Middle East and North Africa

Interview

Why Syria’s War Grinds On

Robert S. Ford interviewed by Zachary Laub

As diplomatic efforts to broker a settlement to the civil war have so far come up short and the Islamic State retains a foothold in the east, a segmented Syria will likely experience reduced but persistent violence for years to come, says Ambassador Robert Ford. 

See more in Syria; Wars and Warfare

Article

A Peace Plan for Syria III

Authors: James Dobbins, Philip H. Gordon, and Jeffrey Martini
RAND Corporation

Philip Gordon, along with James Dobbins and Jeffrey Martini of RAND, presents a plan for de-escalation in Syria based on a national ceasefire, agreed zones of control backed by outside powers, and the international administration of Raqqa province.

See more in Syria; Conflict Assessment

Primary Sources

Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States

Author: Donald Trump

President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Order 13769 on January 27, 2017, and was added to the federal register as 82 FR 8977, 2/1/17. Through this document, citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen were banned from entering the United States for ninety days.

See more in United States; Middle East and North Africa; Immigration

Article

Middle East Derangement Syndrome: Egypt, Turkey, and Israel Have All Fallen Prey to Delusions About Trump

Author: Steven A. Cook
salon.com

The belief among Egyptian, Turkish, Israeli, Saudi, and Emirati officials that the Donald J. Trump administration will demonstrate better “American leadership” in the Middle East is misguided, argues CFR’s Steven A. Cook. The lack of a coherent foreign policy means that Middle Eastern leaders will more likely than not be disappointed.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Op-Ed

Iran’s Rafsanjani: A Legacy of Terrorism and Repression Behind a Facade of Moderation

Authors: Reuel Gerecht and Ray Takeyh
Washington Post

Contrary to his image as a “pragmatist,” former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died last week, brandished a moderate image that concealed the reality of his militancy, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh with Reuel Gerecht. Instead, Rafsanjani was the most consequential architect of the theocracy’s machinery of repression and regional ambitions and a primary sponsor of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear aspirations. 

See more in Iran; Presidents and Chiefs of State