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Flag of the Islamic State, cc GlobalPanorama

Briefing: The Battle for Kobane Patrick Johnson

The Syrian town of Kobane, also known as Ain-al-Arab, has been the site of fierce fighting between Syrian Kurds and Islamic State (ISIS) for over three weeks. Some have even come to see it as a crucible for President Obama’s military strategy, arguing that if ISIS can still make territorial gains despite US air strikes, the chances for total victory over Islamic State are pretty bleak.

Enduring Freedom CC US Army

A Brief History of Afghanistan Parviz Azizi

Despite NATO’s twelve-year effort to establish a stable and prosperous Afghanistan, the country remains fragile, and Taliban militia groups are still capable of launching major attacks against key strategic regions in Kabul and other major Afghan cities.

Iraq Flag CC Nicolas Raymond

Iraq: Divided They Prosper Felix Imonti

While it’s expected that it will be the Kurds who separate from Iraq, the real beneficiaries from a break-up of the country would be the Shia. They’re the ones who control 80 percent of the country’s oil wealth, and they would prefer not to share it with hostile neighbors.

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