Archive | Bryen_Shoshana

Punishment as a foreign policy tool

By Shoshana Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. — The goal of American foreign policy should be to make our friends more secure and our adversaries less secure. The balance of countries then have to decide how they want to position themselves. A successful policy will have tactical goals that fit into a larger strategic picture. The American […]

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Op-Ed: Syria’s use of chemical weapons defied Russia

  By Shoshana Bryen and Stephen Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. — It is hard to explain why Bashar Assad used nerve gas — probably Sarin — in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s northern Idlib province. On the surface, at least, it would seem to be a totally counterproductive and reckless move likely to anger the […]

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U.S. should take note of tumult in Russia

By Shoshana Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. — For all the hyperbole in Washington about Russian hacking, Russian disinformation, Russian influence, and Russian espionage, the really remarkable events in Russia over the weekend appear barely to have registered. One hundred years after the assassination of the last Czar, and two-and-a-half decades after the fall of the communist […]

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Two states? One state? How about a federation?

By Shoshana Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. — The so-called “two-state solution,” to subdivide the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea between independent Israel and independent Palestine, fails the tests of logic and history. And it ignores the Kingdom of Jordan – whose participation is required for any stable, long-term arrangement. There are presently three […]

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Arab – Israeli relations due for a reset

By Shoshana Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. — The optics, certainly, were fine. It was good to see an American president and an Israeli prime minister standing together on the podium with what appeared to be genuine good will. Most important, and promising for the future, perhaps, was how they dealt with the “two state solution” mantra. There […]

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Some policy suggestions for President Trump

By Shoshana Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. -The Trump White House continues to receive advice – solicited and unsolicited, in letters to the editor, op-eds, essays, and policy papers – as to what its foreign policy priorities should be.  It is tempting to presume that problems called “priorities” can be resolved with just a little more savvy […]

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Who are the refugees Australia doesn’t want?

The Manus Island regional processing facility, where Australia sends illegal immigrants. (Photo: Australia Department of Immigration and Citizenship) By Shoshana Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. — It is hard to complain about Australia — democratic, sunny, cheerful, and oh, those koalas and kangaroos. On a more serious note, Australia is a welcome ally, participating in military operations around […]

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What Trump, Friedman may auger for Israel, Palestine

By Shoshana Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. — President-elect Trump’s choice of David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel appears to be an excellent decision. It has already brought howls of protest from people invested heavily in the Oslo and subsequent accords, the “peace process” and the concept of the United States as an “evenhanded” broker between Israelis […]

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Posted in Bryen_Shoshana, Middle East, USA

Bad decisions sometimes have silver linings

By Shoshana Bryen and Stephen Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sometimes when decisions do not work out exactly as intended, they work out just fine. In the midst of Operation Protective Edge — Israel’s response to 182 Hamas rockets and mortars fired at Israeli towns and villages in the first week of July 2014 — the […]

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Time to turn around the naval situation with Iran

By Shoshana Bryen and Stephen Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. _- On April 24, 2004 the USS Firebolt, a Cyclone-class coastal patrol boat in the Persian Gulf, launched a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RIB) when its crew observed a dhow — a traditional boat, in this case likely owned by Iran — fast approaching the Al Amaya oil […]

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Bombing Hasakah

By Shoshana Bryen and Stephen Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, two Syrian government Su-24 airplanes bombed the Kurdish-held areas of the city of Hasakah. The attack was unexpected. The Kurds have operated semi-autonomously in Syria because their pressure on ISIS has been helpful to Damascus, and because the Kurdish agenda has been primarily regional […]

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The U.S. must decide its policy in Syria

By Shoshana Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. — Russian warplanes took off this week from Iran to hit targets in Syria. Russia has used Iranian bases for refueling and resupply in the past, but this is its first bombing mission from the Islamic Republic — it is also the first foreign military operation to take place from Iranian soil […]

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U.S. – Israel MOU is unbalanced

By Shoshana Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. –A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is an agreement between two parties — in this case, the governments of Israel and the United States. It is less than a treaty, more than a handshake. The first MOU was signed in 1981, recognizing “the common bonds of friendship between the United States […]

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Iran seizes Western hostages, yet wants cooperation

By Shoshana Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. — Let’s not waste time. At the direction of President Obama, the United States of America gave $400 million to Iran – it was Iran’s money, after all, Obama said. In an unrelated move, Iran released four American hostages: a newspaper reporter, a former Marine, a Christian pastor, and a […]

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Posted in Bryen_Shoshana, International, Middle East, USA

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