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Civilians pay with their lives for America's "global war doctrine"

A drone firing a missilePerhaps understandably, the US is secretive about its drone programme. But over the last decade, thousands of unmanned drones have been deployed in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia as part of America's covert war on terror. The US claims that these strikes allow them to eliminate the top tier of leadership of terrorist groups, and that civilian deaths are minimal. Campaigners argue that large numbers of innocent people are being killed, and that the programme is in violation of international law.


America and Iran revisited

Obama and RouhaniThe private phone call from the US president to his Iranian counterpart as the latter left American soil, in which Obama apologised for the New York traffic, was interesting. Even more interesting was that it was announced by the Americans after, of course, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was told first.


The Syrian crisis and American decline (by choice)

Kilic Bugra KanatRobert Kagan's last book, The World America Made, starts with a hypothetical question about the international system. Referring to Frank Capra's classic film, "It's a Wonderful Life," in which protagonist George Bailey gets a chance to see a world that he was not born into, Kagan asks readers to imagine what the world might look like if America were to decline as many have predicted. Since the use of chemical weapons in Syria on 21 August, this question is no longer hypothetical. We are already experiencing a US decline, in terms of influence and credibility around the globe, by choice.


America and Iran in Syria

Sayyid Hossain MossayanAfter US President Barack Obama agreed upon an international initiative to control the inventory of chemical weapons in Syria, the prospects for a US military strike against Syria have diminished. The campaign for military action took a last-minute turn in the opposite direction due to intense diplomatic pressure from the international community to avoid the escalation of violence in Syria. This outcome could not have been possible without Iran.


The chemical deal to save the president

John KerryWas it a slip of the tongue when Kerry asked the Syrian regime to hand over its chemical weapons if it wanted to avoid a military strike, or was it a deliberate move arranged with the Russians? There is no clear answer here, since Kerry's certainty that the regime would not hand over the weapons when he presented the offer suggests that it may have just been a slip of the tongue. This is what a senior official in the US State Department told Reuters, and yet the State Department's welcoming of the regime's official position indicates otherwise. The contradictory statements may reflect the confusion experienced by US diplomats regarding the entire case.