Steven A. Cook

From the Potomac to the Euphrates

Cook examines developments in the Middle East and their resonance in Washington.

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Killing “The Death of Sykes-Picot”

by Steven A. Cook
Fireworks explode during New Year's celebrations at Martyrs Square in downtown Beirut (Jamal Saidi/Courtesy Reuters).

Happy New Year! Devoted readers of this blog will know that I generally loathe the annual end- and beginning-of-the-year roundups, lists, retrospectives, and prognostications. “Lame” is the only way to describe them, which is pretty lame when you think about it. There are a few exceptions to this, of course. I always look forward to my buddy Marc Lynch’s best political science books on the Middle East—though it is often a reminder of how far behind I am on my reading—and I enjoy David Brooks’s “Sidney Awards,” named after Sidney Hook. I also dislike New Year’s resolutions and almost never make them, this year being an exception: In 2015, I will refrain from trolling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is not that he is not deserving of criticism, but he is such an easy target. It just does not seem fair. Truth be told, I do not think I can top likening him to the Turducken as I did on Thanksgiving in Politico. Read more »