Strategy & Conflict

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Snapshot,
Dennis Ross

A comprehensive deal is the least likely outcome to emerge from the Iranian nuclear talks before the November 24 deadline. It would be to both sides' advantage to find a way to muddle through by avoiding any formalized agreement or extension.

Snapshot,
Halil Karaveli

Turkey has anticipated Assad’s downfall ever since protests first broke out in Syria in 2011. It has been disappointed at every turn, though, and now it is not only Assad who is in trouble but Turkey as well.

Snapshot,
Daphna Canetti, Sivan Hirsch-Hoefler, and Ehud Eiran

Being exposed to violence makes one more likely to reject of peace and back extremists. Any effort to settle the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians must, therefore, include greater efforts to deal with the personal traumas on both sides that now drive this 100-year war.

Review Essay,
Jordan Chandler Hirsch

The Egyptian-Israeli peace deal is the one aspect of the Middle Eastern order that has not fallen apart in recent years. But a new book misinterprets Washington's contribution to the agreement. Far from breaking the shackles of religion, history, and geopolitics that had previously ensnared the parties and prevented them from making concessions, the United States played a much more modest role.

Snapshot,
Thomas de Waal

Azerbaijan claims to be interested in the Western liberal order. In reality, the country’s elites want to increase their wealth without threatening Azerbaijan’s oligarchic political system.

Snapshot,
Joseph Chinyong Liow

In assembling an international coalition to combat ISIS, the United States has looked mostly to the Middle East and Europe, regions that it said face a direct threat from the militant Islamist group. But other parts of the world are just as anxious about ISIS -- above all, Southeast Asia.

Snapshot,
David Brown

Vietnam once hoped to manage China's regional ambitions by showing Beijing deference. But Hanoi now has a new strategy: cozying up to its one-time enemy, the United States.

Postscript,
Joshua Yaffa

Late last week in Minsk, negotiators representing Ukraine, the separatist forces, and Russia agreed to a ceasefire. If this deal holds -- plenty of earlier ceasefires have fallen apart as soon as they were signed -- then the active phase of fighting in eastern Ukraine will have come to end on terms favorable to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Snapshot,
Eric Lorber

A Russia with a sophisticated military and a cratered economy would pose a substantial threat to its neighbors, especially since many of those neighbors possess large amounts of valuable natural resources. In other words, although sanctions may be intended to deter Russia from adventurism in its near abroad, they could end up doing just the opposite.

Snapshot,
Nathaniel Zelinsky

What does an ISIS militant mean when he raises his index finger? Or an Egyptian activist who raises four? Although Western observers have largely ignored them, such gestures provide a unique window into the evolving politics of the Middle East.

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