Michael Rubin
Michael Rubin
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Do Kurds Have Legal Recourse Against Barzanis?

November 12, 2015  •  The Pasewan

Kurdistan is in a crisis, largely of its own making. Salaries of its civil service are in deep arrears. Declining oil prices and the fight against the Islamic State are excuses but not the reason: After all, the Iraqi government faces the same challenges but still pays its salaries. Baghdad has delivered its 17 percent revenue obligation enshrined in the constitution, and is in no position to hide its money; after all, Iraq's finance minister is Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani's uncle, and Oil Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has a long and close relationship with the Kurds.

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9/11 and the road to the Iran nuclear deal

September 11, 2015  •  The Washington Examiner

On July 14, President Obama announced a nuclear deal with Iran, which he said justified his emphasis on diplomacy over military force to confront America's adversaries. "American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change -- change that makes our country, and the world, safer and more secure," he declared.

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Iran Chooses Guns Over Butter Every Time

August 31, 2015  •  Newsweek

When negotiations on the Joint Plan of Action began, the Iranian economy had just shrunk 5.4 percent.

Rather than utilize that leverage to win an agreement with favorable terms, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry sought to shower Tehran with incentives. With upwards of $100 billion in new investment now due in Tehran (even before Iran demonstrates its full compliance with the nuclear deal), Iranian authorities are starting their shopping spree, with a heavy emphasis on the military.

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Kurds Failing Representation Jeopardizes US Support

August 19, 2015  •  The Pasewan

Superficially, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)'s representation and influence in America has never been greater. After years of renting space in various office buildings, the KRG now has its own building less than two kilometers from the White House. Whereas once Kurds were largely forgotten in Washington, today a Kurdish Caucus in Congress counts nearly three dozen members. When I first visited Iraqi Kurdistan in September 2000, there were perhaps three non-Kurdish Americans in the area; today, that figure has increased by several orders of magnitude. Few who return from Kurdistan are not struck by the region's energy, the warmth of the Kurdish people, and empathy for the Kurdish narrative. Kurdistan enjoys huge sympathy in the United States.

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Why the Western Sahara Matters

Spring/Summer 2015  •  Journal of International Security Affairs

With the Middle East in chaos, it is understandable that few in Washington have time for the Western Sahara. After all, Syria has become the world's largest generator of refugees. Iraq continues to teeter on the brink of chaos, and both Yemen and Libya are mired in civil war. Iran is resurgent. Afghanistan's stability likely will not last long beyond the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The Islamic State has re-introduced a twisted, reactionary version of the Caliphate, replete with plunder, rape, and slavery, and Boko Haram, which has now taken over vast swathes of northern Nigeria and moved into Cameroon as well, isn't far behind in its brutality. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, meanwhile, operates across the Sahel from Algeria to Sudan.

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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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