Syria News

Are there any reasons for hope in the Middle East? Maybe.

Aug 27, 2015
In the aftermath of the Iran nuclear agreement, there was a broad expectation, both in the region and beyond, that sectarian tensions and conflict would intensify and deepen the proxy battle between Iran and Saudi Arabia. In the United States, even some strong supporters of the nuclear deal emphasized that Washington needed to respond aggressively to the inevitable push by Tehran to expand its regional influence at the expense of traditional U.S. allies.

What’s Behind Turkey’s U-Turn on the Islamic State?

Jul 29, 2015
After years of disagreement, the U.S. and Turkey are preparing to fight together in Syria. Henri Barkey explains Ankara's change of heart.

The Iran Nuke Deal Could End Any Hope of Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Jul 22, 2015
"An agreement this complex will require interaction between the United States and Iran at many levels. To what extent that interaction, cooperation, and problem-solving (rather than problem-creating) will extend from the nuclear issue to regional issues is another matter," writes Aaron David Miller.
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Turkey blames ISIS for suicide bombing

Jul 20, 2015
"If there is one group in the Middle East that has managed to bloody ISIS seriously, it has been the Syrian Kurds. Therefore, ISIS has an incentive in hurting the Kurds wherever they are, whether it is in Turkey or in Syria," says Henri Barkey in this interview on CNN.

How the Iran Nuclear Deal Stands to Inflame U.S.-Saudi Tensions

Jul 17, 2015
"Friction between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. over coalition actions in Yemen underscores how the agreement announced this week on Iran’s nuclear program threatens to widen a rift between Washington and its most important Arab ally in the Persian Gulf," writes David Ottaway.

No, the Iran Nuclear Deal Will Not Be Good for the U.S.

Jun 18, 2015
"The deal may succeed in slowing Iran’s nuclear program. But sooner or later, some future U.S. President is bound to confront a richer, stronger, more influential Iran, one with nuclear weapons still within its reach," writes Aaron David Miller.

The Islamic State’s Je Ne Sais Quoi

Jun 17, 2015
"To stay even in this war against the Islamic State (an entity which combines 8th century Islamist practices, values, and ideology with 21st century technology) — let alone winning it — seems a stretch. And here’s why," writes Aaron David Miller.

What Inhibits a ‘Complete Strategy’ for Fighting ISIS

Jun 09, 2015
"The Obama administration and its critics in Congress should stop using language like “defeat.” This isn’t World War II. Eliminating ISIS requires fixing Syria and Iraq, creating well-governed, functional states. And not even the hawks in Congress are prepared to expend the resources required for that," writes Aaron David Miller.

5 Reasons the U.S. Cannot Defeat ISIS

Jun 06, 2015
"Even if we finesse the problem and use Obama's clever turn of phrase, to "ultimately defeat" ISIS, as our goal, we had better get used to a very long war. Even with such a war, victory as conventionally defined may still be elusive," writes Aaron David Miller.

How Supplying Sunni Tribes Could Backfire on the U.S.

May 30, 2015
"If the U.S. opens an assistance conduit to the tribes, it could have major consequences among Shiites: It could weaken Mr. Abadi in the eyes of his Shiite constituency; it could undermine the premise of central government the U.S. is trying to support; it could even lead Iran to more aggressively push their Shiite militias in Iraq, further weakening the idea of centralized authority," writes Aaron David Miller.

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