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This Week’s Foreign Policy Must Reads

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A roundup of the most intelligent takes on global affairs this week

The Imam’s Curse New Yorker

This year, the Justice Department has filed material-support charges against at least fifty-seven defendants who are accused of allying with the Islamic State. The Khan-family case bore many hallmarks of America’s legal battle with terrorism, but counterterrorism officials rarely set out to capture what a prosecutor called “an entire family that has participated in extreme violence.” Rarer still does a case evolve in such a way that, once it’s over, the family tells its story.

Wonder what price will be paid by those who brought such a prosecution. If any.

Coming to America and Coming of Age – Wilson Quarterly

The night Nelson finally arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border, he and other immigrants crossed the Rio Grande in an inflatable raft. Within an hour, immigration authorities patrolling the border caught Nelson and took him into custody. After such a long journey, the kids were elated. “When immigration caught me, I was happy,” Nelson says. “I had suffered a lot in Mexico and with U.S. immigration I felt protected, like I was in a safe place. I felt like nothing would happen to me.”

It has never been easy to be an immigrant in America. And yet would-be emigrants keep coming. Their faith in America should inspire Americans to remember what their country represents for those seeking a better life.

Why Do So Many People Want So Little From the Agreement With Iran? – Foreign Policy

Having secured a landmark agreement rolling back Iran’s nuclear program, a bunch of influential people are now demanding the United States take a variety of steps whose avowed purpose and likely effect will be to keep U.S.-Iranian relations trapped in a spiral of suspicion, demonization, and counterproductive rivalry…Isn’t assuming the worst about Iran — something the United States has done for decades — just a self-fulfilling prophecy that guarantees we’ll get the minimum possible benefit from this agreement?

Washington’s biggest problem is that too many lawmakers care more about smart politics than smart policy. National security is the area where this kind of complacency is dumbest and most dangerous.

On Russia, Donald Trump’s Bluster is No Match for Putin – The New Republic

[Donald Trump’s] tough talk is perfect for reality television, but would earn him no respect from the Russians at the U.N. Security Council or at the G-8. Nor would it evoke fear in someone like Putin whose political adversaries end up dead instead of fired. Putin is the same man who, in 2002, invited a French journalist to Moscow to undergo a circumcision after he asked the president about the war in Chechnya during a press conference. Which is to say: Putin is a real life badass. Trump just plays one on television.

In public, Putin never speaks as loudly as Trump. He doesn’t have to.

Why the Best War Reporter in a Generation Had to Suddenly Stop – Esquire

The [New York Times] hired Chivers at age thirty-four in 1999 to cover war. That was the handshake, he says. A former Marine officer, he might know how to handle himself in a war zone, the paper figured… And what no one could have known was that the experience Chivers has had at war would be a mirror for the experience of the United States over the same period. Only for him, that experience—and its damaging effects—has been far more personal.

You don’t have to carry a weapon to feel the impact of PTSD. War affects the lives of a much wider range of people than many realize.

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