What the Idlib Crisis Means for Turkey and Russia

Mar 18, 2020

As the civil war in Syria moves toward an end, it becomes ever more difficult to postpone resolution of the toughest issues. Each actor has different priorities, which are not easy to reconcile. The Syrian regime wants to regain full control of its territory, while Russia and Iran are particularly...

The Unfolding Humanitarian Catastrophe in Idlib
Mar 04, 2020

The Unfolding Humanitarian Catastrophe in Idlib

The Paradoxical State of Turkish Politics
Mar 03, 2020

The Paradoxical State of Turkish Politics

The UK Election: What About Foreign Policy?
Dec 09, 2019

The UK Election: What About Foreign Policy?

Nuclear Weapons: The Lies and Broken Promises

Nuclear Weapons: The Lies and Broken Promises

Dec 02, 2019

When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told an economic meeting in the city of Sivas this September that Turkey was considering building nuclear weapons, he was responding to a broken promise. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the government of Iran...

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

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...

Welcome to the New Middle East

Welcome to the New Middle East

Nov 06, 2019

The fallout from the September attack on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities is continuing to reverberate throughout the Middle East, sidelining old enmities — sometimes for new ones — and re-drawing traditional alliances. While Turkey’s recent invasion of northern Syria is...

Can Iraq’s New Foreign Policy Approach Succeed?

Can Iraq’s New Foreign Policy Approach Succeed?

Oct 30, 2019

Since October 2018, when the new Iraqi government took office, President Barham Saleh and Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi highlighted that the war-torn country was never again to be involved in regional disputes and that it was time for a new political order. President Saleh defines Iraq's future...

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...

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...

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...

Trump’s Undeclared State of Emergency

Trump’s Undeclared State of Emergency

Oct 11, 2019

Donald Trump’s public appeal to China last week to help with uncovering dirt on the Biden family was both a brazen flouting of the law and (it pains me to say) an astute political tactic. “China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad...

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