The use of chemicals cannot be allowed to become an acceptable form of warfare either in Syria or anywhere else. Mission accomplishment in Syria, just like in chemical weapon nonproliferation, will require far more than missile strikes alone.
The Trump administration appears to be following its predecessor in imagining a political endgame in Afghanistan. It is focused on military efforts to try to turn the tide of the conflict, in hopes of negotiating from a stronger position. But if all sides continue to seek military advantage, negotiations will never commence.
There's good reason to hope that the forthcoming policy on stabilization in places like Iraq will get the United States to the right middle road. But this new effort will fall short if Congress doesn't maintain the necessary funding for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Turkey wants to take credit for the demise of the Islamic State, insisting that Turkey's actions in northern Syria have helped lay the groundwork for a sustainable peace. But the evidence clearly suggests otherwise.
U.S. forces will soon withdraw from Syria, and the U.S. State Department put a hold on further stabilization assistance to areas liberated from the Islamic State. The U.S. and its partners should offer stabilization and reconstruction help, particularly in regions where much of the damage was the result of American-supported military operations.
The United States has been at war in Afghanistan for over 16 years, at a cost of over $1 trillion. But the Taliban now controls more territory than at any point since the U.S.-led invasion. This should give pause to observers who believe that the United States is, or will soon be, poised to turn the tide in Afghanistan.
Actions taken now by the United States, the Iraqi government, and private parties could determine the war-torn country's future. The message the Sunnis receive in these next six months will determine whether Iraq is on the path to stability.
Iran is extending its influence throughout Syria as the Islamic State's influence declines. To counter Iranian efforts and the inevitable similar actions of other countries, the United States should dedicate significant resources to crafting its own strategy to prevent Tehran from taking advantage of the current conflict and humanitarian crisis.
A realistic approach to dealing with Pakistan does not mean selling out Afghanistan or taking a loss on the substantial U.S. investment in the region. Rather, it is necessary for giving Afghanistan a better shot at a more stable future than the current approach is likely to produce.
Russia alone can neither guarantee the future security of Syria nor mobilize the resources to enable it to recover and rebuild. Only by linking arms with the international community to edge out Iran, forge broader-based governance and spur economic growth can Russia hope to achieve lasting success in Syria.
It is time for the U.S.-led coalition to figure out what its next counterterrorism steps should be, even as it continues to work toward stabilizing the country and navigating the path toward a political settlement with the other major powers involved.
The U.S. and others have a major interest in ending the Syrian civil war, helping the millions of displaced Syrians, and preventing the re-emergence of the Islamic State. But they are naturally reluctant to assist rebuilding a country run by Assad and supported by Russia and Iran. What are their options?
Niger is at the epicenter of the war on terror, with local and regional violent groups based there and entering the country from nearly every side. U.S. troops are there to train Niger's security services and not to fight. They are also assisting French forces who are fighting there.
Is Pyongyang more like modern Islamabad or Soviet Moscow? The answer must draw on the expertise of scholars of civil-military relations as well as nuclear strategy. Even then analogy is only a starting point—North Korea may be more or less like previous cases, but will certainly be unique.
Treating migration from Libya as a border security issue has reduced migration across the Mediterranean. But efforts to keep migrants in Libya are fraught with risks, exacerbate a massive human rights problem, and do not address Libya's long-term economic and political stabilization.