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February 5, 2020

U.S. Foreign Policy
Outrage Culture Is Ruining Foreign Policy

As the 2020 presidential campaign heats up, U.S. politics is getting harder and harder to explain to the rest of the world.

Code Pink demonstrators surround former United States Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger (L) and George Shultz (R) before the beginning of the Senate Armed Services Committee on global challenges and U.S. national security strategy on Capitol Hill in Washington January 29, 2015.

January 13, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
Pompeo’s Departure Is Restoring the State Department’s Swagger

The U.S. secretary of state appears to have one foot out the door—and that’s exactly what U.S. diplomats have been waiting for.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks during a news conference in the Press Briefing Room at the State Department in Washington, U.S., January 7, 2020.

January 13, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
Don’t Hold Your Breath for Democratic Change in the Middle East

The region is accustomed to cycles of protest and political upheaval, so it’s better not to bank on successful revolutions.

Demonstrators carry a national flag during an anti-government rally in Algiers, Algeria January 3, 2020.

January 13, 2020

Iraq
There Is Nothing Left for Americans to Do in Iraq

Qassem Suleimani and Tehran have won the battle for Baghdad. U.S. policymakers should understand that—and leave.

A demonstrator carries an Iraqi flag as he walks near burning tires, during ongoing anti-government protests in Najaf, Iraq January 12, 2020.

December 4, 2019

Turkey
Trump Is Happy to Seem Weak Next to Erdogan

The benefits of their personal relationship are clear for the Turkish president. But the U.S. president has his reasons, too.

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan during a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 13, 2019.

December 3, 2019

Syria
There’s Always a Next Time to Betray the Kurds

The Kurds have no choice but to always trust the United States—and to suffer the inevitable consequences.

A Kurdish Peshmerga soldier holds a Kurdistan flag during a deployment in the area near the northern Iraqi border with Syria

December 3, 2019

Turkey
Erdogan Has No Idea What He’s Doing in Syria

The Turkish president’s war will likely fail because he doesn’t know what he wants.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black sea resort of Sochi, Russia, 22 October 2019

December 3, 2019

Saudi Arabia
Mohammed bin Salman Is Having a Fire Sale of His Political Power

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince will take money from investors in the national oil company—but he’ll be giving up far more than he thinks.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a session of the Shura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia November 20, 2019.

October 14, 2019

Syria
The United States Is Done Caring About Syria

A major new report about the Syrian war raises the question of whether Washington ever cared about it in the first place.

A child inspects a site hit by what activists said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar el-Asaad at Arbin town in Damascus countryside, Syria July 21, 2015.

September 24, 2019

Saudi Arabia
This Is the Moment That Decides the Future of the Middle East

If the United States is done fighting for Saudi Arabia’s oil, it's done fighting for the entire region.

U.S. President Donald Trump dances with a sword as he arrives to a welcome ceremony at Al Murabba Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017.