Middle East

Why Iran Should—But Might Not—Take Up Latest U.S. Offer of Negotiations

The recent firing or resignation of President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton has heightened speculation that Trump will meet with his Iranian counterpart President Hassan Rouhani on the margins of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)...

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Focus on the Big Picture: Washington’s Options in Syria

Even after eight years of civil war and the U.S. intervention to combat the Islamic State (IS), the future of northeast Syria still is unsettled. Washington faces the various divergent interests of powerful external actors, including Russia and Turkey—one...

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Roundtable: The Iranian Way of War

The Islamic Republic of Iran has been at war for almost its entire existence, beginning with the Iraqi invasion of the country in 1980 and, then, in an asymmetric way in support of regional clients, often working against American...

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Through Thick and Thin: Will Danish Military Engagements with the U.S. Endure in the Middle East?

What many initially treated as a joke may cause a rift in U.S.-Denmark relations. President Donald Trump’s peculiar offer to buy Greenland from Denmark has caused an unexpected controversy. Trump showed that the news report was no joke when...

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The Future of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces

Facing the existential threat of the then-rapidly expanding Islamic State in 2014, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki officially established the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) to assist in the defense of Iraq. Ayatollah Sistani, a prominent Shia cleric, called...

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The Future of Northeast Syria

A project of the Atlantic Council and Foreign Policy Research Institute  The future of northeast Syria is unsettled after eight ...

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Insurgents and the Flip Side of Special Operations

While the Islamic State’s physical caliphate is no more, it is clear that the group has successfully transitioned back to a uniform insurgency contesting for influence in areas of Syria and Iraq. Certainly, its far-flung affiliates in Asia and...

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A Pathway Forward for the U.S. and Turkey in Syria: A Virtual Safe Zone

On August 7th, after three days of military-to-military talks in Ankara, the United States and Turkey released a statement pledging ...

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Failaq al-Khamis and Prospects for Peace in Syria

As the battle lines in the Syrian Civil War continue to harden, some opposition forces and communities have chosen to reconcile with the Assad regime rather than prolong a conflict that they cannot win. With Russian assistance, the Assad...

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Implications of the Death of Hamza bin Laden

Several unnamed U.S. government officials recently leaked the news that Hamza bin Laden, the son of al-Qaeda founder and its longtime leader Osama bin Laden, has been killed. Details surrounding Hamza’s death have been murky, although it now appears...

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