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Middle East

Our Research & Offerings on Middle East
  • Commentary posted September 2, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. The U.S. Needs a New Foreign Policy Agenda for 2016 (A Four-Part Series)

    Part One: Why It's Needed It is a little more than two years before the next presidential election, but foreign policy might figure more prominently in the 2016 cycle than it has in recent elections. World events are deteriorating -- rapidly -- and national security is more on people's minds. There is widespread popular discontent with the current administration's…

  • Commentary posted August 25, 2014 by Daniel Kochis We’re All in this Together: U.S. Allies Should Do More to Confront ISIS

    Make no mistake, ISIS’s methodical march of savagery across the Middle East threatens more than the religious and ethnic minorities caught in its path. The United States and its allies, especially those in the region, have every reason to be concerned about the human cost of allowing ISIS to roam freely. Any rational person must be disgusted by the cold-blooded murders…

  • Commentary posted July 17, 2014 by David Inserra Threat of Terrorism Remains

    Things seem to go from bad to worse in the blood-soaked Middle East, Civil war still rages in Syria, even as ISIS gobbles up swaths of Iraq and Syria.  After years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, many Americans are tempted to wash their hands of the region. But that would be a huge mistake. What happens in those far-off lands can have a huge impact here at home.  The…

  • Commentary posted July 17, 2014 by James Phillips Gaza Crisis Illuminates a Grave New World

    The eruption of the third Gaza war since 2008 is yet another manifestation of the growing threat posed by Islamist militants within an increasingly unstable Middle East.  In recent years, Al-Qaeda and other Islamist revolutionary groups have made major gains in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Bahrain and Yemen.  They have exploited the chaos of the…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. In the Middle East, an Avalanche of Disasters

    The past weeks have brought an avalanche of disasters for the United States in the wider Middle East. Unless the Obama administration changes course, the coming months will bring worse. The administration's premise is that radical Islamist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS pose a greater threat to the United States than Iran. As the White House sees it, Iran is not the…

  • Issue Brief posted June 3, 2014 by James Phillips To Defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Stronger Counterterrorism Cooperation Needed

    Iraq faces major political, national security, and economic challenges that should be addressed by the new government that emerges from the April 30 elections. Last year, more than 7,800 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces were killed in political violence and terrorist attacks, making it Iraq’s deadliest year since 2008. The Islamic State of Iraq and…

  • Commentary posted May 4, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Obama's 'process' diplomacy plants seeds for future wars

    Washington would coax Yugoslav strongman Josip Broz Tito away from the Kremlin, tearing a hole in the Iron Curtain without firing a shot. At least, that was the plan. But, after a bit covert diplomacy, some secret missions and even some public gestures, the U.S. gave up. It turned out that Tito's "non-aligned" movement, billed as an effort to build a coalition of…

  • Issue Brief posted April 30, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves, James Phillips Palestinian Intent to Accede to 15 Treaties and U.S. Response

    President Mahmoud Abbas announced on April 1 that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will seek to join 15 international conventions and treaties. This is a new facet of the existing Palestinian policy of seeking international recognition by other governments and membership in international organizations to bolster claims of statehood absent a negotiated peace treaty with…

  • Commentary posted April 6, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Five of the Obama Doctrine's stealth foreign policy failures

    On a Moscow train platform, two men smoke and swap rumors in the frozen evening air. “I hear they've raised the Russian flag in Donetsk?” one says. “I hear Crimea, too.” So reports freelance journalist Noah Sneider in Slate. As Russian troops hoisted their flag over Crimea, President Obama's highly touted “reset” diplomacy crashed and burned. The Russian reset was…

  • Issue Brief posted March 27, 2014 by James Phillips Obama’s Saudi Summit: Focus on Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Terrorism

    President Barack Obama will meet with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Friday amid mounting reports of acute Saudi disillusionment with Obama’s foreign policy. The Saudis, like other Middle Eastern allies including Israel, are concerned that Obama cannot be trusted to safeguard their national interests in the face of Iran’s military buildup, the political turbulence of the…

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  • Issue Brief posted January 14, 2014 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James Phillips Top Five Foreign Policy Priorities for 2014

    The United States faces mounting challenges abroad in 2014. With weak leadership from the White House over the past five years, the U.S. has been confronted and all too often sidelined by America’s adversaries and strategic competitors. The Obama Administration’s “leading from behind” strategy has been a spectacular failure that has led to confusion among traditional U.S.…

  • Backgrounder posted January 9, 1980 by James Phillips The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

    (Archived document, may contain errors) THE SOVIET INVAS./ON OF AFGHANISTAN INTRODUCTION On December 27, 1979, under cover cf an ongoing Soviet military buildup, heavily-armed elements of a Soviet airborne brigade were airlifted into Kabul, Afghanistan, to violently overthrow the regime of President Hafizollah Amin. Within hours after the beginning of…

  • Lecture posted June 6, 2007 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. Great Britain and the International Coalition in Iraq

    Delivered May 9, 2007 It is fitting that today's hearing is taking place immediately after the highly successful U.S. state visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her visit to the United States was a powerful symbol of the historic strength of the Anglo-American Special Relationship, the most enduring and successful alliance in modern history. It is a…

  • Issue Brief posted June 12, 2013 by James Phillips Time to Freeze U.S. Aid to Egypt

    Last week, Egyptian courts sentenced 43 staff members of pro-democracy non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including 16 Americans, to prison terms of up to five years for their activities to support civil society and democracy after Egypt’s 2011 revolution. The trial and harsh sentences underscore the fact that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood–dominated government is…

  • Issue Brief posted June 3, 2014 by James Phillips To Defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Stronger Counterterrorism Cooperation Needed

    Iraq faces major political, national security, and economic challenges that should be addressed by the new government that emerges from the April 30 elections. Last year, more than 7,800 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces were killed in political violence and terrorist attacks, making it Iraq’s deadliest year since 2008. The Islamic State of Iraq and…

  • Backgrounder posted January 11, 2008 by James Phillips The Iran National Intelligence Estimate: A Comprehensive Guide to What Is Wrong with the NIE

    U.S. efforts to contain Iran and prevent it from attaining nuclear weapons have been set back by the release of part of the most recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran's nuclear program. "Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities,"[1] the unclassi­fied summary of the key judgments of the NIE, con­tained a stunning bombshell: the conclusion that Iran halted…

  • Commentary posted November 18, 2013 by Lisa Curtis Nato's total withdrawal from Afghanistan could rock Asia stability

    NATO'S withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 is likely to have far-reaching implications for Central and South Asia. And total withdrawal of troops could be devastating for regional security and jeopardise the safety of western nations, say analysts. The stability of the region is linked directly to the US’s long-term military and economic commitment to Afghanistan…

  • WebMemo posted April 17, 2003 by Carrie Satterlee Saddam Hussein's Violations of the Geneva Convention

    As fighting in Iraq winds down and coalition forces stamp out the last remaining pockets of resistance, coalition forces and humanitarian agencies are only beginning to document the atrocities that occurred under this brutal regime. According to senior officials at the U.S. Department of State, "the Iraqi regime has not only acted contrary to international laws and…

  • WebMemo posted September 26, 2011 by Baker Spring, Michaela Dodge Israel and the Iron Dome System: A Lesson for the United States

    Since Israel deployed its new Iron Dome artillery and rocket interceptor system in April, it successfully used it to shoot down Hamas Grad rockets. The Israeli experience with Iron Dome shows that the criterion of cost effectiveness for missile defenses has been defined too narrowly in the United States. More to the Story The missile defense cost-effectiveness debate…

  • Special Report posted April 5, 2011 by The Heritage Foundation A Strong National Defense: The Armed Forces America Needs and What They Will Cost

    Abstract The U.S. military force structure envisioned by the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and the President’s FY 2012 budget request is inadequate to protect vital U.S. national interests. After the “procurement holiday” during the 1990s and the wear and tear of the “long war against terrorism” in Iraq and Afghanistan, all military services urgently need to…

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  • Issue Brief posted June 3, 2014 by James Phillips To Defeat Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Stronger Counterterrorism Cooperation Needed

    Iraq faces major political, national security, and economic challenges that should be addressed by the new government that emerges from the April 30 elections. Last year, more than 7,800 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces were killed in political violence and terrorist attacks, making it Iraq’s deadliest year since 2008. The Islamic State of Iraq and…

  • Issue Brief posted April 30, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves, James Phillips Palestinian Intent to Accede to 15 Treaties and U.S. Response

    President Mahmoud Abbas announced on April 1 that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will seek to join 15 international conventions and treaties. This is a new facet of the existing Palestinian policy of seeking international recognition by other governments and membership in international organizations to bolster claims of statehood absent a negotiated peace treaty with…

  • Issue Brief posted March 27, 2014 by James Phillips Obama’s Saudi Summit: Focus on Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Terrorism

    President Barack Obama will meet with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Friday amid mounting reports of acute Saudi disillusionment with Obama’s foreign policy. The Saudis, like other Middle Eastern allies including Israel, are concerned that Obama cannot be trusted to safeguard their national interests in the face of Iran’s military buildup, the political turbulence of the…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2014 by Anthony B. Kim, Charlotte Florance, James Phillips U.S. Should Support Tunisia’s Democratic Progress with Concrete Action

    On January 26, three years after the beginning of Tunisians’ uprising for greater freedom, Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly peacefully and decisively ratified a model constitution that lays the foundation for a functioning democracy in the birthplace of the Arab Spring. Tunisia’s remarkable political turnaround, epitomized by the near unanimous ratification of the…

  • Issue Brief posted January 14, 2014 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James Phillips Top Five Foreign Policy Priorities for 2014

    The United States faces mounting challenges abroad in 2014. With weak leadership from the White House over the past five years, the U.S. has been confronted and all too often sidelined by America’s adversaries and strategic competitors. The Obama Administration’s “leading from behind” strategy has been a spectacular failure that has led to confusion among traditional U.S.…

  • Issue Brief posted November 5, 2013 by James Phillips Greater Iraqi–American Cooperation Needed on Counterterrorism, Syria, and Iran

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki came to Washington last week in search of greater U.S. security assistance in battling the al-Qaeda-led insurgency that increasingly threatens Iraq's internal security as well as regional stability in the oil-rich Persian Gulf. The United States shares Maliki's goal of defeating al-Qaeda's franchise in Iraq, which has expanded into…

  • Issue Brief posted October 18, 2013 by James Phillips U.S. Should Maximize Pressure on Iran at Nuclear Talks

    The Geneva talks have once again raised hopes for a breakthrough in the long-stalled nuclear negotiations with Iran. Western diplomats have expressed “cautious optimism” about the prospects for success after two days of talks. But Iran has not budged from its defiance of key elements of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions; it has merely adopted a softer and more…

  • Issue Brief posted September 19, 2013 by Baker Spring, Brett D. Schaefer Framework for Removing Syrian Chemical Weapons: Reasons for Skepticism

    The framework agreement for destroying Syria’s chemical weapons (CW) arsenal and its supporting infrastructure[1] is imprecise, unrealistic, and unlikely to be fulfilled. On the basis of the requirements of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which Syria has now agreed to join, and historical experience in executing the CWC, even under ideal circumstances and assuming…

  • Issue Brief posted September 11, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves Syria Policy Should Be Driven by U.S. Interests, Not the U.N.

    There are good reasons why Americans, under the current circumstances, should question a military intervention in Syria.[1] But President Obama has muddied the waters further by giving as much weight to international law as he did to U.S. interests in presenting his case for military intervention, frequently expressing the need to enforce an “international norm”…

  • Issue Brief posted September 11, 2013 by The Heritage Foundation Syria: Heritage Foundation Recommendations

    In the aftermath of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons against Syrian opposition forces, the U.S. urgently needs to develop a strategy not only to counter Assad’s use of chemical weapons but protect American interests in the Syrian crisis. The Heritage Foundation has long been focused on developing such policies, as seen in the following…

Find more work on Middle East
Find more work on Middle East