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  • Commentary posted November 20, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. After Paris: ISIS Makes a Big Bet

    ISIS, Russia, Iran and China all share a common concern: the United States. In short, it’s a problem. As conventional states, three of them have a view of how the world ought to be organized, but America stands in their way. They all also have the same idea—to win without fighting. Of the four, ISIS has shown it is the least risk-averse. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his…

  • 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 October 2, 2015 by James Phillips The Iran Nuclear Deal: What the Next President Should Do

    The failure of Congress to halt the implementation of the Obama Administration’s nuclear agreement with Tehran means that the U.S. is stuck with a bad deal on Iran’s nuclear program at least for now. Iran’s radical Islamist regime will now benefit from the suspension of international sanctions without dismantling its nuclear infrastructure, which will remain basically…

  • Backgrounder posted September 25, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Luke Coffey, Matthew Rolfes, Daniel Kochis, Dean Cheng, Lisa Curtis, Bruce Klingner Meager Ground Forces, Extensive Global Challenges: A Primer for the U.S. President in 2017

    Whoever occupies the Oval Office in 2017 will face challenges around the world, including a resurgent Russia, an increasingly assertive China, a metastasized Islamic State (ISIS), and an emboldened Iran. Addressing these and other foreign policy challenges in the wake of the Obama Administration’s “leading from behind” approach will require a fundamental change of…

  • Commentary posted September 22, 2015 by Mike Gonzalez Our War Against Terrorism Is A Battle Of Ideas

    Syria’s raging civil war has transfixed the West’s collective consciousness two summers in a row; last summer with ISIS’s unspeakable barbarity and in 2015 by unleashing a refugee crisis on Europe. Those searching for solutions would do well to take a comprehensive approach. Yes, better military options are needed in the Middle East. But in the current struggle with…

  • Factsheet on August 5, 2015 Top Five on the Iran Deal: Why the Iran Deal Won’t Prevent War

    Iran is the world’s #1 state sponsor of terrorism. Americans agree it should not have a nuclear weapon. President Obama’s Iran deal does not prevent Iran from doing so—and, in fact, the deal makes the prospects for war more likely. If approved, the Obama Administration’s controversial Iran deal would dismantle the sanctions that forced Tehran to the negotiating table.…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2015 by James Phillips Time for the Obama administration to respond to Syrian chemical attacks

    The Obama Administration puts a lot of stock into negotiating with hostile regimes.  Consider its seemingly endless negotiations with Iran over that nation’s illicit nuclear weapons program. But even as those negotiations drag on, Iran’s ally Syria has systematically violated the 2013 agreement it negotiated with the administration. In that agreement, codified in a U.N.…

  • Commentary posted May 14, 2015 by Peter Brookes Obama's party not at top of Gulf states’ popularity list

    One of the unhappy truths of life is that you can get a pretty good idea of your power and popularity by the number of invited — even more so, uninvited — guests who show up at your personal party. The same might be said of international diplomatic meetings. So you can imagine how Team Obama must feel about the news that this week’s U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council summit…

  • 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 April 20, 2015 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Which side is Obama on in Mideast?

    Every war poses a basic question: Whom do you want to win? After six years, the Obama administration's answer to that question in the Middle East is hopelessly confused. We liberated Iraq from Saddam Hussein and then abandoned it, because President Barack Obama thought he had a better plan: Turn the job of stabilizing the Middle East over to Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi…

  • Issue Brief posted April 16, 2015 by Michaela Dodge, Steven Groves, James Phillips Senate’s Iran Nuclear Bill Misses the Point

    Two days ago, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) unanimously passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, a bill that attempts to bolster the congressional role in the Obama Administration’s negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program. While the effort is well intentioned, the bill sets up Congress to allow the Administration to act as if it had…

  • Commentary posted April 7, 2015 by Peter Brookes Iran deal leaves security fears

    Let’s be honest, the joint comprehensive plan of action announced last week in Lausanne, Switzerland, between the P5+1 (U.S., France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany) and Iran is essentially a Rorschach inkblot test. People will see what they want to see. Some people, like Team Obama, see the deal as a flurry of white doves released into the air, cooing “peace in our…

  • Commentary posted April 3, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. The Conditions are Ripe for a Major Middle Eastern War

    For years, the great nations of Europe spent huge sums of money to build their military might. They assembled themselves into blocs, all the better to play a dangerous game of power politics.  Slowly, surely, they were stumbling toward war. In June 1914, an assassin shot the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the powder keg was lit. The results were…

  • Commentary posted March 30, 2015 by Peter Brookes Iran’s meddling makes Yemen regional flashpoint

    While the United States moved out of Yemen last week, this week a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of a reported 10 mostly Arab states moved into Yemen with airstrikes aimed at the continuing chaos there. The immediate — but not the only — target of the coalition air campaign is the Houthi rebels who recently swept out of northern Yemen, captured the capital, Sanaa, and are…

  • Commentary posted March 11, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. After Obama: Restoring America's Middle East Leadership

    President Obama sure knows how to get the world’s attention. His public tantrum over Benjamin Netanyahu being invited to speak before a joint session of Congress pretty much assured that the entire globe would tune in to hear the Israeli prime minister enumerate his concerns over a nuclear deal with Iran. This soap opera offers a potent reminder of the sorry state of…