War and Conflict Articles

Smoke rises from the Syrian city of Kobani, following airstrikes by the U.S. led coalition, seen from a hilltop outside Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, Nov. 17, 2014 (AP photo Vadim Ghirda).

Syria Blowback: U.S. Air Campaign Lethal, but Drives IS Recruitment

By Umar Farooq
, , Briefing

U.S.-led airstrikes have killed thousands of fighters in Syria belonging to the so-called Islamic State. But the strikes have also played into the group’s recruitment strategy, drawing thousands of new militants from other Syrian rebel groups, along with ideologues from around the world. more


Strategic Horizons

To Create Order, the U.S. Needs a Strategic Vision

By Steven Metz
, , Column

America’s global strategy once coherently linked U.S. actions in different places and on different issues. Today it does not, instead treating each security challenge in isolation. The reason for this incoherence is clear: The United States has no unifying strategic vision. more

Energy Trumps Politics in Turkey-Russia Relationship

By Maria Savel
, , Trend Lines

Last week in Ankara, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he is scrapping the South Stream pipeline project to bring Russian gas to Southern Europe. Russian attention is shifting to a new pipeline to Turkey, turning the country into a crucial Russian partner and a major international energy hub.

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Global Insider

In Iraq, Regionalism Another Casualty of Islamic State

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

The Iraqi government agreed Tuesday to a long-term oil wealth sharing deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). In an email interview, Kirk Sowell, a political risk analyst who is the publisher of the biweekly newsletter Inside Iraqi Politics, discussed regionalism in Iraq. more

Special Report

Breakout Capacity: Iran in the Rouhani Era

By The Editors
, , Report

Hassan Rouhani assumed the presidency of Iran last year amid great expectations for reform at home and renewed engagement abroad. From nuclear negotiations to the crises in Iraq and Syria, Rouhani’s term has so far been a mixed bag, offering hope but not yet transformation, as the articles in this report show. more

Diplomatic Fallout

Bold or Not, Next U.N. Secretary-General Faces World of Pain

By Richard Gowan
, , Column

Earlier this month a campaign was launched to overturn the “outdated and opaque” process for selecting the U.N. secretary-general. But with global divisions threatening the organization’s ability to improve international cooperation, it’s questionable how much impact the post can really have. more

Strategic Horizons

Understanding the Enemy: Inside the Mind of the Islamic State

By Steven Metz
, , Column

This week, military planners from more than 30 countries are gathered in Florida to plot their approach against the so-called Islamic State. Meanwhile, IS is mulling its strategy as well. Both know that if their strategies are to work, they must first try to get inside the mind of their enemy. more

Diplomatic Fallout

U.N.’s Syria Cease-Fire Plan a Risky Gamble, but Worth It

By Richard Gowan
, , Column

Is the U.N. heading for another diplomatic humiliation in Syria? A proposal for a series of local cease-fires between the government and some rebel groups, beginning in Aleppo, has received some slight encouragement from the Syrian regime and a great deal of criticism from outside observers. more