Follow us on social

Sparks fly in Syria sanctions, normalization debate

Sparks fly in Syria sanctions, normalization debate

How do crippling embargoes on the country make Bashar Assad repent for his crimes? A QI panel questions Biden policy.

Analysis | Middle East

Two recent developments indicate that Syria’s future is at an important crossroads.

In early May, the Arab league announced that it would re-admit Syria after a nearly 12-year suspension dating back to the outbreak of the civil war in 2011. In response, a bipartisan group of 35  U.S. lawmakers introduced the “Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act of 2023,” which, among other things, calls for an inter-agency “report of the steps the United States is taking to actively deter recognition or normalization of relations by other governments with the Assad regime.” It also expands the Caesar Act sanctions on the Syrian regime, which have been in place since 2020. 

The Biden administration has also stated its opposition to the Arab League’s decision. 

A Quincy Institute panel hosted on Friday sparked several moments of interesting debate between University of Oklahoma professorJoshua Landis,  (who wrote recently for RS in favor of normalization), and former U.S. Ambassador William Roebuck, on the effectiveness of the Caesar Act sanctions and whether it makes sense to keep them in place. 

See the exchange here:

Watch the full event, which also featured Quincy Institute senior research analyst Steve Simon, former Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey, and Duke University Law professor Mara Revkin, here:

 

Analysis | Middle East
Will stock trade ban curtail DOD budget corruption?

Billion Photos via shutterstock.com

Will stock trade ban curtail DOD budget corruption?

QiOSK

A new bipartisan proposal to ban members of Congress and their immediate family members from trading individual stocks looks to close a glaring conflict of interest between politicians who control massive government budgets, much of which go to private contractors.

The potential for serious conflicts of interest are quickly apparent when reviewing the stock trades of members of Congress's Senate and House Armed Services Committees, the panels responsible for the National Defense Authorization Act, the bill that sets recommended funding levels for the Department of Defense.

keep readingShow less
Diplomacy Watch: Will Russia be invited to next peace summit?
Diplomacy Watch: Domestic politics continue to challenge Ukraine’s allies
Diplomacy Watch: Domestic politics continue to challenge Ukraine’s allies

Diplomacy Watch: Will Russia be invited to next peace summit?

QiOSK

While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continues to work in public to strengthen his country’s military arsenal and urge Washington and the West to lift more restrictions on how its weapons are used , Kyiv is also signaling a potential openness to negotiations with Moscow in the future.

At this week’s NATO summit in Washington, U.S. President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart made their case that Ukraine can still win its war with Russia.

keep readingShow less
Kissinger, one hagiography at a time

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, JAN 1992 - Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State chairing a panel session on “The New Partners” with the presidents of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1992.

World Economic Forum/Flickr

Kissinger, one hagiography at a time

Washington Politics

FÜRTH, GERMANY — There are tragic ironies in life. And then there is the life of Henry Kissinger.

In 1938, as a teenager, he was forced to flee his hometown in Fürth, southeastern Germany. It was his mother, Paula Kissinger, who foresaw that the Nazi Party's antisemitic measures would only grow more dangerous and organized the family's escape to the United States. At least 13 close relatives would die in the Holocaust.

keep readingShow less

Israel-Gaza Crisis

Latest

Newsletter

Subscribe now to our weekly round-up and don't miss a beat with your favorite RS contributors and reporters, as well as staff analysis, opinion, and news promoting a positive, non-partisan vision of U.S. foreign policy.