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Argentina Looking to Cement Its Role as Nuclear Power

By The Editors
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Argentina signed a nuclear energy deal with Russia last week, the latest step in Argentina’s push to expand its nuclear industry. Irma Arguello, chair of the NPSGlobal Foundation, discussed Argentina’s nuclear energy policy in an email interview. more

Why the Republic of Congo Has Sent Tens of Thousands of Migrants Back to DRC

By David Klion
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Over 130,000 migrants from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been deported from or otherwise driven out of the neighboring Republic of Congo since April. The U.N. has declared these expulsions “an acute humanitarian crisis.” The deportations have shocked many observers, some of whom attribute the crackdown to the political needs of President Denis Sassou Nguesso, the strong man in Brazzaville. more

With Negotiations Extended, U.S. Ponders Future of Iran Sanctions

By Eric Auner
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The extension of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 countries includes allowing Iran to access $2.8 billion of its restricted assets. That has many in Washington debating the effect of previous sanctions relief and whether threatening or imposing future sanctions would improve the U.S. hand in negotiations. But analysis is mixed over the extent to which this relief has boosted Iran’s economy. more

Downing of MH17 in Eastern Ukraine Underscores Risks of Arming Syrian Rebels

By David Klion
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In the downing of a Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine, all signs point to a surface-to-air missile launched by rebels who have been armed by Russia. There are sobering lessons here for the U.S. Part of the Obama administration’s hesitation to arm Syrian rebels was the fear that they would be unaccountable. If atrocities or accidents were committed with American weapons, the fallout could be disastrous. more

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Diverse Shiite Militias Highlight Iraq Division

By The Editors
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Since the Sunni militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took control of Mosul last month, Iraq has also seen an increase in clashes between Shiite militias and Iraqi security forces. In an email interview, Phillip Smyth, a researcher at the University of Maryland, discussed the growing threat of Shiite militias in Iraq. more

Migrant or Refugee? U.N. Joins Tense U.S. Immigration Debate

By Eric Auner
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The rapid influx of migrants from Central America, many of them children, into the United States from Mexico has created political and logistical turmoil in Washington. The United Nations and others have pushed for the United States to treat at least some of these children as refugees, given that many are fleeing violence and deprivation back home. That could have a major impact on U.S. immigration policy. more

Global Insider

West African Ebola Outbreak Shows Difficulty of Coordinating Effective Response

By The Editors
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An ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, already the deadliest in the history of the disease, continues to spread, with 964 confirmed cases and 603 deaths. In an email interview, Jeremy Youde, associate professor of political science at the University of Minnesota Duluth, discussed the international response to the disease, led by the World Health Organization, in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. more

In Iraq, Gulf Countries Must Confront ISIS Threat and Their Own Policies

By Frederick Deknatel
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In early July, Saudi Arabia moved 30,000 troops to its northern border with Iraq, apparently steeling itself against the advance of ISIS, which now calls itself the Islamic State. To many observers, it was a sign of Saudi Arabia reaping what it had sown. Private financial support to jihadi groups in Syria such as ISIS and others has been widely reported during Syria’s civil war, including from Saudi sources. more

Symbiotic Germany-China Relations Risk Becoming Dependency

By Maria Savel
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in China last week, her seventh official trip to China since she took office in 2005, underscoring the growing importance of Berlin’s special relationship with Beijing. All signs indicate that symbiotic Germany-China relations will continue. However, Germany seems aware of potential cracks in their relationship—from human rights concerns to the risk of economic dependency. more

The Pentagon’s New Idea for Streamlining Defense Spending

By Eric Auner
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The high cost of major military programs is a source of headaches as the Obama administration struggles to balance the books. Successive administrations and Congresses have tackled the ways in which the U.S. military buys things, often with little effect. Yesterday the Pentagon made the case to Congress for a different approach: empowering the people who actually purchase weapons and equipment for the military. more