A New Balance of Power in the Middle East? Consequences of the U.S. Abandoning the Kurds

Smoke rising in Rasulayn after Turkish shelling. Photo Credit: Arif Hudaverdi Yaman/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images. Turkey’s invasion into Northeast Syria in the wake of the Trump Administration’s withdrawal of troops that were supporting Kurdish partners in the area has left the once stable region in turmoil. The United States’s choice to leave Kurdish allies … Continue reading A New Balance of Power in the Middle East? Consequences of the U.S. Abandoning the Kurds

How Turkey’s “Safe Zone” Could Become a Killing Field for Syria’s Civilians

A woman and her children flee Northern Syria as Turkish forces advance. Photo source: REUTERS/Rodi Said. At a meeting in mid-September Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan outlined a plan to create a safe zone in northern Syria wherein up to three million Syrian refugees currently residing in Turkey could be relocated.[i] This plan, though, rests … Continue reading How Turkey’s “Safe Zone” Could Become a Killing Field for Syria’s Civilians

Unfreezing the Status Quo: Palestinian Politics After Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Abbas addresses the UN General Assembly. Photo Source: Reuter/Lucas Jackson. In mid-September, Israel held its second election in five months to determine the makeup of the 22nd Knesset. Noteworthy was the impressive performance by Benny Gantz and his centrist Blue and White Party, which outmaneuvered Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud for a 33-32 seat … Continue reading Unfreezing the Status Quo: Palestinian Politics After Mahmoud Abbas

Prospects for Russo-Turkish Cooperation: Doomed with Time?

US, Turkish, Russian Defense Chiefs Meet in Antalya, Turkey. Photo Credit: Department of Defense. By: James Millar, Columnist Threats of economic sanctions, cancellation of a long-term F-35 partnership, and increasingly hostile rhetoric currently buffet Ankara. Partially to blame are President Erdogan’s recent $2.5 billion-dollar hardware and training package of S-400 anti-aircraft weapons systems and NATO … Continue reading Prospects for Russo-Turkish Cooperation: Doomed with Time?

In Historic Trilateral Summit, the U.S., Russia, and Israel Focus on Mutual Interests

Official photograph of US, Russian, and Israeli officials. Photo Credit: Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90. National Security Advisor John Bolton met with his Russian and Israeli counterparts, Nikolai Patrushev and Meir Ben-Shabbat, on June 24, 2019. An Israeli defense source on Al-Monitor described the historic trilateral summit as “a crazy event…fifty-two years after Jerusalem’s liberation, we are bringing … Continue reading In Historic Trilateral Summit, the U.S., Russia, and Israel Focus on Mutual Interests

A Nuclear (em)Powered Middle East: Why the United States Cannot Afford a Counterterror Only Approach to the Region

The Barakah nuclear power plant in United Arab Emirates is seen in an undated photo released by the state-run WAM news agency. Photo Credit: Arun Girija/Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation/WAM/AP  By: Taylor Clausen, Columnist  The most recent National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy heralded the return of great power competition. Before the documents’ release, Elbridge … Continue reading A Nuclear (em)Powered Middle East: Why the United States Cannot Afford a Counterterror Only Approach to the Region

Spinning the Syrian Conflict: The Battle to Brand the White Helmets and the Future of Information Warfare

The White Helmets walk through debris in a rebel-held neighborhood of Aleppo. Photo Credit: AFP. By: Krystel Von Kumberg, Columnist Information is a contested resource in today’s world. Perception has become the center of gravity, as humanity’s increasing interconnectedness means that controlling communications is critical to the pursuit of strategic objectives. The cyber domain presents the … Continue reading Spinning the Syrian Conflict: The Battle to Brand the White Helmets and the Future of Information Warfare

Degraded Not Defeated: A Proposition for Forming a New US Security Strategy for Syria

The fall of the ISIS caliphate on March 23, 2019 marks a shift in Syria and the U.S. counterterrorism strategy for the future. Photo Credit: Reuters By: Adrienne Thompson, Columnist  On March 23, 2019, US backed Kurdish forces defeated ISIS’s last occupied Syrian village. Subsequently, President Trump announced the liberation of 100% of ISIS territory … Continue reading Degraded Not Defeated: A Proposition for Forming a New US Security Strategy for Syria

The Risks of Repatriating—Or Not—ISIS Foreign Fighters from the West

Islamic state fighters and their families walk as they surrendered in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria March 12, 2019. Photo Credit: REUTERS/Rodi Said. By: Emily Burchfield, Columnist With ISIS declared territorially defeated in Syria,[i] the U.S. and Europe must focus on what to do with captured foreign fighters. President Trump urged … Continue reading The Risks of Repatriating—Or Not—ISIS Foreign Fighters from the West

Israel’s Election and Deterrence in the Gaza Strip

Illustrative image of a kite with a Molotov cocktail prepared to be flown by Palestinians during clashes with Israeli security forces on the Gaza Israeli border east of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip on April 20, 2018. Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.  By: Taylor Clausen, Columnist This week, Israelis will go to the … Continue reading Israel’s Election and Deterrence in the Gaza Strip