The RAND Blog

August 2008

  • commentary

    Too Soon to Judge the Surge

    Most of the units involved in the surge have been withdrawn from Iraq, and troop levels are about what they were before the surge was announced. And if General Petraeus recommends, further troop cuts may be adopted this fall. The key question is whether levels of violence will remain low once those troops are gone.

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    Aug 29, 2008

    San Diego Union-Tribune

    Nora Bensahel

  • Georgia (country)


    Georgia: Breakdown of Vision the West Had for a New Europe

    Since the Russian Federation sent tanks, troops, and planes slicing into Georgia, commentators have reached for a variety of historic parallels.... None of these supposed parallels catches the current situation.

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    Aug 28, 2008

    European Affairs

    Robert E. Hunter

  • Political Reform Movements


    Kosovo and South Ossetia More Different Than Similar

    The Russian government has long highlighted the similarities between Kosovo and South Ossetia.... The two situations, however, while similar on some points, are fundamentally different where it matters: in their implications for the future of international relations, writes Olga Oliker.

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    Aug 25, 2008, the website of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

    Olga Oliker

  • commentary

    Change Choices, Not Conversation

    Too often we talk only about the ongoing challenges facing education, health care, transportation and economic development across the Gulf South — Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.... We need to determine new ways to work together across state lines to focus on solutions that will benefit the entire region, writes Melissa Flournoy.

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    Aug 24, 2008

    Monroe (LA) News Star

    Melissa Flournoy

  • Turkey


    Turkey's Second Chance

    The recent decision by the Turkish Constitutional Court not to close the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) helped Turkey - and especially Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan - narrowly dodge a dangerous political bullet, writes F. Stephen Larrabee.

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    Aug 24, 2008

    Washington Times

    F. Stephen Larrabee

  • Terrorism Threat Assessment


    Probing Why Women Kill in Iraq

    A significant emphasis has been placed on female suicide bombers' tactical success, and efforts to determine why they kill focus on al-Qaida's recruitment of women. But little attention is paid to the personal motivation women have for killing themselves and dozens of innocents around them, writes Farhana Ali.

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    Aug 7, 2008

    Middle East Times

    Farhana Ali

  • Counterterrorism


    Stop the 'War' on Terror: Calling It a 'War' Is a Boon to Terrorist Recruiters

    Military might against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups isn't working – and no wonder. After studying the record of 648 terrorist groups between 1968 and 2006, we've found that military force has rarely been effective in defeating this enemy, write Seth Jones and Martin C. Libicki.

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    Aug 6, 2008

    Christian Science Monitor

    Seth G. Jones, Martin C. Libicki