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Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
Topic - Paul R. Pillar
Iranian support for embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad is producing a violent backlash against Tehran's interests in the Middle East and fueling a proxy war with Saudi Arabia that threatens to further destabilize the region.
Al Qaeda's franchise in Lebanon claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings in the capital, Beirut, on Wednesday, and said the attack was in response to the role of Iran-backed Hezbollah militants in the war in Syria.
Western intelligence agencies and analysts for years have been warning that al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are increasingly relying on a deadly weapon in their tool kits: female suicide bombers.
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.
"He probably also will argue that increasing the capabilities of radical Sunni groups in the Syria fight will increase the chance of them causing trouble elsewhere," said Mr. Pillar. "Today it is Lebanon; tomorrow it might be somewhere else."
Paul Pillar, a researcher at Georgetown University's Center for Security Studies, said Saudi Arabia's biggest concern is "largely a sectarian one, with focus now on a fight between Sunnis and Alawites in Syria."