Thursday, December 18, 2014
  1. The Arab World’s Vanishing Christians

    Christian C. Sahner

    The Arab World’s Vanishing Christians


     laments the end of ethnic and religious diversity in the Middle East.

    woman praying Dan Zelazo/Flickr

    This Christmas, thousands of worshipers and tourists will travel to the Middle East to celebrate in the land of the Bible. At a time when the Arab world is aflame with sectarian strife, the observance of the Christian holiday is a sad reminder of the fact that the region was once a polyglot, multiethnic mix of peoples and faiths. READ MORE

  2. Thanking Bangladesh

    Shashi Tharoor

    Thanking Bangladesh


     praises Indian leaders' willingness to settle a land-boundary dispute dating back to 1947.

    Bangladesh metal workers Zoriah/Flickr

    Earlier this month, India’s parliament took the first step toward settling a boundary dispute with Bangladesh that dates back to the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. Such an agreement would provide a major boost to the already warm bilateral relationship – and encourage Bangladesh to continue its anti-terror efforts. READ MORE

  3. Iran in the Middle

    Michel Rocard

    Iran in the Middle


     argues that a nuclear deal with Iran is made more likely by tectonic changes in the Middle East.

    Obama and Rouhani Jack/Asia Society/Flickr

    International negotiations to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions have been extended, and it would be easy to conclude that no final agreement will be reached. Yet the two main governments involved, Iran and the US, lately have seemed committed – if not desperate – to bring the talks to a successful conclusion. READ MORE

  4. The Ransom Dilemma

    Peter Singer

    The Ransom Dilemma


     explains why the US and the UK are right not to pay the Islamic State to release their nationals.

    Islamic state hell cannon Karam Almasri/ZumaPress

    The refusal to pay ransoms to terrorists can seem callous, but in truth it is the only ethical policy. Governments that pay ransoms to groups like the Islamic State are saving the lives of some of their citizens, but putting the remainder of their citizens – and others – at greater risk. READ MORE

  5. Let Russia Be Russia

    Shlomo Ben-Ami

    Let Russia Be Russia


     traces Vladimir Putin's foreign policy to the country's search for a distinct national identity.

    Russia ice fishing Thiago Pompeu/Flickr

    In 1947, George F. Kennan argued that the Soviet Union’s hostility toward the US was rooted in deep-seated nationalism and insecurity. The same could be said of the current conflict between Russia and the West: It is a collision between the West’s supposedly universal values and Russia’s quest for a distinct identity. READ MORE

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