Thursday, July 13, 2006

Notes on Israel's captured soldiers

Steven Simon is one of the CFR experts on the Middle East. In a July 5 interview (prior to the present crisis with Hisbollah in Lebanon) he says the crisis over the abduction of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants may drag on for some time because of the "two new and essentially weak governments competing with each other, and with domestic rivals, for some kind of sustainable authority within their respective countries." He says Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will not negotiate a prisoner exchange and the Hamas leadership is fractured and unlikely to turn over the prisoner unconditionally.

His observations take on new meaning as another brick is tossed on the diplomatic wagon.

Yesterday's CFR report is a link-filled, comprehensive look that will take some time to plow through. Good place to start for those serious about doing their homework. Dry stuff, but important.

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