As of early March 2012, Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was solidifying both his personal and office's control over Iranian politics, at the expense of current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the office of the presidency as a whole. This most recent reorientation of power around his office, seen most clearly in the preliminary results of the 02 March 2012 parliamentary elections in which loyalists to Khamenei dominated over those who identified with Ahmadinejad, should be viewed as a continuation of a characteristic of Khamenei that dates from the 1980s, a characteristic that has a profound effect on on-going and future efforts by Western governments to deal with Iran...
Violence and tragedy have been part of the sport of soccer for decades, as seemingly inescapable as it is unfortunate. Whether it involves stampeding crowds that literally crush fellow fans underfoot in South America or the brazen hooliganism commonly seen in Western Europe, violence has arguably become an intractable element of the sport over the last fifty years. Other sporting events around the world have experienced a similar escalation in violence, both in frequency and in ferocity. In sum, fan violence has literally become an epidemic problem for all sports on a global level.
There are two strategic - and interconnected - drivers that define the trajectory of Chinese policy: energy security and unemployment. China's economy now consumes more oil than either Europe or the U.S., and 50% of that oil is imported from the Middle East and North Africa (by comparison, the U.S. imports 25% of its current requirements). If crude oil stays at or near its current price levels, then China will be spending more on oil than it earns in export revenues to the U.S., a turn of events that could force higher levels of unemployment and social discontent...
Intelligence indicates that Al-Qa'ida (AQ) may be trying to establish itself in the North Sinai, a governorate of Egypt located in the northern portion of the Sinai Peninsula, from where it might seek to exploit the fragility of internal politics in Egypt and, in doing so, destabilize the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty...
Nation-building has become a major geopolitical undertaking, one vigorously pursued by Western governments and the United Nations as an instrument of statecraft. Specifically, nation-building refers to the employment of military forces as an integral component of a strategic-level effort to build economic capabilities, develop political institutions (primarily those that support the democratic process), and fostering a more peaceful climate that would make these other aims possible...