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Greg Myre

Greg Myre is a national security correspondent with a focus on counter-terrorism, a topic he has covered in the U.S., the Middle East and in many other countries around the world for more than two decades.

He was previously the international editor for NPR.org, working closely with NPR correspondents around the world and national security reporters in Washington. He heads the Parallels blog and is a frequent contributor to the website on global affairs. Prior to his current position, he was a senior editor at Morning Edition from 2008-2011.

Before joining NPR, Myre was a foreign correspondent for 20 years with The New York Times and The Associated Press.

He was first posted to South Africa in 1987, where he witnessed Nelson Mandela's release from prison and reported on the final years of apartheid. He was assigned to Pakistan in 1993 and often traveled to war-torn Afghanistan. He was one of the first reporters to interview members of an obscure new group calling itself the Taliban.

Myre was also posted to Cyprus and worked throughout the Middle East, including extended trips to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. He went to Moscow from 1996 to 1999, covering the early days of Vladimir Putin.

He was based in Jerusalem from 2000-2007, reporting on the heaviest fighting ever between Israelis and the Palestinians.

In his years abroad, he traveled to more than 50 countries and reported on a dozen wars. He and his journalist wife Jennifer Griffin co-wrote a 2011 book on their time in Jerusalem, entitled, This Burning Land: Lessons from the Front Lines of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Myre is a scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington and has appeared as an analyst on CNN, PBS, BBC, C-SPAN, Fox, Al Jazeera and other networks. He's a graduate of Yale University, where he played football and basketball.

Let's start with one thing that's clear and simple in Syria's messy war: Many foreign powers are engaged in the battle, and all share the goal of beating back the Islamic State.

This very loose grouping includes Turkey and Russia, who aren't best friends, but at least have this common interest in Syria that would seem to override any inclination to confront one another.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Nov. 21, 2015, and has been updated to reflect the attack in Nice, France.

Many Americans have seen France as a country that wasn't supportive, bordering on antagonistic, as the U.S. waged wars against radical Islamists on several fronts following the Sept. 11 attacks.

China's President Xi Jinping has condemned the Islamic State for killing a Chinese man held hostage by the extremist group. But in keeping with China's long-standing policy of not intervening in distant conflicts, he did not specify what action, if any, China might take.

The Islamic State attacks in Paris last Friday added to the growing list of deadly attacks the extremist group has claimed outside its core territory of Syria and Iraq.

ISIS has been linked to dozens of attacks in multiple countries over the past year. Here's a look at some of the key figures in the Paris attack, as well as other numbers related to ISIS.

Extremist Islamist groups often choose between two options: controlling territory locally or carrying out terrorist attacks abroad. In claiming responsibility for the Paris attacks, the Islamic State has made clear it thinks it can do both.

Since emerging as a powerful force two years ago, the Islamic State had focused its energies on building its self-proclaimed caliphate in the Middle East. The carnage in Paris, for which the group has claimed responsibility, demonstrated it can unleash a ferocious, coordinated assault far from its home turf.

Russia's military intervention in Syria is intended as a lifeline for Syria's beleaguered President Bashar Assad. Yet the Kremlin's track record on bailing out floundering leaders is largely a litany of failure.

Over the past quarter-century, Moscow's proteges, clients and allies have often lost power, and sometimes their lives, despite Russia's military and political patronage.

President Obama entered the White House with a pledge to bring home U.S. troops from two major wars. Now it looks almost certain he will leave office with U.S. forces engaged in three ongoing conflicts: Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Throughout his tenure, Obama's impulse has been to shrink the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East. He's called for a greater emphasis on diplomacy, and taking the broader view, he wants the U.S. to shift more resources to Asia and the Pacific.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan lowered the flag and boxed up their gear at the end of last year as President Obama declared the formal end to 13 years of U.S. combat operations.

The migrant crisis in Europe and the Middle East lurches from one drama to the next by the day. First it's a rickety boat floundering in the Mediterranean. Next it's a new surge of migrants landing on European shores. Suddenly it's thousands of refugees stranded in an unwelcoming Hungary.

The numbers are also changing by the day. Here's a snapshot of the best and most recent figures as this unfolds:

It started so well. When Saddam Hussein's Iraq invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, the United States swiftly cobbled together a broad coalition, unleashed a stunning new generation of air power and waged a lightning ground offensive that lasted all of four days. Iraqi troops were so desperate to quit that some surrendered to Western journalists armed only with notebooks.

The Iranian nuclear negotiations were hugely complicated. If you understood them, even vaguely, congratulations.

Now that there's a deal between Iran and six world powers, there's a whole new set of issues to master. Iran is obligated to scale back its nuclear program, inspectors will be poking around to ensure compliance and the international community will have to lift a raft of sanctions.

Here's a primer on what to expect in the next few months:

1. What Happens Next?

Is it a good deal?

President Obama and his detractors are headed for a ferocious debate on this question following the nuclear agreement announced Tuesday in Vienna between Iran and six world powers.

Greece By The Numbers

Jul 8, 2015

The Greek crisis is messy and complicated, filled with nebulous terms being casually tossed around. Most every story has obligatory mentions of "austerity," "bailouts" and "capital controls," but it can be difficult to determine what, precisely, all that jargon means.

So let's stick to the numbers. Here's a primer on some of the most important ones in the unfolding Greek drama:

What's Next For Greece?

Jul 6, 2015

Greeks waved flags and danced in the streets after they overwhelmingly voted to reject further austerity measures from their international creditors. But now comes the reckoning, as Greece faces the realities of an economy out of money and creditors out of patience.

Here are some of the fundamental questions:

When will the banks reopen?

In Afghanistan's rough and ragged reconstruction, one of the most frequently cited bright spots has been the surge in Afghan kids going to school.

When the Taliban were ousted in 2001, fewer than 1 million Afghans were in the classroom, and a minuscule number were girls. In recent years, the figure topped 8 million, with both sexes well represented, according to the Afghan government.

Now the extent of that success story is being thrown into doubt.

The past year has been a bleak one in global affairs: The relentless carnage in Syria. Russia's annexation of Crimea. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Is there anything to applaud?

When a major earthquake pummeled Kobe, Japan, in 1995, more than 6,000 people were killed, many buried as their traditional wooden homes collapsed under the weight of heavy, unstable tile roofs.

The quake's power was extraordinary and demonstrated Japan wasn't as prepared as it thought it was. Still, it was no match for Japanese resilience.

When Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi weighs the pros and cons of running such a fractured country, here's the upside: He can count on five separate military groups supporting his battle against the self-declared Islamic State.

The downside is that he has limited control of these groups, and of much of his country.

A former Guantanamo Bay prisoner, who had joined al-Qaida after his release, was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen, the group said in a statement Tuesday.

Ibrahim al-Rubaish had fought in Afghanistan before being arrested and held in Guantanamo. He would go on to be one of the top leaders in al-Qaida in Yemen.

The drone attack is a sign that the United States has not abandoned its military campaign against al-Qaida despite the chaos in Yemen. U.S. and Yemeni officials did not immediately comment.

President Obama is lobbying hard for a full-fledged nuclear deal with Iran. He hopes to raise the U.S. flag at an embassy in Cuba before he leaves office. He traveled to Myanmar last fall as he moves to normalize relations.

The Iranian nuclear negotiations have focused on one very big and specific question: Will a deal make it harder for Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon?

But the talks are also part of President Obama's much broader quest to repair the fractured relations between the U.S. and Iran, one defined by bitter recriminations in the 36 years since Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979.

During a tough Israeli election campaign, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to antagonize, among others, the White House, Israel's Arab citizens and the Palestinians.

Now that Netanyahu's Likud Party has come out on top, the prime minister has sought to ease tensions with a series of gestures.

Yemen's downward spiral toward civil war is a disaster for the poorest country in the Arab world and adds one more member to the growing list of Middle East states that have imploded in the past several years.

But how important is Yemen to the wider world?

One argument holds that Yemen is, and always has been, an isolated backwater. The chaos is tragic for Yemenis, but remains largely an internal feud between rival groups and will have limited spillover beyond its borders.

During his campaign, Benjamin Netanyahu aggressively opposed the negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, ruled out a Palestinian state on his watch, and argued that Israel would be best served by a government of the right.

If Netanyahu now cobbles together the coalition government he wants, his fourth term as Israel's prime minister could put him on an increasingly confrontational path with the Palestinians, the Obama administration and the international community.

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