From Lebanon, Osama Gharizi shares his analysis about the clarity of U.S. objectives after retaliatory missile strikes targeting the Assad regime’s suspected chemical weapons facilities. Gharizi says these strikes sent a signal to Assad and his allies that there are limits to U.S. and coalition intervention in Syria. In turn, these limits strengthen Russia, Turkey, and Iran’s roles as the diplomatic arbiters to negotiate a peace deal. Separately, Gharizi addresses the risks associated with...
Leaders from the Western Hemisphere absent Venezuela’s President Maduro will gather for the 8 Summit of the America’s in Peru later this week. Vice President Pence following the summit will travel on to Colombia. Steve Hege explains a range of issues involving Colombia from U.S. bilateral relations, upcoming elections, peace plan implementation and reforms, and the strains on public infrastructure and services as a result of an exodus of Venezuelan refugees.
Following USIP’s event “Iraq and Syria: Views from the U.S. Administration, Military Leaders and the Region,” Mike Yaffe provides key takeaways from the panel featuring CENTCOM Commander General Votel, USAID Administrator Green, and Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS McGurk. “Iraq and Syria are complex and starkly different from one another,” says Yaffe, “but the key goals are the same: concentrate on defeating ISIS and work by, with, and through local...
The alleged Russian use of a chemical weapon against a former Russian spy turned double agent in the United Kingdom led to scores of Russian diplomats being sent packing from the United States and Western Europe. Ambassador Taylor discusses the strong showing of unity among Western nations, and its effect on Russian intelligence gathering efforts and additional U.S. and international economic sanctions.
For International Women’s Month, Kathleen Kuehnast underscores the importance of women’s contribution to peace and security. Dr. Kuehnast argues that the new millennium, whether through U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 or less formal engagement via social media, has empowered women to take a greater role in peace building.
Secretary of Defense Mattis’s visit to Kabul, Afghanistan, follows a spike in activity from all parties proffering peace talks. Johnny Walsh shares his thoughts about the U.S. strategy to bolster the Afghan government’s position to enter into peace talks with the Taliban.
This week in Washington, Prime Minister Netanyahu successfully shifted the optics from mounting domestic pressure. Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen shares her analysis about Netanyahu’s warm reception at the AIPAC conference and his White House meeting focused on Iran. The conversation continues with Kurtzer-Ellenbogen explaining the latest hurdles for Middle East Peace and the anticipation for the Trump administration’s Middle East Peace Plan.
Just days after returning from Iraq, Nancy Lindborg shares her impression of the improved landscape in Iraq after ISIS’ brutal occupation. Lindborg describes the unifying sense of Iraqi pride following ISIS’s ouster, but she cautions that if the government fails to become more inclusive and accountable, Iraq could fall back into a highly sectarian environment.
Frank Aum discusses the Korean Peninsula, and whether there is a pathway to keep the peaceful momentum going after the Olympic Games. Aum also tells us about the effect of international sanctions on North Korea and China’s interests.
Moeed Yusuf argues that U.S.-Pakistan relations that are approaching a breaking point where the two countries seem to be acting more as adversaries than partners given the heightened sense of mistrust. Yusuf shares observations from his recent Pakistan trip, and describes the contingency planning and unpredictability Pakistan may exhibit with continued U.S. pressure.
Fresh off his trip to Kabul, Afghanistan, Scott Worden shares his analysis of the string of recent Taliban and ISIS attacks. Worden discusses how these attacks are meant to destabilize the Ghani government, and how 2019 elections could be affected by Taliban and ISIS pressures.
Maria Stephan discusses non-violent action in Iran and the diversity among participants in the recent protests. Stephan tackles the impact of cyber suppression on protesters and how “head scarf protests” have fared.
Ambassador Bill Taylor updates us on Ukraine’s efforts to upgrade its military with U.S. assistance to defend eastern Ukraine from Russian-led militias. Taylor weighs in on U.S. efforts to find a diplomatic solution to ease Russia’s withdrawal from Ukraine, the effect of U.S. and European sanctions on Putin, and the recognition of the U.S. National Defense and National Security Strategies that Russia is a top threat.
Mona Yacoubian gives us a glimpse into the changing dynamics in Syria, addressing Assad’s grip on power, Russia’s support, and Iran and Turkey’s roles and interests. Yacoubian also addresses the rising tensions between Turkey and the United States over the Kurds.
Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen previews Vice President Mike Pence’s upcoming visit to the Middle East following the Trump administration’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Kurtzer-Ellenbogen also addresses the importance of the trip and the expectations for the visit to neighboring Arab nations.
Ambassador Bill Taylor reflects on the significance of the Arab Spring and the changes brought about by the movement, including the democratic transition in Tunisia, the major political changes in Egypt and the role of the United States in these type of events.
Having just returned from Burma talks about the USIP delegation she led to Burma, and the complexities facing the country. What can we expect from a nation contending with 22 ethnic armed groups, clashes with the Rohingya, and a continuing transition from military rule to the doorstep of democracy.
On the heels of the Asia Foundation’s 13th annual Survey of the Afghan People, Scott Worden discusses key findings, trend lines, reasons for optimism and important points of concern that stem from the comprehensive survey.