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Threat assessment

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacts during a news conference with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen after a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Thursday, July 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Tell me again -- why are we defending Germany?

- The Washington Times

The Trump administration has been pushing our European allies to take a bigger role in Syria in the final campaign to mop up the last vestiges of the once-vaunted Islamic State caliphate. France and the United Kingdom have agreed to step up (modestly) their military presence in Syria to replace the departing Americans, reportedly down to around 400 troops.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is welcomed at the Chigi palace by Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte, in Rome, Thursday, July 4, 2019. Putin emphasized historically strong ties with Italy during a one-day visit to Rome that included a meeting with Pope Francis. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Why Putin's pitch to Italy is attracting an audience

President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Rome, not to take in the sights but in an attempt to burnish the special relationship between the two countries. The clear subtext of Mr. Putin's trip was an attempt to widen the splits in the European Union over sanctions against the Kremlin for its aggressive behavior in Crimea, eastern Ukraine and elsewhere.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at Al Salam Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Monday, June 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

Saudi dissident: Kingdom's economy is faltering

We've spoken with Ali al-Ahmed from the Gulf Institute several times in the recent past and with tensions rising in the Middle East we thought it would be helpful to discuss the current positioning of Saudi Arabia in the Gulf, and surrounding area.

U.S. Navy patrol boats carrying journalists to see damaged oil tankers leaves a U.S. Navy 5th Fleet base near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. The limpet mines used to attack a Japanese-owned oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz bore "a striking resemblance" to similar mines displayed by Iran, a U.S. Navy explosives expert said Wednesday. Iran has denied being involved. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Iran resistance organizing global protests

With Iran in the news daily as tensions increase in the Persian Gulf over multiple tanker attacks, the Iranian resistance is raising the profile of their movement against the regime in Western capitals in Europe and the U.S.

Migrants wave as they disembark at Hay Wharf, Pieta, Malta, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. The 49 rescued migrants who were stranded at sea since last month were brought to Malta and then distributed among eight European Union countries. The deal, announced by Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, breaks a stalemate that began after 32 were rescued by a German aid group's vessel on Dec. 22. The other 17 were rescued on Dec. 29 by a different aid boat. Both Italy and Malta have refused to let private rescue ships bring migrants to their shores. (AP Photo/Rene Rossignaud)

Malta is punching above its weight

I sat down yesterday in New York City with Ian Borg, the minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects for the island nation of Malta. Mr. Borg was in the city for meetings and graciously offered his time to discuss serious issues affecting the Mediterranean, such as migration and organized crime.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with his Moldovan counterpart Igor Dodon during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (Maxim Shemetov/Pool Photo via AP) **FILE**

Putin not interested in fighting corruption in Moldova

For a media that has been obsessed with the narrative of Russian collusion in the U.S. for three years, and which has made Russian President Vladimir Putin out to be the Antichrist, it's interesting to see the Western press now spinning the narrative that the Kremlin in this case wants to "fight corruption" by backing the ACUM-Socialist coalition and allegedly '"does not want to interfere" in Moldova's affairs.

Kazakhstan's acting President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev arrives to attend the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting in Nur-Sultan, the capital city of Kazakhstan, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) **FILE**

An election in Kazakhstan could help a region advance

The Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan on Sunday will hold an early presidential election to choose the successor to Nursultan Nazarbayev, the country's one and only post-Cold War leader, who stepped down from power in March of this year. Despite the doubters out there, this is a historic opportunity for the Kazakh people and the region.

In this photo released by the Foreign Office, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, attends meeting with Pakistani officials at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, May 24, 2019. Zarif is in Pakistan Friday on a critically timed visit amid a crisis between Tehran and Washington and ahead of next week's emergency Arab League meeting called by Saudi Arabia as regional tensions escalate.(Pakistan Foreign Office via AP) **FILE**

Trump's full-court press puts the squeeze on Iran

- The Washington Times

The Trump administration has made the decision to push for regime change in Iran, whether U.S. officials want to admit it publicly or not. There is no "negotiating" with the mullahs in Tehran, even if multiple American presidents in recent history have attempted to do just that, with disastrous results.

FILE - In this March 19, 1987 file photo, President Ronald Reagan taps his forehead at the White House while responding to a reporter's question during a news conference at which he said he never deliberately lied to the public, despite admitting to a misstatement about Israeli involvement in the Iran-Contra affair. In a 1986 radio address admitting to missteps in the Iran-Contra scandal, the president famously said "mistakes were made" - a passive acknowledgement of wrongdoing that didn't directly implicate anyone. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File)

Feels like Reagan

I was 16 when Ronald Reagan came into office. I was on the cusp of becoming politically aware, and interested in international affairs. Although I couldn't really explain why at that young age, I instinctively knew I was experiencing something really special living through the Reagan presidency.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., and his vice presidential running mate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., appear together Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008, in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Obama was Islam's Manchurian candidate, Biden is China's

We've written extensively here about the absolute corruption and dual loyalties of the Obama administration. Our main point has been that to analyze Barack Obama's record, you cannot listen to his eloquent words, but have to discern the malign consequences of his actions, an Islamic caliphate flourishing in the Middle East being in the forefront.

This March 27, 2019, file photo, shows the European Parliament during a plenary session in Strasbourg, eastern France. The Parliament discusses the conclusions of the 21-22 March EU summit, including Brexit, with European Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias, File)

Freeports or free crime?

How tax-exempt warehouses contribute to some EUR800 billion laundered each year globally and why they are a threat to our national security.

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