Op-Eds

Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

Autocracy Generates Fear About Secret Powers

Author: Steven A. Cook
New York Times

The Turkish authorities have blamed the self-declared Islamic State for the attack on a peace rally in Ankara that took the lives of more than 100 people, though others in Turkey are not so sure. Critics of the dominant Justice and Development Party (A.K.P.), and some victims say the violence is more likely the work of either the government itself or the so-called deep state, designed to destabilize Turkey in a way that undermines Kurdish political goals and the A.K.P.’s efforts to transform Turkish politics.

See more in Turkey; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures; Corruption and Bribery

Is Russia an ‘Existential Threat’?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on Russia last week to address this question: How should we think about Russian actions in the Middle East and Europe? Having been invited to speak, I found that one theme of my testimony stirred up an argument—among other witnesses, senators, staff, and even (in follow-on e-mails) administration officials.

See more in Russia and Central Asia; United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Diplomacy and Statecraft

The Second Conquest of Afghanistan

Author: Max Boot
Commentary

What used to be known as the Global War on Terrorism seems to be lurching from one defeat after another. In the Middle East, ISIS has taken control of cities from Palmyra to Mosul. Libya and Yemen and Syria and large swathes of Iraq have no effective governance, leaving their territory to be fought over between competing terrorist groups.

See more in Afghanistan; Global; Counterterrorism