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If the US does not act, the Caucasus will be under Russian control
By Stephen Blank, The Hill, December 11, 2017
 

Since the Black Sea and its littorals have become contested zones between Russia and the West, it behooves us to think cogently about U.S. interests in the equally important Caucasus and how to defend them. Our vital interests are the same as the 1990s, even taking into account major changes in the regional and global strategic environment. We want these states to remain independent, enjoy real sovereignty within their treaty-defined borders, remain at peace with each other and be open to international economic markets.

 
Reality In Jerusalem
By James S. Robbins, U.S. News & World Report, December 8, 2017
 

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that the United States officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality," he said. "It is right thing to do. It has to be done." He also said the U.S. will begin the formal process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City.

 
Beyond Super Soldiers and Battle Suits
By Richard Harrison, AFPC Defense Dossier, December 5, 2017
 

Science fiction is always fascinating to follow, because at least some of the ideas presented in the genre do become reality over time. The concept of "super soldiers" is a case in point. Although the protagonists in Marvel's iconic Avengers comic books (and now movies) are still a long way from being realistic, we are unquestionably trending in that direction. Thus, the character of Captain America is a soldier enhanced by the government using a special serum to make him stronger, faster and more resilient, while Iron Man is an operator encased in full body armor that affords him super human strength, advanced weapons, and extrasensory systems. Even though such enhancements are still a stretch, performance drugs, exoskeletons, and other new technologies are increasingly augmenting - and expanding - the capabilities of today's warfighters.

 
Egypt's Population Bomb
By Ilan Berman, Al-Hurra Digital, December 5, 2017
 

It's the most important Middle Eastern news story that no one is talking about.

Earlier this Fall, Egypt's state statistics agency, the Central Agency for Popular Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), formally released the
findings of its 2016 national census. The results shed important new light on the challenges now confronting the government of president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in Cairo.

 
US Would Be Wise To Prepare For EMP Attacks On Its Cities
By Ilan Berman, The Hill, November 29, 2017
 

Imagine that a hostile nation - say, North Korea - fires a nuclear-tipped missile at the United States. The missile detonates in the upper atmosphere above a major American city such as Los Angeles, releasing a cascade of charged electrons that damages and destroys all technology and electrical systems within line-of-sight of the explosion. Vital infrastructure on the country's Western seaboard is incapacitated. Large swathes of California and parts of Nevada lose power. Stores, social services and emergency functions that rely on electricity begin to break down, as disorder spreads and the death toll climbs.

 
Human Rights Hypocrisy
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, November 29, 2017
 

Seventy years ago today, with the Holocaust still fresh in the minds of global leaders, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to partition Palestine in two, with the goal of establishing one state for Jews to reclaim their historic homeland and another for the Arabs who were also living there.

 
Toward A New Uzbekistan
By Ilan Berman, U.S. News & World Report, November 22, 2017
 

You could call it "Extreme Makeover: Central Asian Edition." Today, among the five post-Soviet republics that make up the region, there are heartening signs of political dynamism and a newfound drive for integration.

At the center of these changes is the Republic of Uzbekistan, which has launched a far-reaching program to reform and modernize the state.

 
The Advent Of The UAV Era
By Chloe Thompson, Defense Dossier, November 21, 2017
 

Though Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, or drones) are now an essential part of the U.S. national security toolkit, military views of UAVs were less than enthusiastic when the technology first emerged. In the early days of drones, the most prominent roadblocks to widespread adoption by the armed forces were inconsistency in performance, spiking costs, and, perhaps more importantly, a significant lack of interest on the part of military leaders, who could not quite envision a tactical use for the technology and thus had little incentive to push for the investment that such systems required. Today, by contrast, UAVs are an accepted, even vital, part of military and intelligence operations.

 
The Advent Of The UAV Era
By Chloe Thompson, Defense Dossier, November 21, 2017
 

Though Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, or drones) are now an essential part of the U.S. national security toolkit, military views of UAVs were less than enthusiastic when the technology first emerged. In the early days of drones, the most prominent roadblocks to widespread adoption by the armed forces were inconsistency in performance, spiking costs, and, perhaps more importantly, a significant lack of interest on the part of military leaders, who could not quite envision a tactical use for the technology and thus had little incentive to push for the investment that such systems required. Today, by contrast, UAVs are an accepted, even vital, part of military and intelligence operations.

 
Iran's Imperial Project
By Ilan Berman, The Washington Times, November 21, 2017
 

Iran is on the march in the Middle East.

Over the past year, a steady drumbeat of news reports from the Persian Gulf, intelligence assessments regarding Syria's civil war, and firsthand accounts out of Iraq, Lebanon and beyond has pointed to an inescapable conclusion: Iran is erecting a new empire in the region.