Thursday Headlines

Syria Supporting ISIS
As ISIS captures more territory in Iraq, the New York Times reports that the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad may be selectively supporting parts of the Islamic State’s expansion. Syrian rebels this week accused the Assad regime of using his military aircraft “as an air force for ISIS,” a charge echoed by U.S. officials.

Speaking at a conference in Doha, Qatar, the U.S. envoy to the international coalition fighting ISIS, retired Marine Gen. John Allen, said there is an “energetic discussion” underway about what a political transition in Syria might look like. His comments suggested that Assad would have to leave office under the terms of an agreement, but some of his political allies could retain influence. major cities.

In a related development, Intercept reporter Malcolm M. Nance that the ISIS forces who recently gained control of the Iraqi city of Ramadi are ex-Baathist Sunni terrorists – otherwise known as the Former Regime Loyalists (FRLs) – who were some of Saddam Hussein’s most loyal backers.

“Simply put, ISIS today is essentially a Baathist-organized amalgam of virtually every Sunni tribal and jihadist insurgent group the United States has fought since April 2003. It is fueled by the ideology of al Qaeda and is under the nominal leadership of foreign terrorists,” he writes.

Is The U.S. Ignoring The Threat From China
Politicians remain focused on the ongoing threat from ISIS, Iran and other terrorists in the Middle East, but Peter Beinhart of The Atlantic wonders whether they are ignoring China at everyone’s peril.

Noting that Iran is a mid-sized power, Beinhart says China is a superpower with a military budget is roughly 13 times larger than Iran’s and its willingness to invest vast sums in the economic development accords it incredible soft power.

“From 1941 to 1989, the United States risked war to prevent great powers from dominating the world’s economic and industrial heartlands, and thus gaining veto power over America’s ability to conduct international commerce. That’s what China is seeking today,” he warns.

A Plan To Rescue Greece
American Enterprise Institute scholar Adam Lerrick offers a plan on how to stabilize Greece’s economy and financial system.

 

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