Thursday Headlines

Nuclear Deal Will Not Ease Naval Tensions Between US-Iranians

Fortunately, the recent incident in which two U.S. ships allegedly entered Iranian waters ended with the release of the 10 sailors. The release of the sailors was made with an eye on the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, however the resolution of the brief crisis is not likely to signal an end to decades of provocations in the Gulf waters.

Now that that nuclear deal is implemented, the US should reevaluate ways in which to prevent and deal with future provocations, says Melissa Dalton.

“Even if the United States and Iran manage to find common ground in countering the self-proclaimed Islamic State and stabilizing Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, with international sanctions lifted, Iran may be emboldened and financially free to pursue an even more aggressive agenda in the region, including in the waters of the Gulf. The Strait of Hormuz is an economic vulnerability for the international community, giving Iran leverage over the United States and its allies and partners that rely upon the free flow of resources transiting the Gulf,” she counsels in a post on the War on the Rocks blog.

Asian Pivot Falters As Balance Shifts Against US
President Barack Obama proclaimed that his second term would feature a “pivot” toward Asia, but a new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies casts doubt on the strategy’s success.

In the fact of budget cuts and direct challenges by China and North Korea to US leadership, the balance of military power in the Asia-Pacific is shifting against the United States. the report asserts.

The study was conducted in response to a 2015 congressional request of the Department of Defense to task an independent study of U.S. military strategy and force posture in the Asia-Pacific, as well as that of U.S. allies and partners, over the next decade.

“Chinese and North Korean actions are routinely challenging the credibility of U.S. security commitments, and at the current rate of U.S. capability development, the balance of military power in the region is shifting against the United States,” says the report, which noted the detrimental impact of the sequestration.

Eulogy Of Jihadi John Gives Life To Martyr
It was confirmed this week by ISIS’ propaganda magazine, Dabiq, that the British fighter known as “Jihadi John” was killed in a drone strike in last November.

A Kuwaiti-born British national, Mohammed Emwazi was prominently featured in videos that showcased beheadings in August 2014 U.S. journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, and Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.

The eulogy in jihadist culture is only to memorialize, but also to give life to martyrs.

“In publishing this eulogy, ISIS confirmed something else we know but are only now assimilating: Jihadists don’t die. They live on. Not in the hereafter, but in the glossy pages of a magazine. Or, as the ISIS expert Charlie Winter has documented, in tweets. Or, in the case of Palestinian suicide bombers, on playing cards and street posters. Or, in the case of the jihadist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011, on YouTube,” writes The Atlantic’s Simon Cottee.

The eulogy featured in Dabiq provides a chilling background on Jihadi John, how he was radicalized in England, contemplated joining al-Shabab in Somalia, and eventually caught the attention of British intelligence officers.

The foreword to the obituary also praised Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, the terrorists who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California in December, reports Foreign Policy.


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