•  Ankara’s dilemmas in Syria and Iraq
  • Ebrahim Raisi
  • America China
  • NATO, the Middle East and Eastern Europe
  • Allies of Edi Rama
  • Turkish tanks
  • Mutual Assured Disruption

Use the menu below to find specific articles with various combinations (i.e. Area: Middle East and Topic: Economy will provide all articles related to Economy for Middle East)

NATO, the Middle East and Eastern Europe

 By George Friedman

NATO's mission has shifted, but are its members willing to meet the new challenges?
Over the past week, American officials have attended meetings of NATO and the Munich Security Conference. The topic has been the future of NATO, with the United States demanding once more that the Europeans carry out their obligation to maintain effective military forces in order to participate in the NATO military alliance. 

Balkans, Politics
Allies of Edi Rama


By Kassandra
Legendary EU insider, uncovering the deepest and darkest realities of EU governance and administration
Following our reporting last week on the case of alleged corruption with EU funds, we expanded our investigation, discovering very strange and interesting details regarding what is going on in Albania.

Turkish tanks

AARON STEIN AND RAO KOMAR
For special access to experts and other members of the national security community, check out new the War on the Rocks membership.
After months of halting and costly progress, the Turkish military and allied Syrian rebels are in a good position to take the Syrian city of al-Bab from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). With the capture of al-Bab, Turkey will have accomplished the clearly defined goals of its “Operation Euphrates Shield” intervention in northern Aleppo governorate: driving ISIL from the Turkish border and blocking hostile Kurdish forces from linking their territory to Turkey’s south.


Mutual Assured Disruption

Mark Leonard

This piece first appeared in the Munich Security Conference's Security Times in February 2017.

As the liberal order frays and geopolitical competition returns it is natural that people turn to Henry Kissinger. No one has a more finely-grained understanding of power politics, and his treatise on World Order sits on the bed side tables of many global leaders (even if few have actually read it).

 Turkey's 'Devout Generations'


by Burak Bekdil
The Gatestone Institute
Originally published under the title "What Turkish Islamists Understand about Education."

 Asked what she would do if she were president, a Turkish schoolgirl told CNN-Turk last month, "I would reinstate the death penalty."
It is customary for Turkish TV crews to interview young students at the start of their mid-term holidays, with the cliché closing question invariably being, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" This year's school holiday in January was no exception. One interview, however, produced a chilling portrait of a girl, aged just 7 or 8.

 Ankara’s dilemmas in Syria and Iraq

Semih Idiz
Statements from Ankara regarding developments in Syria suggest that things are moving in a direction that Turkey wants. Take the operation against al-Bab in northern Syria for example. The head of the military recently announced that it has been completed and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been defeated.

Ebrahim Raisi

Author Rohollah Faghihi

A new and powerful figure has joined the list of candidates among Iranian conservatives for the May presidential election: Ebrahim Raisi, a senior cleric who has gradually risen through the ranks to assume powerful positions. Born in the holy city of Mashhad in northeast Iran — home to the shrine of the eighth Shiite imam — Raisi started his career as the prosecutor general of Karaj — a city just west of the capital city, Tehran — two years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In 2004, Raisi was appointed as the first deputy of judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. When incumbent Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani took over the judiciary in 2009, Raisi remained as the first deputy.

America China


A blueprint for American policymakers to improve the U.S.-Chinese relationship.
Joe Renouard

Sino-American relations seem to be at a crossroads, though exactly where the relationship is headed is anyone’s guess. President Trump’s scattershot approach to public diplomacy and policymaking has thus far sparked more questions than answers. Is he acting irresponsibly and provoking unnecessary conflicts, or is he shrewdly testing Beijing’s resolve before he challenges it on trade and security matters? 

Politics, Turkey
Erdoğan's Referendum ‎

Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak examines the tumultuous discourse surrounding the Turkish referendum on consolidation of ‎Erdoğan’s political authority.
In the aftermath of unprecedented ‎terrorism in ‎Turkey last month, ‎social ‎networking ‎sites (SNS) ‎are engaged ‎in ‎fierce ‎political ‎debate ‎over ‎the ‎ruling ‎party's attempt to replace the ‎current parliamentary ‎system ‎with ‎a ‎presidential ‎system. ‎

Yahya Sanwar

Ron Ben-Yishai
Analysis: Yahya Sanwar’s election is bad news for Israel. The terrorist who was released as part of the Shalit deal has set inadmissible conditions for a future prisoner and body swap deal and is interested in tightening Hamas’ relations with Iran while preparing for the next round of fighting.

NATO Reforms


NATO reforms should focus on reconfiguring Europe's share of responsibility.
Zalmay Khalilzad

Leaders and policymakers from Europe and around the world will meet at the fifty-third Munich Security Conference on February 17–19. All eyes will be on Vice President Mike Pence, who will lead the U.S. delegation, which will include Defense Secretary James Mattis, for clues on the Trump administration’s approach to foreign and security issues confronting the world.

King Salman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi


by Jonathan Spyer
The Jerusalem Post

In recent years, it has become customary in much analysis of the Middle East emerging from Israel to divide Middle Eastern countries into a series of alliances or "camps."

Syria  inferno

 Among the countless heartbreaking images that came out of the earthly inferno of Aleppo, one remains particularly haunting: that of a grief-stricken mother cradling the lifeless body of her child emerging out of the rubble and raising her face to the heavens in a deafening cry of despair. 

 Trump 'Reichstag Fire'

By Hamid Dabashi

Given his serious unpopularity, an incident for illegal power grab is increasingly a dangerous possibility.

 "Information Clearing House" - "Al Jazeera" - Donald Trump and his top Islamophobe nomenklatura gathered at the White House, now led by the militant crusader Stephen Bannon, are on a desperate lookout for their "Reichstag Fire" and their favourite propaganda outlet, Fox News, is franticly searching for it - even in Canada.

Politics, United States
Radhika Desai


By Radhika Desai *

Observers have been collectively scratching their heads at the unfolding Trump presidency. Trump’s campaign braggadocio opposed the establishment of both parties and pointedly continued into his inauguration. 

Netanyahu Trump

Author Ben Caspit

Translator Danny Wool

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepared to set off for his historic first meeting on Feb. 15 with US President Donald Trump, a big fight broke out in the Israeli right about the message and agenda that Netanyahu should present to the US president. 

Trump-Putin-Erdogan deal

 DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis 

The NBC report that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be considering making President Donald Trump the “gift” of turning over former NSA analyst Edward Snowden is part of a much broader scheme that is already sending tremors through the Middle East. Snowden won asylum in Moscow after leaking secrets to journalists four years ago.

Fall of Aleppo

by Fabrice Balanche
Fabrice Balanche, a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and associate professor at the University of Lyon 2, briefed the Middle East Forum on the Syrian crisis in a conference call on January 31, 2017.

 Al-Bab

Deniz Zeyrek
There are two weak links lying behind the delay in advancing the al-Bab operation.

The first is the disorder in the groups that form the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which seriously troubles the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), to the extent that if the TSK had been able to plan and conduct the Euphrates Shield operation alone it would have chosen a different path. Commanders, who know their capacities, would have been able to analyze “the enemy,” executing plans with an adequate number of units and equipment under a tactic formulated in the operations center.

 Turkey 'frenemy' jihadis

SUMMARY
Turkey’s mixed messages in crackdown terrorist groups; Ankara on sidelines, again, in Syria; Syrian Kurds consider federalism, view Turkish attack on al-Bab as "fiasco."
Turkish police detained four terrorist suspects linked to the Islamic State (IS), as well as a cache of explosives and suicide belts, as CIA Director Mike Pompeo arrived in Turkey for official talks Feb. 9.