A Russian long-range Tu-22M3 bomber during an airstrike over Aleppo, in frame grab provided by Russian Defence Ministry, Aug. 16, 2016 (Russian Defence Ministry Press Service photo via AP).

When the Russian Defense Ministry announced last week that it had started launching bombing raids into Syria from a base inside Iran, the news produced a remarkable reaction, simultaneously angering both the United States and much of Iran. U.S. officials were caught unprepared and were deeply displeased by the news that Tehran and Moscow had decided to intensify their military cooperation. But it wasn’t just the Americans who were angered by the developments. In Iran, many members of parliament were furious to learn that the Russian military machine had positioned some war assets on Iranian soil. It took less than […]

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a speech on national security, Youngstown, Ohio, Aug. 15, 2016 (AP photo by Gerald Herbert).

After several disastrous weeks of gaffes and tumbling poll numbers, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump decided this week to turn his attention to what he considers a key selling point of his campaign: national security, particularly the threat from violent Islamic extremists. He used a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, to lay out his ideas on this issue. It offered an important window into Trump’s thinking and the mindset of his supporters. Unfortunately the picture that emerged was one of incoherence and complete disregard for the time-tested logic of strategy. Like most Trump speeches, this one was full of hyperbole, bluster […]

Israeli settlers watch the demolition of a building at the Jewish settlement of Beit El, West Bank, July 29, 2015 (AP photo by Tsafrir Abayov).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and host Peter Dörrie discuss how Britain’s policy toward China is changing under Prime Minister Theresa May, the limited successes of Cameroon’s gay rights movement, and the risk of overreacting to terrorism. For the Report, Avner Inbar joins us to talk about the Israeli right’s political strategic impasse. Listen:Download: MP3Subscribe: iTunes | RSS Relevant Articles on WPR: May Appears to Abruptly Walk Away From Britain’s Embrace of China Cameroon’s Gay Rights Movement Is Fighting Taboos and Winning Visibility The Danger of Overreacting to Terrorism—and How to Resist It Global Insider […]

A Kashmiri protester clashes with Indian policemen during a protest, Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Aug. 9, 2016 (AP photo by Dar Yasin).

On Wednesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, called on Pakistan and India to give his office access to Kashmir given “grave concerns” over alleged human rights violations there. The move comes as Jammu and Kashmir, which is administered by India but claimed by Pakistan, has seen some of its worst violence in years. On Tuesday, Indian troops shot and killed five civilians and injured at least 15 more during clashes with anti-India protesters, a day after suspected Kashmiri separatist rebels killed one Indian soldier and wounded 10 others in two separate gun battles. In […]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a weekly cabinet meeting, Jerusalem, May 31, 2016 (AP photo by Dan Balilty).

Things have never looked brighter for the Israeli right’s political prospects. Israel’s current government is widely acknowledged as the most right-wing in the country’s history. The opposition is so weak and fragmented that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is practically leading the country unopposed. The decades-old project of expanding Jewish settlements into the West Bank has lured more than 300,000 Israelis into the West Bank, threatening to render the two-state solution obsolete. Yet scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find that neither Netanyahu nor his allies on the religious right know what to do with this power. In fact, as its […]

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a bilateral meeting, Paris, France, Dec. 1, 2015 (AP photo by Yasin Bulbul).

When the next U.S. president takes office in 2017, he or she will move into the White House with a long national security to-do list. One of the most pressing items will be to assess America’s security partnerships, particularly the problematic ones, to decide which can be repaired, which must be tolerated as is, and which should be abandoned. Four partnerships will top the reassessment list: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Turkey. Each has a longstanding relationship with the United States harkening back to the Cold War. All four became even more important after the Sept. 11 attacks on the […]

A portrait of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, outside a police station seized by gunmen in Yerevan, July 23, 2016 (PAN photo by Vahan Stepanyan via AP).

An armed standoff and the eruption of protests in July may be Armenia’s most serious political crisis since 2008, when thousands took to the streets against alleged voter fraud in the presidential election that year. Last month’s unrest, which marked the country’s fourth summer in a row of turmoil, has exposed the cross-cutting, often contradictory fissures within Armenian politics and society. But this time, it also potentially represents a turning point for Armenia’s frustrated population. With internal crises looming over both state legitimacy and settlement talks with Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia is as divided as ever […]

Indian paramilitary soldiers walk back toward their base camp on the eleventh straight day of curfew, Kashmir, July 19, 2016 (AP photo by Dar Yasin).

Throughout the month of July, a series of violent clashes in Kashmir between protesters and Indian security forces left more than 50 Kashmiris dead and more than 5,000 injured. In an email interview, Anit Mukherjee, an assistant professor in the South Asia Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), NTU, Singapore, discusses the Indian military’s domestic security role and civil-military relations. WPR: What role does the Indian military play in domestic security, including the Kashmir conflict and the Naxalite insurgency? Anit Mukherjee: The Indian military has historically played an important role in countering domestic insurgencies and separatist […]

Zambians protest over the closure of The Post newspaper, Lusaka, Zambia, June 22, 2016 (AP photo by Moses Mwape).

Zambia goes to the polls tomorrow, Aug. 11, in an increasingly tense climate marked by protests, violence and the government’s targeted attacks on the opposition. The crackdown launched by President Edgar Lungu is a worrying trend toward further democratic backsliding in the long-stable country. Lungu was elected in January 2015 following the death of his predecessor, Michael Sata. For many Zambians, Lungu’s admittedly short time in office has left much to be desired, particularly on the the economy. Lungu and his party, the Patriotic Front, are facing mounting criticism from the country’s main opposition movement, the United Party for National […]

Government workers at a rally to encourage Thais to vote in the constitutional referendum, Bangkok, Aug. 4, 2016, (AP photo by Sakchai Lalit).

In what could be described as a self-inflicted wound, Thais voted Sunday to accept an undemocratic constitution in a nationwide referendum. According to the preliminary count collected by the Election Commission, based on 94 percent of the votes cast, 61.4 percent of Thais were in favor of the constitution, while 38.6 percent rejected it. A significant shift in the results isn’t expected with the final, official tally on Aug. 10. When it is enacted, whether in weeks or months, the constitution will be Thailand’s 20th in 84 years—the last was dissolved in May 2014 following the military coup that ousted […]

A fighter loyal to the Libyan armed forces preparing for clashes with ISIS militants west of Benghazi, March 7, 2016 (AP photo by Mohammed el-Shaiky).

Last week, the United States significantly expanded airstrikes in Libya against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, upping its military involvement in a country mired in civil war since a NATO-led intervention helped topple dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. Libya’s United Nations-backed government in Tripoli, known as the Government of National Accord, or GNA, requested the airstrikes. They have centered on the coastal city of Sirte, where Libyan forces aligned with the unity government have been engaged in fierce street battles with the Islamic State. The strikes have reportedly come from jets launched from a U.S. amphibious assault ship in the Mediterranean […]

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign town hall, Daytona Beach, Fla., Aug. 3, 2016 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

T.X. Hammes, of the National Defense University in Washington, is one of America’s most visionary strategic thinkers. Anything he writes deserves a careful reading, but a recent essay of his for War on the Rocks is particularly noteworthy. In it Hammes argues that globalization, which has profoundly shaped world events for the past few decades and laid the foundation for America’s grand strategy, seems to be reversing. If so, he argues, “the increasing regionalization of economies and differences in rates of growth will create instability and challenge international security arrangements.” Hammes believes that just as technology fueled the rise of […]

A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter jet landing at Siauliai airbase, east of Vilnius, Lithuania, April 27, 2016 (AP photo by Mindaugas Kulbis).

BELGRADE, Serbia—July’s NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, brought the alliance’s leaders to a country where the perceived threat of Russian aggression is particularly acute. It was appropriate, then, that they agreed to beef up NATO’s presence in Central and Eastern Europe, something that Poland and some of its regional partners have been calling for since Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and annexation of Crimea in 2014. Four battalion-sized battlegroups—fully armed and equipped, with troops from leading NATO members, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and, most importantly, the United States—will deploy on a rotational basis to Poland and the three Baltic […]

Pakistan's army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, at a seminar in Gwadar on development and security, Balochistan, April 12, 2016 (AP photo by Anjum Naveed).

Last month, as an attempted military putsch was put down in Turkey, posters lining streets across Pakistan beckoned the country’s popular army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, to take over in a coup. The posters have since been taken down, and the man responsible for them arrested. But the question still remains: Is the Pakistani military poised to take over? The last time Pakistan experienced a coup, in October 1999, the context was markedly different from today. At the time, Pakistan was reeling economically, in part due to U.S. sanctions over the country’s May 1998 nuclear tests. Civil-military relations had gone […]

Gen. John Allen, (Ret.) speaking during the final day of the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, July 28, 2016. (AP photo by J. Scott Applewhite)

Something odd happened at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last week: The Democratic Party seemingly became the party of the United States military. Speaker after speaker at the convention extolled the party’s support for the military and U.S. veterans, and lauded the foreign policy acumen and leadership of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, particularly in her support for the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. But perhaps the high point came on the third night of the convention when John Allen—a retired four-star general, former commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, and former special presidential envoy to […]

President Joseph Kabila during an independence day celebration, Kindu, Democratic Republic of Congo, June 30, 2016 (AP photo by John Bompengo).

It has become a bit of a surreal experience to fly into Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, or DRC. Visitors are greeted by a modern terminal, opened in 2015 and capable of servicing 1 million passengers a year. The fresh tarmac of a 10-lane highway that glides commuters into the city center is lined with solar-powered streetlights and stops for a new public transit system. Clearly Kinshasa is trying its best return to its former glory, when it was admiringly called “la belle.” On the surface, a lot has changed since the last presidential election in […]

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing, China, July 25, 2016. (AP photo by How Hwee Young).

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice visited China last month, where she held talks with Chinese officials about the threat of terrorism and prospects for improving counterterrorism cooperation. In an email interview, Jeffrey Payne, the Manager of Academic Affairs at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, discusses the state of counterterrorism cooperation between the U.S. and China. (The views expressed in this article are his alone and do not represent the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense or the U.S. government.) WPR: How extensive is counterterrorism cooperation between the U.S. […]