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By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
Topic - Anthony Cordesman
Initial U.S. intelligence assessments indicate that pro-Russian separatists are responsible for shooting a commercial airliner out of the sky with a Soviet Union-era, surface-to-air missile.
The Middle East pro-democracy movement hailed over the past two years as the Arab Spring was transformed Wednesday when the military junta now controlling Egypt opened a bloody assault on protesters — a Tiananmen Square-style crackdown that seemed to expose the limits of American diplomatic power to pursue lofty goals once envisioned for the region.
Security inside Iraq is unraveling at an alarming pace, and al Qaeda terrorists there aren't just pulling the thread; they're setting it on fire.
Russia’s decision Tuesday to go ahead with the delivery of a sophisticated air-defense system to Syria will prove a a huge advantage to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in its war against Western-backed insurgents.
The United States on Monday stood by its hands-off policy toward Iraq after more than 100 Iraqis died in a wave of 37 coordinated terrorist attacks across the country — the most intense assault since American forces left seven months ago.
The long-term partnership that President Obama signed with the Afghan government commits the U.S. to a role in the troubled nation for at least a dozen more years, leaving critics fuming over the uncertain costs of a conflict that already has stretched for a decade.
U.S., Afghan and Taliban officials this week have offered contradicting accounts about the purpose of the Taliban establishing an office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
The small boats, minisubs and guerrilla tactics of an Iranian militia pose the greatest threat to oil shipping in the Persian Gulf, where even a single incident would send oil prices spiraling upward, analysts say.
Within the U.S. military's rank and file, there are growing doubts about winning in Afghanistan, a mood that contradicts upbeat war reports delivered to Congress last week by the top commander and officials.
"Many Afghan officials and officers, and allied officers and diplomats, are at best confused and at worst privately believe that we will leave," Mr. Cordesman said. "Any visitor to Afghanistan also sees efforts at every level to rush operations in time to meet November 2010 and July 2011 reporting deadlines. The end result is that a vague de facto deadline exists."
"It is a priority for U.S. intelligence collection," he said, and "it obviously is an effort that is more than a matter of simply chasing down operatives."