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Showing posts from November 27, 2013

Overplaying Its Hand, Israel Still Holds Plenty of U.S. Cards

By Norman Solomon and Abba A. Solomon

November 27, 2013 - More than ever, Israel is isolated from world opinion and the squishy entity known as “the international community.” The Israeli government keeps condemning the Iran nuclear deal, by any rational standard a positive step away from the threat of catastrophic war.

In the short run, the belligerent responses from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are bound to play badly in most of the U.S. media. But Netanyahu and the forces he represents have only begun to fight. They want war on Iran, and they are determined to exercise their political muscle that has long extended through most of the Washington establishment.

While it’s unlikely that such muscle can undo the initial six-month nuclear deal reached with Iran last weekend, efforts are already underway to damage and destroy the negotiations down the road. On Capitol Hill the attacks are most intense from Republicans, and some leading Democrats have also sniped at the agreement reached…

French Deployment in the Central African Republic

The French government said Nov. 26 that it would deploy about 1,000 troops to the Central African Republic, where the government and African peacekeeping forces have failed to put an end to insecurity. The land-locked African nation has been racked by violence since current President Michel Djotodia's rise to power through a rebellion in March. After the Seleka alliance of rebels brought Djotodia to power, he disbanded the alliance, but his lack of control over the rebels and the limited capabilities of the country's security forces have meant that he has been unable to control the spread of local militias or quell continuing violence against civilians.

At the moment, 410 French soldiers are already in the country guarding the airport and French interests as well as providing logistical support for the 2,500 African peacekeeping forces from Cameroon, Chad, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo deployed there. However, the African peacekeepers operate mainly in the capital, Bangui…

France Increases Its Involvement in the Central African Republic

Security forces of the Central African Republic patrol in the capital, Bangui, on Nov. 22. (PACOME PABANDJI/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


The deployment of French troops to the Central African Republic brings Paris to a new level of commitment in the conflict, where it had previously limited its presence to protecting French interests and providing logistical support to African peacekeepers. The French government said Nov. 26 that it would deploy about 1,000 troops to the landlocked African nation, where the government and African peacekeeping forces have failed to put an end to insecurity. However, the French forces will likely avoid direct engagement with the remaining rebel forces in the country.

Analysis


The Central African Republic has been racked by violence since current President Michel Djotodia's rise to power through a rebellion in March. After the Seleka alliance of rebels brought Djotodia to power, he disbanded the alliance, but his lack of control over the rebels and the l…