Tag Archives: Middle East

In Iran showdown, conflict could explode quickly – and disastrously

Mourners at the funeral for Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani burn Israeli and U.S. flags. Hamid Vakili/NurPhoto via Getty Images Bear F. Braumoeller, The Ohio State University Despite the claims of optimists, the odds that an international conflict will snowball into a bloody war haven’t gone down significantly since the end of World War II. Trump administration officials’ confidence that the …

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The political role of drone strikes in US grand strategy

Jacqueline L. Hazelton, US Naval War College How do you feel about drone strikes? Chances are you have an opinion – or at least a gut reaction. Years of debate on the issue show that many Americans have reservations. People are concerned that drone strikes devalue non-American lives, dangerously expand executive power, and drive terrorism and anti-Americanism. Yet do we …

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A giant space rock demolished an ancient Middle Eastern city and everyone in it – possibly inspiring the Biblical story of Sodom

 Artist’s evidence-based depiction of the blast, which had the power of 1,000 Hiroshimas. Allen West and Jennifer Rice, CC BY-ND Christopher R. Moore, University of South Carolina As the inhabitants of an ancient Middle Eastern city now called Tall el-Hammam went about their daily business one day about 3,600 years ago, they had no idea an unseen icy space …

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20 years of ‘forever’ wars have left a toll on US veterans returning to the question: ‘Did you kill?’

Every soldier has a different story. Yuri Cortez/AFP via Getty Images Marian Eide, Texas A&M University Military service members returning from America’s “forever” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have often faced deeply personal questions about their experience. As one veteran explained to me: “I’ve been asked, ‘Have you ever killed anyone in war? Are you messed up at all?’” “I …

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What schools teach about 9/11 and the war on terror

A survey of U.S. history teachers found they teach about 9/11 primarily on the date of the anniversary. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images Jeremy Stoddard, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Diana Hess, University of Wisconsin-Madison The phrase “Never Forget” is often associated with the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But what does this phrase mean for U.S. students …

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How someone becomes a torturer

At the Amna Suraka museum in Iraq, exhibits show the torture that was carried out in the cells. Hélène Veilleux/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA Christopher Justin Einolf, Northern Illinois University Every day, thousands of people are tortured in police stations, security offices and prisons around the world. Human rights organizations protest torture and advocate for survivors, but neither they nor the public …

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Russia and Syria: bound together in a mission that is far from accomplished

Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham All the standard public relations ploys were in evidence for the recent meeting between Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad and Russian envoy Alexander Lavrentiev in Damascus. More than 230 officials from 30 federal executive bodies, five Russian regions, and the Russian defence ministry had trekked to the Syrian capital. There were 15 agreements and memorandums on …

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