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Backchannel: The Newsletter of FPRI

Presenting the Fall 2014 Issue of Orbis

By Mackubin T. Owens

Mac Owens is Editor of Orbis, FPRI's quarterly journal of international affairs, and Senior Fellow in our Program on National Security. Orbis is published for the Foreign Policy Research Institute by Elsevier. For subscription or other information, visit:


FPRI Surpasses Brookings -- On Facebook

PHILADELPHIA--Earlier today, FPRI (budget of $1.7 Million) surpassed the Brookings Institution (budget of $93 Million) in terms of numbers of Fans on Facebook:

Brookings: 115,502
FPRI: 115,560 

Another meaningful indicator measures level of engagement (Facebook calls it "people talking about this"): the number of people liking, sharing, or commenting on the institution's page in the past week:


James Foley and the Battle for the Soul of the Arab and Muslim Worlds

As an American Muslim and as a journalist, I am more than appalled by the murder of James Foley and the murder video. If I were King of Whatever/Wherever,  I would go to war—to wipe out these IS perverts -- perverters not just of Islam but of all the decencies known to all men/women of all the traditional faiths and to all men/women of just simple decent feelings.


FPRI Reaches New Milestone on Facebook: 100,000 Fans

On August 18, 2014, the Foreign Policy Research Institute reached a new milestone on Facebook, getting its 100,000th "fan" or "like." This is up from 48,000 fans at the beginning of the year, and up from 2,000 fans at the beginning of 2013.

Interestingly, we have more fans in India than we do in the United States, according to data provided by Facebook, and more in Cairo, Karachi, and Kabul than in Washington DC.


Presenting the Summer 2014 Issue of Orbis

OrbisIn the lead article of our summer issue of Orbis, Kori Schake of the Hoover Institution, a former high-level staffer at both the Pentagon and State Department during the George W. Bush administration, takes the executive branch, Congress, and the U.S. military all to task for failing to align policy, strategy, and resources. She contends that we are “playing a strong hand poorly,” while “self-indulgently consoling ourselves with the [patently false] refrain that no one has ever had it as difficult as we.” She refutes this claim by contrasting today’s defense debate with the one that took place during the Eisenhower Administration, concluding that the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, unlike the Basic National Security Policy (BNSP) review of 1954, did not truly address the challenges the United States faces and how to reorient our forces to address them. Read more...

Michael Hayden to Keynote FPRI's Annual Dinner and Receive 10th Annual Benjamin Franklin Award

Michael Hayden

The Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) is proud to announce that Gen. (Ret.) Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA and NSA, will receive the 10th Annual Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Service at the organization’s 2014 Annual Dinner. General Hayden will also deliver the keynote address at the event, which will be held in Philadelphia on Wednesday, November 19, 2014.


Iraq: Our Share of the Blame and What To Do Now

Andrew GarfieldDuring the past week, we have circulated articles on the mess in Iraq by two FPRI scholars, Barak Mendelsohn in Foreign Affairs and on CNN and Michael Noonan in US News and World Report. Here is a response by FPRI Senior Fellow Andrew Garfield. I have enjoyed reading the articles on Iraq that you have been sending out over the last few days. They are thoughtful and I can agree with much of what the FPRI scholars say, certainly far more than what is available in the mainstream media, whose analysis seems to devolve along partisan political lines: either it’s all Bush’s fault or it’s all Obama’s fault. There are two important things that are missed here. Obama does share the blame and this situation cannot be improved by helping Maliki and his Iranian allies to recapture the country and crush the Sunni. Read more...

Teaching About Israel and Palestine

Secondary school teachers, curriculum supervisors, and junior college faculty are invited to apply for participation in our next history weekend. Perhaps one of the more polarizing subjects in academia, the Israel-Palestine conflict is a difficult issue for teachers to teach, shrouded as it is in myths, calumnies, and mis-apprehensions. In this weekend-long program, FPRI’s Butcher History Institute offers diverse scholarly perspectives on the historical roots of the conflict and the possible solutions, while grappling with the complexities of teaching the subject.


FPRI Names Paul J. Springer Senior Fellow

Paul SpringerPHILADELPHIA – The Foreign Policy Research Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Paul J. Springer as a Senior Fellow. Springer is an associate professor of comparative military history at the Air Command and Staff College, located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, where he teaches courses on leadership, strategy, terrorism, and military history. He is the author of America’s Captives (University Press of Kansas, 2010); Military Robots and Drones (ABC-Clio, 2013); Transforming Civil War Prisons: Lincoln, Lieber, and the Laws of War (Routledge, 2014); and America’s Wars: A Military History of the United States, 1500-Present (Naval Institute Press, forthcoming 2015). He is the series editor of Transforming War and The History of Military Aviation, both with the Naval Institute Press. Read more...