Strategy & Conflict

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Snapshot,
Asher Orkaby

The Houthis are one of the most effective military forces combating the expansion of al Qaeda and ISIS in the Arabian Peninsula. If the West turns its back on the Houthi leadership because of antagonistic slogans, opportunistic relations with Iran, or Hadi’s protestations, it might end up forsaking a serious partner.

Snapshot,
Marlene Laruelle

Washington's latest sanctions have missed the mark. Targeting an ideologue such as Alexander Dugin will do little to punish Russia for its crimes against Ukraine.

Snapshot,
Gregory Feifer

Last December, an emotional defense of the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine began swirling around the Internet. Amid the volleys of opinion about Moscow’s actions, the provenance of this particular open letter stood out: its authors were descendants of some of the most powerful Russian aristocratic families that fled the country after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.

Snapshot,
Adam P. Liff and Andrew S. Erickson

Since September 2012, the waters and airspace surrounding the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea have become increasingly crowded. China is conducting more military and paramilitary operations, and Japan is scrambling fighter jets daily. The risk of an unintended low-level incident escalating to a crisis has reached new heights. Given this reality, the two sides urgently need effective bilateral crisis management mechanisms.

Snapshot,
Paul Stronski

Criminal and militant groups in eastern Ukraine, although formally united against the Ukrainian state, are mostly just interested in the spoils of war. The commanders of these groups have little incentive to build a peace that weakens their own power.

Snapshot,
Dafna H. Rand and Nicholas A. Heras

In early March, Baghdad started a push to retake the historic city of Tikrit, in the center of the so-called Sunni triangle. Some Americans must be feeling a sense of déjà vu; the U.S. military tried something similar as part of the 2006-07 Arab Sunni Awakening. Then as now, counterterrorism operations combined with efforts to win Sunni hearts and minds required the tough, tedious work of offering the right guarantees and incentives to “flip” key leaders of the Iraqi Sunni tribal region away from the terrorists in their midst.

Snapshot,
Michael Knights

Unthinkable just a decade ago, the main government forces leading the battle in Tikrit are Shia fighters—the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) that are under the control of militia leaders. Worryingly, these forces’ main partners are Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah.

Snapshot,
Asher Orkaby

Observers might be surprised to hear of increasingly friendly relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. But a warming of relations—and even coordinated military operationswould hardly be unprecedented, as the historical record makes clear.

Letter From,
Gregory Feifer

From Klaipeda to Vilnius, Lithuanians are preparing for the day that Russian President Vladimir Putin turns from Crimea and the civil war in eastern Ukraine toward them or their neighbors in Latvia and Estonia. Their jitters are understandable; every family in the Baltics has direct experience with Russian occupation.

Snapshot,
Soner Cagaptay and Marc Sievers

The chaos in the Middle East has tested many relationships, not least the one between Egypt and Turkey. In the immediate term, it seems likely that the two countries' rivalry will exacerbate the Libyan civil war. Further out, even worse could be in store.

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