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Backchannel: The Newsletter of FPRI

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

S. Abdallah SchleiferThis article, by FPRI Senior Fellow Abdallah Schleifer, is adapted from an essay that originally appeared in The American Muslim, August 25, 2014. Writing from Cairo, Schleifer is Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the American University in Cairo and founded AUC’s Kamal Adham Center for TV and Digital Journalism. He is a veteran American journalist who served as Cairo Bureau Chief for NBC News and as Washington Bureau Chief for Al Arabiya and is currently a regular columnist for Al Arabiya News.

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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.

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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.

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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. Read more...

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...

US Media Outreach to the Arab World: Reaching a Larger Audience More Effectively and for Less Money

This is a brief summary of remarks by FPRI Senior Fellow Joseph Braude in response to questions from Ron Granieri on the May 6, 2014 episode of the FPRI “show” Geopolitics with Granieri. The audio file of the full interview will be posted shortly on FPRI’s website. Braude, also a Senior Fellow at Dubai’s Al-Mesbar Center for Studies and Research, is currently at work on a book about Arabic media.

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FPRI Names John R. Haines Senior Fellow

John HainesPHILADELPHIA – The Foreign Policy Research Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of John R. Haines as a Senior Fellow. John R. Haines is a trustee of FPRI, where he is a member of its executive, finance, and nominating committees, and Executive Director of FPRI's Princeton Committee. An active investor and entrepreneur whose current efforts focus on nuclear smuggling and terrorism, in 2010 John co-founded, as Chief Executive Officer, Ionetix Corporation, to develop proprietary particle accelerator and fissile material detection technologies. Read more...

40 Teachers from 22 States to Study War More

FPRIOn April 26-27, 37 high school teachers (and 3 college faculty) from 22 states will assemble for a weekend-long professional development conference on America and Modern War. This is the 9th in a series of teacher conferences on topics in American military history jointly produced by the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the First Division Museum. Essays from the earlier conferences appear in an E-Book jointly published by FPRI and the First Division Museum: American Military History: A Resource for Teachers and Students. This event is also FPRI’s 50th weekend conference for teachers since it began sponsoring these programs in 1922 on topics in world and American history and international relations at venues in different parts of the country. Faculty from over 700 schools in 46 states have participated. Teachers are provided at no cost with room and board for the weekend, partial travel reimbursements, a stipend opportunity, and an intellectual feast they can never forget.

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