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  • Commentary posted February 10, 2015 by Peter Brookes There's a method to ISIS madness

    Some seem baffled and or shocked by the raw ruthlessness of the Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL and Daesh) most recently foisted upon us by the video of the immolation — a euphemism for being burned alive — of a captive Jordanian pilot. But, while hard to believe, there’s actually a method to this madness. Fear While it tries to portray itself as a caliphate (a Muslim…

  • Commentary posted February 10, 2015 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. In the Middle East, let's support our friends

    King Abdullah II of Jordan is angry. In a meeting with members of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, he quoted Clint Eastwood in promising retribution against the Islamist radicals who burned a Jordanian pilot to death. He wants our support. He should get it. Here's my cardinal rule of foreign policy: Back your friends. Right now, the United States…

  • Issue Brief posted February 10, 2015 by James Phillips The Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Understanding Key Issues

    The Obama Administration has bent over backward in an effort to secure a nuclear agreement with Iran. In principle, it has accepted Iran’s illicit uranium enrichment activities, the heavy-water reactor at Arak that could become a plutonium bomb factory, and Iran’s continued stonewalling of the investigation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). These…

  • Commentary posted January 28, 2015 by James Phillips A Big Foreign Policy Challenge: Regaining Saudi Arabia's Trust

    The passing of King Abdullah and ascension to the throne of Crown Prince Salman has proceeded smoothly at a time when the Saudi kingdom faces growing challenges at home and abroad. King Abdullah, 90, compiled a record as a relatively liberal reformer who helped modernize the kingdom, reform its educational system and somewhat expand opportunities for Saudi women to work,…

  • Commentary posted January 23, 2015 by Peter Brookes Al Qaeda threat grows in Yemen

    Last September, President Obama told us that his strategy for taking down the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria would be similar to the one his administration had “successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.” Those are words the prez probably would like to have back, especially with regards to Yemen. News reports indicate Yemen is falling apart; an insurgent…

  • Commentary posted January 21, 2015 by James Phillips ISIS vs. Al Qaeda: The good news and the bad news

    The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), has become a bitter rival of Al Qaeda, its parent organization. Its leaders represent a new generation of Islamist militants who have broken with Al Qaeda in a power struggle over Syria and the future of the global Islamist revolution. Both groups share the same ultimate goal: the…

  • Issue Brief posted January 12, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer, James Phillips Provocative Palestinian U.N. Actions Require Strong U.S. Response

    The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in assistance to facilitate peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Despite America’s financial support and its repeated diplomatic efforts, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has demonstrated little serious interest in negotiating a peace agreement that recognizes Israel’s right to exist, commits the Palestinians to…

  • Commentary posted January 2, 2015 by Peter Brookes 2015 promises world of flash points, surprises

    The Danish physicist Niels Bohr is supposed to have said something along the lines of: Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future. Roger that. But despite the warning’s obvious wisdom, busying ourselves in prediction is inescapable whether it’s in selecting a spouse for life or a rapid route to work in the morning. International security is no…

  • Issue Brief posted November 22, 2014 by James Phillips Nuclear Negotiations with Iran: U.S. Must Avoid a Rush to Failure

    The November 24 deadline for a nuclear agreement with Iran is fast approaching, with no sign that a deal that would advance U.S. national security interests can be reached by that date. After almost a year of negotiations, Iran has won international acceptance of its once-covert uranium enrichment facilities and obtained substantial sanctions relief in exchange for…

  • Special Report posted November 17, 2014 by Lisa Curtis, Charlotte Florance, Walter Lohman, James Phillips Pursuing a Freedom Agenda Amidst Rising Global Islamism

    Contributors Lisa Curtis is Senior Research Fellow for South Asia in the Asian Studies Center, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation. Charlotte Florance is a Research Associate for Economic Freedom in Africa and the Middle East in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National…

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  • WebMemo posted April 18, 2003 by Baker Spring Operation Iraqi Freedom: Military Objectives Met

    The falling statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad is an evocative image.  It signals that the U.S.-led military action against the Hussein regime has been a success.  This signal of success is backed by tangible evidence of a successful military operation in more substantive terms.  This evidence is found in a review of the mission objectives for Operation Iraqi…

  • Issue Brief posted February 10, 2015 by James Phillips The Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Understanding Key Issues

    The Obama Administration has bent over backward in an effort to secure a nuclear agreement with Iran. In principle, it has accepted Iran’s illicit uranium enrichment activities, the heavy-water reactor at Arak that could become a plutonium bomb factory, and Iran’s continued stonewalling of the investigation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). These…

  • Testimony posted June 20, 2007 by James Phillips Hezbollah's Terrorist Threat to the European Union

    Testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Europe Delivered June 20, 2007 Hezbollah ("Party of God"), the radical Lebanon-based Shiite revolutionary movement, poses a clear terrorist threat to international security. Hezbollah terrorists have murdered Americans, Israelis, Lebanese, Europeans, and the citizens of many other…

  • Commentary posted February 10, 2015 by Peter Brookes There's a method to ISIS madness

    Some seem baffled and or shocked by the raw ruthlessness of the Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL and Daesh) most recently foisted upon us by the video of the immolation — a euphemism for being burned alive — of a captive Jordanian pilot. But, while hard to believe, there’s actually a method to this madness. Fear While it tries to portray itself as a caliphate (a Muslim…

  • Backgrounder posted December 13, 2011 by Brett D. Schaefer What Palestinian Membership Means for UNESCO and the Rest of the United Nations

    Abstract: In September 2011, the Palestinian Authority requested membership for “Palestine” in the United Nations—violating its commitment under the 1993 Oslo Accords to seek statehood through negotiations with Israel. Prospective U.N. member states must first receive a recommendation from the Security Council. The Obama Administration has vowed to veto, if necessary,…

  • Lecture posted October 12, 2001 by David F Forte Understanding Islam and the Radicals

    The United States is in a war, but it is not a war between Islam and the West. Radical Islamic terrorists hijacked four airplanes and killed thousands of innocent Americans on September 11. But their enmity was not just directed against the United States and the civilization it represents. These terrorists also mean, as President Bush made clear in his speech to the…

  • Backgrounder posted September 5, 2002 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Iran's Claim Over Caspian Sea Resources Threaten Energy Security

    The need for Washington to focus its attention on energy security and diversification became clear as the war on terrorism began. The U.S. should strongly oppose Iran's threatening military actions to claim a larger portion of the energy-rich Caspian Sea. The Caspian basin, a land-locked body of salt water bordered by Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and…

  • WebMemo posted March 9, 2009 by James Phillips The Gaza Aid Package: Time to Rethink U.S. Foreign Assistance to the Palestinians

    The Obama Administration has announced a huge aid package of $900 million to help ease the humanitarian plight of Palestinians in Gaza and to shore up the bankrupt Palestinian Authority (PA). This surge of soft power is aimed at strengthening Palestinian moderates and helping to clear the way for revived Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. But as long as Hamas remains…

  • Backgrounder posted October 2, 2002 by Jack Spencer Presidential Authority in the War on Terrorism: Iraq and Beyond

    The President of the United States has no greater responsibility than protecting the American people from threats, both foreign and domestic. He is vested by the Constitution with the authority and responsibility to accomplish this essential task. In taking his oath of office, the President swears to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,"…

  • WebMemo posted February 13, 2008 by James Phillips Death of a Terrorist: Imad Mugniyah

    Yesterday's reported death of the terrorist mastermind Imad Mugniyah, if true, is a major blow to the Hezbollah organization, its backers in Iran and Syria, and other terrorist groups who have cooperated with Hezbollah or Iran, often working through Mugniyah. He was involved in many of the most lethal and high-profile terrorist attacks in the Middle East and…

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  • Issue Brief posted February 10, 2015 by James Phillips The Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Understanding Key Issues

    The Obama Administration has bent over backward in an effort to secure a nuclear agreement with Iran. In principle, it has accepted Iran’s illicit uranium enrichment activities, the heavy-water reactor at Arak that could become a plutonium bomb factory, and Iran’s continued stonewalling of the investigation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). These…

  • Issue Brief posted January 12, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer, James Phillips Provocative Palestinian U.N. Actions Require Strong U.S. Response

    The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in assistance to facilitate peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Despite America’s financial support and its repeated diplomatic efforts, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has demonstrated little serious interest in negotiating a peace agreement that recognizes Israel’s right to exist, commits the Palestinians to…

  • Issue Brief posted November 22, 2014 by James Phillips Nuclear Negotiations with Iran: U.S. Must Avoid a Rush to Failure

    The November 24 deadline for a nuclear agreement with Iran is fast approaching, with no sign that a deal that would advance U.S. national security interests can be reached by that date. After almost a year of negotiations, Iran has won international acceptance of its once-covert uranium enrichment facilities and obtained substantial sanctions relief in exchange for…

  • Special Report posted November 17, 2014 by Lisa Curtis, Charlotte Florance, Walter Lohman, James Phillips Pursuing a Freedom Agenda Amidst Rising Global Islamism

    Contributors Lisa Curtis is Senior Research Fellow for South Asia in the Asian Studies Center, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation. Charlotte Florance is a Research Associate for Economic Freedom in Africa and the Middle East in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National…

  • Issue Brief posted October 6, 2014 by James Phillips The Rise of Al-Qaeda’s Khorasan Group: What It Means for U.S. National Security

    The air strikes against Islamist terrorist groups in Syria that the U.S. launched on September 22 included strikes against a group that few Americans had heard about before: the Khorasan group. Although sometimes mistakenly characterized as a new terrorist group, Khorasan is a new tentacle of an old organization—the al-Qaeda high-command or core group. The rise of 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…

  • 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.…

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