“Mohammed bin Zayed was willing to pick up the phone and talk to Bashar al-Assad of Syria, but he isn’t willing to do the same with the Qataris.”
Jordan’s reaction to Israel’s looming annexation of parts of the West Bank might redefine the kingdom’s relations with both Israel and the United States.
The Times’ recent decision to publish an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton calling for the military to quash Black Lives Matter protests highlights a militaristic pipeline to the nation’s paper of record.
Trump unsurprisingly got some things wrong when he invoked the right to bear arms in his speech threatening to send the military to quell protests around the country.
You’re not wrong if you’re thinking that Trump’s handling of the protests across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s murder seems very familiar.
A debate is brewing about the future of U.S. policy toward China and there are many in Washington who are eager for a fight.
Americans seem rightly offended by their military being used to police their own neighborhoods, but they have also largely stood by as it has waged counterinsurgency in neighborhoods around the world.
A couple of think tank hawks are bummed that regime change isn’t cool anymore.
The United States imposes sanctions on more countries than all other nations or international institutions combined.
Tangling with the Russian bear above, and especially under, the seas does not comport with U.S. national security interests.
No world power has undergone a collapse as dramatic as what the United States has been undergoing. Are we seeing the collapse of American hegemony?
Perhaps the most damaging effect of police militarization is that it pushes police officers engaging with the public to behave as they look, to act like soldiers dealing with enemy combatants.
The U.S. has made over $11 billion in major arms offers since the beginning of March, including to repressive regimes like the Philippines, Egypt, and the UAE.
We’re fast approaching the two year anniversary of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and the Trump administration has done nothing to hold Saudi Arabia accountable.
A common thread in Trump’s foreign policy is that the stated objectives are not real objectives.
Criticism of Donald Trump’s foreign policy often ignores the illiberal and undemocratic underbelly of Pax Americana.
“The U.S. is stuck in a broken, angry, and dysfunctional Middle East. It can’t transform the region — see Iraq and Afghanistan — and it can’t extricate itself from it.”
The G7 kicked Russia out over its invasion of Crimea. Does the U.S. assault on international laws, treaties, and democracy warrant the same treatment?
Subject to Donald Trump’s disinterest and erratic impulses, and confronted by ambitious adversaries, the United States is treading water in the Middle East.
Now that Turkey has joined the fight, is Russia looking to settle for a stalemate?
Former U.S. diplomat Elizabeth Shackelford chronicles a chaotic time in South Sudan, a rarely discussed failure of Obama administration’s foreign policy.
If Israeli governments come to believe there is no price whatever to be paid by them for denying Palestinian statehood, they will never allow Palestinian statehood nor end their occupation.
Cutting the Pentagon budget needs a movement — a big one.
Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, and their allies have handed Iran grounds to argue that it needs to enrich uranium to higher levels than are allowed under the JCPOA.
Just as quarantine and social-distancing measures have transformed people’s lives and work in the U.S., Washington’s war fighting will have to adapt.
The U.S. should fully withdraw its forces from Syria and use its remaining leverage to facilitate diplomacy between Syria’s neighbors that are heavily enmeshed in the civil war.
Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, hopes that the dangers of this disease could bring the six GCC members together have proven to be misplaced.
The COVID pandemic has highlighted the social, economic, and sectarian divisions in Bahrain, which the ruling family has failed to address, and oftentimes has exacerbated, in recent years.
The conventional arms trade is indeed a destabilizing factor in the Middle East, but a multilateral approach that does more than pressure one regional actor would be needed to address that problem effectively.
Why are the U.S. and China considered the world’s two greatest powers when they both have bungled the coronavirus crisis so badly?
The United Arab Emirates and Turkey are locked into a regional power struggle that has fuelled conflict in Libya and could spark renewed fighting in Syria.
The COVID-19 moment marks the end of an era for U.S. foreign policy, and presents an opportunity for a new vision of bold internationalism.
As bad as withdrawing from Open Skies is, this moment could yet prove to be an opportunity to confront more directly the misguided ideology of ‘America First.’
A close look at the strategic landscape suggests that lifting or extending the arms embargo will have a limited security impact.
Flexing military muscles to counter Russia in the Arctic risks sparking a situation where states embark on the relentless mission of trying to achieve a monopoly of violence in the region.
The Trump administration and its coterie of China-bashers have been dusting off the fake-intelligence playbook Dick Cheney used to justify war with Iraq.
Since the killing of Qassem Soleimani, Iran has shifted to a custom-made strategy that mixes political and military tactics in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.
The true casualties of an ineffectual trade war are the U.S. economy and increased diplomatic tensions between the world’s largest economies.
Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte is using the pandemic to crush his opposition — and the U.S. is poised to arm him to the teeth.
The argument advanced by Pompeo, Grenell, AJC and others that banning Hezbollah is not an obstacle to engaging with the Lebanese government is disingenuous at best.
Ankara fears the risks of a geopolitical situation emerging in the Middle East and North Africa whereby the UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia — along with the Syrian government, Libya’s eastern administration, Greece, and Cyprus — form an anti-Turkish front.
US policymakers routinely see the African continent as a battlefield in the so-called “war on terror” rather than the opportunity for economic partnership that it is.
Iranian defense doctrine is not based on technology but rather manpower. And even if Iran procured hundreds of new tanks and dozens of advanced aircraft, it would still not be able to compete with the United States.
The US needs to state its objectives clearly so that we’re not bogged down in counterterrorism operations indefinitely.
The coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is back at sea to join other U.S. warships in projecting power into the Western Pacific.
Speaking in a web broadcast organized by the so-called Democratic Majority for Israel, Blinken stated bluntly that Biden “would not tie military assistance to Israel to any political decisions it makes, full stop.”
It would be senseless for the U.S. to try to stop the petroleum transfer. It would be condemned by nearly every other country in the world as an abuse of U.S. power, with both Iran and Venezuela benefitting from political sympathy.
Qatar’s charm offensive is part of a multi-faceted and strategic influence operation designed to further entangle the U.S. with this autocratic power.
The ruthless partisanship and attack tactics of Trump and his followers have ill consequences that will persist long after the pandemic has eased.
It is tempting to think that it would be cheaper and more effective to have U.S. allies get the bomb rather than link their security to U.S. forces, bases, and assurances. But countries do not obtain the bomb in a vacuum.
Congress’s work should include continuing the investigations the IGs were not able to complete, one of many overdue steps for it to reassert itself as a coequal branch in foreign policy.
The coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout calls into question Gulf states’ ability to fund a brewing, costly regional arms race.
If a restrained U.S. foreign policy means pulling back on security commitments around the world, might that result in nuclear weapons proliferation? And is that a bad thing?
The anti-Asian rhetoric emerging from the COVID-19 crisis not only infringes on the rights and security of those of Asian decent, it also creates an atmosphere of fear and mistrust within the U.S. national security apparatus.
In the best of times, dissenting against policies or practices in a federal agency is an uphill battle. In the emerging reality, dissenters will see only defeat and danger ahead.
Back in 1977, the Likud Party’s platform called for “only Israeli sovereignty” over the land between Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea.
If states see the present low prices as an opportunity for reform toward more realistic economies and more limited political ambitions, the Middle East could vastly benefit in the long run.
Under the guise of fighting the coronavirus, the Egyptian government is cracking down on critics and imposing more restrictions on personal freedoms.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to survive his three corruption indictments are taking Israel down a very deep hole, one it may never exit.
Suspending all sanctions now will not only help combat the coronavirus, but it will also create the conditions to resolve our differences diplomatically.
While the Trump administration touts its maximum pressure campaign as a route to peace in the Middle East, Iran’s increased hostilities prove it wrong.
Opinion data show that citizens in the region are highly attuned and averse to unsupervised state spending, particularly on foreign policy and investments that are not perceived to be of direct public benefit.
Despite the need to focus on combating the coronavirus, the Trump administration is moving forward with arms sales that can provide both the tools for and the tacit acceptance of, repressive regimes around the world.
The White House has consistently deluded hardline elements of the Venezuelan opposition with the possibility of a quick and easy military solution.
The Covid-19 outbreak might serve as a moment to pause and realize how valuable regional Persian Gulf dialogue about health resilience could be.
Shifting the approach to focus on shared humanitarian interests on the ground can open the door to cooperation with Russia, maintain Western influence in Syria, and facilitate the rebuilding of a war-torn country.
No one believes for a moment that any plea for mercy, let alone a call for justice, for the Palestinians will be met with anything but mockery by the Trump administration. But it is possible to move Biden.
Hostility has failed, and twenty-first century threats demand that we cooperate with the rival we need now more than ever.
In response, Beijing is likely to use its economic might and trigger a wide-ranging and flexible toolkit of coercive measures that it has used strategically throughout the world.
Disputes over the origins of and fall out from the new novel coronavirus have supercharged American hawks into pushing for all-out confrontation with China.
A cold war is heating up with China, particularly after a new report that Joe Biden is going to try to — mistakenly — try to out-hawk Trump.
Former Trump national security adviser HR McMaster’s essay calling for the U.S. to take a more confrontational stance on China falls flat.
As “post-Covid” countries continue reopening their economies to business, the world may soon become divided into “Covid-safe” and “Covid-unsafe” zones.
Without more international funding, the impact of the locusts across the Horn of Africa, Middle East, and South Asia — on top of the COVID-19 pandemic — is going to be catastrophic.
Congress should continually remind Trump that the American people don’t want a war with Iran.
If there’s a silver lining to Israel’s impending annexation of the West Bank, it’s that it will force the world confront more directly the reality of what Israel has been doing in the occupied territories.
Donald Trump withdrew from the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, known as the JCPOA, in May 2018, and reinstated sanctions against the country.
Trump botched his COVID-19 response disastrously, so now he’s giving anti-China conspiracy theories the full weight of the U.S. government.
Out of context whispers of intelligence are like catnip to reporters and sometimes high ranking military officials weaponize it to advance their preferred policy positions.
Lockdowns are not only aggravating conflict around the world, but they’re also making it more difficult for local peacebuilders to make key connections to mitigate it.
Two years ago, on May 8, 2018, the Trump administration withdrew unilaterally from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly called the Iran nuclear deal, and then imposed “maximum pressure” sanctions on Iran.
U.S. primacy increasingly no longer reflects the realities in a region where traditional American partners no longer concern themselves with finding common cause with Washington.
The American obsession with Iran has led to a series of policy failures throughout the past four decades. It’s time to change course.
A new report finds that the Trump administration has increased the global nuclear threat through policy failures and mismanagement.
While the military characterized the move as part of a planned withdrawal that reflects the view that Iran now poses less of a threat, the news has prompted debate over the timing of the decision.
The old paradigm that has served as the foundation of the U.S.-Saudi relationship over the previous 75 years — security for Riyadh in exchange for reliable oil supplies for Washington — is no longer as applicable as it once was.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has shifted his gaze from his “Vision 2030” of a restructured economy to shoring up the regime’s political authority.
Regime change proponents are trying to use an expiring arms embargo to prevent the next president from reentering the Iran nuclear deal.
The Saudis have reason to try to distract from what’s going on inside the country.
Internet has in recent years made its way to the long list of foes Iranian hardliners wholeheartedly wish to defeat in preparation for transmuting the country into an “Islamic North Korea.”
The coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout may rewrite the security as well as the political and economic map of the Middle East.
A China that Russia is increasingly dependent on could serve to limit Moscow’s — indeed, Putin’s own — freedom of action internationally.
US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell pushed the Germans hard on officially designating Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.
For Americans, V-E Day marked the beginning of “our times.” The Covid-19 pandemic may signal that our times are now coming to an end.
We don’t just need foreign policy experts, we need to challenge the foundation of the bipartisan consensus that has ravaged U.S. foreign policy.
Imagine an alternate history after WWII where Hawaii broke away from a decimated United States and sought security guarantees from China.
The defense industry is exploiting the pandemic to ask for bailouts and reduced government oversight. It should be paying back the American public instead.
While the U.S. fiddles with bad faith on Iran, Europe has an opportunity to lead and provide a better path forward.
The pandemic is likely to accelerate changes in the Middle Eastthat were already beginning to happen, or were inherent in existing conditions.
Gulf powers and the UN should help settle the conflict between the Yemen government and southern separatists to enable national ceasefire talks.
The pressure being exerted on the intelligence agencies about the Wuhan lab is reminiscent of pressures that earlier administrations exerted to hunt for material in support of their favored hypotheses, including hypotheses used to sell wars.
Some have argued that the US should commit to an increasing dependence on petroleum, as well as ushering in a new cycle of overseas interventions propping up an existing, overburdened, and outdated system of U.S. military hegemony.
In order to pile more sanctions on Iran, the U.S. has to be part of the Iran nuclear deal. So now the Trump administration is pretending it never left.
In some ways the COVID-19 pandemic is but a dress rehearsal for climate change, and the world has been granted a golden opportunity to change its ways before the worst is upon us.
The United Nations needs soldiers of its own — to put a stop to genocide and crimes against humanity when national governments are unwilling to dispatch their own forces to do so.
Given that Israeli annexation of most of the West Bank is now a forgone conclusion, Washington is beginning to catch up to the idea that the two-state solution is no longer viable.
A UN aid and relief agency is ready to offer its support, all it needs is the funding to administer it.
Over the next few months Oman is likely to exercise caution in addressing key issues. Its new sultan may keep continuity with his predecessor’s approach.
While the world is facing a pandemic, Turkey is expanding its regional influence.
New York Times Beirut bureau chief Ben Hubbard fills in the gaps of his reporting on Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Salman but doesn’t explore his relationship with Jared Kushner.
The global pandemic is entrenching long-drawn Middle Eastern geopolitical, political, ethnic, and sectarian battle lines.
Washington hawks are taking bad faith to a whole new level in their quest for regime change in Tehran.
While the coronavirus has accelerated Bernie-ism to take shape economically, it’s his foreign policy ideas that are the future of the U.S. abroad.
Total global military expenditure rose to $1917 billion in 2019, according to new data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
By choosing an “America First” brand of exceptionalism and showing haughty disdain to the views and interests of its allies, the United States risks entering this new era in a much weakened position.
All historians begin somewhere. Their choice of starting date reveals what they take as significant in explaining how we got to be where we are.
It was easy for Trump to dismiss the WHO because the UN has been a political punching bag in the US for so long.
The United States’ expensive national security apparatus has been conspicuously useless in efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Europeans have had to deal with increasingly authoritarian regimes quashing opposition and undermining the rule of law. Now they are hearing echoes of such misuse of the law on the other side of the Atlantic.
Algeria provides an example of the challenges the coronavirus poses to Arab authoritarian regimes. COVID-19 might outpace their capacity to adapt.
The MEK won’t let its members leave their camp in Albania to seek medical care and the MEK won’t let health works inside.
The Quincy Institute’s Rachel Esplin Odell explains that punitive action against Beijing right now will only undermine U.S. economic interests — after a month that saw more 22 million Americans lose their jobs.
Joe Biden and some of his supporting super PACs are choosing to adopt, rather than challenge, the anti-China premise of the Trump campaign’s attacks.
The military-industrial-complex needs an enemy … and your tax dollars.
COVID-19 has impacted countries in the region in different ways but their paths forward will be equally challenging.
Will China continue its economic rise? And will all U.S. leaders finally realize that climate change is truly an existential challenge?
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies gives Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo the ammo they need to see to it that Iran sees no relief during the COVID-19 crisis.
Saudi Arabia recently announced a ceasefire in Yemen, and then immediately violated it. What’s next?
Donald Trump’s North Korea policy has failed. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has the mandate, and the competence, to take over and lead.
European governments should shift their central focus to proactively protecting and bolstering, rather than further squeezing, those Syrian societal forces that are still standing.
Gantz was never going to stop annexation, but his partnership with Netanyahu will now make it easier for the new government to move forward on it in a more effective way.
A threat like a global health pandemic doesn’t care about any American president’s sense of national supremacy.
The coronavirus outbreak has made a bad situation worse for so many, particularly Afghan refugees inside Iran.
Neuroscience shows that anxiety inhibits rational decision-making, but that is precisely what we need to help alleviate our fears surrounding the coronavirus.
The domestic, regional, and international players in the Libyan conflict have not only failed to end the war, they are actively prolonging it.
If we don’t pay substantial reparations to make good our relationship with Mother Earth, she will continue to send us these little viral messages.
We should take German Chancellor Angela Merkel seriously when she said ‘the times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out.’
A forward-looking question to ask amid the current crisis is: will the inevitable highlighting of government’s necessary role in the crisis lead to greater recognition of the necessity of that role at other times?
Military, diplomatic, historical, and environmental imperatives dictate that the U.S. disengage militarily from the volatile Taiwan issue. Washington should instead focus on facilitating a compromise.
The UAE does not always share Riyadh’s and Washington’s perspectives on international issues, driving Abu Dhabi to take actions that sometimes veer away from Saudi and US foreign policy objectives.
Hawks in Washington can’t quit regime change in Tehran despite the piles of evidence of how it will backfire tremendously.
Pulling funding for the World Health Organization follows Trump’s pattern of slowly dismantling multilateralism, which appears to be his ultimate goal.
The Hobbesian vision of the future international order can contribute to dismantling the multilateral liberal system, but it does not have an alternative vision to replace it beyond the classic ‘might makes right.’
Biden will lose the argument on China if he tries to run to Trump’s right.
In the absence of a coherent response from the United States, the pandemic has paved the way for China to bolster its ambitions and validate its political values.
A recent campaign that shamed UNESCO for partnering with a foundation led by Mohammed bin Salman was very effective in getting the UN agency to back away.
Gantz supports unilateral annexation, and he does not stop at the so-called “major settlement blocs.”
In places like Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, and Libya, the three countries have sought to stymie citizen uprisings, meddle in elections, arm allies, strengthen military rule, and wage disinformation campaigns.
In a post-COVID-19 world, U.S. national security strategy should be based on a just peace framework that constructively engages conflicts, breaks cycles of violence, and builds sustainable peace.
The “Blowback” series, comprising three volumes, remains a prime source for understanding the motives of American foreign policy in the Trump era and merits a retrospective appreciation.
History has shown that GCC member-states move closer together in times of international/regional crisis, even if major underlying differences between them persist.
Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper are as good as their 1986 West Point class motto. When it comes to this country’s wars, neither of them ever quits.
In the upcoming coronavirus stimulus package, these officers and staff members should not only be given recognition for their heroism, but more importantly, they should be rewarded with hazard pay and provided the protective equipment they need.
“What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well. It helps men to rise above themselves.” – Albert Camus, The Plague.
The Trump administration is contributing to Iran’s COVID-19 crisis by refusing to suspend sanctions. But Iran’s self-imposed isolation is also a major factor.
The most devastating impact of coronavirus may stem from its function as a threat multiplier, much like climate change, which provides a stress test for the United States and for the global order — one that both are failing miserably.
The Trump administration seems to have no intention of offering sanctions relief to Iran amid the COVID-19 crisis and some sort of military confrontation as a result isn’t outside the realm of possibilities.
From Hungary’s authoritarianism to Italy’s call for solidarity to Germany’s tightfistedness, European responses to COVID-19 are all over the map.
Decades of militaristic foreign policy has left the U.S. ill-prepared to combat actual threats to Americans and the world.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is strangling Afghanistan, the country’s leaders are still in the beginning stages of negotiations to end decades of conflict.
The next president must anticipate resistance, both inside and outside government, to shifting away from counterterrorism national security posture.
Mohammed bin Salman’s chaotic and authoritarian stewardship at this moment may well impede the establishment of the fourth Saudi state he wants to lead.
President Eisenhower famously warned of the tradeoffs between foreign and domestic priorities, particularly when it comes to military spending.
Now is probably not the best time for the Defense Secretary to be tweeting about how nuclear weapons development is the Trump administration’s top priority.
The firing could be called a canary in the coal mine if Washington hadn’t already become littered with canary carcasses warning of a Trumpian dystopia devoid of truth and accountability.
If the coronavirus pandemic leads to partial deglobalization and delinkage, the U.S. could, if it chose, resist the urge to attempt managing stability in far flung places.
From the perspective of public discourse in the U.S., our globe-spanning, resource-draining military and security apparatus exists in an entirely parallel universe to the one most Americans experience on a daily level.
We were raised to believe in American exceptionalism. But why are we on track to have the worst coronavirus pandemic outbreak of any country on Earth?
The United States and China have a golden opportunity to bridge their divide and fight a common enemy, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trade has plummeted, Chinese goods are disappearing from markets, and exports of China’s favorite Central Asian commodity – natural gas – have nosedived.
As coronavirus continues spreading around the world, it is terrifying to consider what this pandemic could do to Libya and, given its porous borders, many nearby countries as well.
China has internal debates about strategy and policy, and U.S. officials must recognize this in order to enable more moderate perspectives.
Under international law, a foreign military occupying another territory is responsible for meeting the population’s humanitarian needs.
Europe’s workaround U.S. secondary sanctions is finally operational but will it be enough?
International cooperation needs to take priority right now, and countries must stop their wars against one another and against their own populations.
Applying the war metaphor to counterterrorism got us a war in Iraq. Applying it to the fight against COVID-19 can have similar disastrous consequences.
The Trump administration recently loosened restrictions on controls the United States had previously adopted to curb illegitimate firearms sales to conflict zones.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an opening for diplomacy in the U.S.-Iran relationship, but leaders in both Tehran and Washington are missing the chance.
The U.S. sanctions that are contributing to the misery and death of Iranians are meant to save them … or something.
Sudan’s response to the coronavirus has been one bright spot in this ongoing pandemic. But it’s not out of the woods yet, and some say U.S. sanctions are preventing it from winning the fight.
For the far right, the pandemic is a chance to enact border controls and erode the rule of law. It could also expose their utter incompetence.
MbS has made a mess of Saudi foreign and domestic policy. What will happen if Trump isn’t around anymore to back him up?
A series of critical blunders over the last few decades have exposed many of the U.S.’s weaknesses.
The many unresolved conflicts, regional rivalries, strategic clashes, and ideological differences that have polarized the Sunni Arab world have left Morocco and the UAE in different camps and in many cases competing with one another.
Gantz didn’t have the extra motivation to carry on the fight that Netanyahu does of using the prime minister’s position to avoid a criminal trial and, very likely, a prison sentence.
The Green Movement was a warning that the outsized ideational and material resources possessed by the IRGC and its many proxies are rendered impotent unless the leadership can develop a coherent cultural message, suited to the needs and preferences of younger Iranians.
Restarting diplomacy with North Korea not only reduces the threat of war, but it can also help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
China has been directing aid to Middle Eastern governments to combat COVID-19, but China’s murky past in relations with the Arab World doesn’t mean its image will improve.
Throughout the history of the occupation, Israel has initiated most of the legal and physical barriers that keep Palestinians out of so-called Israeli areas as “temporary” measures, often during emergencies, but never removed them.
By whittling away Nowruz, the Iranian authorities forfeit exceptional prospects for integration and solidarity with nations which maintain shared roots with Iran.
Yemen’s warring parties should implement a United Nations ceasefire proposal to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak and preserve an opportunity to end the war.
‘Man stands face to face with the irrational. …The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.’ Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus (1957)
More than 1,000 acts of racism against Asian Americans have been reported since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.
The battle for Idlib underscores Russia’s increasing dilemma on how to deal with Turkey as Moscow becomes increasingly active on key MENA dossiers in which Ankara has high stakes.
The U.S. is acting to undermine the legitimate work of a treaty-based international court that steps in only where national courts do not conduct genuine investigations or prosecutions of serious international crimes
Some have written Trump’s political obituary with the fallout from the coronavirus, but in our post-truth era, his xenophobia and nationalism may end up helping his reelection chances.
Concerted efforts to systematically weaken nations can no longer be considered responsible governance by national leaders.
A parallel narrative that unfolded alongside the post-9/11 wars exposes the utter irrelevance of the national security state as currently constituted.
The COVID-19 outbreak, while frightening, presents an opportunity to reconsider some of our fundamental assumptions about sovereignty, international relations, and global power itself.
The Bush administration cracked the U.S.-European alliance and the Trump administration appears poised to finish the job.
Whether defined as a partnership or an alliance, U.S.-NATO-Turkish relations will continue to face the test of confronting common challenges.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for lifting the economic sanctions on Iran is an appropriate gesture, and history has shown that Iranians never forget those who have extended a helping hand.
We shouldn’t be too surprised that the Trump administration even mischaracterizes the theories behind its policies.
The federal government has partnered with commercial airlines to ferry Americans to, from, and in between foreign countries before. Why isn’t it happening now?
Investments in critical human needs, from diplomacy and global health initiatives to build economic resiliency and mitigating the growing climate crisis, have been gutted to bankroll our endless wars.
As the crisis worsens, it’s likely that Donald Trump will seek to acquire more emergency powers to the executive branch, likely with broad public support.
It’s important to separate warning from prediction and look out for blame shifting to the intelligence community.
Saudi Arabia is already fomenting one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises — why are we asking them to help solve another?
Fostering good governance means fighting the xenophobia and crude nationalism that so often poison the political climate that is conducive to it.
The Trump administration isn’t relenting on its ‘maximum pressure’ campaign on Iran because it exists to create a humanitarian crisis.
U.S. sanctions have begun to shift Tehran’s nuclear calculus. Now, COVID-19 may have provided Tehran with the opportunity to make a dash for the bomb.
The only viable way of managing the crisis is not a shrinking of the public space in favor of the state, but a widening of the public space in partnership with the state in order to meet the challenge.
The Trump administration’s attempt to interfere with the International Criminal Court, simply because it is investigating Americans, is uniquely perverse.
Key Arab countries are attempting to regain influence in Syria, but because of U.S.-Russian tension their diplomatic success might end up being limited.
This crisis is exposing just how senseless Washington’s approach to Pyongyang has been for the last seventy years, and why it must change as soon as possible.
The coronavirus doesn’t care whether there’s a war going on in Afghanistan, which makes the resource-starved country’s humanitarian crisis even worse.
Given the fragility of the Iraqi government, European nations must seek to dissuade the U.S. from using Iraq as a new battlefield in its struggle with Iran.
The Trump administration claims to support Iranian citizens, but it won’t put its anti-Iran hysteria on hold for a minute to help them out amid a pandemic.
U.S. military aid to Israel isn’t meant to be used to demolish Palestinian homes.
Middle Eastern rulers are not learning the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, nor do they see it as an opportunity to negotiate new social contracts.
Not only is the Trump administration refusing to help, it has also increased sanctions on Iran.
Multilateralism provides the connective tissue that knits countries together precisely when they are most likely to go their own way.
Many have compared the U.S.-Taliban agreement to Vietnam but Afghanistan doesn’t fit neatly into a North-South divide.
Iran has asked the International Monetary Fund for help combatting the coronavirus. But the U.S. needs to approve and it’s unclear what the Trump administration will do.
Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.'” Singaporeans don’t really see it that way.
To buy time for Egypt and Ethiopia to reach a comprehensive settlement on the Blue Nile dam issue, the parties should agree on a two year interim fix.
Not only are U.S. sanctions preventing Iran access to needed medical goods amid the coronavirus pandemic, but they’re also restricting the Iran from offering economic and social relief.
Turkey has triggered a renewed refugee crisis, but European states should shoulder a larger burden in helping alleviate the broader displacement crisis.
Although the U.S.-Taliban agreement is weak and unclear, withdrawing even some U.S. forces from Afghanistan will reduce the killing.
Survivors of ISIS’s brutality are living with trauma and searching for justice.
The Spanish flu helped herald the collapse of the first wave of modern globalization. A century later, could the coronavirus do the same?
There was a whole-of-government response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014, with the U.S. working in close coordination with allies abroad, and communicating effectively with Americans here at home.
Why did MbS recently detain a group of princes and other officials for allegedly treasonous activity?
Trump loosened regulations on oil drilling in pursuit of his “energy dominance” policy, but the recent Saudi “oil shock” has demonstrated its fragility.
Crippling U.S. sanctions are severely impeding Iranian efforts to combat the coronavirus, compelling Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to ask the United Nations for help.
An attack this week on an Iraqi base that killed two U.S. service members, and the U.S. military response, should serve as a reminder that endless war isn’t just confined to Afghanistan.
The coronavirus isn’t just a general public health and economic threat. It can also impede prospects for peace.
The Trump administration will try to argue that it’s still part of the nuclear accord in attempt to trigger a mechanism that will ultimately kill it.
Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are saying the right things on foreign policy, but they’re not talking as much about how they’ll work within the confines of the United Nations.
A President Biden would need to work hard to reintegrate U.S. foreign policy with the European Union or risk the EU drifting away as a strategically autonomous power.
With the IAEA now raising concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, saving the JCPOA just got more difficult.
With the Trump administration’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign failing, its next step is to compel the reimposition of UN-mandated sanctions.
The Turkish-Russian stand-off in Syria has a long history.
Bringing the Palestinian dominated Joint List into a governing coalition would finally put an end to Netanyahu’s reign but some Israeli MK’s don’t want anything to do with “the Arabs.”
There simply is no military-only, or even military-centered, solution to ridding West Africa and the Sahel from terrorism.
A power sharing agreement between the Taliban and the Afghan government is going to be extremely difficult and the available evidence indicates that the violence and tension will not end any time soon.
A revival of Iran’s vibrant political scene will require the emergence of new faces with a new discourse.
In Moscow and Ankara, two strongly nationalistic leaders, both endowed with a wily realpolitik-style realism as well as a strong dose of paranoia, perform an intriguing and complex diplomatic dance around each other.
Mike Pompeo has hijacked the words ‘realism’ and ‘restraint’ to confuse his audience and make Trump’s foreign policy sound like it squares with the policies most Americans want.
The former vice president also doesn’t have much to say about the Obama administration’s foreign policy failures.
The U.S. often evokes Iranian women’s struggles to justify coercive measures against Tehran. But evidence shows that U.S. policies help holding women back.
Even as he’s reducing the number of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, Donald Trump is expanding and deepening the War on Terror — and making it deadlier.
Three-plus years into Donald Trump’s misshapen presidency the president was left with a rump collection of yes-people around him, like Rudy Giuliani.
As Lebanon celebrates its 100th birthday, it appears to be approaching a socioeconomic collapse precipitated by misguided and self-serving policies.
The Trump administration should extend New START and engage China on a parallel track regarding strategic stability and risk reduction measures.
Whether it is coronavirus or any other national crisis, Washington will not miss its chance to play politics with Tehran.
The response to the new coronavirus so far isn’t exactly inspiring confidence in how we’d handle much greater global threats.
Putin’s interest isn’t necessarily in any particularly candidate, but rather sowing division within the U.S. and among the U.S. and its allies abroad.
Establishing a safe zone filled with armed groups hostile to the Syrian government will only create a new Idlib and put off a final resolution to this nearly decade-long conflict.
Biden adopts quite a restrained stance toward China relative to much of the rhetoric that has been generated by the foreign policy community for the past several years.
There are a handful of European countries that could revitalize the moribund diplomatic efforts with Iran.
With refugees stranded on Turkey’s border with Greece, the international community must reckon with its flawed, short-term approach to the Syrian civil war.
The China debate is in need of a revolution in thinking and restrainers are the group best positioned to lead it.
As the power of Iran’s unelected establishment grows, the prospects of diplomacy dwindle.
The number of extremist groups in North Africa have only grown as the U.S. military presence there has expanded.
The White House’s proposed Pentagon budget is “only” $740.5 billion. But the actual national security figure comes in at more than $1.2 trillion.
Questions about whether to carry on with a big expo are trivial compared to COVID-19’s ultimate risks, but the disease has dimmed the UAE’s prestige-building plans.
Cutting the Pentagon budget requires a multi-pronged approach that includes reform on anti-corruption, democracy, and campaign finance.
Given the escalation of violence between Turkey and Syrian government forces, Putin’s balancing act between Erdogan and Assad may no longer be sustainable.
A deadly attack on Turkish forces in Syria has brought Idlib’s crisis to a dangerous crossroads. How did it come to this and what’s likely to happen next?
It’s been nine years since Bahrain’s February 2011 uprising. Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in cities and towns across […]
There is no significant anti-war movement in America because there’s no war to protest. Let me explain. In February 2003, […]
The Taliban now must start negotiations on a power sharing arrangement with the Afghan government.
Advocates of an alternative approach to U.S. foreign policy must understand that although this is surely a policy fight, but it’s more fundamentally a paradigm fight.
His presidency may be troubling, but Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte is beginning the process of ending over 120 years of colonial subjugation.
Reversing militarism in the Middle East will be difficult as Americans arms have been flowing into the region for decades.
For the European Union to side now with Trump would mean to effectively ‘lose’ Iran for generations to come.
Now that hardliners have swept Iran’s low-turnout parliamentary election, the regime must contend with a widening gap between it and society.
There is a growing number of nationalist, anti-government independents in Iran who refuse to affiliate with either reformists or hardliners and the U.S. ‘maximum pressure’ campaign isn’t helping them.
Hardliners will now have to share responsibility for Iran’s problems.
The bromance between Donald Trump and his “favorite dictator,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has roots in Hosni Mubarak’s legacy.
U.S. and international sanctions have crushed North Korea’s health care system, making it harder to deal with the coronavirus.
Despite pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, the Trump administration is now claiming the U.S. is an active “participant” to trigger mechanisms that will kill it for good.
The word “historic” gets tossed around to describe carefully scripted performances, “pseudo-events,” that we choose to treat as the stuff of history.
With Trump’s re-election uncertain, the pro-Iran war/regime change crowd may be running out of time to put the JCPOA away for good.
If there’s one thing that unites conservatives and progressives in South Korea’s polarized political climate, it’s opposition to the U.S. ambassador.
Conservatives won big in Iran’s parliamentary elections last week. The European Union needs to engage with it.
The U.S. would have been better off defining victory by adapting to local ways of war and peace.
U.S. imperialism in the early twentieth century produced Smedley Butler, but the interventionism of this century hasn’t produced a single comparable figure.
Since the Qassem Soleimani assassination, Washington and Tehran have intensified their efforts to try to outmaneuver each other for influence in Iraq.
Before the strengthening of trade links with India, Saudi Arabia usually supported Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir. Now their interests seem to have diverged.
Donald Trump’s feelings of invulnerability are partly rooted in America’s failure to hold anyone responsible for crimes committed in the “war on terror.”
The designation gives the Trump administration another justification for its “maximum pressure” campaign.
The Senate has given Trump a green-light to do pretty much whatever he wants. He’s now taking aim at the intel community.
With Israel’s third election in less than a year upcoming, Benjamin Netanyahu is turning to desperate measures to avoid going to jail.
What does anthropology and psychology have to say about our seemingly permanent state of war with Iran?
Given this administration’s track record, perhaps making it more difficult to send humanitarian goods into Iran was the point.
Trump’s plan for Middle East peace isn’t just a giveaway to the Israeli right-wing. It will also have negative impacts on U.S. regional partners.
Battlefield supremacy is becoming increasingly irrelevant.
A new survey finds that those Americans who have lived most of their lives with the U.S. at war are looking for something new.
After 18-plus years of our forever wars, where are all the questions? Who’s been fired for them? Who’s been impeached? Who’s even paying attention?
The disinformation campaign against a new United Nations database aims to legitimize the Israeli settler movement and those who illegally profit from it.
Putin and Erdogan have weathered some storms together. Might they finally reach their breaking point?
The time may have finally arrived for the Palestinians to disabuse themselves of the hope that the status quo Arab political order could help them.
Donald Trump’s use of Pentagon spending and military assistance for political gain has been hiding in plain sight since he entered the Oval Office.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is testing the assumption that neither Russia nor the United States can afford to lose Turkey.
Rep. Ilhan Omar’s new foreign policy initiative includes a measure to rein in the executive branch’s misuse of economic sanctions.
It’s entirely possible that the intelligence community felt pressure from Team Trump to blame Iran, without sufficient evidence, for a recent attack on a military base in Iraq.
Support for international organizations and multilateralism remains high despite Donald Trump’s rhetoric.
There was big news out of the Philippines this week that in normal times would have sparked loud complaints from the DC foreign policy establishment.
Donald Trump never campaigned on cutting Medicare and Social Security and give the savings to the Pentagon. But that’s exactly what he has proposed to do.
Erik Prince is America’s poster child for our current stereotype of a war profiteer, wannabe mercenary, and perhaps the E.F. Hutton of all warmongers.
It’s probably a long shot but the U.N. General Assembly could invoke what’s called the “Uniting for peace” resolution to de-escalate tensions.
The past months have seen an unprecedented level of diplomatic engagement on the part of Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t want to go to jail so he’s doing anything and everything he can to hold onto power.
The state organizes the schedule of commemoration, but it cannot control the meaning that its people attach to the days.
It’s difficult to grapple with the fact that the very same people who claim to fight for democracy and freedom in Iran, are at the same time eroding the foundations of democracy in the United States.
The future of U.S. policy toward China is up for debate with many in Washington leaning toward confrontation. A new think tank report is no exception.
The Shiite-Sunni divide isn’t the USA vs. the USSR, and Iran is no Soviet Union.
Seeking stability in the Middle East must start with putting the security and needs of people across the region first.
The lure of access to Iranian ports is pushing Central Asian nations like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to improve relations with Tehran, against Saudi wishes.
The Syrian regime’s campaign to retake Idlib has picked up in intensity, threatening death and displacement at levels unseen in Syria’s conflict so far.
A New York Times report raises serious questions about the official U.S. account of the attack on the K-1 base in eastern Iraq on December 27.
After a series of rows, and with more coming, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council should convene a summit to contain their differences.
To create peace and stability in other nations, we must elevate their people to prosperity, instead of crushing them.
A visit to Central Asia by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underscored how Washington sees the region defined by its own rivals.
The rhetorical power of using ‘defeat’ as a shorthand comes with dangers that are likely best avoided by adopting the clarity of simply stating the desired objective.
Arab and Palestinian leaders should stop the two-state charade and move toward a new paradigm of dignity and basic freedoms for the Palestinian people as human beings.
Israel is increasingly seen as a valuable partner in countering Iranian influence while pushing back against Turkey’s alleged ‘neo-Ottoman’ agenda in the Arab world.
Extending New START seems like an easy win for Trump. Why hasn’t he jumped on the opportunity?
This year, three foreign policy issues tightly linked to U.S. domestic politics stand out.
Russian private security firm Wagner has a significant presence in Libya and Vladimir Putin can keep his hands clean.
The gobs of money we throw at the Pentagon isn’t to meant to protect us; it’s meant to protect the Pentagon.
Is Russia enticing China to purchase its gas by employing a ‘loss leader strategy’?
The escalation in U.S.-Iran tensions has implications for Iran’s eastern neighbors, who want to prevent a major new conflict on their borders.
Curtailing U.S. militarism is popular. Maybe it’s time to tackle the Pentagon’s budget too.
The UAE joined the Arab League statement rejecting the proposal, yet UAE officials in DC applauded it and attended the launch event at the White House.
The Trump administration’s new Israel-Palestine plan, which endorses nearly everything Israel wants, is not a peace plan at all.
The new Lebanese government represents a continuity of the status quo with the ruling oligarchy running the show behind the scenes.
Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ speech condemned Palestinians for terrorism and praised Israel for peace — all while ignoring Israel’s own violent history.
Time and again, the Trump administration has taken decisions and adopted policies that affect Europe without taking into account its views.
Beyond Iran and Saudi Arabia’s overall human rights abuses, recent reports highlight their failure to ensure the safety and rights of persecuted minorities.
A new collection of journal articles opens a window on debates within Russia and illuminates the thinking behind its Middle East policies.
Champions of environmental and human justice must recognize the climate crisis and militarism as partners, rather than isolated evils.
Tensions in the Persian Gulf have caused longstanding U.S. partners in the region to reassess the pillars of their defense and security relationships.
Instead of declaring victory and pulling out, the Very Serious People in Washington want the U.S. declare a stalemate and stay in.
With reformers unpopular, low voter turn out in next month’s parliamentary elections could mean a big win for conservatives.
If New START expires next year, there will be no legally binding, verifiable caps on U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals for the first time since 1972
There’s nothing in this ‘plan’ that the Palestinians will accept.
The U.S. may have exacerbated the power imbalance further in Israel’s favor but it will not have compelled Palestinians to abandon their own rights and freedoms.
The benefits of diplomacy are greater and longer-lasting, but not as tangible.
There are real issues with military readiness but throwing more money at weapons systems isn’t part of the solution.
Foreign influence in American democracy has been around a lot longer than Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
In the current political reality, Israeli annexation of the West Bank is the best gift opponents of the occupation can hope for.
A window of opportunity to end the Yemen war may be closing. There is a chance to break the cycle but it will require regional and international effort.
To ease the anxieties in the Gulf Arab states, U.S.-Iran rhetoric needs to scale down. Gulf Arab officials should continue to urge restraint on both sides.
It is possible that de-escalation between the U.S. and Iran might be achieved through international diplomacy. The alternative is a regional or global war.
If George W. Bush and Barack Obama sowed the seeds of the American chaos machine, Donald Trump represents the first true madman at the wheel of state, thanks to his volatile temperament, profound ignorance, and crippling insecurity.
While the U.S. muddles along in the Middle East, Russia and the UAE are building a stronger bond.
A diplomatic path is still open for Iran and the U.S. to resolve tensions and come to agreement.
The viability of the two-state solution evaporates as annexation of the West Bank becomes more normalized.
Lebanon is in serious finanical trouble and it doesn’t appear that anyone has a viable plan for a way out.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister went to Brussels this week and reverted back to the kingdom’s hawkish anti-Iran talking points.
Why does the Trump administration keeping giving Mohammed bin Salman a free pass?
If local and foreign actors fail to follow through on promises made at the Berlin Libya conference, Libyans will pay the price.
It looks like the Blob is starting to come around to the idea that maybe the U.S. approach to the Middle East for the last 20 years or so hasn’t been all that great.
Israel must address the question of whether the original idea of the Zionist movement of a state that is both Jewish and democratic is not deeply oxymoronic.
The E3’s decision to trigger the Dispute Resolution Mechanism of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal could spell the end of that agreement.
Last month’s Islamic summit in Malaysia highlighted the risks and fragility of acquiescence to the repression of Muslims in China and India.
President Trump is continuing to paint himself into a corner where war with Iran is the only way out.
Cotton’s slur against NIAC has nothing to do with curbing foreign influence and everything to do with trying to discredit a voice that has pointed out the futility of Cotton’s preferred policy on Iran of nothing but punishment, isolation, and the threat of war.
This is classic McCarthyism: alleging or insinuating, on the basis of no good evidence, that Americans whose political views you dislike are acting in the service of a foreign power.
Resistance to Donald Trump must extend to a U.S. military machine that’s moving like a runaway train, undeterred by the human costs of its destruction.
The proxy war in Libya is increasingly colored by Emirati and Egyptian opposition to efforts to resolve divisions among the Gulf states.
Israel played no public role in Qassem Soleimani’s death but it sees an opportunity.
The post-Soleimani Middle East offers challenges and opportunities, but the U.S. does not seem to have a strategy to either mitigate or exploit them.
The E3 decision to trigger the Dispute Resolution Mechanism looks more like an attempt to shift the blame for its own impotence onto Iran rather than a necessary act of last resort to save the JCPOA.
Donald Trump’s drone war should remind us how dangerous it is when a president claims the legal authority to kill in secret and no one can stop him.
Despite bluster from the prime minister, Israeli military intelligence doesn’t believe Iran is the greatest threat to the country and it has assessed that Iran is not interested in a “quick breakthrough” to obtain nuclear weapons.
Tamim bin Hamad Al Than was the first head of state to visit Iran since the Soleimani assassination. It was his first trip to Tehran as Emir of Qatar.
The cycle of elections after the 2009 Green Movement is already being replaced from below by an emerging cycle of protest and violent counter-demonstration, an accelerating path to ruin without the usual offramp of elections to restore the peace.
With parliamentary elections upcoming, most analysts in Iran believe they will favor hard-line forces associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Whether this move was self-imposed, or the result of President Trump threatening a 25 percent tariff on European cars, what do the U.K., France, and Germany hope to achieve?
There’s a reason why President Ford ended American-sponsored assassination as act of U.S. policy.
And as long as U.S. forces stay in Iraq, Baghdad and Tehran have a reason to stay close.
Triggering the Iran nuclear deal’s dispute mechanism is an assertive move by the E3, but it is also a gamble that could save or sink the agreement.
Leaving militarily does not mean leaving all together. The United States should continue to pursue its Middle East interests diplomatically and economically.
The fallout from Trump escalating tensions with Iran isn’t just felt in the Middle East.
The memory of the 1979 hostage crisis, and the visceral feeling of humiliation and rage it inspired, plainly colors Trump’s views on Iran today.
The biggest impediment to any resurgence of ISIS in Iraq would be good governance and stability in Iraqi politics. U.S. troops are not contributing to those goals.
If Iranian military and political leaders learn the right lessons from this incident, they will implement the long overdue reform of Iran’s political, economic, and administrative structures.
It is in the interest of the region, Europe, and the world to help Iran succeed in managing the economic fallout from Trump’s sanctions.
Can we breathe easy or have we merely paused to catch our collective breath before resuming the climb up the escalation ladder?
If there is a silver lining, it is that Washington and Teheran have moved away from the brink of war and have opted to take the de-escalation off-ramps they offered each other since Soleimani’s killing.
Individuals outside Iran who are advocating for an aggressive intervention or a war against Iran are primarily driven by their own ideological convictions, rather than by genuine care for the wellbeing of the people of Iran.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia have breathed a collective sigh of relief following signs of de-escalation between Tehran and Washington.
Thirty years later, perhaps it’s time to assess just how well the United States has fulfilled the expectations President Bush articulated in 1990.
There are plenty of intermediaries working to cool U.S.-Iran tensions. The European Union should be putting its recourses toward saving the JCPOA.
One well-established principle of sanctions policy is that the country or group imposing the sanctions must be prepared to take yes for an answer.
Few noticed Trump’s recent offer to work with Iran to combat ISIS and on other “shared priorities.”
The assassination of Qassem Soleimani emphasizes America’s confounding inability to think through the role of military force as an instrument of strategy.
It would be smart for Oman’s two closest Western allies, the United States and Great Britain, to reach out to work with the new leader as soon as possible.
Pompeo’s directive appears to put an end to the Trump administration’s hinting that it supports efforts to destabilize the Iranian government if not topple it.
Ultimately, negotiations, dialogue, and engagement remain the real pathway out of the decades-long conflict between the United States and Iran.
War profiteering is one thing. Funding the enemy who kills your own troops is quite another. Such a concept is inherently a Catch 22.
The Trump administration has no intention of respecting the wishes of the Iraqi government.
Is Donald Trump beginning to learn some of the lessons that can enable him finally to start growing up in the presidency?
If we, the people of the U.S. and Iran realize that we have much more in common with each other than we do with our respective national governments, then we can come together and promote global engagement, people-to-people exchanges and diplomacy.
The past almost 20 years provide good evidence that our bomb-first-ask-hard-questions-never approach to violence and security challenges has not made us or the world safer.
Like people of color and those of different religions or genders, women experience different challenges and can face greater obstacles to progress — particularly in security-focused careers and institutions that are male-dominated.
Power dynamics in the Muslim world are shifting and splintering, with Saudi Arabia on the outside looking in.
Putin’s investment doesn’t appear to be working out as he may have hoped.
In the end, Trumo’s assassination of Qassem Soleimani is a futile act, a confession of a bankrupt non-strategy.
We’ve avoided war for now. But the regime-change crowd in Washington won’t stop trying.
Trump doesn’t seem to realize that he himself built the escalation ladder by withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.
To the sure delight of the hardliners inside and outside the U.S. administration who have always favored regime change, Trump has no plan B that can create a credible path back to diplomacy and negotiations.
President Kennedy once said that, “Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all peoples to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly toward it.”
Hawks hated the Iran nuclear deal because they feared not that it would fail to prevent Iran from getting the bomb, but that it would succeed — and thereby deprive the United States of a rationale to dominate the region and discipline its foe.
Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah recently warned that retaliation for the Soleimani assassination would be aimed at U.S. military assets, suggesting that suicide bombers will be deployed.
If U.S. troops in Iraq are attacked by Iran, the Trump administration will feel compelled to respond, and the U.S. will soon be fighting yet another war in the Middle East.
Regime change is now in its coffin and the assassination of Soleimani is the last nail hammered in.
The attempt to create discord within Iran over the killing of Soleimani, who was widely respected by Iranians of many different walks of life as the protector of Iranian national security, is doomed to fail.
The political fallout from Trump’s kill order will extend far wider than Iraq.
If Trump and Pompeo really want to de-escalate, that means not only backing off from more provocative and deadly kinetic acts; it also means backing off from the economic warfare that started the destructive cycle.
Would Trump ever assassinate a Chinese military leader?
Congress had the chance to repeal the law authorizing the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Team Trump is now using it as legal justification for killing Soleimani.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed President Obama for starting a war with Iran.
This latest act of “foreign policy by assassination” will be largely rejected by most in the world. Only a few craven Gulf kings and princes—and Israel—will applaud it.
The outlines of the blowback are already taking shape as the Iraqi government, even some neutral and anti-Iran factions, have condemned the attack as, at the very least, an insult to the sovereignty of their country.
U.S. officials privy to the intelligence Trump used to determine a purported “imminent” threat from Iran say the evidence was “razor thin.”
The latest developments in Iraq and the greater Middle East illustrate the flaws in a piecemeal, unrealistic, and excessively military-reliant U.S. strategy.
Iran actively maintains a network of thousands of militants in the region, with organizations like Hezbollah, Hamas and the Popular Mobilization Forces ready to provide fighters.
One month ago ago, Democratic leaders in Congress folded on an important military policy proposal that could have blocked a Trump war with Iran.
Soleimani’s death will not end the opposition. Instead, it is an invitation to ignore the existing rules of the game. Americans in the Middle East, whatever their profession, are now targets.
this year U.S. domestic politics will have a greater impact than usual on the way that U.S. foreign policy is conducted.
The Turkish troop deployment to Libya is set to significantly escalate Ankara’s tensions with Cairo, Abu Dhabi, and other regional capitals along with Moscow.
This weekend’s US military strikes against Iraqi militias associated with Iran suggest that world leaders ignore the protests at their peril.
Washington’s decision on December 29 to bomb the Iraqi militia sites along the Iraqi-Syrian border threw a hand-grenade into that chaotic, but strongly anti-Iranian, political maelstrom.
The DC foreign policy elite moved quickly to try to downplay the Afghanistan papers to keep the U.S. military there indefinitely.
A diverse group of young policy professionals has joined forces to start a new organization that will develop a foreign policy platform for the next generation.
This week’s U.S. airstrikes in Iraq have converted what had been a story of popular protests with an anti-Iran tinge into a story of strongly anti-U.S. protests.
The consequences of the U.S. attack on Iraqi Shiite militia group Kataib Hezbollah far outweigh whatever short sighted benefits the Trump administration is claiming.
Someone will pay: the question is who, and whether any government can produce a program perceived as vaguely equitable by most Lebanese
In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Duyeon Kim explains what could be motivating Pyongyang’s escalation and what to expect in 2020.
Beware of “isolationism” charges and the quest for more sanctions.
When looking at what UAE interests have driven Abu Dhabi to re-embrace Bashar al-Assad’s government so openly, there are numerous factors in play.
Trump administration claims of support for the Iranian people are disingenuous and do not mitigate the effects of their “maximum pressure” campaign.
As Lebanon teeters on default, new PM Hassan Diab’s ability to cobble together a functioning government depends principally on his courage and vision.
Many in the international community at large will refuse to accept Saudi Arabia’s secretive court proceedings around the Khashoggi murder as credible.
The Court could also issue a formal ruling on whether it has jurisdiction to investigate war crimes in the Occupied Territories, thereby removing ambiguity regarding a key Israeli government argument against it.
As the first U.S. president with no prior public service experience and one who doesn’t read books or most anything else, Trump probably has the shallowest understanding of world affairs of any president in U.S. history.
The struggle against corruption in the Arab world faces hurdles that may prevent today’s demonstrators from realizing the unformed and unrealized dreams of comprehensive political change.
It’s difficult to quantify the indirect human costs of war: mental illness or chronic injuries in people eternally grieving or struggling to adjust to worlds that have often been turned upside down.
The Washington Post’s publication of the “Afghanistan Papers” unveiled over 2,000 pages of unpublished notes of interviews with U.S. officials involved […]
Increasing inaction at the national level means that cities are playing larger role in internatioanal affairs than ever before.
China’s belief that economics rather than geopolitics is the key to solving disputes has so far allowed it to remain above the breach but has yet to prove its sustainability.
Congress has made clear it isn’t moved by recent revelations of dishonesty and waste in our war-making.
Rouhani following through on the Japan trip now may indicate that he has the authority from Khamenei to explore avenues for renewed U.S.-Iran diplomacy.
Maybe reducing the U.S. commitment in the Middle East isn’t such a bad idea.
What does Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have in common with the Rolling Stones?
Everything that the officials said privately, and quoted by the Washington Post, has been documented for years in the numerous reports released by SIGAR.
Soon after 9/11, a group of former Soviet military brass warned us about what has been documented in the Afghanistan Papers.
Research has proven that there are no military solutions in the fight against terrorism.
Foreign policy has been largely absent in the Democratic presidential debates . That has to change.
Conflicts in Libya, Yemen, and Syria appear to be winding down. It’s time for the United States to take a different approach.
We are at this point primarily because the Trump administration refused to be specific about what it was willing to offer Kim.
To get Russia policy right, the Democratic candidates need first to stop ignoring the underlying condition for Russia’s unjustified election meddling in 2016.
For supporters of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, the best outcome from that debate is one that maintains the status quo, the same outcome if the debate never takes shape.
The attributing of bad wars to a lack of government transparency is a shirking of responsibility.
Hopeful talk of a thaw in the Arabian Gulf crisis, which began in June 2017, has emerged following a series […]
A succession of social upheavals over the last decade has radically realigned political power throughout the world. As a result […]
On the House floor this week, Democratic House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith called the final fiscal year 2020 National […]
What does an antisemitism spewing, Nazi dog-whistling President give his favorite Jewish and Christian zealots for the holidays, after already […]
Following years of failed strategies in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is attempting to gradually wind down its operations in the country […]
As the Middle East bids farewell to 2019 and welcomes the new year, the peoples of the region have precious […]
Something those of us who had already seen the U.S./coalition/NATO campaign in Afghanistan up close already knew has now been […]
The Middle East is facing a wave of protests – with the latest unrest in Iran sweeping the country in […]
On December 9, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel presided over a meeting in Paris between Ukraine’s […]
The architects of the Trump administration’s Iran policy expect that the “maximum pressure” strategy would force Iran to renegotiate the […]
On the 66th anniversary of what is known as the “Student Day” in Iran, university students in Tehran and some […]
President Trump and his “bull in a China shop” approach took center stage at a NATO leaders’ conference last week, […]
After months of confrontation, U.S.-Iran relations finally produced something positive, as both sides agreed to a swap of prisoners. Iran […]
The Washington Post released documents Monday detailing the extent to which the public was “deliberately” misled about the failure to […]
There is a laundry list of reasons for why the U.S. foreign policy establishment comes up short on so many […]
The shooting at the Pensacola naval air station, and the Trump administration’s reaction to it, illustrate much of what is […]
Many argue that Iran’s ballistic missile program should be a major focal point for U.S. policy. In this view, the […]
President Donald Trump often gets credit for unwittingly pushing the Europeans to re-think their security and place in the world. […]
In the spring of 2014, we realized we at Win Without War had a problem. On one hand, we knew […]
Sweden’s detention of an Iranian allegedly involved in the 1988 prison massacres is both the latest attempt at universal jurisdiction […]
Nearly two decades after al-Qaida attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, the national security establishment is ready to […]
In the past half century during which I have reported on Middle Eastern politics, society, and development — now de-development […]
American diplomacy currently finds itself in a precarious position. It has had difficult moments throughout history, but diplomats’ congressional testimonies […]
Recently, the Internet was set aflame over “OK boomer,” a two-word retort Millennials and Generation Z are using to encapsulate […]
The dramatic changes in the international system over the past two decades—a major rebalancing of world power and increasingly pressing […]
Suddenly, in recent weeks, the Islamic regime in Iran has woken up in a new and uncertain environment. Long gone […]
It’s a headline that should, by all appearances, be considered “good news.” But somehow the November 18 declaration, “VA announces […]
Remember the Patriot Act? It still exists, and law enforcement is still widely abusing it. A key part of this […]
After 25 years of repeated failures, Americans want a foreign policy that preserves the security of the United States, enhances […]
French President Emanuel Macron has said, “What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO.” He attributes much […]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under indictment for corruption, has been launching vociferous counterattacks that sound quite familiar to anyone […]
Popular protests in Iran came at a particularly delicate time for the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers, […]
With protests flaring up around the country over a hike in fuel prices, the atmosphere in Iran is febrile. At […]
In recent years there has been remarkable upheaval between Persian Gulf countries. Iran and Qatar have been on mostly extremely […]
In the latest reversal of long-standing United States policy in the Middle East, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared this […]
More than a month after protestors first took to the streets across Iraq, Adil Abdul Mahdi surprisingly remains the country’s […]
The unrivaled and unchallenged exertion of American military power around the world, or what’s known as “primacy,” has been the […]
Ahmadinejad’s aggressive foreign policy and divisive rhetoric fueled Iran’s international pariah status.
Lebanon’s largely peaceful “Arab Spring” is a model in civic activism for the greater Middle East. Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s […]
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