I sat in the resort town of Izmir, Turkey, in a clean and dimly lit living room filled with eight children sporting sweet smiles and bare feet. They played and joked like children anywhere, except they were undernourished and underdressed for the biting winter chill that was pushing me to zip up my lined winter parka.
Of all the factors currently tearing the Middle East apart, none is more consequential than the war in Syria. Given the dire consequences of the status quo or military escalation, Philip Gordon outlines the best chance for de-escalating the conflict and achieving a cease-fire.
Remember the Iran nuclear deal, source of so much anxiety just one month ago? While much of the world watched in horror at the aftermath of the attacks in Paris, Iran began dismantling its centrifuges. But short-term compliance with the deal isn’t as important as what happens when it expires in 10 years.
Testifying before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senior Fellow for National Security Studies Max Boot discussed current weaknesses of the U.S. position on Iraq and Syria, as well as what can be done to defeat the self-declared Islamic State in the wake of the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris.
The Islamic State, or ISIS, is the first terrorist group to hold both physical and digital territory: in addition to the swaths of land it controls in Iraq and Syria, it dominates pockets of the Internet with relative impunity. But it will hardly be the last. Although there are still some fringe terrorist groups in the western Sahel or other rural areas that do not supplement their violence digitally, it is only a matter of time before they also go online.
Recent terrorist attacks and resulting questions about the limits of surveillance have rekindled debate about how governments should deal with the challenges of powerful, commercially available encryption. With active debate in the United States and Western Europe surrounding this issue, it is instructive to note that Israel has been regulating encryption for decades.
The shifting politics of the Middle East has created a convergence of interests between Israel and Saudi Arabia, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. The United States can help by moderating a strategic dialogue that has the potential to counter Iranian influence and rejuvenate the peace process.
Turkey has chosen not to play a constructive role in combating extremism and resolving the Syrian conflict, argues CFR’s Steven A. Cook. Instead, Ankara has gone after securing its own interests, that of securing the power of the ruling party and undermining Syria’s Kurds.
Thursday, the House voted 289 to 137 to press “pause” on bringing more Syrian refugees to the United States without first imposing even more stringent screening measures on the new arrivals fleeing the savagery, starvation and indiscriminate bombings of their nation’s civil war.
In an article for The Weekly Standard, Elliott Abrams explains that while President Obama decries the idea of giving preference for asylum to Christians in the Middle East that is exactly what the State Department says it is doing.
In an article for The Weekly Standard, Elliott Abrams explains why there is nothing “shameful” about giving priority to helping Syrian religious minorities at the greatest risk in the sectarian civil war.
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