The humanitarian crisis caused by the Syrian civil war is worsening. Estimates say that the number of refugees fleeing the conflict will double in the next year, amounting to over 1 million. In light of these estimates, the UN has appealed for an additional $1.5 billion in aid. Turkey has hosted the most refugees since the conflict began, but more Syrians are starting to spill over into Lebanon and Jordan. The UN Secretary General has for the first time publicly called on Israel to accept Syrian refugees as well. The estimates come as new waves of violence hit Damascus. Over 40,000 have been killed since the conflict began two years ago.
A “damning report” on the US Embassy attack in Benghazi in September of this year has led three officials to resign from the State Department. The report cites “confusion, lack of transparency and inadequate leadership at senior levels” as dominate factors in the tragic events of that day, which left the US Ambassador and three others dead. The report has given a clearer view of the events as they happened and has discounted the claim that the attack was spurred or in some way influenced by Cairo protests against an anti-Muslim film. Overall the report pointed to ‘ “systematic failures” of leadership and “grossly inadequate” security’ as the main reasons behind the failure to protect embassy staff from harm.
Nuclear: At Julian Borger’s Global Security Blog
Guest authors Christopher Hobbs and Matthew Moran (both of the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London) take on the “proliferation begets proliferation” concept, probing whether a nuclear Iran would really set off an arms race in the Middle East. Their answer is no. They point to the example in North East Asia, where North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has not set off a regional arms race. Back in the Middle East, they make mention of Israel’s nuclear arsenal and how forty years after the country first acquired nuclear weapons, it remains the only country in the region to have them. Hobbs and Moran swap the “proliferation begets proliferation” adage with the nuclear restraint regional countries have shown in the past and will continue to show even if Iran gets the bomb.