17-23 March 2019
1. Iran’s Furtive Occupation of Iraq’s Christian Communities
Lela Gilbert of the Hudson Institute writes about the future of Christian minorities in Iraq. The genocide by ISIS in August of 2014 left many small Christian cities in ruins, with their citizens driven to refugee camps with nothing but the clothes on their back. As the Christians begin to rebuild their lives, Iranian influence in the regions where they reside is threatening their lives again. Ruhollah Khomeini uses his influence to spread fear into the Christian communities by compelling young religious supporters to carry out intimidation tactics. If Iran is allowed to freely terrorize these communities, many Christians all across the Middle East could be at risk.
2. The Gulf’s eastward turn: The logic of Gulf-China economic ties
American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Karen Young reports on the relationship between the Gulf states and China. The economic and political ties between these nations relate largely to a shared vision of how to expand influence and power. China gives monetary aid in the form of loans to poorer nations for infrastructure and other domestic investments with the stipulation that they can expand their presence overseas. The relationships, though seemingly mutually beneficial, can quickly turn sour if China leverages predatory tactics to default the loans and steal key places like ports or military bases. China and the Gulf states both believe in state-controlled economic dominance, using state-owned enterprises to support financial institutions. The United States should do everything it can to prevent these relationships from granting too much power to China.http://www.aei.org/publication/the-gulfs-eastward-turn-the-logic-of-gulf-china-economic-ties/
3. When Democrats surrender to Kim Jong-un
PAI’s Dr. Peter Pry writes about the looming threat of a nuclear armed North Korea. Several Obama administration officials including Susan Rice and James Clapper have claimed that the United States needs to accept a Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) relationship with North Korea. This approach leaves Kim Jong-Un with the ability to destroy major US assets long before a response could be assessed and carried out. The rationale for this approach stems from the Cold War and the Soviet Union, in which MAD tactics worked. The major difference is that the Soviet Union could be trusted as a rational actor. North Korea’s international actions frequently leaves experts wondering about their rationality. The US cannot risk allowing North Korea to possess nuclear weapons and putting millions of American citizens at risk.
4. Technology Is Making Terrorists More Effective — And Harder To Thwart
American Foreign Policy Council Vice President Ilan Berman reports on the newest technological advances exploited by terrorist organizations across the globe. Cyberspace, communications, automation, and drone usage are just some fields being expanded into by groups like ISIS and Al Shabaab. The United States and its allies will continually be forced to deal with these issues. The Global War on Terror is shifting to new environments, requiring new tactics in order to effectively combat radical groups.