Dalia Dassa Kaye of RAND and Aaron Miller of the Wilson Center will discuss current events in the Middle East and weigh the prospects of success for U.S. diplomats working to navigate the region's many hot spots.
President Barack Obama’s upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Abdullah offers an opportunity to engage in a much needed dialogue about the future of the conflict in Syria and to hear what a strong ally and friend has to say about stability in the region.
If NATO wants to avoid strategic irrelevance, it needs to give increasing attention to the threats from the Middle East and North Africa region. A southern strategy should draw on recent experience, such as NATO's intervention in Libya and the successful operation in Mali.
Overall, divisions in Al Qaeda's ranks are good news for the United States. While the split will not end the jihadists' terrorist campaigns, it will preoccupy Al Qaeda's leaders and create uncertainty in its ranks.
As the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood reclaiming power recedes, it will become difficult for the new authorities in Egypt to hold together a coalition that is built solely on its members' shared antipathy for the Islamist group.
This time, the Taliban do not have the luxury of ingratiating themselves as purveyors of justice amidst chaos, only to later reveal themselves as bullying extremists. Moreover, in a post-9/11 world the international community now understands the potential ramifications of allowing such extremism to metastasize unchecked.
The mission of preventing al Qaeda from threatening the U.S. is an enduring one that will require a long-term commitment not just to counterterrorism, but to training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces so that they are better able to prosecute their own campaign against terrorists.
Rouhani, while so far effective in Iran's nuclear negotiations, has an uphill battle at home. While the Iranian conservative establishment is likely to support his nuclear policy for now, it is unlikely to concede him the full economic and political agenda he seeks. Not without a fight, anyhow.
Paul Miller takes issue with four of Steve Walt's 10 points in his latest essay that lists President Obama's withdrawal deadline as one of the top 10 biggest mistakes in the war in Afghanistan.
Over the past month, al Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has made a concerted effort to seize the Iraqi cities of Ramadi and Fallujah. The attacks have received a lot of attention, but ISIS does not represent a majority of Iraqi Sunni in Anbar. Many Sunni Anbari leaders continue to reject al Qaeda.
Obama called for “a year of action” to achieve his 2014 agenda — from helping people sign up for health insurance, to immigration reform, to completing the mission in Afghanistan. RAND is committed to raising the level of public policy debates and offering evidence-based, actionable solutions.
Iran may be more influential in Iraq today than it has been since the Safavid era, but this is not so much due to Iranian strength as Iraqi weakness. Iraq will need Iran as long as it faces an uncertain future — unrest at home, war in Syria, and isolation from the Arab world.
Sanctions are not a button that can be pushed to strengthen the U.S. position automatically; they must be used in tandem with diplomacy, and a deeper understanding of Iranian, Chinese and Russian motivations.
Negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 have resulted in a first step agreement of a possible comprehensive deal on the Iranian nuclear program. A panel of experts will examine the negotiations, the potential for a deal that could effectively halt Iran's ability to develop nuclear weapons, and implications for U.S. national security.
In this January 2014 Congressional Briefing, a panel of experts discusses the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 that have resulted in a first-step agreement of a possible comprehensive deal on the Iranian nuclear program.