The Great Debate

Five questions for America on Syria

By Aki Peritz
October 3, 2014

A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq

When the United States began bombing Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra positions in Syria last month, it entered into a conflict that has been grinding on for more than three years. Here are five major questions America needs to answer as the fighting unfolds in the weeks ahead:

from Hugo Dixon:

Whatever help the West offers to fight Islamic State, it should have conditions.

By Hugo Dixon
October 2, 2014

A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq

What should the West’s military policy be toward Islamic State?

Most observers fall into two camps. Some point to the sorry history of Western intervention in the Middle East and argue the job of combating the Islamic State should be left to local powers.

Israel’s prime minister is obsessed with Iran. The rest of Israel? Not so much.

By Dimi Reider
October 2, 2014

Israel's PM Netanyahu addresses the 68th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York

For Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran and the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, are essentially the same thing.

NATO allies must work closely together, but do their missile defense systems?

By Francis Mahon
October 2, 2014

Patriot_missile_launch_b 

Since few nations can go it alone militarily, alliances are now crucial for ensuring security. To mount a common defense, allies need weapon systems that can operate together. In military parlance, the ability to work with other systems and  share data with them as if they were one system is known as “interoperability.”

High-tech medicine alone cannot protect U.S. from Ebola – we need to get the basics right

By Celine Gounder
October 1, 2014

Handout of the Aeromedical Biological Containment System before being fitted into a Gulfstream III aircraft

On Tuesday, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that a second healthcare worker in Dallas tested positive for Ebola. The next day, the health authority issued a statement saying that the nurse travelled by air on October 12, the day before she reported symptoms.

We all know about jihadists, but what about those waging an ‘anti-jihad’?

By Karima Bennoune
October 1, 2014

Human rights activist holds a placard during an anti-Talibanisation protest in LahoreAs the UN Security Council tackles the entity claiming to be “Islamic State,” and President Barack Obama invokes global Muslim responsibility, many ask whether people of Muslim heritage do enough to counter extremism.

Can the White House really be protected?

By David Wise
October 1, 2014

Secret Service agents await the arrival of U.S. Presidential candidate Obama in Durham

When an armed intruder jumped the fence and penetrated deep into the White House, it provided a field day for cartoonists and some members of the House of Representatives — who turned Julia Pierson, the hapless Secret Service director, into a piñata at a hearing Tuesday.

from Breakingviews:

Rob Cox: Flurry of ski M&A aims to control weather

September 30, 2014

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

Are ‘Hong Kong people’ still Chinese? Depends on how you define ‘Chinese’

By Alan Chin
September 30, 2014

A protester sleeps under an umbrella as she blocks a street outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong

“Hong Kong people! Hong Kong people!” shouted tens of thousands of Occupy Central demonstrators on the streets of downtown Hong Kong as they braved police pepper spray and tear gas this weekend. So simple and self-evident, the slogan gets to the heart of the matter, because beyond the immediate causes of contention are the much larger existential issues of who gets to define just exactly what it means to be part of China, and to be Chinese.

from Stories I’d like to see:

Where did the Department of Education’s ‘Race to the Top’ lead?

By Steven Brill
September 30, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama visits Wright Middle School in Madison

We are fast approaching the fifth anniversary, on Jan. 10, of when state applications are due to apply for awards under President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top program.