Arab leaders openly feuded over the region's most intractable problems at their annual summit on Tuesday, particularly the inability to resolve Syria's civil war and anger at Qatar for its support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Imagine if you’d heard all your life that your relatives were musicians, then one day you find out your grandfather and his brother were, say, Simon and Garfunkel.

Say that you work for a private security company (PSC) and most people think one of two things: Either you are a mall cop. Or you work for Blackwater, the infamous private security firm, and you go around shooting people.


noun \mr-s-ner-ē, -ne-rē\

: a soldier who is paid by a foreign country to fight in its army : a soldier who will fight for any group or country that hires him (Merriam-Webster)

Sitting on some of the world's largest untapped oil and natural gas reserves, the region is experiencing a surge in investment and construction. Five-star hotels are dotting the skyline and luxury condo complexes with names like "American village" are opening on the outskirts of the city.

January 9, 2014

With the fog of war not yet lifted, the news out of Iraq's Anbar province remains ambiguous. What little we can see, however, does not look good. Al Qaeda in Iraq -- along with significant elements of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) -- has been able to take over government buildings in Ramadi, Fallujah, and Karmah. In response, government forces have amassed outside these cities and are preparing for an operation that could reverberate in Iraq's nascent democracy long into the future.

While bombings in Baghdad killed at least 34 people Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said America would help Iraq battle the al Qaeda militants that overtaken two of the nation’s western cities — but emphasized that the fight belonged to them. Kerry said that the U.S. was concerned over the mounting violence in the Anbar province, where al Qaeda militants have overtaken the capital city of Ramadi as well as Fallujah, USA Today reports. But he cautioned that intervention was not an option.

The U.S. may continue to support the Iraqi fight against Al Qaeda insurgents, but not with manpower, John Kerry said Sunday. After Islamist militants linked to Al Qaeda took control of the two major cities in the Sunni Muslim-dominated province of Anbar, the Secretary of State told reporters in Jerusalem that while the Shi'ite-led government would have America's support, there was no question of American troops returning to Iraq.