Nov 19, 2014
"There was a certain amount of naiveté rooted perhaps in the mistaken idea that hope and change -- so effective in getting the president elected -- were somehow relevant to the world of Middle Eastern politics," writes Aaron David Miller.
Nov 06, 2014
With ongoing violence in Iraq, a “proxy” civil war in Syria, the rise of the Islamic State, and ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, regional dynamics are very complicated. Middle East scholar and analyst Jubin Goodarzi helps us sort out the players and begin to understand the very complex relationships among these three key regional powers in this edition of CONTEXT.
Oct 20, 2014
Jane Harman comments on the developing ISIL situation; what might happen if ISIL did, in fact, obtain three fighter jets, the power and success of the Kurdish fighters, and the role that Turkey has played in the conflict.
Oct 16, 2014
"Washington has finally named its latest military operation in the Middle East. The choice–'Operation Inherent Resolve'–has both a loneliness and a longness about it, and even a sadness. It also stands in stark contrast to the more optimistic names of the past three U.S. wars in the Middle East and south Asia," writes Robin Wright.
Oct 14, 2014
"Islamic State militants crossed a last possible boundary of decency by citing the Quran as authority for the barbarism they have been practicing against women. Equally disturbing, Arab leaders and the ulama, the clerical leaders of Islam, have been silent in the face of this effrontery," writes Haleh Esfandiari.
Oct 14, 2014
Jane Harman contributed a short analysis to a debate on the U.S. defense budget for Politico’s “The Agenda,” arguing that expenditures for the latest counter-terrorism efforts against ISIL should be part of Congressionally authorized defense expenditures rather than in a separate fund.
Oct 09, 2014
"Thundering air power can be daunting, but sometimes the effect is more psychological than physical. Big costly bombs fired by big costly warplanes have been knocking a fair number of “armed vehicles,” which may be little more than a pick-up truck with a weapon mounted on the back. But they have not yet set back the ISIS campaign in Syria," writes Robin Wright.
Oct 01, 2014
"It's the reality that we're being pulled inexorably like a moth to a flame not just toward a military conflict with Assad, but toward bearing the responsibility for fixing -- or worse for creating -- the new Syria...we may well end up in the very place U.S. President Barack Obama has willfully tried to avoid: nation-building," writes Aaron David Miller.
Oct 01, 2014
"Despite its claims to the contrary, ISIS looks outmatched. But our recent strikes were just an opening salvo. A considered, long-term strategy (including kinetic action) needs a careful framework and congressional authorization. The debate is crucial, and the only way to make room for debate is with a special session of Congress. The president should seek it now," writes Jane Harman.
Sep 30, 2014
"It’s crunch time for diplomacy on Iran’s controversial nuclear program." Last year, President Rouhani answered Obama's question of possible coöperation on other matters with a "Persian proverb: 'Let’s raise the baby we just gave birth to before we have another.' This year, given the success of ISIS, the Iranians seem to be in a bit more of a hurry to get that process started" says Robin Wright.