International Security

A Murder in Ankara

The brazenness of the assassination of Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, recorded for all to see, has shocked everyone. The ramifications of the murder will be felt far and wide. For starters, the assassin was a policeman who had previously been assigned to security details, including that of Turkey’s President. And then there’s the fact that the attack happened just after Turkey had come to the conclusion that Aleppo and its inhabitants could no longer be saved from the onslaught of the Syrian army, as supported by the Russian air force and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia.

Assessing ISIS Expansion in Southeast Asia: Major Threat or Misplaced Fear?

In an era of international terrorism and the rise of large, well-organized Islamic jihadist groups working hard to violently establish strict conservative Islamic states, the need for continually evolving threat assessments becomes paramount for the safety of lives and assets. One such threat assessment to evaluate is the vulnerability of the Southeast Asian region as a possible new theater for the expansion of the jihadist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Navigating Complexity: Climate, Migration, and Conflict in a Changing World

Climate change is expected to contribute to the movement of people through a variety of means. There is also significant concern climate change may influence violent conflict. But our understanding of these dynamics is evolving quickly and sometimes producing surprising results. There are considerable misconceptions about why people move, how many move, and what effects they have.

What Does the World Expect of President-elect Trump: Middle East

Iran Expects:

Hassan Rouhani and his supporters worry whether the nuclear deal will hold and if it does not, will want to ensure they are not blamed; Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) likely to test Trump Administration early  in the Persian Gulf.

Syrian Opposition, Arabs, and Kurds Expect:

With regard to the ongoing war in Syria, there is renewed concern that U.S. assistance to Anti-Assad opposition will end; and Trump Administratioin will be even more risk averse than predecessor.

Iraq Expects:

Rebalance to Asia and U.S.-Philippine Tensions

Fiery rhetoric from President Rodrigo Duterte has created tensions between the US and the Philippines and also raises regional questions about President Obama’s intended “rebalance” toward Asia. Relations with this important Pacific ally can be added to the long list of issues awaiting America’s next president. Should the US take Duterte’s tough talk seriously? That’s the focus of this edition of  Wilson Center NOW.


How to Achieve Real Strategic Victory in Mosul

The allied forces are about to liberate Mosul from the grip of Islamic State. Yet they should not be thinking only about a military victory. The shadows of Libya and Iraq should also loom large in their thoughts.

Deconstructing the U.S.-Russian Impasse Over Syria

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To Mourn Is Not Enough

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A Russian charter plane went down last Saturday in Egypt taking 224 lives with it. It is Russia’s largest plane crash ever. None of the possible causes of the tragedy, from a technical failure, to human error, to a terrorist act, have been ruled out. As confusion rules, I thought I’d provide a glimpse into the public discussion of the tragedy.

The Russia-West Thaw Was Brief

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After devastating terror attacks against Russia and France, both countries are now at the center of a changing global security agenda. Both countries have ramped up their military operations in Syria. Both presidents, Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande, have vowed to put together a broad, anti-terrorist coalition that would go beyond previous disagreements and even sectarian conflicts.