Reckoning With the Costs of Iraq 20 Years On
Next month will mark the two-decade anniversary of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. It deserves a more impartial evaluation than it has received.
The United States and the Turkish Elections
The United States will face a careful balancing act as Erdogan confronts the greatest challenge to his rule in over two decades. A wrong move could push Turkey into the arms of Moscow and Beijing.
Khamenei, the Succession, and the Collapsing Iranian Regime
A narrowing inner-circle, purges of the entire state apparatus, and popularity conflated with sedition. Khamenei's management of the Islamic Republic resembles the Shah's final years.
Netanyahu's victory reinforces the fact that for now he is the only man able to bridge Israel's divides and coopt the nation's fragmented political forces.
Iraq's Unrest is the product of a long series of American failures
(Originally published on AMAC https://amac.us/bidens-next-foreign-policy-disaster-destroying-iraq/)
Biden Risks Driving Saudi Arabia into Beijing's Arms
The United States cannot afford passive-aggression with a Saudi Arabia which has other options, and enormous political capital within Washington. (From AMAC https://amac.us/biden-driving-saudis-into-chinas-arms/)
Democracy Didn’t Fail in Afghanistan, Anti-Democratic Liberalism Did
Almost everything the US did in Afghanistan failed. But Democracy did not, as it was never seriously tried. (Originally published by AMAC https://amac.us/democracy-didnt-fail-in-afghanistan-anti-democratic-liberalism-did
How the Outbreak of the Corona-virus in Iran May Cause a Geopolitical Earthquake
All signs point to an uncontrolled outbreak of Ncov19 among Iran's political and military elite. The virus has the potential to not just topple the Iranian regime but reshape the Middle East.
The Overdue Decision to Cut America's Losses in Syria
US aid to the Syrian opposition never had a political objective, and therefore lacked any viable military goals as well. The decision of the Trump Adminstration to terminate it will be spun as Pro-Russian, but is overdue
Iran's Other Elections
For all the focus on Rouhani's reelection as President, the real shift in Iran happened downballot a delayed effect of how important the transfer of the Presidency in 2013 actually was despite the limitations.
When did Obama abandon the Syrian opposition? And why did he never let his UN Ambassador know it?
For all the talk of an Obama-doctrine giving way to a Pro-Russian Trump policy, the shift back to realism already occured during the Syrian conflict.
Old Statesman Merely Fade Away: Ali Akbar Rafsanjani 1934-2017
The dominant figure in Iran following Khomeini's death in 1989, Rafsanjani tried to build a political order on personality rather than ideology or policy and found himself adrift and distrusted by all sides.
In defense of the choice of David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel and Trump's new policy
It needs to be accepted that the Peace Process in Israel is currently comotose and will remain so until it is recognized that any settlement will have to be on Israel's terms or the result of military force.
The events in Aleppo are tragic, but they are also the inevitible result of a policy based on moral outrage rather than strategic calculation, or even an effort to limit human suffering.
The Slow, extended death throws of America's Syria policy
The death of another Syrian rebel "leader" highlights the extent to which Western policy towards Syria increasingly running on sheer inertia with not clear objectives or end goals.
Russian intervention just highlights how the West still lacks a Syria Policy
The confused reaction to the clash between Moscow and Ankara is a testement to how the West's goals in Syria have become so confused that contradictory policies are being pursued simultanously.
The Amazing Shrinking Palestinian National Issue
The recent Israeli elections are a testement to the degree to which the Palestinian issue has become an afterthought even for Israelis. And that is worrysome for Israel's relations with Europe.
Free Gaza? What on Earth Does That Even Mean?
Poltical activism against Israeli actions in Gaza has begun to mirror those actions, falling into a pattern of almost pro forma, generic demands that bear little resemblence to the reality of the conflict.
War, Democracy, and Gaza: Lashing Out is not a Strategy
The Israeli campaign in Gaza serves no strategic or political purpose and is being carried out, much like Hamas' own rocket attacks, in service to sheer inertia.
The Futility of the Israeli-Palestinian "Peace Process"
It is apparent that as often as politicians speak of the Middle East "Peace Process" no such process exists, or can exist until every party recognizes the truism that settlements must reflect the facts on the ground
Iran and America are not on the same side in Iraq
Despite both sharing an enmity with ISIS, the US and Iran have very different goals in Iraq, and the methods being used are often in direct conflict.
Enough about Sykes-Picot Already!
It has become a cliche to blame the international borders imposed by European powers for the problems of the Middle East. The Syrian/Iraqi border actually represents divisions thousands of years old.
Will Politicking in Tehran Make for a Difficult 2014 in American-Iranian Relations?
With politicking already begining for Iran's 2016 elections, will Iranian-American talks fall victim to the need of politicians in both nations to grandstand.
Syria, Congress, and Obama: The changing partisan contours of American foreign policy
The debate over intervention in Syria marks a watershed in US politics. For the first time since the Iraq War, Barack Obama has clearly positioned the Democrats as the interventionist, pro-war party in American politics
A strike called denial: The costs of intervention in Syria
Intervention in Syria is something that the entire Western elite insist is neccisary, but at the same time are determined to do everything in their power to avoid.
The diplomatic revolution of July 2013 and the future of the Middle East
The overthorw of Mohamad Morsi in Egypt marks a revolutionary change in the balance of power in the Middle East, and shifts the environment decidly against Syria's rebels and their outside backers.
The education of Ali Khamenei: a political biography of Iran’s Supreme Leader
Ali Khamenei may be widely considered the most powerful man in Iran, but when he was selected as Faqih(Supreme Leader) in 1989 he was cipher, widely considered a figurehead. How did he become what he is today?
Khamenei’s game: understanding the supreme leader’s role in Iran’s politics
The office of Faqih, or Surpreme Leader to the Western media, is simultanousnly the most important and least understood in the Iranian system. It is Supreme not in the Stalin sense, but rather in that of Japan's Emperor.
A preview of Iran’s 2013 presidential election: candidates, mullahs and unknowns
An overview of the contenders to suceed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.