Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: Syria

Solving Syria – A dilemma for the West

Solving Syria – A dilemma for the West

With nearly 70,000 dead Syrians since the beginning of the unrest, the Syrian conflict certainly join a select group of international massacres. At this path Samathan Power will have enough facts and material in order to write volume two of “A problem from Hell” looking at the ghosts of Syria. What are the options for the West […]

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Red Lines, Syria, and Rhetoric

Red Lines, Syria, and Rhetoric

“Kennan believed that language helped make policy and that vague, expansive language would lead to vague, expansive policy,” writes author Nicholas Thompson in a 2012 Foreign Affairs article about Cold War strategist George Kennan. As the humanitarian situation in Syria gets even worse, as questions over the use of chemical weapons loom larger, and as the […]

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Obama’s Red Line in Syria: A Case for Intervention

Obama’s Red Line in Syria: A Case for Intervention

The rapidly escalating conflict in Syria is raising the collective volume of voices asking, “What can and should President Obama do in Syria?” The reality is that Syria’s future is inextricably tied to the future stability of the entire MENA region. Today, I turn to Cassie Chesley, Chair of the Coalition for a Democratic Syria […]

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A Candid Discussion with Frederic Hof

A Candid Discussion with Frederic Hof

Frederic Hof on Syria’s Weight on Iran’s Security Interests Ambassador Frederic C. Hof is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. In 2012 Ambassador Hof was tasked by President Obama to head the Syria policy at the State Department. Ambassador Hof was previously the special coordinator for regional […]

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Time For Some American Shock and Awe in Syria

Time For Some American Shock and Awe in Syria

By Sarwar Kashmeri United States’ intelligence agencies and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are still not certain the Syrian government of President Assad has used chemical weapons against its opposition. Nothing has yet emerged from France, Germany or Britain to unequivocally confirm this charge either. But the clamor among the hawkish segment of Washington lawmakers to get […]

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Red Line Blues: North Korea, Iran and Syria

Red Line Blues: North Korea, Iran and Syria

A defining moment for Mr. Obama’s foreign policy legacy is fast approaching From the Levant and the Persian Gulf to the Korean peninsula, events in recent weeks have offered a clinic in the difficulty of enforcing red lines on rogue regimes and their weapons of mass destruction, as well as how U.S. credibility suffers when […]

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Right once in a while

Right once in a while

There is a good rule taught in newsrooms early in one’s reporting life that goes along the lines of why one should listen to so-called crazy people. It is because, sometimes, they actually say the truth. By dint of luck or perhaps true insight, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has stumbled into that equation. He warned […]

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Pillage, Plunder, and Western Hypocrisy

Pillage, Plunder, and Western Hypocrisy

By now, most people have come to the realization that the global economic order is under the unrepentant control of neoliberal institutions. Not to conflate neoliberalism with capitalism, but suffice to say both philosophies share the same goal: privatization, deregulation, and trade liberalization, all in the pursuit of profits. For some people, like Slate’s Matthew […]

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A Candid Discussion with Haleh Esfandiari

A Candid Discussion with Haleh Esfandiari

Haleh Esfandiari on Iran’s Election Dyamics Haleh Esfandiari is the Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. Dr. Esfandiari taught Persian language at Oxford University and, prior to coming to the Wilson Center, she taught Persian language, contemporary Persian literature, and courses on the women’s movement in Iran […]

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A Candid Discussion with Hooman Majd

A Candid Discussion with Hooman Majd

Hooman Majd on Iran’s Potential for Change    Hooman Majd is one of the leading observers of Iranian politics known for his on-the-ground view of events taking place in Iran’s complex political system. The grandson of a prominent ayatollah and the son of an Iranian diplomat, Mr. Majd’s writings have challenged Western stereotypes around socio-political […]

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Yes, U.N. Does Pass the Arms Trade Treaty

Yes, U.N. Does Pass the Arms Trade Treaty

Update to 26 of March entry, “Will a New Arms Trade Treaty Be Approved?”: On 2 April, the U.N. General Assembly passed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) – the first binding international treaty designed to regulate the $70 billion cross-border conventional arms trade, and create a standard to protect peace and security. Countries will be […]

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Is Lebanon’s Disassociation Policy Coming to an End?

Is Lebanon’s Disassociation Policy Coming to an End?

Lebanon, a beautiful but tense country — with two civil wars behind it, has many people on edge these days. A myriad of shifting divisions and alliances, 24 years after the Taif Accord keeps the specter of violence alive. Carl von Clausewitz called war the extension of politics by other means, a truism for Lebanese […]

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What is burning on that anniversary cake?

What is burning on that anniversary cake?

Anniversaries are dangerous days.  There is often a flash of attention, lots of words and supposedly deep thought and meaningful promises. Then the sun goes down, and life goes on as before. The world often notes an anniversary without real thought or determination on how to take the steps needed to make it meaningful. As […]

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U.S. Supports Sunni Extremists in Syria–Can Saudis Keep Them on the Reservation?

U.S. Supports Sunni Extremists in Syria–Can Saudis Keep Them on the Reservation?

Not so long ago, after twelve hours in the air, I found myself stranded at an international airport at 2 in the morning. The flight had been delayed—my pre-arranged pickup had abandoned his mission or just not shown up, and there was one taxi about to pull out and head home for the night. I was still 90 miles from my room for the night, and offered him twice the normal rate to take on one last fare, which he pointed out, wasn’t even close, direction-wise, to his own waiting bed. But for twice the money, and for Allah, he would do it.

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Reflections on Cyprus, Iran, Syria, and President Obama’s trip to Israel

Reflections on Cyprus, Iran, Syria, and President Obama’s trip to Israel

On March 22, 2013, WVUM, the student radio of the University of Miami, invited me into its station in order to discuss the mess taking place in Cyprus. Despite talking for almost 15 minutes on the roots of the crisis in Cyprus and the ECB’s ultimatum, I could not resist continuing the discussion on Iran, […]

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