For as long as the shah of Iran occupied the Peacock Throne, his relations with the United States depended on a mutually accepted falsehood. Neither side stood to gain from acknowledging that Washington’s favorite dictator owed his position to American skullduggery.
As civil war in Syria inches toward its four-year anniversary, the nation’s humanitarian catastrophe deepens. Some 7.6 million Syrians are now internally displaced, and another 3.3 million have fled to neighboring countries to avoid the complex three-way dogfight among Assad’s forces, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and Syrian rebels.
Authors: Eric Edelman, Dennis Ross, and Ray Takeyh The Washington Post
With the extension on the nuclear deal with Iran, Western powers would do well to reconfigure their assumptions on how to pressure Iran into a deal, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Instead of economic or diplomatic punitive measures, the United States needs a comprehensive and coercive strategy that would mend fences between the White House and Congress on the foreign policy front, strengthen alliances in the Middle East, and isolate Iran from its partners.
Iraq Conflict: Islamic State Group Research Links provide news, analyses, background, U.S. government reports, costs and number of deaths, funding, and more on the current conflict surrounding the self-proclaimed Islamic State (also known as Islamic State In the Levant, ISIL, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, or Daesh).
The nuclear negotiations with Iran should continue, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass. Though any reachable deal will inevitably be imperfect, it should be judged against the potential alternatives of war or multiple nuclear-armed states in the Middle East.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon writes that the Obama administration’s lack of clear strategy in combating ISIS and its misunderstanding of ISIS’ appeal have kept the United States from making real progress in the conflict in Syria.
Ebrahim Moosa, professor of Islamic studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and Mona Yacoubian, deputy assistant administrator for the Middle East at USAID, discuss sectarian conflict in the Middle East at the American Academy of Religion 2014 Annual Meeting, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative.
Though a full deal with Iran appears remote, U.S. allies in the Middle East remain concerned about a continuation of negotiations that could lead to a nuclear-powered Iran, says expert Suzanne Maloney.
Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, CFR Senior Fellow Elliott Abrams details the United States' goals in Iraq and Syria: to alleviate the humanitarian and refugee crisis; to prevent an Iranian victory in Syria; and to strike devastating blows at the Islamic State.
In his testimony before the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation, and Trade, Ray Takeyh argues that Iran participates in the nuclear talks because they serve so many of its interests—one of which may yet be an accord that eases its path toward nuclear empowerment.
Max Boot details a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS by committing to the fight on multiple fronts: intensify air strikes, utilize U.S. personnel and capabilities, encourage local and regional partners, and prepare for nation-building.
While many seek to pressure Iran into a deal soon, they fail to recognize that Iran continues to participate because the talks act as a shield servicing Iran's interests, writes CFR's Ray Takeyh. From the very start, the Islamic Republic's main policy goal has been to achieved legitimate recognition for its expanding atomic infrastructure.
As the November 24 deadline for the P5+1 negotiations with Iran approaches, Iran's hardliners seem more willing to expand the nuclear program than encourage economic growth, writes Ray Takeyh. Motivated by a desire for self-sufficiency, the decision of hardliners may push Iran toward a catastrophic future.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »