John Allen Is Not Getting Good Reviews

John Allen with the Egyptian Foreign Minister / AP

Retired Marine General John Allen is hard at work coordinating the Obama administration’s response to the Islamic State, and the early reviews are in. They are not positive.

Russian Arms Sales to Syria, Iran Add to Middle East Instability

AP

Putin’s Russia has revived its once flagging global arms sales business and is using those sales to revive its defense industrial base. Second to only the United States with about a 26 percent share of the global arms market—the United States has a 30 percent share—Russian arms sales in 2013 generated some 13 billion dollars for government coffers according to the pro-government Russia Today.

Al Qaeda Seizes Territory from Moderate Syrian Group

Al-Nusra Front fighters in Syria

BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) – Fighters linked to al Qaeda have seized territory from a moderate Syrian rebel group in a three-day campaign that has expanded their control into one of the few areas of northern Syria not held by hardline Islamists.

The Poison Tree

Arab protesters wave Islamic flags in front of the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel / AP

Last month, addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Benjamin Netanyahu made a connection between the Islamic State and Hamas. These terrorist entities, Netanyahu said, have a lot in common. Separated by geography, they nonetheless share ideology and tactics and goals: Islamism, terrorism, the destruction of Israel, and the establishment of a global caliphate.

And yet, Netanyahu observed, the very nations now campaigning against the Islamic State treated Hamas like a legitimate combatant during last summer’s Israel-Gaza war. “They evidently don’t understand,” he said, “that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.”