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Syrian civil war

Mr. President, Leave Syria

Posted by Doug Macgregor on


No one knows precisely what happened inside the White House that resulted in President Trump’s sudden about-face on Syria. One day he was planning to extricate American ground troops from Syria; then he wasn’t. Regardless, whoever is urging the president to leave a small contingent of 2,000 lightly armed soldiers and Marines in a remote corner of Syria is doing the president and the nation a grave disservice. 

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Has Turkey Gone Rogue?

Posted by James Kitfield on


When Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives in Ankara on Thursday, he will find Turkey unrecognizable as the ostensibly Muslim democracy and close ally that U.S. officials once held up as a model for the Islamic world. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is poised to complete his long transformation of Turkey from a raucous — if imperfect democracy — to an autocracy, one ruled by caprice and fear.

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No Win In Syria: We’ll Be Glad To Keep Assad

Posted by James Durso on


It seems just like old times: the Turk is back in the Levant, Aleppo is under siege, and the ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) is dispensing justice. When did it all go wrong?  When the Americans decided the stuttering ophthalmologist wouldn’t play rough like his fighter pilot dad had. As Donald Trump would tweet: Sad! Sadder still is… Keep reading →

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The Axis of Chaos: U.S., Saudi Arabia, & Iran

Posted by James Kitfield on


  When Air Force One touches down at King Khalid International Airport on Wednesday, President Obama will enter a Middle East figuratively as well as literally on fire. In the current revolutionary period, the region is beset by multiple cross-cutting wars, the ongoing disintegration of at least four states (Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen), and the ascendance… Keep reading →

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How To Stop Islamic State’s Escalation Dominance

Posted by James Kitfield on


While President Barack Obama’s declared both that the U.S. is hitting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria “harder than ever” and that progress in the campaign to degrade and defeat the group “needs to keep coming faster,” he revealed clearly that the administration is in a race against time. American officials believed that their anti-ISIL… Keep reading →

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Beyond Paris: Still No Clear Strategy For Dealing with ISIL, Syria

Posted by Anthony H. Cordesman on


  Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is simply one of the sharpest minds dealing with American national security. When he says the Obama administration hasn’t done enough to counter ISIL, or Daesh as we prefer to call them now, it’s worth noting. Read on to see what the White House and Pentagon should be… Keep reading →

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Requiem For The Obama Doctrine

Posted by James Kitfield on


Mitt Romney recently offered a PowerPoint presentation at his annual ideas festival in Park City, Utah to highlight President Barack Obama’s 20 worst foreign policy mistakes, grist for his argument that Obama is “the worst foreign policy president in history,” and Hillary Clinton a well-traveled but mistake-prone former “Secretary of Schlep.” In this election season… Keep reading →

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SP-MAGTF Commander Details ISIL Strikes; Notes 1st Marines ‘Could Clear’ Iraq

Posted by Richard Whittle on


BALLSTON, Va: Since early November, three Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys and 26 marines have been on alert at Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait, on 30-minute alert to fly in and rescue a U.S. or coalition pilot downed while bombing or shooting at the Islamic State in Iraq or Syria. On 29 occasions between Nov. 1 and… Keep reading →

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A Calibrated Response To ISIL

Posted by Robbin Laird and Ed Timperlake on


The ISIL-induced crisis in the Middle East is a major one with regional implications. With several years of dynamic change in the region, and the failure to create a stable Iraq during the period after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, ISIL has functioned like a match thrown into a gas can. What  should we do? We… Keep reading →

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Proxy War Protocols: How To Make Syrian Opposition Work

Posted by James Kitfield on


If the United States arms the so-called “moderate Syrian opposition” to try and overthrow both ISIL and Bashar al Assad, president of Syria, will it work? A close look at the United States’ long and checkered history backing proxy forces reveals a very mixed record when we arm surrogates. The ledger includes historic fiascos such as the… Keep reading →

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