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Iran's Imperial Project
By Ilan Berman, The Washington Times, November 21, 2017

Iran is on the march in the Middle East.

Over the past year, a steady drumbeat of news reports from the Persian Gulf, intelligence assessments regarding Syria's civil war, and firsthand accounts out of Iraq, Lebanon and beyond has pointed to an inescapable conclusion: Iran is erecting a new empire in the region.

Future Thinking: the Role Of Artificial Intelligence
By Zachary Lemnios and Michael Perrone, AFPC Defense Dossier Iss. 20, November 2017, November 18, 2017

The past several years have seen a remarkable transition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) from academia to practical use. This shift is beginning to transform every industry, is fundamentally changing many consumer services, and will have a profound impact on national security.

Iraqi Kurdistan: Post-Independence Referendum
By Christine Balling, Small Wars Journal, November 17, 2017

On September 25th, against the urging of the United States and other allies, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) held an independence referendum within the boundaries of its autonomous region and provocatively, without, in the city of Kirkuk. While the regional response was fast and furious, the United States did nothing, leaving the Iraqi Kurds at the mercy of a revengeful Baghdad: Erbil and Sulaimaniyah airports were closed to international commercial traffic. Turkey threatened to close borders and the Iranian and Iraqi militaries conducted joint exercises on the Iraqi Kurdish border.  Baghdad sent the Iraqi army and Iranian-backed Shia Popular Mobilization Front (PMF) militias to retake the disputed territories back from the Kurdish peshmerga. Then, on October 29th, KRG president Masoud Barzani stepped down and suspended the post of presidency, distributing control of the KRG to other branches.

Gaming To Victory: Synthetic Training For Future Combat
By Jennifer McArdle, War on the Rocks, November 15, 2017

It looked like a video game. From the comfort of a living room couch, with TV dinners in hand, families watched as precision-guided munitions rained down with seemingly perfect accuracy on Iraqi military and civilian targets. It was Jan. 17, 1991 - the start of Operation Desert Storm - and the combination of camera equipped high-tech weaponry and night vision equipment provided viewers an action-packed front-row view into the coalition's air war. What had seemed like science fiction was now a reality.

Directed Energy Weapons And Modern Warfare
By Howard R. Meyer, Jr., AFPC Defense Dossier Iss. 20, November 2017, November 14, 2017

In a 2009 article entitled "Technology and Warfare," Professor Alex Roland of Duke University wrote that ", more than any other outside force, shapes warfare.”[1] In his article, Roland went on to explain how military technologies, while not being deterministic, open doors and provide opportunities - often referred to as 'opportunity space' in current military parlance - for the nations employing them.

A Saudi Shake-Up At Last
By James S. Robbins, U.S. News & World Report, November 8, 2017

Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a long overdue housecleaning. The mass arrests of members of the government, royals and businessmen that have taken place in recent days are unprecedented in modern times, and the country's attorney general has promised that what has taken place so far is only "phase one."

The Russian War On Terror
By Ilan Berman, The National Interest, November 3, 2017

Which country ranks as the largest source of foreign fighters for the Islamic State's "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq?

That dubious distinction doesn't belong to a Middle Eastern state, despite the fact that countries such as Saudi Arabia have historically been major contributors of radicals to the Islamic State's ranks. Nor is it a North African nation, even though Tunisia had previously served as the preeminent supplier of fighters for the Syrian front.

President Trump Takes A Wise Middle Course On The Iran Nuclear Deal
By Ilan Berman, Orlando Sentinel, October 20, 2017

In his policy speech last Friday, President Trump did not scrap the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, as some prominent conservative thinkers had suggested he should. Nor did he simply leave the deal intact, as proponents of the agreement had previously counseled. Instead, the president charted a middle way intended to give America greater leverage over Iran's nuclear program and processes.

Trump Takes Aim At The IRGC
By Ilan Berman, Al-Hurra Digital, October 18, 2017

You wouldn't know it from the media coverage surrounding President Trump's October 13th speech on Iran, but the most notable element of the Administration's new, "comprehensive" strategy toward the Islamic Republic isn't its plan to revisit the 2015 nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

A Setback For Peace Prospects
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, October 17, 2017

Perhaps United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to congratulate him on the new unity deal between Abbas' Fatah Party and the terrorist group Hamas, simply didn't know what Hamas had said about it a day earlier.