Syrian Conflict

Iraq Security Forces Conduct Operations in Lead-up to US Drawdown

Coming the same week as Secretary Pompeo’s Middle East tour, the incident is a powerful example of the regional threat posed by Iran. Other than a photograph of a badly damaged building, details have been slow to emerge about the January 7 clash in the Qatif area of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. Authorities waited two… Keep reading →

Iraq Security Forces Conduct Operations in Lead-up to US Drawdown

Jerusalem seeks to mitigate the potential risks of the president’s decision by shaping its implementation and obtaining U.S. security guarantees, though long-term concerns still loom. Israeli officials have been careful not to publicly criticize President Trump’s recent announcement that all U.S. military forces will be pulled out of Syria. Below the surface, however, they have… Keep reading →

Life In Riyadh

Ministerial changes seemed likely in the wake of the Khashoggi crisis, but some of the specifics came as a surprise. On December 27, Saudi Arabia announced new appointments in the name of King Salman that substantially alter the makeup of the Political and Security Affairs Council, the key decisionmaking body chaired by defense minister and… Keep reading →

Daily Life In Istanbul

The combination of premature steps would further damage U.S. credibility while giving Iranian proxies and Islamic State remnants free rein in east Syria. On December 19, multiple media sources reported that Washington is preparing for an imminent withdrawal of all U.S. forces in east Syria. The reports followed statements two days earlier by President Recep… Keep reading →

Republican Presidential Candidates Debate On Economy In New Hampshire

ERBIL, IRAQ – Secretary Perry was in Iraq, leading a U.S. delegation for talks with government officials in Baghdad and Erbil. During the visit to Baghdad, he met with key leaders including: President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy and Minister of Oil Thamir Ghadban, Minister of Electricity Luay Al-Khateeb… Keep reading →

Life In Riyadh

Riyadh’s allies need to adjust more to the kingdom’s dynamic decisionmaking, once noted for being slow and cautious. In the almost four years since King Salman ascended to the throne, Saudi policy initiatives attributable to his son Muhammad bin Salman (MbS) have been rapid, surprising to outsiders, and considerably significant. They can almost be described… Keep reading →

U.S. Officials Push For Yemen Talks

Iraq Security Forces Conduct Operations in Lead-up to US Drawdown

Washington’s abrupt change in tone could bolster the UN envoy’s efforts to end the fighting and convene negotiations sooner rather than later. On October 30, the U.S. government’s public position on Yemen appeared to shift as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis called for the parties to cease hostilities and begin… Keep reading →


Economic sanctions, in one form or another, have been applied for centuries to effect change in the activities or policies of states, groups or individuals

OPEC Ministers Attend Conference In Iran

Khamenei’s latest guidelines for Iranian culture and governance focus on resisting any efforts to reform the regime’s decisionmaking tendencies. On October 14, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei released a draft of the “Islamic-Iranian Blueprint for Progress,” a document that outlines his vision for the next half century. The final version of this blueprint is not expected… Keep reading →

'Warbirds Over Wanaka' Airshow

Russia delivered advanced air-defense systems to Syria after the recent airplane-downing incident, but its desire to check Iran could permit continued Israeli operations in the Syrian skies. On September 17, the Syrian Air Defense Force shot down a Russian Ilyushin 20 (IL-20) surveillance aircraft following the latest Israeli Air Force (IAF) strike on Iranian precision-missile-production… Keep reading →

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