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  • Media Call: President Trump's Middle East Agenda
    by Council on Foreign Relations on May 15, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    After meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House next week, President Donald J. Trump will embark on his first international trip on May 19, with stops in Saudi Arabia and Israel. Panelists on this on-the-record teleconference discussed the significance of the president's visit and his objectives in the region, particularly as they pertain to the fight against the self-declared Islamic State and forging a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians. […]

  • Trump Should Be Wary of Putin’s Syria Plan
    by Council on Foreign Relations on May 12, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    The deal Russia is offering would empower America’s adversaries far more than America’s friends, writes Stephen Sestanovich.&nbs […]

  • Iran’s Presidential Test
    by Council on Foreign Relations on May 1, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Iran’s May 19 election will pit Ibrahim Raisi, a hard-line protégé of the supreme leader, against the more centrist incumbent, Hassan Rouhani, in a contest that may hinge on the perceived economic impact of the nuclear deal, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. […]

  • United States Assistance for Egypt
    by Council on Foreign Relations on April 27, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Elliott Abrams testified before the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. He gave his assessment of the security side of the U.S.-Egypt aid relationship and suggested that the United States should reconsider its security and economic assistance to Egypt.&nbs […]

  • Iran’s Supreme Leader Moulds a Successor in His Image
    by Council on Foreign Relations on April 24, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    The candidacy of Ebrahim Raisi dooms Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s chances of winning a second term in next month’s elections, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Raisi, a protégé of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has long been groomed to become the Islamic Republic’s next supreme leader. […]

  • The Need to Change Palestinian Political Culture
    by Council on Foreign Relations on April 24, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will be visiting Washington soon and will call for a renewed commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state. But both opinion polls, and actions by the Palestinian Authority glorifying terrorism and terrorists, suggest that Palestinian political culture is oriented to violence and revanchism, not to peace. Elliott Abrams argues that a change in Palestinian political culture is a necessary precondition for real peace. […]

  • The Future of the Middle East
    by Council on Foreign Relations on April 20, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Philip H. Gordon, Farah Pandith, and James M. Lindsay discuss the future of the Middle East. […]

  • Trump's Making a Big Strategic Mistake on Human Rights
    by Council on Foreign Relations on April 19, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    It’s one thing to hold your nose and work with Erdogan despite his human-rights abuses. It’s another thing to actually praise him for destroying Turkish democracy. […]

  • Stop Supporting Palestinian Terror
    by Council on Foreign Relations on April 17, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Should Congress cut aid to the Palestinian Authority unless it ceases payments to terrorists and their families? In the new issue of National Review magazine, Elliott Abrams argues that Congress should pass the Taylor Force Act, cut the aid, and try to force a change in Palestinian political culture. […]

  • RIP Turkey, 1921 - 2017
    by Council on Foreign Relations on April 16, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    The Turkish public seems to have given President Erdogan and his party license to reorganize the state and, in the process, raze the values on which it was built, writes CFR's Steven A. Cook. […]

  • How Will Trump Get Us From Tomahawks to the Peace Table?
    by Council on Foreign Relations on April 12, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    While numerous questions remain as to how the Syrian conflict will end, all sides agree that talks should continue in Geneva. “The Geneva process is exhausting and frequently has felt futile,” writes Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, “…but it still exists and offers a framework to end these wars.&rdquo […]

  • Small Footprint, Small Payoff
    by Council on Foreign Relations on April 12, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Stephen Biddle, Julia McDonald, and Ryan Baker argue that training, equipping, and advising partner militaries is an increasingly popular alternative to large U.S. ground force deployments in places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and many other places where the United States has real but limited interests at stake. Yet SFA has often yielded disappointing results in actual practice. The authors explain this pattern as the result of systematic interest misalignment between the United States and the partners it must work with in these kinds of missions—and argue that these problems are only partly remediable. The authors present ways to do better at the margin, but also argue that underlying interest misalignment will limit this tool's likely utility in the future, and that U.S. decision makers must take this into account when deciding when, where, and how to use it.&nbs […]

  • Don’t Count on Russia to Get Rid of Assad
    by Council on Foreign Relations on April 11, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Writing in the Washington Post, Philip Gordon argues that it will take a lot more than a single set of airstrikes to get Russia to abandon its support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad. […]

  • The Impact of the Iran Nuclear Agreement
    by Council on Foreign Relations on April 11, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Iran has restricted its nuclear program and given international inspectors unprecedented access, but it has not seen the economy recovery expected in the aftermath of the agreement with international powers. […]

  • The Trump Doctrine Was Written By CNN
    by Council on Foreign Relations on April 10, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Far from decisive, Trump’s decision to fire cruise missiles against a single air base in Syria was reminiscent of the kind of low-risk cruise missile attacks that Republicans have mocked in the past for their symbolic, ineffectual nature. While it is a good thing Trump did act, it is hard to know what larger lessons about U.S. policy in the world or in Syria itself one can draw from this decision. The Trump doctrine appears to be: The United States reserves the right to use force whenever the president is upset by something he sees on TV. […]