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In Depth: Syria

13 Feb 2017

Perilous: European Crisis Looms in the Balkans

Weak institutions, corruption, ethnic divisions, radicalization, and historic grievances are reaching combustible levels in the Balkans. The Kremlin fuels it, as the West tries to wish it away.
19 Sep 2016

Unstable, Unruly, and Reprobate: The Middle East Today

Tehran and Riyadh compete to expand their regional influence by maneuvering troops, funds, and surrogates in the midst of war, faltering economies, ethno-sectarian tension, jihad, and refugees.
27 Jun 2012

The Country That Is the World: Syria’s Clashing Communities

Given Syria’s widespread poverty and illiteracy, life and politics there are often determined by deeply rooted and divisive religious, sectarian, and ethnic allegiances—and the fear they inspire.
12 Feb 2016

Four Reasons Why the Syria Cease-fire Won't Work

The so-called Syria cease-fire agreement is a poorly disguised diplomatic ruse by the Kremlin to break down Western unity and resolve as it accomplishes its brutal ends in Syria and Ukraine.
10 Feb 2016

Moscow on the Tigris: Russia Joins the Terror Nexus

While an exhausted United States simply wishes international migraines like the Syrian civil war would just go away, Russia is energized by the prospect of filling the vacuum.
5 Oct 2015

The Trouble with Turkey: Erdogan, ISIS, and the Kurds

The Turkish government’s entrenched opposition to the Kurds in Syria has led it into a bizarre symbiosis with the Islamic State, one that the US and its allies should have no part of.
2 Apr 2014

Tunisia at the Crossroads

Tunisia could be an engine for democracy and economic growth south of the Mediterranean, but it needs help from the US to tamp down corrosive instability and radicalization.
20 Jun 2013

US Double Standards on Human Trafficking

The Obama administration fails to condemn its allies for enabling human trafficking, but it's quick to condemn hostile regimes.
10 Feb 2016

Merah: The ‘Untold Story’ of a French Jihadist Icon

Like so many other French jihadists, Mohamed Merah, the killer who filmed his savage murder of three Jewish children and a teacher, started as a petty criminal with an “endless” rap sheet.
2 Jul 2014

Iraq: Who’s to Blame?

What Iraq needs now is leadership that will recognize the essential importance of accountability and properly represent the many grievances of its bitterly divided factions.
7 Jun 2013

Is the Sunni Saudi Kingdom Next?

While Syria’s neighbors are nervous about the war spilling into their own countries, Saudi Arabia's leaders fear that the Saudi jihadists now fighting in Syria will bring their training home to overthrow the kingdom.
31 Oct 2012

Superpower Symbiosis: The Russia-China Axis

China and Russia appear to have a cooperative relationship, but with competing energy and territorial interests in the mix, not to mention domestic instabilities, the future might not be so rosy.
31 Oct 2014

The Jew of Nations: The Global Demonization of Israel

A new book explores the many reasons why perceptions of Israel have shifted so dramatically over the years, turning the Jewish state from an underdog into a global villain.
3 Jan 2012

Arab Spring or Islamist Winter?

The number of genuinely liberal democracies to emerge soon in the Arab world is likely to be one or zero.
15 Apr 2013

Aid Syrian Rebels after Assad Falls

Syria’s Nusra Front and al-Qaeda in Iraq have merged, making it likely that US and EU aid to anti-Assad rebels will inadvertently strengthen Sunni terror groups in the Syrian–al-Qaeda civil war to come.
27 Aug 2014

Jihad in the Balkans: The Next Generation

Militant Islamists have long had a presence in the Balkans, and many have now traveled to fight in Syria. What happens when they return, battle-hardened, with their European passports?
27 Oct 2013

Forced Exodus: Christians in the Middle East

In Syria and other parts of the Middle East, militant Islamists have launched a purge of Arab Christians from cities and towns where they have flourished since the dawn of Christianity.
30 Jul 2013

The Syria Quagmire

The longer the war in Syria drags on, the more complex it gets, with an ever-expanding cast of players staking claims. Americans are right to see little hope in a US intervention.
16 Apr 2014

The Once and Future Threat: Al-Qaeda Is Hardly Dead

The Obama administration has made much of the demise of al-Qaeda in recent years, but Osama bin Laden’s network is remarkably resilient—and remains a deadly threat.
21 Jun 2012

Editor’s Introduction

and the spectacular—and guided the country “on a course of willful self-diminishment.” ...

29 Sep 2014

ISIS Jihadists Returning to Europe

The Islamic State didn’t initially target the West, but that has changed—and hundreds of jihadists will soon be returning home with their European passports.
18 Aug 2014

No Winners in Unhinged, Disintegrating Syria

If there’s any hope for Syria, it will only come after all sides realize no one is winning the current conflict, or will win, and that the republic established in 1946 is no more.
6 Mar 2013

The UN's Human Rights Credibility Gap on Syria

The UN moved last week to reappoint Syria—the same government it accuses of war crimes—to oversee a special human rights post. Is the UN intentionally trying to discredit itself?
29 Apr 2013

Lessons Learned: The Iraq Invasion

One of the central lessons of the Iraq War is that regime change necessitates nation building, a process that is hardly automatic no matter how quickly a despot may be deposed.
3 Jul 2014

Can Hezbollah Sustain Assad and Itself?

With the fighting in Iraq drawing large numbers of skilled Shia militiamen back home, Hezbollah might be forced to send even more aid to the Assad regime, weakening security at home.
1 Jul 2011

The Police State Playbook: An Introduction

Dictators tend to be pretty unoriginal – maybe because they all use the same playbook.

31 Oct 2012

Libya’s Year One: Life After Qaddafi

Libyans are striving to rebuild their country, but Qaddafi left “a destroyed people” in his wake, in the words of one activist, and it will take time for them to heal themselves.
28 Oct 2013

No Exit: Why the US Can’t Leave the Middle East

Seeing only dim prospects in Egypt, Libya, and Syria, and recalling the wars of the last decade, most Americans understandably want to quit the Middle East. But that simply isn’t an option.
19 Jun 2013

Syria’s Endgame: Prospects Dim, Options Narrow

The revolution to remove Assad has metastasized into a grotesque sectarian war among the Sunni majority, the ruling Alawite minority, and a host of other uncertain players.
30 Aug 2013

Getting Congo Right: Can the West Fix Past Failures?

After two decades of incoherent policies, millions have died in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Can a new Western-organized counterinsurgency force really bring resolution?
28 Feb 2012

Non-Interventionist David Rieff is Wrong on Syria

Especially after Libya, non-interventionists like David Rieff must do more than simply recall the failures of the Iraq War when considering Syria.
14 May 2013

Farce: Iran Assumes Presidency of UN Disarmament Group

Iran, the world's premier proliferator and terror sponsor, will soon preside over the UN’s Conference on Disarmament — a move that further stretches the UN's credibility. Canada and the US protest.
28 Oct 2013

Dispatch from Syria: Can Rebels Learn to Govern?

Whether helping to run refugee camps or debating political models, some Syrians in rebel-held areas are testing what shape a post-Assad government might take in theory and in practice.
27 Jun 2012

Assad Delenda Est: The Case for Aiding Syria’s Rebels

if nearly every Sunni Arab in the country votes for them, which can’t possibly ...

25 Mar 2011

The Middle Eastern Revolution’s Bloody Second Act

This year’s uprisings might prove only prologue to much more violent upheavals and reprisals.
9 Oct 2012

Turkey Strikes Back

Turkey responded to attacks from Syria last week with reprisal shelling and expanded war powers for Prime Minister Erdogan, but Ankara’s moves are also a response to what it perceives as an escalating Kurdish threat.
15 Oct 2012

Obama’s Shortcomings in Syria

Administration officials have repeatedly said they did not want to “radicalize the conflict” in Syria, but Washington’s policies carry some of the blame for latest mounting tensions in the region.
17 Sep 2012

The Looming WMD Crisis in Syria

As warfare and instability continue to rattle Syria, the possibility that terrorists could acquire the regime's chemical and biological weapons is getting disturbingly more likely.
29 Apr 2013

The Game Changer: Syria, Iran, and Kurdish Independence

The shifting fortunes of Middle Eastern politics have delivered Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan and the country’s Kurds to the brink of a lasting settlement.
27 Feb 2013

In Plain Sight: The Kremlin’s London Lobby

The London-based Conservative Friends of Russia flamed out as quickly as it flared up last year, but its crash exposed the Russian Embassy’s unseemly (and ongoing) effort to coddle Tory politicians.
10 Jun 2011

Fool Me Twice: How the United States Lost Lebanon—Again

US failures in Lebanon in the '80s have always given heartburn to policy veterans. It hardly reassures that recent generations have not done much better.

29 Apr 2012

Defying a Dictator: Meet the Free Syrian Army

Despite limited weaponry, inadequate training, and weak central authority, Syria’s insurgent rebel groups seem authentic and determined. Will the West help them topple Assad?
31 Oct 2012

The Kurds’ Evolving Strategy: The Struggle Goes Political in Turkey

While Turkey fights the Kurdish rebels with weapons and in court, the Kurdish guerrillas have added a new weapon to their arsenal—a savvy political capacity with domestic and international reach.
1 Jul 2010

Northern Exposure: Kurdistan After the Withdrawal

Just what will become of the Kurds after America leaves Iraq?
28 Feb 2012

Battle for Bahrain: What One Uprising Meant for the Gulf States and Iran

Bahrain has become the Arab Spring’s “failed” revolution, but for the Sunni Gulf states and Shiite Iran, it has been part of a larger and ongoing battle for regional control.
26 Apr 2012

Lines in the Sand: Assad Plays the Sectarian Card

Today’s major world conflicts—autocracy versus democracy; the West versus the China-Russia axis; Iran and its allies versus the US, Israel, and “moderate” Arab states—intersect and collide in Syria, where sectarianism’s ancient hatreds may well tip their outcomes.
1 Jul 2010

The Broken Link: What Peace Won't Fix

New Republic correspondent and World Affairs blogger James Kirchick argues against the folly of linkage—i.e., the assumption that fixing the peace process will somehow cure all of the Middle East's other ailments.
30 May 2012

Russia’s Syria Win

The West has responded to the Houla massacre by continuing to press for Syrian “self-determination.” But what’s the point of self-determination if it is dictated by Moscow?
31 Dec 2011

Syria’s Regime Involved in the Damascus Bombings?

Last Friday’s “suicide bombing” of government buildings in Syria is looking more and more suspicious with each passing day.
3 Jan 2012

Arab Spring or Islamist Winter?

The end of authoritarian regimes is a positive development, but disillusionment has grown in the Middle East and the West as theocratic forces threaten to reverse the progress of last year's revolutions.

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