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Syria

Our Research & Offerings on Syria
  • Commentary posted October 6, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. What's at Stake in U.S. Strategy in Syria

    The Obama administration's strategy for Syria relies on using U.S. air power to support local forces. If this approach fails, as it has failed in the past, the United States will find itself still lacking an effective, politically viable strategy for fighting Islamist terror more than a decade after 9/11 attacks. Since World War II, U.S. administrations have sought ways…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted September 10, 2014 by James Phillips The message ISIS wants to send to America, the world

    The grisly propaganda videos released by Islamist terrorists of the executions of innocent American hostages are coldly calculated to intimidate the terrorist group’s enemies, inspire its followers and incite further attacks against the United States and our allies. The Islamic State (formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS) considers the videos a…

  • 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…

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  • Backgrounder posted March 15, 2012 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. How the U.S. Should Respond to Russia's Unhelpful Role in the Middle East

    Abstract: Russia is pursuing a Middle Eastern policy that is designed to reduce U.S. and Western influence in the Middle East, even at the risk of Islamist terrorism, which is a growing problem in Russia. It views the recent upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa as an American conspiracy to undermine Russia and friendly regimes in the region. Russia’s Soviet…

  • 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 September 11, 2013 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. The Obama Doctrine has officially collapsed -- Putin is now in charge

    There were numerous oddball characters in “M.A.S.H.,” the old TV show about a surgical hospital in the battlefront in Korea. One of them, Major Winchester, considered himself the consummate practitioner. In one episode, he droned continually, "I do one thing. I do it very well...and then I move on." That fairly describes how President Obama would have described his…

  • Lecture posted January 22, 2009 by Charlotte M. Ponticelli Can the ILO Be Saved from Itself?

    For the better part of the past two years, I have had the great privilege of heading the Department of Labor's Bureau of International Affairs. Simply put, it's the agency that carries out the international responsibilities of the Department of Labor. One of my major responsibilities has been representing the Department of Labor--and, indeed, the United States…

  • WebMemo posted March 18, 2009 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Why the United States Should Not Join the Inter-Parliamentary Union

    The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), founded in 1888 by Frédéric Passy of France and William Randal Cremer of Great Britain, originally sought to promote peace by encouraging regular contacts between parliamentarians from established democracies. The IPU also supported free trade and arbitration, on the basis of respect for national sovereignty, between…

  • Commentary posted October 6, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. What's at Stake in U.S. Strategy in Syria

    The Obama administration's strategy for Syria relies on using U.S. air power to support local forces. If this approach fails, as it has failed in the past, the United States will find itself still lacking an effective, politically viable strategy for fighting Islamist terror more than a decade after 9/11 attacks. Since World War II, U.S. administrations have sought ways…

  • 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 February 24, 2012 by James Phillips, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Syrian WMD: Counter-proliferation Contingency Planning Needed

    Syria’s embattled regime is likely to hold out for many more months but eventually could implode with many dangerous consequences for the surrounding region. One of the risks is that chemical weapons—and possibly radioactive materials from its nuclear program—could fall into the hands of terrorists. The U.S. needs a strategy for the worst-case scenario. Washington must…

  • 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 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…

Find more work on Syria
  • 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 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…

Find more work on Syria
Find more work on Syria