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Unresolved: Shifting Power in the Middle East

Unresolved: Shifting Power in the Middle East
The BriefGet Up To Speed

Saudi Arabia and Iran are vying for regional dominance. Turkey is cozying up to Russia and China. And instability, conflict, and proxy wars have engulfed Syria, Yemen, and beyond. How should the United States respond to shifting power in the Middle East?

Staged in our “Unresolved” format, this debate brings together five foreign policy experts to tackle pressing questions on geopolitics in the Middle East, including: Is Trump right on Saudi Arabia? Is the world safer without the JCPOA? And is Turkey an asset to NATO?

  • Michael Doran

    12 Items
    • Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute & Fmr. Sr. Director, National Security Council
    Read Bio

    "Desperate to preserve the nuclear deal, Iran with the help of its Western friends is creating just enough turmoil to make America, and not it, appear eager for war."

    Monday, June 24, 2019

    "In our podcast this week, Michael Doran joins Jonathan Silver to explain his essay and its argument. He discusses why the revoked waivers are so important, why the Iranians believe their strategy will work, and why the biases of European governments and some prominent American Democrats play right into Iranian hands."

    Thursday, June 27, 2019
    "In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN, Mike Doran discusses recent Iranian provocations and President Trump’s response options."
    Sunday, June 23, 2019

    "Trump and Congress could forge a new consensus by enacting a law making the nuclear limits permanent."

    Tuesday, January 9, 2018

    "On the strategic questions that matter in the Middle East, the president is cleareyed."

    Wednesday, November 21, 2018

    "Michael Doran joins the PBS NewsHour to discuss new evidence that suggests Saudi Arabia’s crown prince orchestrated the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, and how the U.S. will respond to its longtime ally."

    Tuesday, November 20, 2018

    "In presenting himself to his American friends, Khashoggi fashioned himself less the Islamist and more the democratic reformer. He made a tactical alliance with former Obama officials who seek to depict Trump’s pro-Saudi and anti-Iranian policy as a disaster."

    Thursday, October 18, 2018

    "The S-400 crisis comes at a moment when tolerance for the government of President Erdoğan is in very short supply. In Washington, it will doubtlessly strengthen a dangerously self-fulfilling doctrine that took root several years ago among key constituencies, namely, that Turkey is no longer an ally. While the president and his advisors do not share this assessment, it is a virtual consensus in think tanks and on Capitol Hill, where people are commonly heard to remark that Turkey no longer belongs in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)."

    Thursday, July 25, 2019

    "America needs to back up its allies (Israel, Saudi Arabia, and potentially Turkey), and isolate its adversaries (Iran, Russia, China, Islamic State). Everything else is secondary."

    Monday, January 7, 2019

    "The United States will be making an exit from Syria 'very soon,' President Trump said late last month in Ohio. 'Let the other people take care of it now.' In making this announcement, the president ignored a cardinal principle of an author he holds in very high regard: himself. According to 'The Art of the Deal,' Mr. Trump’s 1987 best-selling guide to business strategy, success in negotiations requires developing leverage. The crux of the matter is appearing unflappable while making the other guy sweat. 'The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it,' Mr. Trump wrote. 'That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.'"

    Tuesday, April 10, 2018

    "By embarking for Saudi Arabia and Israel close on the heels of a meeting in Washington with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Mr. Trump is clearly signaling an appreciation of this elemental fact. He must now build on that fact to develop a Trump Doctrine, based on shoring up traditional allies against Iran. Such a plan, built on painstaking coalition building and maintenance, isn’t glamorous or inspiring. But good statesmanship requires recognizing the limits of what is possible. The choices in the Middle East are between very bad and much worse. Mr. Trump promised us steely-eyed realism. Here’s hoping he delivers on that pledge."

    Friday, May 19, 2017

    "The policies of the Obama administration led to carnage in Syria, regional chaos, and the rise of Iran and its alliance with Russia. Can the momentum be reversed—without going to war?"

    Tuesday, September 5, 2017
  • Reuel Marc Gerecht

    12 Items
    • Senior Fellow, The Foundation for Defense of Democracies & Fmr. CIA Case Officer
    Read Bio
    "Even amidst a flurry of press reporting about U.S. military deployments to the Persian Gulf, President Donald Trump appears to remain committed to negotiations for a new deal with Iran. But what should the contours of such an agreement be, and how should the U.S. conduct diplomacy with the Islamic Republic? This memorandum aims to provide a crash course in such diplomacy, focusing on how to address Iranian intentions, strategies, and capabilities." 

    "America’s Iran problem will remain until the theocracy cracks. Given the regime’s inability to escape the contradictions of its own making, that day is drawing closer. The U.S. needs stamina—and a clear understanding of how the enemy sees itself."

    "The supreme leader is accustomed to seeing the West blink first. It happened when Barack Obama, alarmed by increasing uranium enrichment, offered significant concessions. Trump’s decision to stand down in the Persian Gulf after the downing of the U.S. drone in June has fortified the impression of an irresolute America. In the weeks and months to come, expect Khamenei to find new ways to test the president’s mettle."

    Wednesday, July 10, 2019

    "The 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution has sparked the usual lamentations from many Iranians. They revolted for democracy only to have the Machiavellian mullahs hijack their revolution and squash its liberal aspirations."

    "During the presidential campaign, the outlier in Donald Trump’s foreign-policy orations was his treatment of Iran. On Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Russia (remember President Barack Obama’s “off-mic” tête-à-tête with President Dmitry Medvedev?), and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Trump largely followed his predecessor. Differences existed, certainly in style and manner, but the overlap between the two men on most of the big foreign-policy questions was profound."

    "President Trump has revived most of the U.S. sanctions on Iran that were dropped during Barack Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic. More sanctions are coming. But to halt Iran’s march toward enriched uranium and functional ballistic missiles for good, the White House must convince more Americans and U.S. allies to join in raising pressure on the regime. The fruits of Tehran’s imperialism won’t wither until the world chokes its roots."

    "Since the parameters of the Iranian nuclear accord became apparent in 2014 until Donald Trump canceled the deal on May 8, Washington essentially divided into three camps: those who supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, those who thought it was a seriously deficient accord but didn’t have the stomach to challenge it since that would oblige them to accept the risk of another war in the Middle East, and those who opposed the accord and were prepared to accept the risk of conflict."

    "The range and depth of what the United States can do against the regime is large and far beyond the confines of this essay. Patience and perseverance and a willingness to use force, however, are required. Still, despite the president’s dim view of the nuclear agreement and the Islamic Republic, the odds are decent that Trump will follow the footsteps of President Obama: The Great American Retreat will continue. Obama’s most important legacy likely will survive."

    "The saber-rattling out of the White House on Iran is getting a lot louder. Saudi oil ships mysteriously attacked. What’s actually going on, and what exactly is the White House plan?" A conversation with Nancy Youssef, Stephen Walt, and Reuel Marc Gerecht. 

    Wednesday, May 15, 2019

    "Since the 1979 revolution in Iran, the defining religious competition in the Middle East has been between Sunni Saudi Arabia and the Shi'ite Islamic Republic.  That clash was not initially sectarian.  The clerical regime in Tehran was, despite lapses now and then in Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's rhetoric, explicitly ecumenical:  the Iranians wanted to appeal to Sunni Muslims worldwide by depicting themselves as the true paladin against America and the West."

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

    A conversation between John Batchelor of "The John Batchelor Show" and Reuel Marc Gerecht. 

    Thursday, January 10, 2019

    "Many Americans remain wary, if not hostile, to the idea of democracy promotion in the Middle East. The Iraq War, which wasn’t launched to bring people power to Mesopotamia, is seen by most critics as the great catastrophe of Americans who wanted to export representative government. The failure of the “Arab Spring” to produce anything but bloodshed and continuing autocracy beyond Tunisia, where the region-wide revolt started in 2010 and democracy has held, has further reinforced the view that the United States really shouldn’t back a rootless, convulsive cause. The American right sees Muslims as a bad Enlightenment bet; the left is more critical of Middle Eastern tyrannies (except in Iran and the Palestinian territories) but is extremely averse to “nation-building” in Islamic lands."

    Friday, February 15, 2019
  • Bernard Haykel

    9 Items
    • Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University
    Read Bio

    A capsule review of "Saudi Arabia in Transition: Insights on Social, Political, Economic and Religious Change" by Bernard Haykel. 

    Thursday, October 1, 2015

    "'If the U.S. is going after Iran because it’s behaving in a way that’s incompatible with how nation-states should behave … the same standard should hold for Saudi Arabia,' said Bernard Haykel, director of the Institute for Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East at Princeton University, during a workshop panel on U.S. involvement overseas."

    Friday, June 28, 2019

    "Princeton Professor Bernard Haykel, who has regular contact with the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman, weighs-in on U.S.-Saudi relations and developments on this story."

    Monday, October 15, 2018

    "Christiane Amanpour speaks with Bernard Haykel, an academic who often speaks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman."

    Tuesday, August 28, 2018

    "Princeton professor Bernard Haykel says Obama’s motivation in the nuclear agreement with Iran is his legacy and that it will further destabilize the region because of Iran’s use of proxies."

    "The White House is mulling whether Tehran can help it defeat the jihadi threat in Iraq. But a U.S.-Iran alliance would be a disaster for Washington and the Middle East."

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

    "Bernard Haykel, Princeton University, provides insight to the failed coup in Turkey and shares his thoughts on President Erdogan's political motives."

    Monday, July 18, 2016

    "Since Israel’s deadly raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara last month, it’s been assumed that Iran would be the major beneficiary of the wave of global anti-Israeli sentiment. But things seem to be playing out much differently: Iran paradoxically stands to lose much influence as Turkey assumes a surprising new role as the modern, democratic and internationally respected nation willing to take on Israel and oppose America."

    Thursday, June 10, 2010
  • Brett McGurk

    8 Items
    • Fmr. Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS
    Read Bio

    "McGurk was particularly concerned about how the withdrawal would leave US allies in the region, specifically the Kurds, abandoned in the fight against ISIS, a source told CNN. US coalition partners were also worried about the sudden shift in policy. For example, terrorist attacks earlier this year in Paris were hatched from the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria."

    Saturday, December 22, 2018

    "Trump could not be more different. He rarely consults. Never ponders. Barely resolves. Does little wisely. His is a foreign policy of chaos, not the prudence and restraint envisioned by Pompeo and demanded by a significant majority of the American people. The opportunity for those now seeking the presidency, or who are prepared to contest Trump on the merits of his foreign policy, is to capture this emerging consensus and articulate a smarter role for America abroad grounded in the true meaning of Pompeo’s triptych: “realism, restraint, and respect.”Republicans and Democrats might even come to agree on such a formula. The United States will be far stronger if they do."

    Wednesday, June 5, 2019

    "'The US is prepared to remain in Syria until we are certain that ISIS (Daesh) is defeated, stabilization efforts can be sustained, and there is meaningful progress in the Geneva-based political process,' said McGurk."

    Sunday, December 31, 2017

    "Former Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Brett McGurk joins MTP Daily to discuss the Trump Administration possibly preparing military plans against Iran."

    Tuesday, May 14, 2019

    "China is making a risky bet in the Middle East. By focusing on economic development and adhering to the principle of noninterference in internal affairs, Beijing believes it can deepen relations with countries that are otherwise nearly at war with one another—all the while avoiding any significant role in the political affairs of the region. This is likely to prove naive, particularly if U.S. allies begin to stand up for their interests."

    "McGurk, who would become the presidential envoy for the fight against ISIS, told Obama it would take 100 days to create a new political situation in Iraq that could at least lay the groundwork for a serious anti-ISIS campaign. The first order of business: getting rid of Maliki and replacing him with someone both the Iraqis and the international community could rally behind. For help, McGurk turned to one of the U.S. politicians who knew him best. “Biden was quite involved [in Iraq] throughout this period. I probably spoke with him every few days, and he was calling Iraqi leaders constantly,” McGurk added."

    Thursday, June 27, 2019

    "The president decided to withdraw U.S. forces without consulting allies or understanding the facts on the ground."

    Friday, January 18, 2019
    "Just days before submitting his resignation, U.S. special envoy Brett McGurk, who heads the global coalition to defeat the Islamic State, said in an exclusive interview that putting an end to ISIS will be a long-term, multiyear effort. 'We’re on track now over the coming months to defeat what used to be the physical space that ISIS controlled,' McGurk told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble. 'That will not be the end of ISIS.'"
    Sunday, December 23, 2018
  • Barbara Slavin

    12 Items
    • Director, The Future of Iran Initiative, The Atlantic Council
    Read Bio
    A capsule review of Barbara Slavin's "Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies; Iran, the U.S., and the Twisted Path to Confrontation." 
    Friday, November 30, 2007

    "CGTN's John Terrett spoke with Director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, Barbara Slavin about the latest developments in the Iran nuclear deal and whether it can be salvaged."

    Friday, June 28, 2019

    "The president thinks he's getting tough on the mullahs when he's really just causing ordinary people to suffer."

    "On May 2, 2019, the SETA Foundation at Washington D.C. hosted a discussion titled, “Trump’s Maximum Pressure Campaign Against Iran.” Kılıç Kanat, Research Director at SETA DC was the moderator of this discussion. Panelists included Mike Doran, the Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Barbara Slavin, Director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, Kadir Ustun, Executive Director at SETA DC, and Ali Vaez, Iran Project Director at International Crisis Group."

    Thursday, May 2, 2019

    "They think they can pressure Tehran to collapse a la the USSR. That's nonsense."

    "In quitting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), President Donald Trump may have thought he could now subject Iran to “extreme pressure” from resumed U.S. secondary sanctions. But the outraged response of countries ordered to wind down their commerce with Iran within the next six months suggests that the U.S. sanctions weapon could become a boomerang."

    Saturday, May 12, 2018

    "For analysis of the Trump administration's designation of Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, CGTN's Asieh Namdar spoke wtih Barbara Slavin. She directs the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council and is also a columnist for Al-Monitor."

    Monday, April 8, 2019

    "It started with the Iraq War, which enlarged Iran's regional power."

    "Between the strictest U.S. sanctions in history and accusations that Iran attacked two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, tensions between the two countries are their worst in 40 years, says Barbara Slavin, director of the Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative. She joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss how Iran is responding to the mounting pressure."

    Wednesday, August 28, 2019

    "Confirmation that dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul comes at an extremely awkward moment for the Donald Trump administration’s escalating economic and information war against Saudi rival Iran."

    Monday, October 22, 2018

    "The Trump administration has announced that it will retain a small contingent of troops in Syria — enough to deal with the remnants of the Islamic State but not to dictate the country’s future or even safeguard the Kurds. If the U.S. has a diplomatic endgame and a means to achieve it, it is keeping the details to itself. So for now, Russia is in the lead."

    Wednesday, January 31, 2018

    "Trump has expressed admiration for Putin, ignorance of Russian aggression in Ukraine and misgivings about the value and continued relevance of the NATO alliance. Clinton is far from perfect and there are legitimate fears that if elected, she will fail to restrain her inner hawk. But she would continue the tradition of strong U.S. engagement in the world and stand up to bullies like Erdogan and Putin. She will only get that chance if she defeats another bully named Trump."

    Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Trump Is Right on Saudi Arabia

"I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other reasons, would like to go in a different direction – and they are free to do so. I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me, but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America. After the United States, Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world. They have worked closely with us and have been very responsive to my requests to keeping oil prices at reasonable levels – so important for the world. As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm. Very simply it is called America First!"

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Donald J. Trump

"Trump made a decision to put U.S. interests ahead of the passions of a moralistic chattering class that has no idea about how to defend America."

Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Christian Whiton

"About two weeks after the disappearance of our colleague Jamal Khashoggi, and before much was known about his fate, President Trump warned of “very severe” consequences if Saudi Arabia was responsible. Now, eight months later, this comment has been tossed aside by Mr. Trump, just another outburst of bluster that he either forgot or never meant. Instead, Mr. Trump has become a steadfast champion of the royal court that sent a team of killers to murder Khashoggi."

Monday, June 24, 2019
The Editorial Board

"That is why President Trump’s statement on Jamal Khashoggi's murder is correct. What happened to the Saudi national at the Saudi consulate in Turkey is wrong. But our national response to his death cannot be allowed to jeopardize the precarious balance in the Middle East and endanger our regional and global interests, our safety or the security of our allies."

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Sebastian Gorka

"President Trump again succeeded in turning back bipartisan congressional efforts to rebuke his lock-step support for Saudi Arabia after the Senate on Monday failed to override his veto on a series of measures that would have blocked billions of dollars of arms sales to the Persian Gulf region."

Monday, July 29, 2019
Catie Edmondson

"The administration wants to sell $8bn of weapons to Saudi Arabia and UAE – and prop up a morally indefensible war."

Saturday, June 8, 2019
Mohamad Bazzi

"President Trump is rightly issuing an emergency declaration in order to authorize $8 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Those arms will mitigate the risk to civilian lives in Yemen and deter Iran in a moment of escalating crisis."

Friday, May 24, 2019
Tom Rogan

"The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has long rested on a simple equation: The United States buys Saudi oil, and Saudi Arabia buys American weaponry, with the understanding that America would help protect the kingdom in case of a foreign attack."

Sunday, April 28, 2019
Ben Hubbard

"Rather than focus on the personality, Washington should push on the policy. The Trump administration has taken some steps in this direction, prodding the Saudis to find a diplomatic solution to the Yemen war and end the frivolous standoff with Qatar. Now it needs to redouble those efforts, particularly on Yemen, using whatever leverage Khashoggi’s murder has given it to push for a reduction in the political instability that plagues the Middle East and the human suffering that accompanies it."

Tuesday, December 18, 2018
F. Gregory Gause III

"The Saudis are good customers, Trump says – which evidently outweighs the fact they murdered and carved up a Washington Post journalist"

Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Richard Wolffe
The World Is Safer Without the JCPOA

"The United States’ withdrawal from the arms control agreement has heightened tensions and left the remaining signatories scrambling to keep the deal alive."

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Zachary Laub

"A special meeting of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors wrapped up Wednesday with no formal action on Iran's two recent violations of the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the JCPOA. The meeting let both the U.S. and Iran spell out their starkly different views, and came amid continuing tensions: Iran has given Europe — which is attempting to get trade going with Iran — a 60-day time frame to save the nuclear deal, and President Trump threatened more sanctions even as the IAEA meeting was taking place. On the same day, Iranian boats attempted to seize a British tanker in the Persian Gulf."

Thursday, July 11, 2019
Peter Kenyon

"The demise of the Iran nuclear deal does not make Tehran an immediate threat, but it opens the door to nuclear escalation."

Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Philip H. Gordon

"In 2015, as part of the nuclear deal between Iran, the permanent-five nations on the un Security Council and Germany, Iran promised that it would not enrich any uranium beyond this 4% level, nor hold stocks of more than 300kg of such low-enriched uranium (leu). But in May 2018 President Donald Trump walked away from that deal, reimposing old sanctions and adding a spate of new ones, too. America now imposes over 1,000 sanctions on Iran and parties that might trade with it. These sanctions have hurt Iran a lot: inflation is expected to reach 50% this year, and gdp to shrink by 6%."

Monday, July 29, 2019
The Economist

"Any solution to the current crisis will require a clear-eyed understanding of the challenges posed by the regime."

Thursday, July 18, 2019
Michael Oren

"One of us (Max Boot) was critical of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The other supported it. We both agreed, however, that, with Iran abiding by the JCPOA, it was a mistake for President Trump to exit the agreement in 2018. That move, followed by the imposition of sanctions, has created the current standoff with Iran that nearly led to war last week. But there is no way to unscramble this omelet. We are where we are, and it’s not a good spot to be in. We believe the most prudent way forward is to entice Iran back to the negotiating table while working with our allies to stop its attempts to disrupt international shipping."

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Max Boot & Lee Wolosky

"Since the president reimposed sanctions on Tehran one year ago, Iran's economy has suffered and its influence has waned."

Wednesday, August 28, 2019
David Ibsen

"President Trump’s decisions to order and then suddenly abort a military strike against Iran set off a debate across the region on Friday over whether his stop at the brink amounted to his gravest threat yet or a sign of capitulation."

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
David D. Kirkpatrick

"Iran wants to come back to the negotiating table—but first the regime needs a narrative of success."

Saturday, June 22, 2019
Ray Takeyh

"Tehran's new threats are a sign that U.S. policy is working."

Thursday, May 9, 2019
Fred Fleitz

"Most likely, all parties understand these dangers—not least the Iranian government, for which a war with the United States would be particularly catastrophic. And for this reason, both sides will continue to try to avoid an all-out war. But sometimes even wars that nobody wants still happen. The Trump administration and the Islamic Republic should tread much more carefully, lest they send their countries down a dangerous and costly spiral that will quickly spin out of control."

Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Ilan Goldenberg
Turkey Is an Asset to NATO

"Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the most baffling politician to emerge in the 96-year history of Turkey. He is polarizing and popular, autocratic and fatherly, calculating and listless. Erdogan’s ideology shifts every few years, and he appears to make up his road map as he goes along. He is short-tempered: he grabs cigarette packs from citizens to try to force them into quitting, scolds reporters who ask tough questions, and once walked off the stage after an angry exchange with the Israeli president at the World Economic Forum in Davos. But he can also be extremely patient. It has taken him 16 years to forge what he calls “the new Turkey,” an economically self-reliant country with a marginalized opposition and a subservient press."

Monday, September 30, 2019
Kaya Genc

“Turkey is an important and highly valued NATO Ally”, Secretary General Stoltenberg said at a press conference alongside Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. “I welcome that Turkey is playing a key role in our training mission in Iraq”, the Secretary General said, citing Turkey’s strong contributions to NATO missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo as further examples of Turkey’s active contributions to collective defence of the Alliance.

"Arms deal with Russia jeopardises Ankara’s role in Nato and its relations with US. Will the risk pay off?"

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Laura Pitel, Aime Williams & Henry Foy

"Last week, the United States removed Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program after Russia began delivering its S-400 missile defense system to Turkey. This move is significant since Turkey produces parts for the jet and was due to receive at least 22 of the U.S. jets by 2022."

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Jennifer Spindel

"A Turkish invasion of Syria appears to be imminent. But a new military offensive could have self-destructive consequences for Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, writes journalist Rainer Hermann."

Saturday, August 10, 2019
Rainer Hermann

"The Trump administration has launched a last-ditch effort to head off a Turkish invasion of northeast Syria that it expects will come within the next two weeks. With tens of thousands of Turkish troops massed near the border, a high-level Defense Department delegation plans to present what U.S. officials describe as a final offer to address Turkey’s concerns at a meeting Monday in Ankara. The meeting marks the climax of a years-long dispute between the two NATO allies over U.S. support for Syrian Kurdish fighters who have led the ground war against the Islamic State, but whom Turkey considers a terrorist threat to its own security. Kurdish-led victories against the militant group have effectively left them in control of much of the border area."

Sunday, August 4, 2019
Karen DeYoung, Souad Mekhennet & Louisa Loveluck

"As U.S. policymakers worry about their special relationship with Ankara, Turkey’s president knows it's already dead."

Thursday, August 15, 2019
Steven A. Cook

"Ankara is a difficult friend. That doesn't mean the United States should cut it loose."

Monday, March 19, 2018
Michael Singh & James Jeffery

"A selection of experts answer a new question from Judy Dempsey on the foreign and security policy challenges shaping Europe’s role in the world."

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Judy Dempsey, et. al

"Ankara, helped by China and Russia, is vandalizing Western interests."

Monday, August 13, 2018
Bernard Henri-Levy

"Turkey has been battered by terrorism. Its most urgent need now is to defend itself and its democracy. But the West’s response threatens to complicate how the U.S. and its NATO allies work with a country on the front lines of the global fight against ISIS. To cast Turkey loose now would forfeit our influence in the region and end a decades-long alliance. It could also drive Turkey into the arms of Russia—the wolf scratching at its door, which would like nothing more than to distance Turkey from the West."

Monday, August 22, 2016
Halil I. Danismaz