International Security

Afghanistan's Summer of Violence Illustrates Difficulties Trump Administration Will Face

Afghanistan has suffered through a harrowing summer, even by the nightmarish standards of a country convulsed by conflict for decades.

Economic Outlook for the MENA Region: A Conversation with the IMF's Dr. Jihad Azour

Countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) continue to face the challenge of generating inclusive and long-lasting growth in the environment of low oil prices, ongoing conflicts, and concerns regarding regional security. For the region’s oil exporters, the challenges are particularly acute, as fiscal consolidation plans must be calibrated and structural reforms designed to diversify away from oil and promote private investment.

Tensions in the Gulf: Implications for U.S. Policy

The dramatic decision by Saudi Arabia, key Gulf states, and others to isolate Qatar is part of a deeper problem that has been brewing for years. How big a challenge does this recent turn of events, including the first major ISIS attack in Iran, portend for U.S. policy and interests in the region? Is this just a headline or does it represent a significant trend line that could reshape Arab politics and power balances?

In this ground truth briefing, three veteran analysts and practitioners of U.S. policy in the Gulf and the region share their views on these and other matters. 

Is Hamas Rebranding with New Manifesto?

On May 1, Hamas issued a new “Document of General Principles and Policies,” which seems to be an effort to modernize and update the Palestinian Islamist movement’s original principles. Modernizing its ideology in some form has been under discussion within the organization for years.

Book Launch | Dean Acheson and the Obligations of Power

Dean Acheson is rightly remembered as the leading figure in the Truman administration in the years when the Cold War emerged, and, in particular, for his prominent role in the formulation of the American policy of containment. Yet Acheson’s contribution was more than that of Cold War statesman.

Population, Security, and Development in the Sahel

The UN is calling the quadruple threat of famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen, “the world’s largest crisis since 1945.” But parts of the African Sahel could be heading for an even bigger catastrophe in the years ahead. The window of opportunity for a much-needed push in foreign assistance to address population, security, and development trends is closing fast, say some experts.

Two Domestic-Driven Foreign Policies on a Collision Course

Tomahawk missiles fired late Thursday by the U.S. Navy at a Syrian airbase have put an end  to the entire setup of the Russian-American relations of the Obama years. The U.S. has effectively turned the page on its de-facto absence from the Syrian conflict and Russia’s stint as the only major world power willing to use force in the region.

Our Man in Washington

There is a fashionable line of thought that has Russia pulling the strings in major democracies on both sides of the Atlantic. FBI director James Comey recently confirmed an ongoing investigation into Russian alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Rarely does an election happen in Europe without journalists and politicians sounding the alarm on fears of Moscow’s meddling.

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