The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and the Critical Threats Project (CTP) recommend an initial American course of action in Syria as the first phase of a broader U.S. strategic reset in the Middle East. 

Pro-regime basing data accurate through March 21, 2017. Syria Control of Terrain data accurate through April 3, 2017.

The U.S. cannot drive a wedge between Russia and Iran in the near term. Tehran and Moscow share an overarching objective to expel the U.S. from the Middle East which will likely bind Iran and Russia together into an enduring partnership.

Iranian military cooperation with Russia in Syria is dramatically increasing Tehran’s ability to plan and conduct complex conventional operations.

The 10th symposium in the Asymmetric Threat symposia series explores how the U.S. can combat asymmetric threats that have expanded in prevalence and complexity.

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ISIS's Expanding Campaign in Europe

ISIS’s attack campaign in Europe is expanding despite ISIS’s losses of terrain and senior leadership in the Middle East and North Africa. ISIS continues to plan, resource, and execute attacks from its remaining safe havens in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. ISIS has successfully expanded its coordinated attack campaign in Europe to target the UK and Spain. Rising levels of ISIS-inspired attacks in Sweden and Finland may signal growing online ISIS activity targeting vulnerable populations in those states and receptivity among those populations to the ISIS message. Coordinated attack attempts could follow.

The Kremlin’s Irregular Army: Ukrainian Separatist Order of Battle

Russian President Vladimir Putin's political-military campaign in Ukraine undermines Ukraine's sovereignty and threatens Europe more than three years after Russia's invasion. Russian leaders will continue to extend and exploit the war to destabilize Ukraine and prevent its further integration with the West until the costs of their campaign change their calculus.