The Trouble with Titles: On perspective and opinion

The Trouble with Titles, and other concerns about my @TimeIdeas / @TIME article: | Original:

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On Friday afternoon, I published an op-ed highlighting *some* of the challenges associated with international peacekeeping. Specifically, the piece tackled the unequal troop contributions when comparing the members of the U.N. Security Council (US, UK, Russia, China and France) and countries such as India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Philippines, Bangladesh and Fiji. Troops contributions from the…

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Qatar, a chief backer of rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, said it played a role in the release. The official Qatar News Agency reported that the tiny Arab Gulf emirate had “succeeded in the release of the Fijian soldiers” in response to a request from Fiji for its mediation.

– The important (and under-reported) role of Qatar. Yesterday, officials secured the release of 45 Fijian peacekeepers abducted by the Nursa Front in the Golan Heights on Aug 28. Previously, Qatari officials successfully negotiated with members of Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria, for the safe release of Peter Theo Curtis. Officials, in both instances, insisted no ransom was paid. Details, and a contextualized backstory, is sorely needed. 

Even a limited air campaign could play into an ISIS narrative that American infidels were intervening on behalf of apostate governments in Iraq and Syria.

– By MARK MAZZETTI, ERIC SCHMITT and MARK LANDLER for The New York Times. (Sept. 10, 2014)

(Source: The New York Times)

It’s a reminder that while the Obama administration struggles with a strategy to fight Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon has been carrying out pinprick strikes against terrorists across Africa for some time. In January, a U.S. attack killed a high-ranking al-Shabab intelligence officer. Last October, a vehicle carrying senior members of the group was hit in a U.S. strike that killed al-Shabab’s top explosives expert, according to AP.

– Stephanie Gaskell, for Defense One, on what the latest military strike in Somalia tells us about President Obama’s counterterrorism strategy in Africa.