Is the World Falling Apart? – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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Is the World Falling Apart? – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The world can be an awfully dangerous and unpredictable place. As news was breaking that the United States initiated airstrikes against militants in Iraq, fears were mounting about the Russian troops amassed near the border with Ukraine, momentarily eclipsing headlines of the war in Gaza, the insurgency in Syria, tensions in Asia, and other global concerns. And every day seems to bring more bad news as instability rages on.

But is the level of turmoil really unique? Or does it just feel like it?

Carnegie experts from around the world assess the situation and today’s foremost geopolitical hotspots. It’s some much-needed sober analysis during heady times…

On Iraq, Echoes of 2003 – NYTimes.com

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On Iraq, Echoes of 2003 – NYTimes.com.

Is this 2014 or 2003?

I’m flinching at a painful sense of déjà vu as we hear calls for military intervention in Iraq, as President Obama himself — taunted by critics who contend he’s weak — is said to be considering drone strikes there.

Our 2003 invasion of Iraq should be a warning that military force sometimes transforms a genuine problem into something worse. The war claimed 4,500 American lives and, according to a mortality study published in a peer-reviewed American journal, 500,000 Iraqi lives. Linda Bilmes, a Harvard expert in public finance, tells me that her latest estimate is that the total cost to the United States of the Iraq war will be $4 trillion.

That’s a $35,000 tax on the average American household. The total would be enough to ensure that all children could attend preschool in the United States, that most people with AIDS worldwide could receive treatment, and that every child worldwide could attend school — for the next 83 years. Instead, we financed a futile war that was like a Mobius strip, bringing us right back to an echo of where we started.

Michael Moore – So today, Mosul fell. Mosul is the second…

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Michael Moore – So today, Mosul fell. Mosul is the second….

So today, Mosul fell. Mosul is the second largest city in Iraq. The Iraqi government we “installed”, has now lost Fallujah, Ramadi, Mosul and other large swaths of the country we invaded at the cost of thousands of American lives, tens of thousands of Iraqi lives and a couple trillion dollars. (What could your school district do with a trillion dollars?).

One more maddening day in this 11-year illegal, immoral, greedy and stupid war. Today in Mosul, that Iraqi Army YOU pay for, freaked out, threw down their guns, and literally RAN away. I have friends and acquaintances who lost sons in all three of those cities. I can only imagine what they’re feeling tonight. FOR WHAT? FOR WHAT! I am so sorry we couldn’t do anything to stop this when it started. A few million of us tried. Last week, Richard Clarke, Bush’s former head of counter-terrorism, said he now believes that his fellow members of the Bush administration committed “war crimes.” …

Internet Giants Erect Barriers to Spy Agencies – NYTimes.com

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Internet Giants Erect Barriers to Spy Agencies – NYTimes.com.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Just down the road from Google’s main campus here, engineers for the company are accelerating what has become the newest arms race in modern technology: They are making it far more difficult — and far more expensive — for the National Security Agency and the intelligence arms of other governments around the world to pierce their systems.

As fast as it can, Google is sealing up cracks in its systems that Edward J. Snowden revealed the N.S.A. had brilliantly exploited. It is encrypting more data as it moves among its servers and helping customers encode their own emails. Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo are taking similar steps.

After years of cooperating with the government, the immediate goal now is to thwart Washington — as well as Beijing and Moscow. The strategy is also intended to preserve business overseas in places like Brazil and Germany that have threatened to entrust data only to local providers.

Google, for example, is laying its own fiber optic cable under the world’s oceans, a project that began as an effort to cut costs and extend its influence, but now has an added purpose: to assure that the company will have more control over the movement of its customer data…

Calculating Coups: Can Data Stop Disasters? | Think Africa Press

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Calculating Coups: Can Data Stop Disasters? | Think Africa Press.

In March 2012, junior officers stage a coup in Mali, throwing the country into disarray. A year later, rebels oust the government of the Central African Republic (CAR), paving the way for widespread violence that has made refugees out of a quarter of the country’s population. And at the end of the year in December, an internal political conflict in South Sudan’s governing party and army escalates into a full-scale civil war, killing ten thousand or more.

These conflicts differ widely in almost every aspect, apart from the sense of surprise and helplessness that they instilled in the international community. Mali was lauded as a democratic role model before some soldiers took power almost by accident. The French government, for decades the kingmaker of the Central African Republic, confessed to being taken blindsided by the speed and viciousness with which the conflict escalated. And in South Sudan, the regional organisation IGAD struggled to respond to the conflict, finding themselves unprepared and at odds over how exactly to proceed.

In all three cases the surprise greatly limited the influence of the international community, which if better prepared could not only have intervened earlier and more effectively but could perhaps even have taken pre-emptive measures. This unpreparedness was even more of a shame because in all three cases, the outbreak of conflict had been predicted by statistical models…

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