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What matters now. A publication from Medium about politics, power, and culture.

Iran

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Allegations Iran accidentally shot down a Ukrainian jet will limit Iran’s response to the Soleimani assassination — but only temporarily

Photo: Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images


Oversight

The Trump administration is yet again trying to start a major war based on lies. It needs to be stopped.

The funeral procession of IRGC Quds Force commander Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s PMU second-in-command Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Tehran, Iran, on January 6, 2020. Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images


It’s a time-honored trick for desperate presidents, but it won’t work this time

Donald Trump making a statement on Iran at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on January 3, 2020. Photo: Jim Watson/Getty Images


Freakonomics Radio

Do economic sanctions work? Are big democracies any good at spreading democracy? What is the root cause of terrorism? It turns out that data analysis can help answer all these questions — and make better foreign-policy decisions.

U.S. Army 11th Engineers move into position ahead of a possible military strike near Kuwait-Iraq border on March 18, 2003.
U.S. Army 11th Engineers move into position ahead of a possible military strike near Kuwait-Iraq border on March 18, 2003.
Photo: Scott Nelson/Getty


Trump says he’s constitutionally allowed to pressure foreign countries to do his bidding. He’s misreading our laws.

A protestor holds a sign that says “Trump is NOT above the law.”
A protestor holds a sign that says “Trump is NOT above the law.”
Protester holding a sign reading: “TRUMP IS NOT ABOVE THE LAW.” Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket/Getty Images


Despite billions in U.S. arms sales and training arrangements, the Saudi military appears incapable of protecting its own oil infrastructure

Credit: Fayez Nureldine/Getty Images


With the U.K. already engulfed in its own Brexit crisis, it’s unlikely Johnson has any desire to stake his reputation on a conflict with Iran

Credit: NurPhoto/Getty Images


Intelligence officials say U.S. claims about Iranian hostility are misleading

Credit: NurPhoto/Getty Images


Iran just breached its uranium stockpile limit; should the U.S. respond, it’ll be hard-pressed to muster support from its European allies

A reactor building at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant in Bushehr, southern Iran. The plant is likely to begin electricity production in a month. Photo: Iran International Photo Agency via Getty


In going to war with Tehran, the U.S. would face a military far superior to anything it’s faced since the Vietnam War

Iranian protesters demonstrate outside the former U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 2018. Photo: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

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