Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

From Putin, a New Tune on Ukraine?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in show is not where I usually look for important statements of Russian policy. Most of the four-hour event is devoted to semi-comical political pandering (Mr. Putin presenting himself as the friend of struggling dairy farmers, for example). Still, last week’s extravaganza contained unmistakable hints of a new line on Ukraine.

See more in Ukraine; Russian Federation; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

In Yemen Strikes, Signs of Saudi Arabia's Foreign Policy Shift

Author: Ray Takeyh
Wall Street Journal

The Saudi-led military incursion into Yemen signals a major shift in Saudi policy toward the region, one more suited for a post-American phase, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Perceiving that they are unable to reliably depend upon support from the United States, Saudi Arabia is adopting a more independent and aggressive policy to ensure its security.

See more in Yemen; Saudi Arabia; Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

Make No Mistake â the United States Is at War in Yemen

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

The United States is now engaged in yet another military intervention in the Middle East—this time in Yemen. Micah Zenko argues that what has become the standard operating procedure for how the United States goes to war should be alarming, particularly when the latest intervention “lacks clear courses of action, coherent objectives, or an intended end state.”

See more in Yemen; United States; Conflict Assessment

Article

Iran Becomes a 'Front Line' State

Author: Elliott Abrams
Weekly Standard

In an article for The Weekly Standard, Elliott Abrams discusses  Iran’s transformation into a "front line state" against Israel. This turn of events alarms Israelis and Arabs alike, but not nearly so much as another fact: that Iran's expansionism and military adventurism are being met with approval from the Obama administration.

See more in Iran; Israel; Conflict Assessment

Event

U.S. Policy Options in Ukraine

John E. Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, join Washington Post Associate Editor Karen J. DeYoung to discuss Ukraine's politics, policies, and options going forward.

See more in Ukraine; Conflict Assessment

Video

U.S. Policy Options in Ukraine

Speakers: John E. Herbst and Matthew Rojansky
Presider: Karen J. DeYoung

John E. Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and former  U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, join Washington Post associate editor Karen J. DeYoung to discuss Ukraine’s politics, policies, and options going forward.

See more in Ukraine; Conflict Assessment

Transcript

U.S. Policy Options in Ukraine

Speakers: John E. Herbst and Matthew Rojansky
Presider: Karen J. DeYoung

John E. Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and former  U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, join Washington Post associate editor Karen J. DeYoung to discuss Ukraine’s politics, policies, and options going forward.

See more in Ukraine; Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

Obama's Bay of Pigs

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

The U.S. plan to arm Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria looks eerily similar to the infamous 1961 failed Bay of Pigs operation. Micah Zenko argues that a clarification of phase two—how the United States will support the armed rebels once they are trained and equipped—is needed before the United States proceeds.

See more in Syria; Defense Strategy; Conflict Assessment

Audio

U.S. Policy Options in Ukraine

Speakers: John E. Herbst and Matthew Rojansky

John E. Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and former  U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, join Washington Post associate editor Karen J. DeYoung to discuss Ukraine’s politics, policies, and options going forward.

See more in Ukraine; Conflict Assessment

Primary Sources

UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

The Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) prepares mid-year reports on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Afghanistan, as mandated by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2096 (2013), which "recognizes the importance of ongoing monitoring and reporting to the United Nations Security Council on the situation of civilians in Afghanistan's armed conflict and in particular on civilian casualties."

See more in Afghanistan; Conflict Assessment; Human Rights

Op-Ed

I Interviewed Bashar al-Assad About Syria's Civil War. He's Still Too Delusional to End it.

Author: Jonathan Tepperman
Washington Post

In recent weeks, Western governments have begun subtly shifting their positions on Syria. The Obama administration seems to have quietly dropped its demand that President Bashar al-Assad resign as a precondition of peace talks. Instead, reports suggest it has embraced proposals that would allow Assad to be part of an interim deal. The new approach implies that the White House and its allies believe that the Syrian president might be open to a compromise that could end his country’s four-year civil war.

See more in Syria; Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

Is Kobani the New Khe Sanh?

Author: Max Boot
Commentary

The Obama administration will be tempted to take a victory lap because of recent news that Kurdish militiamen have regained control of Kobani, a Syrian town near the border with Turkey. ISIS forces that had been attacking it for months have melted away. This is, to be sure, a nice achievement, but its wider significance is limited.

See more in Syria; United States; Terrorist Organizations and Networks; Conflict Assessment

Primary Sources

Munich Security Report 2015: "Collapsing Order, Reluctant Guardians?"

The Munich Security Report was released on January 26, 2015, described in the press release as "an annual digest on critical questions and important trends in the field of international security policy." The first section of the report focuses on the roles of international actors, Germany, United States, Europe, NATO, Russia, and emerging powers. The second section discusses three "hot spots"-- Ukraine, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. The third section reviews major issues such as terrorism, energy security, and refugee crises, and the fourth section suggests additional reading and research materials.

See more in Global; Global Future Trends; Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

Peace Through Strength, Indian-style

Author: Daniel S. Markey
Indian Express

In his second visit to India, US President Barack Obama has another opportunity to take the measure of his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Over the past six months, US officials like former Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel have tried to emphasise the ways in which Obama and Modi are similar, noting, for instance, that both are outsider candidates from humble backgrounds.

See more in India; United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Conflict Assessment