War & Military Strategy

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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,
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.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

With the intervention in Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s military is trying to kill several birds with one stone: safeguard the country from an immediate military threat, assert its leadership of the Arab world, and redress what it sees as a geopolitical imbalance in the Middle East between itself and Iran.

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,
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,
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.

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