"The main driver for the Saudis in this is rolling back Iranian influence. Most people see this in a sectarian light: the Saudis are Sunni, the Iranians are Shia, Bashar al-Assad is a Shia. But I think that for the top levels of the Saudi decision-making structure, the sectarian issue is not nearly as central as the pure balance of power logic," says Gregory Gause in a CFR Interview.
"Has Turkey, a member of Nato for 61 years, parted company with the west? It is a question Turkey's allies have begun to face. Three issues have converged to create the doubt: Ankara's decision to buy a Chinese missile defense system; its alleged ambivalence towards al-Qaeda affiliated fighters in Syria; and, most recently, allegations that Turkey betrayed Iranians spying for Israel to Tehran," writes Daniel Dombey in the Financial Times.
CFR's Scott Snyder explains in this blog post South Korea's maritime interests and security concerns.
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
Rights Groups Slam Drone Strikes
Amnesty International said CIA drone attacks in Pakistan are responsible for unlawful killings and perhaps war crimes (BBC) in a report released Tuesday. Human Rights Watch said two attacks in Yemen killed civilians at random in a separate report also released Tuesday.
CFR Senior Fellow Daniel Markey explains in this op-ed that the United States can help Pakistan's peace talks with its homegrown Taliban insurgency by temporarily halting drone strikes.
DR CONGO: UN envoys reported progress in peace talks between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and M23 rebels to the Security Council on Monday, but the parties remain divided on amnesty for rebels (All Africa).