Iran has been escalating its attacks on American and allied targets since May 2019. The regime’s attacks occurred in phases and were part of an orchestrated campaign to achieve Tehran’s strategic objectives, including sanctions relief and the ouster of the U.S. from Iraq and the region.

Iran is organizing a new effort to increase political and military pressure against U.S. forces in an effort to compel an American withdrawal from Iraq. In a Warning Intelligence Update, Katherine Lawlor details the Iranian proxy campaign following Qassem Soleimani's demise.

Russia’s expansion of influence in Africa could reduce the impact of coercive sanctions, provide an additional revenue stream for the regime, and expand its military footprint and global disinformation network.

Turkey's October 2019 incursion into Northern Syria has created new opportunities for ISIS's resurgence campaign, including the group's effort to free its detained fighters. ISIS has long prepared for such opportunities. Revisit a May 2019 warning from John Dunford and Jennifer Cafarella.

Vladimir Putin has faced blowback from some of his foreign policy undertakings, including Russian aggression in Ukraine. These instance provide lessons that should form part of the basis for a new U.S. and allied approach to Russia's hybrid warfare.

Latest from ISW

Russia Enables New Syrian Regime Offensive in Idlib

The pro-regime coalition is poised to make further gains in Greater Idlib province, adding on to already substantial territorial advances. Russia will govern the speed at which these advances happen based on its political calculus, both in Syria and elsewhere. The conflict has the potential to escalate dramatically, posing a risk to the U.S. and its allies.

Russia in Review: Belarus Update: Lukashenko Uses Oil Tariffs to Delay Integration with Russia

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is using energy policy in his latest efforts to resist growing Russian pressure to integrate into Russia-dominated structures. Lukashenko’s efforts to diversify Belarusian oil imports will likely provide him with sufficient leverage to secure higher payments from Russia on Russian oil transiting Belarus. However, Lukashenko lacks leverage on the issue of Russian gas subsidies to Belarus. Lukashenko will not, in the long run, be able to prevent further integration with Russia.

Iraq’s Political Elite Identify Consensus Candidate for Prime Minister-Designee

Iraq’s President Barham Salih asked Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi to attempt to form a government and serve as prime minister. Allawi holds no parliamentary, popular, or military leverage and is unlikely to gain the necessary political capital to address the demands of protesters or challenge parliamentary powerbrokers. Allawi will not immediately take office – his cabinet must still be formed and approved.

Vladimir Putin's Staged Power Play

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a new phase in his campaign to retain power after 2024 when his current term expires. Putin offered Russians a revised social contract. Putin is reconfiguring the balance of power within the Russian government as he seeks to carve out an optimal spot for himself. Putin is in uncharted territory, trying to create a new transition model for Russia.