Archive | Bryen_Shoshana

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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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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The Boris Johnson – Mahmoud Abbas feud

By Shoshana Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. –The naming of Boris Johnson as Britain’s Foreign Minister set off in his home country a storm of name-calling and hand-wringing that approximates the Democrat reaction to Donald Trump. Without wading into British politics, there is one specific incident that the Daily Mail called an impolitic “gaffe” that should be […]

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What is rationale for U.S. troops now abroad?

By Shoshana Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Obama administration has announced that it will not cut the U.S. troop deployment in Afghanistan to 5,000 as planned, but will leave 8,400 soldiers to support the Afghan government in its fight against the Taliban.  President Obama said, “Compared to the 100,000 troops we once had there, today, fewer […]

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U.S. instigated Israel’s defensive missile program

By Shoshana Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)–Congress has passed a $576 billion Defense Appropriations bill for 2016 with a wide and bipartisan majority: 282-138, according to Defense News. The Obama administration takes issue with various parts of the bill, including presenting a six-page memo specifically calling for the elimination of Congress’s allocation of $635 million […]

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Tap military reserves, not Silicon Valley, for cyber help

By Shoshana Bryen and Stephen Bryen WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the establishment of the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUX), Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is putting a lot of effort into building a relationship with Silicon Valley, hoping some — but not too much — of the region’s entrepreneurial, cutting-edge methods rub off on the […]

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