Monday Headlines

Islamist State Would Be A Disaster For Arab World
The rise of the Islamist state should be as much of a concern to Arab nations as it is the West, asserts, The National’s Hussein Ibish.

In fact, he writes, it would be a disaster for the regional strategic landscape as for individual states, therefore they cannot allow it to survive unchallenged.

“Mainstream Arab societies and states would be well advised to move urgently and forcefully to defang this monstrosity. The Islamic State has created a reality – and, even more dramatically perhaps, also an illusion – of sudden and unexpected success. The reality on the ground must be changed and the illusion (that the Islamic State leads and represents most Sunnis in Iraq, northern Syria and beyond) must be broken.

“That means backing their most reasonable Sunni rivals. In Iraq, especially, an eventual power struggle with other Sunni groups that are presently allies of convenience, and mutual outrage over the political marginalisation of the community, is probably inevitable. Although a repetition of the Sahwa (“Awakening”) against Al Qaeda in Iraq a few years ago is unlikely, especially if Nouri Al Maliki remains prime minister, a struggle in which the Islamic State finds itself targeted and seriously degraded is plausible,” states Ibish.

The Drawbacks Of Drone Wars
Doyle McManus of The Los Angeles Times contends the policy of using drone strikes to combat terrorists may be “an efficient way to kill terrorists, but they’re no way to make friends” and just because they kill people, does not mean they are an effective means of warfare.

McManus cites the recommendations made in a new report issued by the Stimson Center at the end of June.

Among the report’s recommendations are:

First, improve transparency in drone strikes, including disclosing the number of strikes, the number killed, the affiliations of those targeted, the number of civilian casualties, and the procedures for targeting decisions.

Second, institute more robust oversight and accountability. The president should, by executive order, establish an independent bi-partisan commission on lethal drone policy and strategy.

Third, develop clear international legal norms for the use of lethal force outside a traditional battlefield. The traditional rules of war and for use of force do not address the complexities of modern conflicts between states and non-state terrorist groups.

Eduard Shevardnadze, Former Georgian President, Dies
The leader of Georgia for nearly a decade, Shevardnadze died at the age of 86 on Monday. He was the second man to lead the former Soviet satellite nation and played a crucial role as part of Mikhail Gorbachev’s cabinet in helping to end the Cold War.

Recent Event:
The Brookings Institution recently held an event examining how to make local ownership of international development a core component of foreign aid reform a reality.




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