ISIS | Wilson Center


Terror Attacks in Brussels

Wilson Center Middle East Program Director, Henri Barkey describes the implications of the ISIS terror attack in Brussels.

Turkey, the Kurds, and Regional Conflicts

Turkish journalist Amberin Zaman is currently a Public Policy Fellow with the Wilson Center’s Middle East and Global Europe Programs. She has been covering Turkey, the Kurds, and regional conflicts for a number of news outlets including The Economist and The Washington Post. She shares her thoughts and insights on a range related of issues in this edition of  Wilson Center NOW.


For Turkey which is the Lesser Evil: ISIS or the Kurds?

In October 2014 Islamic State (ISIS) militants encircled the now iconic Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani. Turkish troops across the border passively looked on. As the noose tightened, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, declared, “Kobani is about to fall.” U.S. airstrikes changed the course of the battle, the Kurds fought valiantly, and Kobani was saved.

Kurds Are Now Key to a Middle East Solution

The Kurds have never been as influential in the Middle East as they are today. They hold the balance of power in Iraq and Syria, and are in the midst of an insurrection in Turkey. But this Kurdish awakening is different from previous ones — in Iraq in the 1970s or Turkey in the 1990s. Powers great and small have to contend with Kurdish demands as never before.

How the Kurds Became Syria’s New Power Brokers

Tal Rifaat, Menagh air base, Kefir Naya, Kefir Neris — town after town, village after village is falling to Kurdish-led forces as they blaze their way across northern Syria. The latest push by the U.S.-backed group known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) marks an explosive new phase in Syria’s five-year war.

The Problem With ISIS

The recent Congressional testimony of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper sharply frames the conundrum the United States faces when countering the Islamic State and other jihadists. The ISIS threat is growing, yet America's ability and capacity to counter it is not. 

Extremism and the Dark Side of Women’s Empowerment

While it may come as a surprise to some, a panel of experts agreed that young girls may be as susceptible to the lure of extremist ideology as are young boys. During an event convened by the Wilson Center’s Women in Public Service Project and Middle East Program, the discussion explored the role of women in extremists movements, providing the focus for this edition of REWIND.

Jane Harman
Director, President and CEO, Wilson Center

Drawbacks to the Saudi Offer to Send Troops to Syria to Fight ISIS

The Saudis announced a broad military coalition against regional terrorism in December, a proposal that seemed to disappear as suddenly as it surfaced.

Erdogan’s Foreign Policy Is in Ruins

It wasn’t long ago that Turkish foreign policy was the talk of the town. Defined by the catchy phrase of “zero problems with the neighbors,” Turkey aimed to both improve relations with its neighborhood and slowly emerge as the dominant regional power. It was a classic case of enhancing soft power through democratization and economic reforms at home, coupled with shrewd diplomacy aimed at establishing Ankara as a mediator in the region’s conflicts.