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A nonpartisan resource for information and analysis

Published: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:28:28 -0400

Last Build Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:28:28 -0400

Copyright: Copyright 2016 by the Council on Foreign Relations. All Rights Reserved.

What the 9/11 Lawsuits Bill Will Do

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:37:47 -0400

Congress overrode a presidential veto to enable the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts. But the law will be a thorn in U.S. foreign relations, and plaintiffs will not likely get justice, says expert Stephen I. Vladeck. 


'Historic' in the Worst Way

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:46:06 -0400

President Obama and his defenders are trumpeting the new aid agreement with Israel as proof that he is the best friend Israel ever had in the White House. In fact, it’s a bad deal and should be treated the same way Obama treated prior agreements he didn't like: It should be forgotten by the next president.


Why Trump Is the Islamic State’s Dream Candidate

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 15:08:06 -0400

Trump’s reaction to terrorism — his anti-Muslim rhetoric and his misunderstanding of Middle Eastern politics — is exactly what extremists want in a U.S. president.


A Conversation With Javad Zarif

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:01:33 -0400

Javad Zarif discusses regional politics, nuclear security, and U.S.-Iran relations.


Beware Investing Too Much Hope in the Syrian Ceasefire

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 10:14:11 -0400

Even if Assad is prepared to abide by the truce, rebel groups may not be, writes CFR president Richard N. Haass


A No-Fly-Zone Doesn’t Mean a No-War-Zone

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 15:42:44 -0400

And the politicians and pundits calling for one in Syria ought to remember how toothless and ineffective the U.S. air patrols were -- for 12 long years -- in Iraq.


Must Reads of the Week: Syria's Kurds, Remote-Controlled Guns, and More

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 11:16:40 -0400

What Editors are reading the week of August 29–September 2, 2016.


Why Peace Is Not at Hand

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 16:43:19 -0400

New polls of Israelis and Palestinians prove that peace is not at hand, and views on a peace deal are very far apart. But they also contain some interesting data, as Elliott Abrams explains in National Review.



Fighting the Financing of Terrorism: A Conversation With Bob Casey

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 11:24:42 -0400

Senator Bob Casey discusses ways to counter terrorist financing and facilitation networks as well as his views on authorities the U.S. president should hold to penalize countries that enable terrorist financing.


Media Files:

Fighting the Financing of Terrorism: A Conversation With Bob Casey

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 11:24:42 -0400

Senator Bob Casey discusses ways to counter terrorist financing and facilitation networks as well as his views on authorities the U.S. president should hold to penalize countries that enable terrorist financing.


Media Files:

The Problem With Vows to 'Defeat' the Islamic State

Sun, 21 Aug 2016 15:21:05 -0400

In recent weeks, ISIS has suffered territorial losses on multiple fronts, including in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. The organization may look nearer to defeat than at any time in the past two years, but there is still a great deal of fighting to be done before the group is destroyed, or more likely beaten back to an underground terrorist organization as it was in 2009.


Understanding the Battle for Aleppo

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 17:13:47 -0400

The battle for Aleppo has taken a staggering civilian toll and it is likely to escalate because both regime and opposition forces see the city as crucial to a political endgame, says expert Lina Khatib. 


Checking the Math on the Pentagon’s ISIS Body Counts

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 14:03:33 -0400

The Obama administration steadily updates the tally of dead combatants in its latest war — but can the numbers be trusted?


The Islamic State’s Bloody Summer

Wed, 03 Aug 2016 14:50:32 -0400

Despite facing territorial losses, the Islamic State shows no sign of relenting in its campaign to spread terror beyond Iraq and Syria, says journalist Rukmini Callimachi.


Where the Turkish Military Fails, Egypt's Succeeds

Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:53:36 -0400

While Egypt’s military leaders demonstrated unity of purpose when they overthrew President Mohammed Morsi in 2013, the officers involved in the recent coup attempt in Turkey were proven weak and divided, writes CFR’s Steven A. Cook. Key differences in the political role and public support of the Egyptian and Turkish militaries explain why one successfully overthrow an elected government and the other failed to.


Can't Have It Both Ways in Iran

Thu, 14 Jul 2016 11:28:23 -0400

As the U.S. campaign season wears on, both Republicans and Democrats are pledging to stay tough on Iran. Such promises aren’t new. Last summer, as the Barack Obama administration unveiled its nuclear agreement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry assured skeptics that the United States would sustain essential sanctions that punish Tehran for its aid to terrorists, regional aggression, and human rights abuses.


The Disappearance of the Two-State Solution

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 16:30:23 -0400

The 2016 Republican Party platform contains no references to the two-state solution. Is this a crisis? Elliott Abrams writes in National Review that, after years of failed attempts to broker a peace agreement, the United States should seek to promote the goal of peace without dictating one sole path forward.



Does Iraq Have a Plan for After the Islamic State?

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 14:46:03 -0400

Even as Iraqi special forces and Shia militias roll back the self-proclaimed Islamic State, Baghdad has done little to address the underlying causes of Sunni militancy, says journalist Ned Parker. 


Revisiting the Iraq War

Fri, 08 Jul 2016 11:26:30 -0400

The UK's Report of the Iraq Inquiry contains valuable lessons about how flawed assumptions can lead to dangerously flawed policies, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass.


The Iran Deal a Year After: There Are No Benefits

Tue, 05 Jul 2016 16:34:27 -0400

On the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s one year anniversary, it is even clearer that there are no benefits to the so-called “Iran nuclear deal,” as Elliott Abrams explains in the Jerusalem Post.


Media Call: The Struggle for Israel

Tue, 28 Jun 2016 16:48:14 -0400

Contributors to Foreign Affairs' July/August issue discuss the profound changes Israel is undergoing, and what they mean for its politics, society, and relationships with the United States and other Middle Eastern countries.


An Assessment of the Iran Agreement One Year Later: A Conversation with Senator Chris Coons

Thu, 23 Jun 2016 12:30:08 -0400

Senator Chris Coons offers his assessment of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.


Ministering Justice

Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:13:22 -0400

Ayelet Shaked is a relative new­comer to Israeli politics. Shaked, 40, served as Benjamin Netanyahu’s office manager before breaking with the prime minister and joining Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party in 2012 and then winning election to the Knesset in 2013. Following the 2015 election, Shaked was named Israel’s minister of justice. 


Anger and Hope

Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:10:11 -0400

Tzipi Livni has been called the most powerful woman in Israel since Golda Meir. Born to a prominent right-wing family, Livni spent several years working for the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service, before entering politics.


The End of the Old Israel

Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:07:26 -0400

Israel—at least the largely secular and progressive version of Israel that once captured the world’s imagination—is over. Although that Israel was always in some ways a fantasy, the myth was at least grounded in reality


Israel Among the Nations

Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:04:47 -0400

In 1996, Ehud Barak, who was then Israel’s foreign minister and would later serve as prime minister, charac­terized Israel as “a modern and prosperous villa in the middle of the jungle.” Twenty years later, as political turmoil and vio­lence engulf the Middle East, that harsh metaphor captures better than ever the way most Israelis see their country and its place in the region. 


Israel’s Second-Class Citizens

Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:01:28 -0400

When the world focuses on the Arab-Israeli crisis today, the plight of the 4.6 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank gets most of the attention. But another pressing question haunts Israeli politics: the status and future of Israel’s own Arab citizens, who number around 1.7 million and make up around 21 percent of its popu­lation. 


Israel’s Evolving Military

Thu, 23 Jun 2016 08:59:11 -0400

Soon after Benjamin Netanyahu began his second term as Israel’s prime minister in March 2009, he ordered the country’s military to develop a plan for a unilateral military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.


Israel and the Post-American Middle East

Wed, 22 Jun 2016 16:58:00 -0400

Was the feud between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, first over settlements and then over Iran, a watershed? Netanyahu, it is claimed, turned U.S. support of Israel into a partisan issue.


The Future of U.S.-Saudi Relations

Wed, 22 Jun 2016 16:37:41 -0400

The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has come under unprecedented strains in recent years. U.S. President Barack Obama has openly questioned Riyadh’s value as an ally, accusing it of provoking sectarian conflict in the region. 


Responding to the Migrant Crisis in the Middle East

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 13:00:44 -0400

Experts discuss efforts to assist refugees displaced from the migrant crisis in the Middle East.