The Middle East that Obama inherited in 2009 was largely at peace, for the surge in Iraq had beaten down the al Qaeda-linked groups. U.S. relations with traditional allies in the Gulf, Jordan, Israel and Egypt were very good. Iran was contained, its Revolutionary Guard forces at home. Today, terrorism has metastasized in Syria and Iraq, Jordan is at risk, the humanitarian toll is staggering, terrorist groups are growing fast and relations with U.S. allies are strained.
In his efforts to save Iraq, President Obama is right to demand more power-sharing and other political reforms from Iraqi leaders before the United States offers more military assistance. But Obama should not think he can hold off offering such assistance until he secures those reforms—not if he wants to prevent the bloody breakup of the country and a wider regional war.
Steven Simon, former senior director for Middle Eastern and North African affairs at the National Security Council, and Barak Mendelsohn, associate professor of political science at Haverford College discuss the fight between the Iraqi government and the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
Max Boot argues that the U.S. needs special operations forces on the ground to call in airstrikes and advise Iraqi security forces. At the same time, President Obama must pressure the Iraqi government to make more inclusive reforms.
Syria's civilians have become pawns of armed conflict in Syria and strained the resources of its neighbors. International Rescue Committee chief David Miliband discusses the urgent need for an improved global response.
F. Gregory Gause III interviewed by Mohammed Aly Sergie
It's doubtful that radical Sunni militants will be able to overrun Baghdad and southern Iraq, but the crisis is likely to further splinter governing authority in the country, says expert F. Gregory Gause.
Authors: Max Boot and Michael Doran Washington Post
Boot and Doran argue that there is more to Iran's relationship with ISIS than meets the eye, and that cooperating with Iran to defeat ISIS would in fact further the goals of the U.S.'s long-time enemy.
Katie Couric of Yahoo! News interviews Secretary of State John Kerry about the situation in Iraq regarding the terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and potential U.S. actions and partnerships with the United Nations and Iran in combating terrorism in the region. They briefly discuss the State Department's oceans conference.
President Barack Obama held a press conference on June 13, 2014, to provide an update on the situation in Iraq regarding the actions of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and U.S. security assistance to the Iraq military.
Back in 2009, during his heavily promoted Cairo speech on American relations with the Muslim world, U.S. President Barack Obama noted, in passing, that "in the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government."
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 it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.