Syria News

Webcast

U.S. Seeking to Build Coalition to Take on ISIS

Sep 03, 2014
"This is a very risk averse president, and a relatively risk averse American population, we are not going to forge the kind of coalition which allows for thousands of boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria" says Aaron David Miller.

What No Strategy On The Islamic State Means For The Region

Sep 02, 2014
"We need the president actually explaining to the American people why it matters to confront ISIS, and we need an enhanced sense of urgency," said Jane Harman during this interview with NPR.

The Islamic State's Home-Field Advantage

Aug 26, 2014
Will an expanded mission to strike James Foley's killers in Syria be an effective way in defeating IS ? Aaron David Miller writes about the downsides of striking IS in Syria, and why the president is increasingly likely to do so.

Mission Creep in Iraq – By Email

Aug 25, 2014
“As the U.S. nears 100 airstrikes, it’s still unclear how far Washington is prepared to go to deal with those threats or what its long-term strategy may be… there’s certainly very little guidance in those CENTCOM emails about how much difference these U.S. airstrikes are making,” writes Robin Wright.
Webcast

Civil War in Syria: How Will It End?

Apr 24, 2014
Robert Ford, America’s recently retired ambassador to Syria, shares his thoughts on the use of force, the prospects for a diplomatic solution, and the possibility of collaborating with Iran during a candid discussion of the ongoing violence with Syria.

Why Obama Won’t Give (or Get) Much in Saudi Arabia

Mar 25, 2014
"Key linkages—billions in recent U.S. weapons sales, counter-terrorism cooperation, and all that oil—will keep Riyadh and Washington together for some time to come, whether each side, deep down, really likes it or not," writes Aaron David Miller.

Ominous Divide: Shiite Iran vs the Sunni Gulf

Feb 18, 2014
Sectarian tensions have become a major part of political life in the Gulf Arab states, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. Shiites in each state suffer varying degrees of religious discrimination and political marginalization. Tensions are typically portrayed as a spillover effect of sectarian strife elsewhere in the region or Iran’s deliberate incitement of local Shiite communities. But they are only part of the story.

The Case Against Negotiating With Assad

Oct 31, 2013
"U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is on a roll," writes Aaron David Miller. But, he cautions, negotiations with Assad would be a bad move.

Obama Outlines Strong US Role in Middle East at UN

Sep 24, 2013
President Barack Obama outlined his past and future policies toward the Middle East in his September 24 U.N. General Assembly speech. He committed to ensuring the free flow of oil from the region to world markets, dismantling terrorist networks, and stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He also promised that the United States would “continue to promote democracy, human rights, and open markets” to achieve peace and prosperity in the Middle East.

The Tally

Sep 20, 2013
The Syrians created a crisis by using chemical weapons in a massive attack on August 21, President Barack Obama threatened force but then vacillated, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, recognizing both Obama's strengths and his weaknesses, stepped up, grabbed center stage, and inserted himself directly into a process he'd long avoided. It shows that the right combination of pain and gain is what creates openings and drives big decisions.

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