Levant

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Snapshot,
Steven Simon

Despite the pandemonium in the Middle East, Sykes-Picot seems to be alive and well. That shouldn’t be surprising. Land borders settled via negotiation, especially when sealed by treaty, tend to be stable, even where relations between the neighboring states remain volatile or even hostile.

Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
Kenneth M. Pollack

Washington’s current efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria will not break the stalemate. The only way to restore peace without committing U.S. troops is to build a new Syrian army capable of defeating both the Assad regime and the extremists. 

Snapshot,
Barak Mendelsohn

It is hard to believe ISIS did not understand that threatening the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan would mean directly challenging the U.S. alliance with the Kurds and potentially provoking it to fight. Indeed, it is likely that ISIS viewed the possibility as a win-win.

Snapshot,
Michael J. Koplow and Jordan Chandler Hirsch

Israel was correct to disengage from Gaza. And now, to protect itself in the long run, it must do so again from the West Bank.

Snapshot,
Benedetta Berti

Over the past few weeks, any talk of Israel redeploying from the Gaza Strip has been met with public calls for continued military operations to defeat and disarm Hamas. But, these days, it seems that Israel is focusing on a more realistic exit strategy. That is a good thing.

Snapshot,
Dalia Dassa Kaye

The longer the conflict in Gaza continues, the harder it will be to insulate the negotiations from other events in the region -- and that does not bode well for a successful outcome.

Snapshot,
Ariel Ilan Roth

Israel's tactical achievements against Hamas can't be minimized. But they do not equal a strategic victory. War, as Clausewitz famously taught, is the continuation of politics by other means. Wars are fought to realign politics in a way that benefits the victor and is detrimental to the loser. But the Israelis have lost sight of this distinction.

Snapshot,
Hussein Ibish

Netanyahu's entire career has been defined by careful calculation, caution, and a steadfast commitment to the status quo. But since the onset of Israel's ongoing war with Hamas, he has found himself in a situation well outside of his comfort zone.

Snapshot,
Benedetta Berti and Zack Gold

The similarities between this month’s hostilities between Hamas and Israel and those during their last major confrontation, in November 2012, are striking. Yet one thing has changed: the relationship between Hamas and Egypt.

Snapshot,
Matthew Levitt

Soon after three Israel teenagers were kidnapped last month, Israeli officials leaked to the press the name of the Hamas operational commander who is believed to be behind a recent surge in kidnapping plots. It was a familiar one for those who follow Hamas closely: Salah al-Arouri, a longtime Hamas operative from the West Bank, who now lives openly in Turkey. 

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