Michael Rubin
Michael Rubin
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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America's 'Insane' Iran Approach

June 26, 2015  •  The National Interest

In March 2003, senior U.S. diplomats flew to Geneva to meet with Iran's then UN ambassador (now foreign minister) Mohammad Javad Zarif. Their agenda was straight forward: Win Iran's pledge not to interfere in Iraq. Zarif readily agreed. Two weeks later, Operation Iraqi Freedom began. Two thousand Iranian-trained militiamen flooded into Iraq and, over subsequent years, Iranian weaponry or proxies murdered hundreds of Americans. Zarif either lied outright or exaggerated his ability to make firm commitments to which all Iranians would adhere.

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Why ISIS's grip on ancient Syrian city spells doom for Middle East

May 22, 2015  •  New York Post

The battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) has been a tale of one step forward, two steps back.

Iraqi forces may have recaptured Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, and Syrian Kurds may have rebuffed ISIS at Kobane, but the loss of Palmyra will resonate for several reasons.

First, there's the strategic angle. Palmyra sits at a key crossroads linking the Syrian capital, Damascus, to the east of the country. If ISIS controls Palmyra, it has effectively cut eastern Syria off from the capital. Imagine trying to drive from New York to Boston on I-95, for example, if terrorists controlled New Haven.

Then there's the counterterrorism angle.

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Why rogue regimes take hostages

April 2, 2015  •  CNN

On Thursday, President Barack Obama revealed that a U.S. drone strike had killed Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto, two aid workers held hostage on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Al Qaeda had sought to trade the two for prisoners held by the United States and an end to drone strikes. But it is not only terrorist groups that try to reap reward from the taking of hostages -- take the case of Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post's Tehran bureau chief.

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The Danger of Negotiating with Iran

March 9, 2015  •  Washington Free Beacon

As a candidate for president, Barack Obama made diplomacy with rogue regimes a signature issue. "The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them…is ridiculous," he declared in 2007. In both his inaugural address and his first television interview as president, he reached out to the Islamic Republic of Iran. "If countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us," he told Al-Arabiya. In the six years since, whether firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or reformer-by-comparison Hassan Rouhani held the Iranian presidency, Obama has been so committed to a deal on Iran's illicit nuclear program that he hasn't let anything stand in his way—Congress, allies, or even facts.

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New SecDef Must Address Eastern Mediterranean

January 2, 2015  •  Commentary

Ashton Carter, President Obama's nominee to be defense secretary, is expected to cruise through his confirmation hearings early this year. Unlike the controversial and inarticulate Chuck Hagel, apparently chosen because Obama felt camaraderie with him on a congressional trip and wanted to poke his opponents, Carter has broad bipartisan respect and clear mastery of the issues at hand. This is important not only because of the Pentagon's budget crunch—cutbacks exacerbated by the inflexible mechanism of sequestration—but also because of the rise of new challenges the world over.

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Books by Michael Rubin

Cover of Dancing with the Devil Cover of Eternal Iran Cover of Into the Shadows

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