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Danger mounts as failed nation states multiply
Apr 30th, 2016 by Warren Swil

After 100 years,

it’s time to

redraw the map

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is at the center or untold and unnecessary massive human suffering.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is at the center or untold and unnecessary massive human suffering.

During the five years of civil war that has destroyed what once was Syria, the list of failed nation states has dangerously multiplied.
Territories where government is unable to function at even a basic level for most citizens now include Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Others like Afghanistan, Somalia and South Sudan teeter on the precipice.
As the hundredth anniversary of the French-British-Russian pact that carved up the Middle East approaches in May, it is time for a radical, new approach that acknowledges this reality.
In most failed states, partition has become a fact on the ground. The sooner this is politically recognized, the sooner we can find a way out of endless war costing hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.


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OBAMA UNSCRIPTED: Careful, thoughtful foreign policy the right prescription

PRESIDENT RECOGNIZES LIMITS OF U.S. POWER IN MODERN WORLD
In a rare candid moment, President Obama revealed a thoughtful, realistic assessment of the US role in the modern world in unscripted remarks in the Philippines on April 28.
The punditocracy – both left and right – is wrong.
The president was absolutely correct in his assessment that thought leaders have failed to learn the lessons of the past decade as the US fought two disastrous and expensive wars with negative blowback for America and the world.


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The great unraveling of Middle East nation-states

NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS BECOMING INCREASINGLY IRRELEVANT
Recent events in Iraq and its neighbors have once again put the focus on the diminishing role of nation states in the turbulent region.
With diminishing influence, the center will not hold.
The world is witnessing the disintegration of the nation-states born out of the remnants of Ottoman Empire a century ago.
Nowhere is there the political will to intervene. It is a calamity of gargantuan proportions, but the west is just an observer. Until, of course, we are drawn into the conflagration because of the inevitable global fallout.


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Humanitarian crisis spreads beyond Middle East

REFUGEES FROM SYRIAN STRIFE STRAINING RESOURCES IN MANY COUNTRIES
The continuing bloody battle in Syria has spawned an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that is spreading across the region.
It was brought into the spotlight this week by the United Nations refugee agency.
We simply cannot close our eyes and ears to the plight of so many millions.
What began as an internal conflict has become one with global ramifications. We hope the international response is commensurate with the urgency of the problem.


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Obama’s choice of diplomacy over war carries grave risk

PERCEPTION OF US STENGTH AS ALLY IN MIDDLE EAST SUFFERS AGAIN
The deal with Iran over its nuclear ambitions overshadowed, for most part, the Monday announcement that a new attempt would be made to convene peace talks on Syria.
But the two are inextricably intertwined.
President Obama has pivoted away from belligerence and that is admirable. But the cost to America’s ability to influence events in the turbulent Middle East is still unfolding.
With the response in Jerusalem and Riyadh, it has seemingly suffered another decline.


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Syria conflict morphs into proxy war for outsiders

TANGLED WEB ENSNARES FIGHTERS FROM MANY COUNTRIES
It is becoming increasingly clear that the conflict in Syria can no longer be seen purely as a civil war, and its effects are dramatically spilling over into neighboring countries.
What seems to be emerging is an alignment of combatants with either the Shiite regime in Iran or the Sunnis in Saudi Arabia, both of which have deep pockets and the willingness to spend vast sums to further their disparate goals.
The Syrian battlefield is becoming a war-by-proxy between the region’s two most powerful players.


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US foreign policy stalled on many fronts

INITIATIVES THREATENED BY DOMESTIC, FOREIGN OPPOSITION
Top of the agenda American foreign policy initiatives are, at best, stalled. At worst, they are threatened by opposition both at home and abroad.`
To anyone following these different threads, it is quite apparent that American foreign policy is embattled on many fronts.
It is emblematic of the problems the US faces in trying to influence events all over the world in the face of its declining willingness to go to the mat over issues of vital national interest.
It remains to be seen if any of these stalled initiatives can be turned around.


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VIOLENCE IN IRAQ: Dangerously close to civil war

US SHOULD NOT ADD FUEL TO INFERNO WITH WEAPONS AID
The country that America ‘broke’ in 2003 was back on top of the agenda at The white House.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was in the U.S. pleading for military aid.
But that is not the solution. The US cannot and should not add fuel to a raging inferno. It should use what little leverage it has left to urge the parties to find a peaceful, democratic solution involving devolution of power to autonomous regions.


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SYRIA CRISIS: As violence spirals, solution seems elusive

COMPLEXITY DEFIES ATTEMPTS TO START PEACE PROCESS
As the violence in Syria continues to spiral out of control, attempts to begin a process to end it are stumbling.
But the complexity cannot be an excuse to not try.
After the disastrous and costly nation-building misadventures of the Bush/Cheney years in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US electorate is weary of war.
But sitting on the sidelines while the Middle East implodes is not an option. The US is the only country with the resources and means to play a leading role in solving this seemingly intractable problem.
Unequivocally, it must do so.


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GENEVA TALKS: More than just about Iran, Syria

‘ARC OF INSTABILITY’ POSES GLOBAL THREAT, HUMANITARIAN CRISES
The two sets of vital international talks under way in Geneva may seem to have little in common, but that is a misperception.
Their commonality is that their model of governance is obsolete.
It is the same story, repeated over and over again in an ARC OF INSTABILITY stretching around the southern and eastern edges of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Geneva conferences are too narrow in their scope. Some imagination is needed to start work on a global solution.
It’s not just about weapons of mass destruction. It’s about massive destruction of modern nation states with global implications for our interconnected societies. The world must wake up.


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