Between Russia and Iran: Room to Pursue American Interests in Syria

President Donald Trump has underscored containing Iran’s sway as a key element in establishing a “strong and lasting footprint” in Syria as the United States moves toward bringing its Soldiers home. In pursuing this key American objective, this paper recommends that Washington take advantage of the “daylight” between Russia and Iran, and that it be… Continue Reading Between Russia and Iran: Room to Pursue American Interests in Syria

Iran Sanctions

U.S. sanctions have been used extensively by successive Administrations to try to achieve change in Iran’s behavior. Sanctions had a substantial effect on Iran’s economy and on some major strategic decisions, but little or no effect on Iran’s regional malign activities. During 2012-2015, when the global community was relatively united in pressuring Iran, Iran’s economy… Continue Reading Iran Sanctions

At the Limit of Complexity: British Military Operations in North Persia and the Caucasus 1918

MAJ Roland Minez’s Art of War Paper, At the Limit of Complexity: British Military Operations in North Persia and the Caucasus, 1918 highlights the volatile, complex, and ambiguous operating environment likely to face future military operations in unanticipated and far-flung corners of the globe. As World War I wound down, Commonwealth forces entered the Caucasus… Continue Reading At the Limit of Complexity: British Military Operations in North Persia and the Caucasus 1918

Maneuvering the Saudi-iranian Rivalry in the Middle East: How the United States Can Preserve and Protect its Long-term Interests in the Region

This monograph examines the conflicts in the Middle East region between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the so-called proxy wars that are being fought between them, and discusses ways that the United States needs to maneuver carefully in this struggle to preserve its long-term interests in the area. Although Washington has political, economic, and strategic… Continue Reading Maneuvering the Saudi-iranian Rivalry in the Middle East: How the United States Can Preserve and Protect its Long-term Interests in the Region

Assessing the Collective Security Treaty Organization: Capabilities and Vulnerabilities

Russia has strengthened its military position in Central Asia and the South Caucasus through a combination of bilateral and multilateral initiatives. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) has become the most important multilateral defense structure in the former Soviet Union and is an essential instrument in Russia’s resurgence. The CSTO has expanded its missions, authorities,… Continue Reading Assessing the Collective Security Treaty Organization: Capabilities and Vulnerabilities

Islamic State and U.S. Policy

The Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL/ISIS, or the Arabic acronym Da’esh) is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that controlled large areas of Iraq and Syria from 2014 through 2017. The group attracted a network of global supporters and its leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi,… Continue Reading Islamic State and U.S. Policy

Lebanon

Since having its boundaries drawn by France after the First World War, Lebanon has struggled to define its national identity. Its population included Christian, Sunni Muslim, and Shia Muslim communities of roughly comparable size, and with competing visions for the country. Seeking to avoid sectarian conflict, Lebanese leaders created a confessional system that allocated power… Continue Reading Lebanon

Security Role for the United States in a Post-ISIS Syria?

  Syria has become one of the most vexing and complex problems for U.S. strategic planners in recent times. Currently, the United States has about 2,000 troops in the northeastern part of the country whose primary mission has been to aid the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up primarily of Kurds and some Arab tribesmen,… Continue Reading Security Role for the United States in a Post-ISIS Syria?

Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been a central U.S. foreign policy concern since 2001, when the United States, in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, led a military campaign against Al Qaeda and the Taliban government that harbored and supported Al Qaeda. In the intervening 16 years, the United States has suffered more than 2,000… Continue Reading Afghanistan

Turkey

Turkey, a NATO ally since 1952, significantly affects a number of key U.S. national security issues in the Middle East and Europe. U.S.-Turkey relations have worsened throughout this decade over several matters, including Syria’s civil war, Turkey-Israel tensions, Turkey-Russia cooperation, and various Turkish domestic developments. The United States and NATO have military personnel and key… Continue Reading Turkey