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Syria

Our Research & Offerings on Syria
  • Backgrounder posted May 9, 2016 by James Phillips The Dangerous Regional Implications of the Iran Nuclear Agreement

    Iran is consolidating its gains on multiple fronts under the July 2015 nuclear agreement reached with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of U.N. Security Council plus Germany). The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that addressed the nuclear issue has also bolstered Iran’s theocratic dictatorship in the economic, trade, political, diplomatic, military, and…

  • Issue Brief posted April 20, 2016 by James Phillips Obama Needs to Mend Fences at Gulf Cooperation Council Summit

    President Barack Obama will travel to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman on Wednesday and with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Thursday. His trip is a follow-up to the May 2015 summit at Camp David that the President convened with leaders of the six GCC member states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. President…

  • Issue Brief posted April 7, 2016 by Olivia Enos, James Phillips Next Steps for Addressing ISIS Genocide

    On March 17, 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had committed genocide against Yazidis, Christians, and Shiite Muslims in Iraq and Syria.[1] The State Department’s decision to label ISIS acts as genocide came on the heels of a “sense of Congress” resolution, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives March 14,…

  • Posted on February 19, 2016 by James Phillips / Brooke Branson The Growing Threat of ISIS Unleashing a Weapon of Mass Destruction

    The apocalyptic ideology that propels the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) is by now well known. Much less widely...…

  • Posted on February 12, 2016 by James Phillips Obama Administration Once Again Concedes to Putin in Syria

    Washington has succumbed to another diplomatic mirage: the Russian promise of a limited pause in the intensifying war in...…

  • Special Report posted January 6, 2016 by Lisa Curtis, Luke Coffey, David Inserra, Daniel Kochis, Walter Lohman, Joshua Meservey, James Phillips, Robin Simcox Combatting the ISIS Foreign Fighter Pipeline: A Global Approach

    The Islamic State’s recent global terror campaign—including the October 31 downing of a Russian passenger jet that killed 224 and the November 13 shooting attacks in Paris that killed 130 restaurant patrons and concert-goers—has increased the urgency for the U.S. to lead a global alliance to defeat the Islamic State and its ideology. ISIS has also been able to establish a…

  • Posted on December 17, 2015 by James Phillips / Elizabeth Hortopan Obama Refuses to Alter ISIS Strategy

    President Barack Obama traveled to the Pentagon on Monday in a highly choreographed public relations exercise designed...…

  • Commentary posted November 30, 2015 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Whose values is Barack Obama promoting in Syria?

    The most serious problem with the Syrian refugees isn't that they'll bring terrorists with them. It's the war in Syria that made them refugees in the first place. President Barack Obama claims we have to admit refugees if we are to live up to our values. But he's the one who's sat on his hands as Syria burned. It's banal to say that concerns about terrorism are…

  • Posted on November 18, 2015 by James Phillips Paris Terrorist Attacks Underscore the Expanding Threat Posed by ISIS

    The terrorist attacks launched in Paris on Friday that killed at least 129 people have been claimed by and traced back...…

  • Issue Brief posted November 6, 2015 by James Phillips The Obama–Netanyahu Meeting: An Opportunity to Bolster Strategic Cooperation

    President Barack Obama will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on November 9 after a long period of tension between the two leaders over the controversial nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu, who warned that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an existential threat to Israel, was highly critical of the risky agreement, which he lambasted for…

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  • WebMemo posted April 13, 2011 by The Heritage Foundation The “Arab Spring”: Heritage Foundation Recommendations

    The “Arab Spring” has targeted several regimes in the Middle East: Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak has stepped down, leaving the future of the country uncertain; Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh cling to power; Libya’s Muammar Qadhafi has vowed to fight to the death despite the United States and NATO lining up against him. The U.S. needs more clear 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 May 14, 2015 by James Phillips Preparing for the Approaching Syrian Endgame

    Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship has been rocked by a string of military defeats and by internal tensions within the minority Alawite-dominated regime that is battling for its life against a rising tide of predominantly Sunni rebel groups. Casualties, defections, and loss of territory have severely undermined the Syrian Army and Syria’s security services, forcing the Assad…

  • Commentary posted November 6, 2012 by Peter Brookes Standing Back as Syria's War Festers

    Throughout the 20-month Syrian bloodbath, Team Obama has been telling us that they’ve been playing it low-key because they feared the crisis might spread beyond Syrian borders if we took a bigger role. Sigh. Even with a US-supported, Arab League-sponsored Syrian opposition meeting in Qatar this week, the lack of a hard-hitting US reaction to the slaughter (now…

  • 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…

  • 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 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 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 November 5, 2012 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., Morgan Lorraine Roach, James Phillips Syrian Uprising: U.S. Inaction Contributes to a Wider Regional Conflict

    American policy toward the Syrian uprising has been an unmitigated failure. President Obama’s glacially slow and overly cautious policies that were intended to avoid turning the Syrian uprising into a wider regional affair have had exactly the opposite effect. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call for new leadership in the anti-Assad resistance is likely to amount to…

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  • Backgrounder posted May 9, 2016 by James Phillips The Dangerous Regional Implications of the Iran Nuclear Agreement

    Iran is consolidating its gains on multiple fronts under the July 2015 nuclear agreement reached with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of U.N. Security Council plus Germany). The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that addressed the nuclear issue has also bolstered Iran’s theocratic dictatorship in the economic, trade, political, diplomatic, military, and…

  • Issue Brief posted April 20, 2016 by James Phillips Obama Needs to Mend Fences at Gulf Cooperation Council Summit

    President Barack Obama will travel to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman on Wednesday and with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Thursday. His trip is a follow-up to the May 2015 summit at Camp David that the President convened with leaders of the six GCC member states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. President…

  • Issue Brief posted April 7, 2016 by Olivia Enos, James Phillips Next Steps for Addressing ISIS Genocide

    On March 17, 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had committed genocide against Yazidis, Christians, and Shiite Muslims in Iraq and Syria.[1] The State Department’s decision to label ISIS acts as genocide came on the heels of a “sense of Congress” resolution, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives March 14,…

  • Special Report posted January 6, 2016 by Lisa Curtis, Luke Coffey, David Inserra, Daniel Kochis, Walter Lohman, Joshua Meservey, James Phillips, Robin Simcox Combatting the ISIS Foreign Fighter Pipeline: A Global Approach

    The Islamic State’s recent global terror campaign—including the October 31 downing of a Russian passenger jet that killed 224 and the November 13 shooting attacks in Paris that killed 130 restaurant patrons and concert-goers—has increased the urgency for the U.S. to lead a global alliance to defeat the Islamic State and its ideology. ISIS has also been able to establish a…

  • Issue Brief posted November 6, 2015 by James Phillips The Obama–Netanyahu Meeting: An Opportunity to Bolster Strategic Cooperation

    President Barack Obama will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on November 9 after a long period of tension between the two leaders over the controversial nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu, who warned that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an existential threat to Israel, was highly critical of the risky agreement, which he lambasted for…

  • Issue Brief posted May 14, 2015 by James Phillips Preparing for the Approaching Syrian Endgame

    Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship has been rocked by a string of military defeats and by internal tensions within the minority Alawite-dominated regime that is battling for its life against a rising tide of predominantly Sunni rebel groups. Casualties, defections, and loss of territory have severely undermined the Syrian Army and Syria’s security services, forcing the Assad…

  • Backgrounder posted April 7, 2015 by Dakota Wood, Charlotte Florance, James Phillips Intervention in Libya: Lessons in Leading

    Weeds of the Arab Spring The Arab Spring undoubtedly changed the political, economic, and security landscape in the Middle East and North Africa. More than four years after the self-immolation of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi and the catalytic explosion of the event on social media among Arab youth populations, authoritarian regimes quickly came under fire,…

  • 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…

Find more work on Syria
Find more work on Syria