Category Archives: Uncategorized

Defeating ISIL

To defeat ISIL we (all of us) must defeat ISIL’s appeal. Defeating ISIL’s appeal will build antibodies and anti-viruses against those who, inevitably, will seek to succeed the defeated ISIL. Military strategies will not defeat ISIL or its would-be successors. … Continue reading

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Syrian Conferees: First Things First

Tomorrow’s relaunching of Syrian peace talks should not overreach. “Getting to Yes” on the future of Bashar al-Assad should not be the topic at hand, for it will go nowhere in the short run. Instead, put first things first. The … Continue reading

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Who Are Syria’s Future Leaders?

A dual international strategy for Syria is materializing: military operations against ISIL and diplomatic efforts for a transition in Damascus. However, the general public knows a lot more about the former than the latter. The media focus much more attention … Continue reading

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“Arab Unity IV” Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Much of what passes as media commentary on developments on the Arabian Peninsula is as misguided as it is misinformed. Articles about Yemen or the “new” Arab unification in face of threats to the Sunni Arab community read as if … Continue reading

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Saving Yemen by Saving Yemen

International intervention to save Yemen is necessary, appropriate and sound policy. I refer you to my posting on this site of March 22, 2011, in which I recommended such. In fact, this site contains several postings warning about Yemen since … Continue reading

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Combatting the ISIL Dragon the Right Way

Some policy makers in the US are grandstanding about the Islamic State organization, and how it is the latest in a series of dragons that the US military must slay to save the world (metaphor and hyperbole are mine). Ignored … Continue reading

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What is the State Department Doing for Syria?

Many months before the March 2003 military invasion of Iraq, the State Department’s Future of Iraq team was hard at work developing contacts, analyses, and recommendations about a multitude of key civilian functions that would be critical for the effective … Continue reading

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Stop Hand-Wringing Over the Syrian “Dilemma”

I read much hand-wringing over the supposed dilemma in our Syria policy: we want to remove the Asad government, yet necessary attacks on the Islamic State group tend to keep Asad in power. Which do we want more? This conundrum … Continue reading

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The Rewards of Real Partnership

Recent coalition air assaults in Syria – a rarity for the Arab world – show us a glimpse of the rewards of our strategic partnerships in the Middle East. The US benefits tangibly from the willingness of Middle East partners … Continue reading

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GET IRAQ RIGHT FIRST

US intervention in Iraq and Syria is the right policy, but we should get Iraq right first. If the Iraq policy is succeeding, we are more likely to achieve our goals in Syria. If we bite off more than we … Continue reading

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