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As the Middle East and North Africa implode, perhaps focus should be directed on the end of World War I – and specifically the settlement fashioned by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and French Prime Minister George Clemenceau at Versailles in 1919 .The Syrian conflict has spilled into both Lebanon and Iraq, the latter virtually fragmented into three blocks with the Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the center and Shiites in the south.It is easy to imagine U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asking of his director of policy planning: What if the Versailles settlement continues to unravel? How can America pursue and protect its interests when states are increasingly weak while there is simultaneously an emergence of new authorities – like ISIS – without recognized states?Here are five ideas for planners in Washington to consider:First, as President Barack Obama announced on Sept. 10, ISIS must be degraded and ultimately defeated. Third, the United States, its friends and allies must support those states in the region that are under stress but can succeed as national entities, even if their birth is linked to the Versailles era.
A new Asian pipeline brings hope
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