Middle East and North Africa

Op-Ed

Aleppo’s Sobering Lessons

Author: Richard N. Haass
Project Syndicate
After responding to Syria’s war with strong rhetoric but mostly tepid action, the United States must now set limited goals if it is going to accomplish even a limited amount of good, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass.

See more in Syria; Wars and Warfare

Op-Ed

'Responsibility to Protect?' Empty Words After Aleppo

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
cnn.com

"The duty to prevent and halt genocide and mass atrocities lies first and foremost with the State, but the international community has a role that cannot be blocked by the invocation of sovereignty."

The United Nations said that in 2005 about its "responsibility to protect." It's the concept that "if a State is manifestly failing to protect its populations, the international community must be prepared to take collective action to protect populations."

And here is what UN officials said this week when describing what is happening in Syria: "A complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo."

See more in Syria; International Organizations and Alliances; Conflict Assessment

Article

How Trump Can Avoid His Predecessors’ Iran Mistakes

Author: Ray Takeyh
Politico

There are important lessons for the incoming Trump administration on Iran they can learn from their predecessors, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh. They should recognize that the Islamic Republic is a unitary nation-state purged of reformers, that it is susceptible to a threat of force, and that Iran is not interested in normalizing relations with the United States.

See more in Iran; Conflict Assessment

News Release

U.S. and Israel Must Act to Preserve Partnership, Say Blackwill and Gordon in New Report

“The U.S.-Israel relationship is in trouble,” warn Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellows Robert D. Blackwill and Philip H. Gordon in a new Council Special Report, Repairing the U.S.-Israel Relationship. Significant policy differences over issues in the Middle East, as well as changing demographics and politics within both the United States and Israel, have pushed the two countries apart. Blackwill, a former senior official in the Bush administration, and Gordon, a former senior official in the Obama administration, call for “a deliberate and sustained effort by policymakers and opinion leaders in both countries” to repair the relationship and to avoid divisions “that no one who cares about Israel’s security or America’s values and interests in the Middle East should want.”

See more in Israel; Diplomacy and Statecraft