"ISIS could have two goals, said Henri Barkey. It might want “revenge, and to punish Kurds” for its losses on the battlefield in the past year. “Goal No. 2 is to deliberately increase polarization between the A.K.P., the ruling party of the President, and the Kurds, the largest minority," commented Henri Barkey for this commentary written by Robin Wright.
"By finding Mr. Rezaian guilty, Iran’s security agencies and judiciary are effectively warning Mr. Rouhani. They know that this conviction will strengthen those in the U.S., including members of Congress, who are skeptical of President Barack Obama‘s outreach to Iran; and they will continue to try to obstruct Mr. Rouhani’s outreach to Washington," writes Haleh Esfandiari.
"Driven on one hand by a profound sense of insecurity and a deep sense of entitlement, if not grandiosity, on the other, Iran’s desire for a putative nuclear weapon isn’t some discretionary foreign-policy option. As an aspiring great power in its region, nuclear weapons threshold status may actually be central to its own sense of identity at home and to the tools it needs to navigate the harsh world it sees abroad." writes Aaron David Miller and Jason Brodsky
"Against the backdrop of U.S. policy that has been unable or unwilling to defeat Islamic State or Mr. Assad, Mr. Putin saw an opportunity for a limited investment that would yield maximum returns," writes Aaron David Miller.
Robert Litwak, an internationally recognized expert on nonproliferation, has been following the saga of Iran’s nuclear program since the beginning. His insightful book, “Iran’s Nuclear Chess,” has been updated now that a deal has been struck. In this interview, he spoke about the latest developments, and in reviewing the deal, he covers fears and hopes on both sides of the equation.
"But if we engage Mr. Assad’s two allies over his fate, we should be under no illusion on what the outcome is likely to be: a never-ending transition that keeps him in power (for a good while) and Russia and Iran as the key eternal actors in the Syrian drama," writes Aaron David Miller.
"Imperial overstretch serves as a recurring theme throughout Russian history. Putin’s grand U.N. pronouncements should not obscure the fact that he brings few deliverables — and multiple vulnerabilities — to the table," writes Will Pomeranz.
In sum, the solution to the Kurdish problem, always predicated upon the expansion of the democratic space in Turkey, is foundering precisely because both Erdogan and the PKK have little regard for democracy.
"The issue with engaging Mr. Putin on Syria is not that the U.S. looks weak-–of course it does-–because Moscow has acted and Washington has not reacted. Far more concerning is that Mr. Putin appears to know what he wants: to prop up Mr. Assad, oppose the U.S., and pick up propaganda points abroad," writes Aaron David Miller.
Nonproliferation expert Robert Litwak provided an insightful analysis of the nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and Iran during a discussion with David Sanger, The New York Times Chief Washington Correspondent and former Public Policy Scholar the Wilson Center.