Strategy & Conflict

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Snapshot,
Steven A. Cook

For Gallipoli’s Turkish defenders, the battle there was an important victory in defense of the Ottoman Empire. Paradoxically, it also became a touchstone of the nationalism that was so important to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey less than a decade later. Likewise, celebrations planned for the battle’s centenary reflect the tension between the valorization of the Ottoman era and the hallowed memory of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Snapshot,
John Lee

Tiny Djibouti in the Horn of Africa is a key strategic outpost for U.S. armed forces. But with China getting in on the act, Washington would do well to pay more attention to the country—or risk losing its foothold there.

Snapshot,
Denise Natali

Within Iraq and Syria, the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS relies heavily on Kurdish Peshmerga. But the Peshmerga haven’t been a total success story; Peshmerga forces are using coalition air strikes to engineer territorial and demographic changes that are antagonizing Sunni Arabs—the very communities the United States needs on its side to degrade ISIS.

Snapshot,
Mohsen Milani

Saudi Arabia is grossly exaggerating Iran’s power in Yemen to justify its own expansionist ambitions. Iran is not the cause of the civil war, nor are the Houthis its proxy. Chaos, not Iran, controls the Arab world's poorest nation.

Snapshot,
Geoff D. Porter

From conflict in Mali to Libya's dangerous morass, Algeria has never faced such serious threats directly on its own borders. For the moment, the country appears determined to follow its usual strategy of pushing for political solutions to the external crises while beefing up its internal security as a safeguard if these solutions fail. The problem with this strategy is that asks too much from ordinary Algerians, who can only hope that it’s the best way to protect the normalcy that they hold so dear.

Postscript,
Michael Bröning

The establishment of a truly representative Arab army operating under the auspices of a reformed Arab League would be a welcome addition to the region, but the proposed “unified Arab force”—helpful in glossing over tensions among Sunni states but detrimental to relations between the Arab League and Iran—is not.

Snapshot,
Aaron Stein

Although Turkey has sided with Saudi Arabia in Yemen, it won't be backing Riyadh in opposing the region's Shiite powers anytime soon. Rather, Ankara's strategy relies on carefully balancing Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Snapshot,
Nicholas Waller

More than a decade after overt hostilities between Russia and Chechen separatists ended in the Caucasus, two old foes clash once again, this time in Ukraine.

Snapshot,
Jason Warner and Michael W. Baca

Boko Haram is on the run. But that doesn’t mean that Nigeria is in the clear. As outside observers have focused on defeating the terrorist group, few have paid attention to the looming postwar reconstruction effort, whose success will determine whether northeastern Nigeria continues to be a source of instability in West Africa.

Snapshot,
Hassan Hassan

Although ISIS defeats in Tikrit and other Sunni areas would seem like good things, the United States should tread carefully. The air campaign against ISIS in Iraq has reached its limits; more strikes won’t help against ISIS and will only further destabilize the sectarian balance in the country. It is time to take the battle further north to Syria.

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