The U.S. needs Turkey as an active partner despite its slide into authoritarianism under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The U.S. should adopt an interest-based approach towards Turkey that shapes its behavior in line with shared strategic objectives such as reversing the gains of Iran and Russia in the Middle East.
The pro-Bashar al Assad camp may be on the march in southern Syria, but the war there is far from over. In an essay for ForeignAffairs.com, Jennifer Cafarella makes the case for why the U.S. needs to reassert itself and regain leverage.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is continuing to use the doctrine of “reflexive control” to shape the outcome of the summit with President Trump -- a summit that will boost Putin’s legitimacy at the expense of the West.
Iran and Russia are preparing to attack the U.S. and its primary ground partner - the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - in Eastern Syria. These threats may coerce the SDF to abandon its relationship with the U.S. and instead cut a deal with the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emerged from June 24, 2018 snap elections poised to dominate the next decade of politics in Turkey. Erdogan is empowered to further consolidate his domestic power and degrade the rule of law at the expense of his political opponents. The U.S. will face a more nationalistic and more intransigent Turkey.
The U.S. and Afghanistan have an opportunity to advance their strategic goal of negotiating an acceptable settlement with the Taliban. Large numbers of rank-and-file militants expressed their support for peace during unprecedented joint celebrations amidst a nationwide ceasefire for Eid al-Fitr on June 15 - 17.
Russia has successfully expanded its influence in Egypt – historically a U.S. partner. Russia has moved to build an industrial zone in Egypt, cut energy deals, increased weapons sales to Cairo, and obtained Egypt’s diplomatic support on key regional initiatives.
The latest joint ISW-Syria Direct SITREP map depicts key developments in the war in Syria during the period May 2-29, 2018.
Iraqi Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and other key powerbrokers are in negotiations to form a governing coalition with a majority of seats in Iraq's parliament following the May 2018 election.