Russia in Review

August 27, 2018 - Press ISW

Russia in Review is a weekly intelligence summary (INTSUM) produced by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). This ISW INTSUM series sheds light on key trends and developments related to the Russian government's objectives and its efforts to secure them.

Afghan Government on Shaky Ground Ahead of Elections

July 31, 2018 - Scott DesMarais

The Trump Administration is attempting to deny jihadists a safe haven in Afghanistan while pursuing a negotiated end to the war there. There is also a brewing political storm surrounding the U.S. partner government in Kabul. Is the U.S. plan for Afghanistan at risk?

Navigating the U.S.-Turkey Relationship Beyond the Quagmire

July 25, 2018 -

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.

Don't Get Out of Syria

July 12, 2018 - Jennifer Cafarella

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, Jennifer Cafarella makes the case for why the U.S. needs to reassert itself and regain leverage.

Putin Poised for Easy Victory Ahead of Summit with President Trump

July 6, 2018 -

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.

Russia and Iran Prepare Offensive Targeting U.S.-Partner Forces in Eastern Syria

June 25, 2018 -

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.

The Collapse of Turkey’s Democracy

June 25, 2018 - Press ISW

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.

A "Remarkable" Afghan Ceasefire

June 22, 2018 - Institute for the Study of War

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.

Syria - The Ongoing Struggle (Audio)

June 21, 2018 - Press ISW


ISW's Director of Intelligence Planning Jennifer Cafarella spoke to the National Security Law Institute at the University of Virginia Law School on June 15, 2018 regarding the war in Syria.

Listen to her remarks below

The Kremlin's Campaign in Egypt

June 19, 2018 - Press ISW

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.