Is Peace Religious or Secular?

October 30, 2020

Reporting on yesterday’ horrendous knife attack in Nice’s cathedral, Al Jazeera defined the context: “The incident comes amid growing tensions between France and the Muslim world over French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent speech wherein he said Islam was in ‘crisis’, and amid...

Macron Claims Islam Is in “Crisis.” Erdogan Disagrees

October 27, 2020

In France, Samuel Paty was beheaded on October 16 near Paris. He was a history teacher who had shown caricatures of Prophet Muhammad to his students in a lesson on freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. Paty’s killer, Abdullakh Anzorov, is an 18-year-old of Chechen origin. He arrived in...

Will Idlib Be the Final Move on Syria’s Chessboard?

October 15, 2020

Recent rumblings portend a grim new episode for Syria’s Idlib province. Stretching along the northwestern border with Turkey, Idlib became the last redoubt of forces that oppose President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, namely Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the National Liberation Front,  when...

Armenia and Azerbaijan Clash Again

July 17, 2020

The on-again, off-again conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the border region of Nagorno-Karabakh became hot again on the weekend of July 11. Skirmishes are common in the contested region, which is known as Artsakh to the Armenian side, but this recent round of deadly attacks is the most...

Racism in America Leaves Its Soft Power Greatly Weakened

June 08, 2020

The horrific killing of an unarmed African American man, George Floyd, at the hands of Minneapolis police officers late last month and the ensuing demonstrations and riots across the country provide a stark and hardly compelling backdrop to the US administration’s attempt to employ America’s...

Putin Proposes, Trump Disposes

January 24, 2020

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin is proposing a new constitution. Meanwhile, in Washington, US President Donald Trump is disposing of the old constitution. The first is a demonstration of power meant to showcase the unity of the Russian political system behind a strong leader. The...

Who Wins and Loses in the Middle East?

January 10, 2020

Following Iran’s missile attacks on a two US airbase, one outside Baghdad and the second near Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, US President Donald Trump almost triumphantly announced that Iran is now standing down in their the two countries’ intensified conflict following the killing of Quds Force...

Western Sanctions Are Driving Russia’s Focus on the Middle East

April 15, 2019

With the MENA region quickly becoming Russia’s most profitable destination in terms of exporting arms, the correlation of foreign policy interests is clear. Involved in armed conflicts on two fronts, in eastern Ukraine and Syria, the Russian Federation’s dual campaigns are often closely...

Ongoing Protests in Ingushetia Mean More Political Problems for Moscow

April 05, 2019

Ingush leader Yunus-bek Yevkurov has lost his political legitimacy, and all he can do now is consolidate control until the Kremlin appoints a successor. In the autumn of 2018, Chechnya and Ingushetia signed a controversial land deal that established a new border between the two republics. The...

Is Chechnya Redrawing the Map of the North Caucasus?

December 11, 2018

Moscow begrudgingly permits regional power play in exchange for North Caucasian security, but at what point will it clash with its internal security framework? Two months of contentious ethno-politics between Chechnya and Ingushetia, which prompted extended public demonstrations in the Ingush...

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