Turkey's Plan in Syria: Squash Dreams of Kurdish Autonomy

Nov 12, 2019

As the Arab Spring morphed into a bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, there was an opportunity for the country’s Kurdish movement to establish, develop and consolidate an autonomous administration. Kurds in Syria have been under long-time oppression by the government of both Hafez al-Assad and...

The Islamic State and Donald Trump’s Delusion
Nov 01, 2019

The Islamic State and Donald Trump’s Delusion

Can Iraq’s New Foreign Policy Approach Succeed?
Oct 30, 2019

Can Iraq’s New Foreign Policy Approach Succeed?

Trump Screenwrites History With Death of IS Chief
Oct 29, 2019

Trump Screenwrites History With Death of IS Chief

Turkey’s Syria Gamble May Be a Losing Game

Turkey’s Syria Gamble May Be a Losing Game

Oct 29, 2019

On October 22, the presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held a seven-hour summit in the resort town of Sochi to discuss Turkey’s incursion into northeastern Syria. Many experts and journalists are portraying the agreed deal as a success for Ankara and Moscow...

The Art of the Back-Pedal

The Art of the Back-Pedal

Oct 25, 2019

It is a hallmark of right-wing populists to make a preposterous policy and then be forced — by opposition, by circumstance, by the laws of physics — to retreat. Three very recent examples involve US President Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Turkish President Recep Tayyip...

Facing the Consequences of Trump’s Decision to Abandon the Kurds

Facing the Consequences of Trump’s Decision to Abandon the Kurds

Oct 25, 2019

The sad tragedy of US President Donald Trump’s precipitous decision to suddenly abandon the Kurds of northern Syria is that it may have been inevitable. Turkey had long warned the Americans that it viscerally opposed its partnership with the People’s Protection Units (YGP) — a Syrian Kurdish...

Iran’s Regime Survives on a Well-Maintained Myth

Iran’s Regime Survives on a Well-Maintained Myth

Oct 24, 2019

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a fundamentally ideological regime with the teleological goal of establishing an Islamist world empire. The mythology of this regime’s ideology naturally requires the existence of the forces of “good” and “evil” along a rigidly drawn line. The regime...

Russia Turns Trump’s Middle East Blunder to Its Advantage

Russia Turns Trump’s Middle East Blunder to Its Advantage

Oct 23, 2019

The Americans call the five-day halt to Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria a ceasefire, while the Turks prefer to call it a pause. The Kurds call the incursion something else. For them, and for American soldiers who fought with them in the war against the Islamic State (IS), as well...

Qatar’s Links to Terrorism: The War of Narratives

Qatar’s Links to Terrorism: The War of Narratives

Oct 21, 2019

As Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates continue their blockade of Qatar, the pair often justify their campaign by accusing Doha of sponsoring terrorism. Most analysts have cast this claim as hypocritical, given Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s history of links to extremist groups from...

It’s Time to Bury the Myth of Trump the Dealmaker

It's Time to Bury the Myth of Trump the Dealmaker

Oct 18, 2019

Donald Trump loves to talk about ending the endless US wars that he inherited as president. He tweets about it. He endlessly criticizes his predecessors for their martial mistakes. But like the old saw about the weather, Trump talks a whole lot about endless wars but doesn’t do...

Mercenaries in the Desert: The Kremlin’s Libya Game

Mercenaries in the Desert: The Kremlin’s Libya Game

Oct 16, 2019

Since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been consumed by a destructive domestic struggle for power aggravated by the involvement of major external players. By 2014-16, two main centers of power emerged. The so-called “western bloc,” nominally led by Fayez al-Sarraj, rests on...

Iraq’s Governance Crisis Reaches a Boiling Point

Iraq’s Governance Crisis Reaches a Boiling Point

Oct 14, 2019

“The Youth in Iraq have a mad stare of despair on their faces. They have seen nothing, but Sanctions and War.” These were the words of a UN official stationed in the International Zone in Baghdad back in 2011. This month, there have been massive protests in different parts of Iraq as a result...

In Sri Lanka, Cartoonists Take on the Alt-Right

In Sri Lanka, Cartoonists Take on the Alt-Right

Oct 14, 2019

It has been traditionally accepted in modern societies that the media play a key role in the way they function. Journalists counteract the abuses of power by governments, frame political issues and are implicitly recognized as being part of the political system with a remarkable amount of...

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