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Latest Articles

The Kremlin's Selective Counterterrorism
By Ilan Berman, National Review Online, January 27, 2016

To hear President Vladimir Putin tell it, his government is the proverbial tip of the spear in the global war on terror. 

For months, Kremlin officials have taken great pains to style their intervention in Syria in grandiose terms - not simply as a ploy to prop up a key strategic ally, but as a broader campaign against Islamic extremism. To hear them tell it, Russia has been 
forced to lead because of Western fecklessness in the face of gathering Islamic radicalism. Yet this bluster belies the fact that Moscow's counterterrorism policy is both flawed and selective in the extreme. 

Iran's Perilous Nuclear Lesson for North Korea
By Ilan Berman, The National Interest, January 13, 2016

North Korea made international news last week when it declared that it had successfully carried out an underground test of a hydrogen bomb. The announcement touched off fevered speculation in Washington about the nature of the test itself (among other things, the yield is believed to have been to small to have been a thermonuclear device), as well as its larger geopolitical significance.

Fallout Ploy: Iran's Cyberwarfare Contingency Plan
By Ilan Berman, Foreign Affairs, January 12, 2016

Iran's cyberwarriors are back in action. Late last fall, The New York Times reported that Iranian hackers had carried out an extensive hack on U.S. State Department employees. Among the victims were U.S. diplomats working on the Middle East and on Iran specifically, who had their email compromised and their social media accounts infiltrated. The hack was the latest in what U.S. officials say are increasingly aggressive attempts to glean information about U.S. policies toward Iran in the wake of this summer's P5+1 nuclear deal. 

A Much Needed Post-Obama Course Correction On Iran
By Lawrence Haas, U.S. News & World Report, December 15, 2015

With most Americans focused on the Islamic State terrorist group, Washington is poised to greatly expand the dangers to U.S. national security on another front - by proceeding to execute the Iran nuclear accord while Tehran ignores its obligations under it and related United Nations Security Council resolutions. 

An Innocent Mistake
By Jeff M. Smith, Foreign Affairs, December 3, 2015

Before year's end, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is reportedly planning to conduct a second freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) around one of China's new artificial islands in the South China Sea. Designed to show that the United States will not recognize any Chinese attempt to establish expansive maritime rights around its man-made outposts, the operation will mark the second mission in as many months, after an October 27 FONOP around China's Subi Reef. 

Latest Books

Iran's Deadly Ambition: The Islamic Republic's Quest for Global Power
Ilan Berman, Encounter Books, August 2015

Are we on the cusp of détente with Iran? Conventional wisdom certainly seems to believe so. In the aftermath of the interim nuclear deal struck in November 2013 between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 powers (the United States, France, England, Russia, China and Germany), hopes are now running high for a historic reconciliation between Iran's clerical regime and the West.

Latest In-House Bulletins

Russia Reform Monitor - No. 2036
January 28, 2016

Russian arms for Hezbollah fighters;
In Moscow, new military investments... and pessimism about the future

Russia Reform Monitor - No. 2035
January 26, 2016

The scent of Russian authoritarianism;
Did Russian hackers target Ukraine's electric grid?

Russia Reform Monitor - No. 2034
January 25, 2016

Lights out in Crimea;
Ukraine as "frozen conflict"

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 15
January 22, 2016

The Islamic State's North African front;
Fear and loathing in Beijing...;
...and apprehension in Jakarta;
Pay cuts for ISIS cadres;
Extortion, Taliban style

China Reform Monitor - No. 1204
January 19, 2016

Xi presses military reform
China bleeding foreign exchange reserves

Latest Policy Papers

A Nuclear Deal with Iran: Managing the Consequences
By AFPC Iran Task Force , October 7, 2015

The announcement of a nuclear deal in July 2015 brought to a close nearly two years of intensive negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 powers (the U.S., UK, France, Russia, China and Germany). It also ushered in a new — and arguably more challenging — phase of American policy in the Middle East...

Internet Security Governance - Building Security Without Piling On
By Trey Herr and Heather West , October 2, 2015

Internet Security Governance covers the policy challenges that arise from building and governing security in the Internet’s architecture and key protocols. It is not a description of security for computers and networks (Information Assurance),  how to man- age the negotiated structure and key functions of the Internet (Internet Governance), or the pursuit of crim- inal groups and other threat actors (Cyber Crime).2 Internet Security Governance is the discussion of de- fensively oriented technical and legal topics that cross national boundaries and/or involve security of the un- derlying protocols and hardware which make up the Internet...

Strategic Primer - Missile Defense
By Rich Harrison , October 1, 2015

The goal of the new Strategic Primer initiative is to provide a concise, comprehensive overview of specific defense technology issues presented in a clear, direct, and graphical manner that serves as an accessible reference to policymakers. Volume 1 of the series focuses on Missile Defense.