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May 7, 2015

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IMG_0507

Searching for Hostages Isn’t CIA’s Top Priority, Insiders Say

The hunt for al Qaeda leaders takes precedence when it comes to intelligence collection.

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AYELET_SHAKED3

The New Face of Israel’s Hard Right

Ayelet Shaked makes Benjamin Netanyahu look like a liberal. And now she’s the justice minister.

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shiiteanbar

Anbar Awakens With a New Bedfellow

The threat of the Islamic State, combined with meager U.S. and Iraqi government support, is driving Sunni tribes into the arms of Iranian-backed Shiite militias.

CAMP DAVID, MD - MAY 19:  U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the conclusion of the G8 Summit on May 19, 2012 at Camp David, the presidential retreat near Thurmont, Maryland. The world's Group of Eight leading industrial nations (G8) discussed the debt crisis in Greece, the global economy and security issues regarding Iran. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
CAMP DAVID, MD - MAY 19: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the conclusion of the G8 Summit on May 19, 2012 at Camp David, the presidential retreat near Thurmont, Maryland. The world's Group of Eight leading industrial nations (G8) discussed the debt crisis in Greece, the global economy and security issues regarding Iran. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

Gulf Summit In Flux As Questions Emerge About Agenda and Attendance

The White House invited the heads of its closest allies in the Persian Gulf to Washington to reassure them about the emerging Iran deal. One week out, however, it’s not clear which Arab leaders will be coming -- and what, if anything, will actually emerge from the talks.

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472112364_960

Rebuilding Nepal, from the Government Up

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that wreaked havoc in Kathmandu has opened up an opportunity for the reform the country so desperately needs.

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 07:  Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks to the media during a briefing at the Pentagon May 7, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. Secretary Carter talked about various issues including the situation in the Middle East and the Department of Defense budget request.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 07: Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks to the media during a briefing at the Pentagon May 7, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. Secretary Carter talked about various issues including the situation in the Middle East and the Department of Defense budget request. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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468217322 v2

Coming Out of the Closet: India-Israel Ties Under Narendra Modi

India and Israel are now making their private affair public. Is this stark departure one of style or substance?

(L to R) Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, China's President Xi Jinping, Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Barack Obama, Myanmar President Thein Sein and Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi join other heads of states and international organizations to pose for a "family photo" during the G20 Summit in Brisbane on November 15, 2014. Australia is hosting the leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies for the G20 summit in Brisbane on November 15 and 16.     AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN        (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
(L to R) Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, China's President Xi Jinping, Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Barack Obama, Myanmar President Thein Sein and Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi join other heads of states and international organizations to pose for a "family photo" during the G20 Summit in Brisbane on November 15, 2014. Australia is hosting the leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies for the G20 summit in Brisbane on November 15 and 16. AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The World’s Leaders Are Avoiding Chinese Social Media

It's not hard to fathom why. India's Modi joined days ago -- and was promptly asked to 'give back' a part of Tibet.

Indian Prime Miniser Narendra Modi (C) launches the "Make In India" project as Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitaraman looks on in New Delhi on September 25, 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged September 25 to slash red tape and harness the benefits of a huge young population as he launched a campaign to attract global business to manufacture in India. India's business-friendly new leader wants to revive his country's flagging economic fortunes by kickstarting a manufacturing sector long eclipsed by that of neighbouring China.  AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN        (Photo credit should read RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian Prime Miniser Narendra Modi (C) launches the "Make In India" project as Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitaraman looks on in New Delhi on September 25, 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged September 25 to slash red tape and harness the benefits of a huge young population as he launched a campaign to attract global business to manufacture in India. India's business-friendly new leader wants to revive his country's flagging economic fortunes by kickstarting a manufacturing sector long eclipsed by that of neighbouring China. AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN (Photo credit should read RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Narendra Modi Is Bad for Big Business

And that's a good thing -- particularly when India’s top CEOs are getting mad at him.

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461633678 cropped

Don’t Blame It On the Oil

Yes, Venezuela’s economy is cursed – by its political regime, not its natural resources.

Ethnic Uighurs gather on Id Kah Square after Friday prayer in the nearby  main mosque on August 8, 2008  in Xinjiang's famed Silk Road city of Kashgar in China's far northwestern, mainly Muslim Xinjiang region. Chinese authorities announced stepped up controls on religious figures and potential "trouble-makers" in the Muslim city of Kashgar to guard against attacks on the Beijing Olympics which open today following the deadly attack that killed 16 police officers and a new threat by separatists from China's far northwest Xinjiang region to attack the Games. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
Ethnic Uighurs gather on Id Kah Square after Friday prayer in the nearby main mosque on August 8, 2008 in Xinjiang's famed Silk Road city of Kashgar in China's far northwestern, mainly Muslim Xinjiang region. Chinese authorities announced stepped up controls on religious figures and potential "trouble-makers" in the Muslim city of Kashgar to guard against attacks on the Beijing Olympics which open today following the deadly attack that killed 16 police officers and a new threat by separatists from China's far northwest Xinjiang region to attack the Games. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Interactive Map: Follow the Roads, Railways, and Pipelines on China’s New Silk Road

Beijing's multi-billion dollar integration project aims to connect China to Europe with a network of roads, railways, pipelines.

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185942155

The NSA Isn’t Likely to Miss Its Illegal Bulk Phone Collection Program

A federal court ruled the NSA's collection of American phone data is illegal. The agency isn't likely to miss it.

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troubletank

Russia’s Patriotic Preparations Run Into Tank Troubles

Ahead of what’s meant to be their triumphant debut, one of the handful of Armata T-14s in the rehearsal ground to a halt directly in front of Lenin’s tomb in Moscow’s Red Square, stalling in place with the engine still running.

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Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 10.43.31 AM

Some thoughts on countering ISIS: We need a coalition fighting not just in Iraq but across much of the Middle East

Since 2001 the international community has sought to reduce the threat of Islamic terrorism. However, despite widespread opposition to radical extremism and major military operations which resulted in the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, the situation has gradually deteriorated.

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web_101119-n-6266k-0236

The Navy’s integrity problem, revisited

Twenty months ago, Best Defense highlighted an important article on the spate of Navy firings of individuals in command. That 2010 article has been updated.

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5397589288_606ac5d279_b

The Islamic State and interior lines: An argument for the U.S. to go back into Iraq

Last month, the Iraqi army and associated Shiite militias were celebrating their capture of the Iraqi city of Tikrit after their fighters, who reportedly outnumbered their Islamic State (ISIS) opponents overwhelmingly, finally captured the city after a prolonged offensive that reportedly cost hundreds of pro-government fighters.

U.S. President Barack Obama pays a state visit to China after attending the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting.
U.S. President Barack Obama pays a state visit to China after attending the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting.

The Price of Mistrust

The U.S.-China relationship is marked by a quiet but destabilizing narrative. That's why it's so important that the two countries keep talking.

CAMP DAVID, MD - MARCH 23:  Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani makes a brief statement to the news media before starting talks at Camp David March 23, 2015 in Camp David, Maryland. After a series of meetings about security, economic development, American support for the Afghan-led reconciliation process, the four leaders will hold a news conference.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
CAMP DAVID, MD - MARCH 23: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani makes a brief statement to the news media before starting talks at Camp David March 23, 2015 in Camp David, Maryland. After a series of meetings about security, economic development, American support for the Afghan-led reconciliation process, the four leaders will hold a news conference. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Too Late To Tango? Ashraf Ghani’s Risky Outreach To Pakistan

A resurgence of fighting may mean Ghani's strategy of reaching out to Pakistan is too late. But did he have other options?

US Ambassador to India Richard Rahul Verma leaves the Indian Parliament in New Delhi on May 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/PRAKASH SINGH        (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
US Ambassador to India Richard Rahul Verma leaves the Indian Parliament in New Delhi on May 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/PRAKASH SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon waves at a campaign rally in central Edinburgh on May 6, 2015. Britain's political leaders launched their last day of campaigning today for the most unpredictable election in living memory which could yield no clear winner and weeks of haggling over the next government.
AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANAN        (Photo credit should read Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)
First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon waves at a campaign rally in central Edinburgh on May 6, 2015. Britain's political leaders launched their last day of campaigning today for the most unpredictable election in living memory which could yield no clear winner and weeks of haggling over the next government. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANAN (Photo credit should read Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)

And the Winner Is… the SNP

Whether it's a Conservative or Labour-led government in London, Scottish nationalists will come out on top.

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Ramachandra Guha on Modi’s India

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely the most popular elected leader in the world. No other politician has won so many votes in history. Few other incumbent leaders around the world...Show more

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What to Expect From China in 2023

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Stephen Walt Looks Back—and Ahead

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Geopolitics dominated the world in 2022, with Russia’s war in Ukraine and competition between the United States and China impacting everything from energy to food to semiconductors. What t...Show more