From a military perspective, Hamas’ attack on Israel on Oct. 7 was a remarkable achievement. As a strategic move, however, the attack may jeopardize much of what Hamas has achieved in its almost 40 years of existence. That raises the question of whether this attack was a miscalculation, or whether there was something more to it.
European states are debating the war in Gaza as a foreign policy crisis with little direct connection to the internal workings of the EU. Yet as the conflict continues to escalate, the efforts by Brussels to keep the horror engulfing Gaza and Israel at arm’s length from the EU are unlikely to remain sustainable for long.
President Joe Biden entered office promising to return the U.S. to the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the JCPOA. But doing so has proven tricky for Biden’s administration, in part because of the complex politics surrounding the deal in both Washington and Tehran, but also because of the tense relations between the two countries, which soured significantly under Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.
Largely absent from the conversation about Israel’s military offensive in Gaza is the question of whether or not Israel is using inherently indiscriminate means and methods of warfare. If so, even if any resulting deaths might be arguably “proportionate” and “incidental,” they could still be considered war crimes.
Last month, the Iraqi army clashed with Kurdish peshmerga forces, leading to multiple casualties on each side. But while ethno-sectarian violence in Iraq was historically aimed at toppling the government, this recent violence should be seen as a way to negotiate power within the political system. And it shows that the equilibrium between Baghdad and Erbil is shifting.
The ongoing war in Gaza will undoubtedly and permanently alter the relationship between Israel and Hamas as well as between Israelis and Palestinians. But despite what some observers are predicting, the Israel-Hamas war will do little to change the international system more generally or U.S. grand strategy more specifically.
Ever since Morocco normalized diplomatic relations with Israel in late 2020, the government has had to engage in an awkward balancing act—nurturing fast-growing political, economic and military relations with Israel while simultaneously portraying Rabat’s official position as remaining actively pro-Palestinian.
Against the backdrop of the Israel-Hamas war, Israel’s Arab partners have faced pressure from their fiercely pro-Palestinian populations to address Gaza’s plight. Crucially however, they have also gravitated to the U.S. for security assurances amid fears of regional flare-ups and tensions with Iranian allies across the region.
In September, Iran successfully placed an imaging satellite into orbit. But instead of showcasing a true breakthrough for Iran’s space program, the launch highlighted the enduring technological challenges that the program faces as well as Tehran’s continued inability to place militarily useful satellites into orbit.
The atrocities accompanying the Israel-Hamas conflict have led many observers to ask if it makes sense to speak about the laws of war when armed actors seem only too willing to ignore them. But to say that the laws of war are ineffective is to misunderstand how they are meant to work—and do work—even when they seem to be ignored.
The carnage unfolding in Israel and Gaza makes clear that the status quo there is not sustainable, and even a two-state solution could be untenable. Instead, there is a need for a bolder approach: a three- or even four-state solution. Why should Israel adopt one of these multistate solutions? Because it is in its interest to do so.
The Syrian civil war that has decimated the country for more than decade, provoking a regional humanitarian crisis and drawing in actors ranging from the United States to Russia, has been drawing inexorably to a conclusion for years now. President Bashar al-Assad, with the backing of Iran and Russia, has emerged militarily victorious from the conflict, which began after his government violently repressed civilian protests in 2011. But is the crisis in Syria really over?