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The Rundown - December 16

First Read
# Christopher Hitchens has died [his final VF column]

# "Russia's New Generation Hits The Streets" - Masha Lipman, "The Washington Post"
# "Welcome to the WTO" - Pascal Lamy, "Moscow Times"
# Julia Ioffe on the Vladimir Putin Q & A
# Russia submitted a new UN resolution on Syria

# "Remembering Basra" - Susan Glasser, "Foreign Policy"
# A look back at coverage of the Iraq War

# Kayani and Pasha confirmed the existence of "the memo"
# "Growing Isolation" - Cyril Almeida, "Dawn"
# "Leaving Afghanistan to the Warlords" - Stephen Biddle, "Foreign Affairs"

# An Iranian engineer says his country hijacked the American drone

Of Interest
# Uzbekistan may get U.S. military aid
# Registan notes 20 years since the fall of the USSR
# "Talking to Grown-Ups in the Caucasus" - Thomas de Waal, "National Interest"
# "The Highs and Lows of Democracy" - Phillip Stevens, "Financial Times"
# "The Case Against Santa" - Aikin & Talisse, "3 Quarks Daily"

U.S. Politics/Foreign Policy
# The U.S. Congress reached an agreement on a spending bill
# The hold on Michael McFaul has been lifted
# The GOP candidates held their last debate before the Iowa caucases