Ruslan Trad interviews Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi, a Raqqa-based Syrian activist fighting both the Assad regime and ISIS.
Showing posts for "Syria"
There is now no question that the United States is about to get a lot more involved in Iraq (and perhaps Syria) than President Obama had ever intended. So far, the administration has made it clear that the goal is to defeat ISIS, but it has been more difficult determining how to make that happen. The administration has not publicly offered much in the way of what its strategy is other than to say that a broad international coalition is necessary to crush ISIS. Here is a question: Will Syria be part of that coalition? That sounds crazy after Bashar al Assad has killed 190,000 of his own people and made three million of them refugees. Hasn’t virtually everyone inside the Beltway declared that “Assad must go”? Still, the issue lingers. There has been some speculation that the United States is coordinating with Bashar al Assad via the Emiratis and last winter there were mysterious reports of Western intelligence officers reaching out to Damascus. Who knows what to make of these stories, yet it is clear that serious, but cold-hearted people both within the United States government and outside of it have advanced the idea of working with Assad “because the alternative [i.e. ISIS] is worse.” This is a losing proposition and among the worst policy recommendations to surface since Syria’s descent into bloodshed began three summers ago. Read more »
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) just published this report that I coauthored with Jacob Stokes, Bacevich fellow at CNAS, and my research associate Alexander Brock.
“The Contest for Regional Leadership in the New Middle East” shows how, in addition to the historic political change occurring within the major states of the Middle East, there is a transformative process underway remaking the dynamics among the states of the region. The reordering of the geopolitics of the region has exposed rivalries among the contenders for leadership, as well as different ideological, economic, nationalistic and sectarian agendas. The report argues that Washington has sought to accommodate these changes in a way that continues to secure its strategic interests. What role the United States will play in a “new Middle East” is the subject of intense debate among Americans, Arabs and Turks. Nevertheless, it is clear that with all the problems regional powers have confronted trying to shape the politics of the region, American leadership will continue to be indispensable. Read more »
Lauren Bohn talks about the importance of food with Syrian refugees in Beirut for Bon Appetit. Read more »
This article was originally published here on Muftah on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.
It has been more than three years since the uprisings in the Arab world began. The civil war in Syria, the persistent conflict between rebel militias and the government in Libya, the return of authoritarianism in Egypt, and the ongoing bloody crackdown in Bahrain all make for considerable hand-wringing among regional observers—to say nothing of Middle Easterners themselves, who once hoped for a better future. Read more »
From the Potomac to the Euphrates examines how debates about Mideast policy in Washington connect to the region, with a special focus on Egypt and Turkey.