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Syria

Our Research & Offerings on Syria
  • Commentary posted June 12, 2014 by Peter Brookes Syrian Islamists Spread Terror Network Into Iraq

    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…

  • Commentary posted June 9, 2014 by Peter Brookes Islamist Threat on the Rise

    Since the national conversation of late has been riveted on terrorism spurred on by the controversy swirling around the Taliban prisoner swap, it’s a good time to take stock of the state of Islamist militancy. Bottom line? The threat is getting worse. For instance, for the year 2013, the State Department estimated that terrorist attacks jumped more than 40 percent…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted May 2, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Obama's furious battle against straw men

    Earlier last week, White House correspondent Ed Henry of Fox News had the temerity to ask President Barack Obama if he could summarize his foreign policy for the benefit of his critics, who think it comes down to "weariness." The president's defensive reply showed, yet again, his love of fighting straw men. Obama answered that "most of the foreign policy commentators…

  • Commentary posted February 6, 2014 by Peter Brookes Syria a failure for U.S.

    In a now widely reported private meeting with U.S. lawmakers at a Munich security conference last weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry told them the administration’s policies toward the bloody Syrian civil war weren’t cutting it. That’s a striking admission on the part of our chief diplomat. I agree with Kerry that things are going horribly for our interests in Syria,…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted October 25, 2013 by Peter Brookes Prez clueless over Mideast mayhem

    This week the president plugged the toll-free number for Obamacare, urging citizens to join by calling in rather than logging in if they want a health care policy. My question: Which toll-free number do we call if we’re looking for a foreign policy? The fact is that while we’ve been understandably distracted by domestic policy debates, Team Obama’s foreign policy…

  • Commentary posted September 29, 2013 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. How to Handle Monsters

    It goes without saying that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a monster. He’s killed thousands of his own citizens, unleashed chemical weapons against rebels, and is closely associated with Iran’s dangerous rulers. But it also needs to be said, as President John Quincy Adams did, that the United States “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Adams was…

  • Commentary posted September 23, 2013 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Obama in the weed-choked Middle Eastern garden of Eden

    A world leader and brilliant diplomat. That’s how Anthony Eden saw himself. In 1956, during his second year as Britain's Prime Minister, he gave the green light to an audacious plan to topple the Egyptian government. Joining with the French, he would seize control of the Suez Canal, showing the world that Britain remained a preeminent power in the Middle East.…

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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…

  • Backgrounder posted December 20, 2012 by James Phillips The Arab Spring Descends into Islamist Winter: Implications for U.S. Policy

    Abstract: In 2011 and 2012, a wave of popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East shook the region’s autocratic regimes, prompting euphoric reactions in the West about an “Arab Spring” and a supposed new age of democracy. While the overthrow of authoritarian regimes can give democracy a chance to bloom, it has also created opportunities for a wide spectrum of…

  • Commentary posted July 15, 2012 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Is Russia Finally Inching Away From Syria's Assad?

    The Interfax news agency reported Tuesday that a Russian naval squadron, including an antisubmarine ship and three marine-landing craft, left Severomorsk in the Arctic for the Mediterranean. Several more ships will join it en route. Together, they will pay a call to Tartus, Syria, Russia's only naval facility outside of the old Soviet Union. Russian officials have…

  • Commentary posted June 12, 2014 by Peter Brookes Syrian Islamists Spread Terror Network Into Iraq

    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…

  • Issue Brief posted September 10, 2013 by James Phillips, Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. After the Hearings: Syrian Intervention Still a Bad Idea

    The Obama Administration has failed to articulate U.S. national interests in Syria or offer a clear plan that justifies America’s direct involvement in the conflict. As Congress deliberates on the Administration’s request for the use of force, it should consider what is in the best interest of the U.S., what precedents might be set, and what practical considerations it…

  • Commentary posted September 10, 2013 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Obama's Syria Policy Not Off the Hook Yet

    President Obama will address the nation tonight. It is a speech that was never supposed to happen. After the collapse of progress in Libya, the president's signature foreign-policy accomplishment, capped by the tragedy of Benghazi, the White House changed its Middle East playbook. The new plan: get involved in that region’s troubles as little as possible. But last…

  • Commentary posted April 27, 2011 by Peter Brookes Get serious on Syria, Bam

    The bloody crackdown in Syria is just the lat est sign that Team Obama's "engagement policy" toward the Middle East bad boy hasn't paid off. As President Obama himself might say: It's time for a change. Sure, there was a chance Washington's softly-softly approach could've persuaded Damascus to relax its embrace of Tehran (which has expanded its influence…

  • Commentary posted April 21, 2003 by Peter Brookes Syria's Fate

  • Commentary posted September 6, 2013 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Syria and the Moral Follies of Humanitarian Warfare

    President Obama has made many arguments for his intervention in Syria. It’s necessary to enforce “international norms.” It will send Syrian President Assad a “message.” It would “degrade” Syria’s military capabilities and “deter” Assad from launching another chemical attack. But in Stockholm the President raised the stakes. Responding to a question about how he could…

  • 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…

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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 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 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…

  • Issue Brief posted September 10, 2013 by James Phillips, Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. After the Hearings: Syrian Intervention Still a Bad Idea

    The Obama Administration has failed to articulate U.S. national interests in Syria or offer a clear plan that justifies America’s direct involvement in the conflict. As Congress deliberates on the Administration’s request for the use of force, it should consider what is in the best interest of the U.S., what precedents might be set, and what practical considerations it…

  • Issue Brief posted May 29, 2013 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Russian Missiles to Syria Endanger U.S. Foreign Policy Goals

    Russia is planning to supply Syria game-changing weapons which will shift the balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean in favor of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and may make any future operations against the Assad forces considerably more difficult. If Moscow’s missile supply plans go through, the Russian advanced weapons systems would be able to target NATO…

  • Issue Brief posted May 16, 2013 by James Phillips Syria Crisis: U.S. Leadership Needed to Coordinate Allies

    One negative implication of the Obama Administration’s “lead from behind” efforts on the worsening Syria crisis is that U.S. allies have independently stepped forward to advance their own interests by backing various rival groups within the ad hoc Syrian opposition coalition. These external aid efforts, often pursued with little coordination, have bolstered Islamist…

  • Issue Brief posted May 15, 2013 by James Phillips U.S.–Turkish Relations: Greater Cooperation Should Be Goal of Obama–Erdogan Meeting

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Washington this week amid escalating and intertwined Middle East crises. Turkey is a key NATO ally that borders Syria, Iran, and Iraq: three major focal points of U.S. Middle East policy. President Obama should consult with Prime Minister Erdogan to coordinate policies on these three fronts and to encourage Turkey to…

  • Issue Brief posted May 1, 2013 by James Phillips Syria's Chemical Weapons: U.S. Should Engage Syria's Opposition to Defuse Threat

    President Obama yesterday backpedaled away from taking immediate action on the Syrian chemical warfare issue. Caution on the chemical warfare issue is warranted, and Washington should clearly establish the facts to rule out the possibility that the chemical warfare reports are misinformation or disinformation. But as bad as the reported chemical attacks by Syria’s Bashar…

Find more work on Syria
Find more work on Syria