Secretary of State John Kerry recently floated a mind-boggling idea: To help turn back ISIS, the Islamic terrorist group that has seized control of more than a third of Iraq, the U.S. could enter a cooperative arrangement with the mullahs of Iran.
Yes, the administration still clings to the notion that it can advance American interests by cutting a deal with Tehran. No…
The situation in Iraq is bad and it’s getting worse.
This week, the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, announced the formation of an Islamic state — or caliphate — across the swath of territory it is currently holding.
It’s a big deal — for a lot of reasons.
First, while holding territory can be more difficult than taking it, just…
What is happening in Iraq now has a nightmarish quality. Three years ago, the United States had defeated al-Qaeda in Iraq and set up a fledgling democracy in Iraq. I understand those who believe that Prime Minister Maliki could never have been trusted and Iraq would never have become a real democracy. But the United States didn’t need a democracy in Iraq, or even a…
Foreign fighters—outsiders recruited or who volunteer to fight in another country for somebody else’s cause—are nothing new. What’s new is that they have become a staple of the Al Qaeda cohort.
It’s called the “pipeline” problem. Ferrying warriors to the war and also returning them home to spread the war elsewhere has become part of the stock and trade of how…
President Obama is fond of saying he was elected to “end” wars, not start them. He clearly is tapping into Americans’ well-known weariness of wars and sees himself as merely carrying out their will.
But there’s a problem. Americans may indeed be war-weary (although how much may be exaggerated), but that only means they assume Mr. Obama’s policies will actually end the…
Forget about speeches—foreign-policy crises define a presidency. Memorable speeches resonate because they are built on acts of real leadership. Conversely, failure washes away the most resounding rhetoric.
Which is why the unraveling of Iraq will define Obama's tenure at the top much more than his recent address at West Point.
After listening to Obama's speech to the…
Riven by religious extremism and brutal sectarian competition, Iraq is descending again into the madness of civil war. The Maliki government has made a mess of things since taking office, estranging large segments of the Iraqi population along the way. The U.S. contributed to the mess via its hasty withdrawal two years ago, electing to end its security mission based on…
Iraq is a shambles. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Al Qaeda off-shoot that now controls nearly a third of the nation, continues to run amok.
It’s way past time for the White House to get its head in the game. The disaster unfolding in Iraq and Syria could very quickly spiral into a much, much bigger problem. And some problems are so big that even our…
Earlier this week on these very pages I warned about the rise of violent Islamist extremism, not exclusively but especially in Syria. Unfortunately, in just a few short days, the situation has gotten worse.
I’m thinking about Iraq.
On Tuesday, Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, was overrun by an al-Qaeda “offshoot,” the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS — a…
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…
A few Members of Congress,
motivated by American combat in the Middle East, have called for
the reinstatement of a compulsory military draft. The case for
coercing young citizens to join the military is supposedly based on
social justice?that all should serve?and seems to be
buttressed by reports of shortfalls in voluntary enlistment.
In a New York Times op-ed…
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…
Together with President George W. Bush,
British Prime Minister Tony Blair is at the forefront of
international condemnation of the Iraqi regime for producing
weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in violation of numerous United
Nations resolutions. Blair describes Saddam Hussein as an
"international outlaw" running a "barbaric regime" and warns that
"to allow him to use the…
(This is an
updated version of WebMemo
#266, originally published on April 22,
Saddam Hussein has been captured. How will he, and other members
of his regime, be brought to justice?
The United States
could defer to a newly formed Iraqi court system, or lead the way
through Coalition trials. These, and all options -- except for the
year after the onset of the war in Iraq, I think it is safe to say
that the United States is better off than it was before the war.
Moreover, our allies are better off and the Iraqi people are
certainly better off.
the United States, the ouster of Saddam Hussein's regime pays
considerable strategic dividends that too often are glossed over or
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…
(Saddam has been captured. This WebMemo
was updated on December 15, 2003.)
Baghdad has fallen. The war is nearly over now and the time will
soon come to assess the actions of Iraq's former leaders. Coalition
forces reportedly carry a "deck of cards" with the pictures of 55
Iraqi leaders of the regime and orders to pursue, capture, or kill
them. Several of these…
The question before us
today is not only one of Al-Hurrah's performance and role in
improving the image of the United States in the Arab world.
Inevitably, our discussion reveals the urgent necessity of a
larger debate regarding where U.S. broadcasting efforts in the
Middle East are heading.
The events of September
11 woke us up to the reality of growing…
For almost every foreign policy problem, John Kerry has an “easy button.” Unfortunately, hitting that button usually doesn’t do the trick. And sometimes, it leaves the world worse off.
And so we would do well to consider the prospect of success for the “easy button” identified by the Secretary of State as the way to keep Iraq from teetering into a full-blown civil war.…
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…
Last week White House Press Secretary Jay Carney promised the President would soon make a major address “on the Middle East and U.S. policy in the Middle East...to a broader audience than just the Arab world.” It is long past time for President Barack Obama to lay out a plan for how his Administration will address the historic change sweeping this part of the world. By…
While all eyes are on the political violence in Egypt, the Obama Administration has labored in crisis mode, struggling to stay ahead of the rapidly moving events. Washington’s problem is that publicly the White House appears to be floundering, focusing myopically on events on Tahrir Square rather than exercising real presidential leadership and proactively working to…
President Obama’s televised speech on Iraq will mark the “official” end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq and the transition to an “advise and assist” mission. The President undoubtedly hopes to assure voters ahead of the November elections that he is winding down the war. The irony is that current progress in Iraq was enabled by the Bush Administration’s surge policy,…
Iraq’s March 7 parliamentary elections will be a major milestone that will help determine that nation’s future political evolution and prospects for security and stability. Additionally, these elections will significantly affect the Obama Administration’s plans for a rapid drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq.
The elections will hopefully produce a broad-based multi-party…
When Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki meets with President Barack Obama at the White House tomorrow several issues will be high on the agenda, including the need to accelerate Iraq's lagging political reconciliation efforts. But despite the importance of this long-term process, one topic deserves even more urgent attention: How to immediately strengthen bilateral…
Iraq's January 31 provincial elections were another important
milestone on Iraq's long and difficult journey toward becoming a
According to preliminary results, the big electoral winner was
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition. While 10
percent of the votes must still be counted, it is apparent that the
Congress tomorrow will begin a second round of hearings on Iraq
featuring General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. A
major topic is likely to be the recent round of fighting in Basra,
Iraq's second-largest city, and its implications for U.S.
Although the clashes in Basra have been widely misreported as a
one-sided defeat for Prime Minister Nouri…
As the battle between Iraqi security forces and Iranian-backed
Shia militias raged in the port of Basra over the past week,
British troops remained largely on the sidelines. Thirty-thousand
Iraqi soldiers were sent into the city by Prime Minister Nuri
al-Maliki to retake control from the Mahdi Army led by
Iranian-based firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, but they…
Clearly, ISIS was not in the plan.
The Obama Administration was caught flat-footed by the triumph of the Islamic State...…
With the rapid advance in Iraq of the deadly terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS),...…
Less than three years after U.S. troops left Iraq, political leaders and policy analysts are wrestling with how to...…
Four letters are topping headlines around the world: ISIS. Pinned at the center of the crisis in Iraq, it’s hard to read...…
The swift collapse of Iraqi security forces in northern Iraq in the face of an al-Qaeda-spearheaded Sunni insurgency is...…
The sudden rout of Iraqi security forces in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, is a humiliating defeat for the Iraqi...…
Last week, a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee held a hearing provocatively titled “Is Al-Qaeda Winning?” The answers...…
Former secretary of state, national security adviser and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger is, by all measures,...…
Who is the United States’ resurgent adversary in Iraq, and what do they want? A panel convened at The Heritage...…
Al-Qaeda forces in Syria are actively seeking recruits from Americans who have traveled there to fight or to assist...…
Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs
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