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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Paul R. Pillar
The Muslim Brotherhood — battered in Egypt and losing popularity in some Arab countries — remains a political force across the Middle East and North Africa where the Islamist group is the main beneficiary of Arab Spring protests that have toppled entrenched dictatorships since 2010.
CIA Director David H. Petraeus has resigned due to having had an extramarital affair, ending the government career of one of the nation's highest-profile leaders in the decade-long war on terror and adding a question mark to the list of vacancies in President Obama's post-election Cabinet reshuffle.
Western nations preparing to withdraw from combat in Afghanistan increasingly are alarmed by Afghan security forces turning their weapons on allied troops, attacks that the Taliban claim as proof of their sway over local troops.
Has the endgame on the Iranian nuclear program finally arrived? Is a deal in the cards? A broad swath of the foreign-policy cognoscenti, including Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria, the National Interest's Paul Pillar, The Washington Post's Walter Pincus, Esquire's Richard Barnett and a host of others, seems to think so.
Taliban militants threatened to behead Americans in Afghanistan, as gunmen opened fire Tuesday on a memorial service for civilians killed by a U.S. soldier and protests erupted over a series of U.S. actions that is spreading outrage throughout the country.
Paul Pillar, a former CIA officer who now teaches at Georgetown University, said that "if the Erdogan government is relaxed about aid getting into the hands of Nusra, it's because they see Nusra as one of the more effective fighters against Assad and not because this is some kind of backdoor way of aiding whatever particular ideology Nusra represents."
"The Egyptian generals probably will pull back some of those privileges at least temporarily in response to a partial suspension of U.S. aid," said Paul Pillar, a CIA veteran and former national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia.