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Rocketing Toward War?
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, February 20, 2018
 

Military skirmishes and escalating threats between Iran and Israel of late are raising the risks of a catastrophic regional war, prompting questions about what the United States should do to prevent it.

To date, President Donald Trump has focused more attention on defeating the Islamic State group in Syria than on preventing Iran from filling the resulting void with its own military and proxy forces and, in the process, further implanting itself in Syria as part of its quest for a land corridor all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.

 
North Korea Wins The Propaganda Gold
By James S. Robbins, U.S. News & World Report, February 15, 2018
 

Whatever other awards North Korean athletes earn at the Winter Olympics now underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea, their country has made a championship level effort at manipulating the international press.

This week, the American media went on overload in praise of North Korean Minister of Propaganda and Agitation Kim Yo Jong, sister to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The minister was praised for her poise, her smile, her fashion sense and her handwriting. The Washington Post compared her to Ivanka Trump, (which even the New York Times found a bit much). There hadn't been this kind of gushing over a dictator's handmaiden since Leni Reifenstahl was hailed as a genius for her Nazi propaganda film about the 1936 Munich Olympics. And North Korea's propaganda minister can return to her brother claiming a gold medal performance.

 
Germany's Social Democrats Meet Their Day of Reckoning
By E. Wayne Merry, The National Interest, February 10, 2018
 

Government formation in Germany is approaching a crunch point. The main center-right (CDU/CSU) and center-left (SPD) parties have reached an agreement on a new grand-coalition government, similar to that which preceded inconclusive national elections last September. The crunch point will be a referendum on that agreement by the dues-paying, card-carrying membership of the Social Democratic Party.

 
Iran's Uprising Pits The Country's Old Rulers Against Its Young Citizens
By Ilan Berman and Rachel Millsap, The National Interest, February 9, 2018
 

Last month, with mass protests underway on the streets of Tehran and other cities, one of Iran's most senior clerics inadvertently sparked an altogether different sort of international incident.

On January 8, Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, one of the country's most powerful officials and a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, traveled to Germany to receive medical treatment amid rumors of failing health. The visit prompted outrage from human-rights activists, and German authorities — under growing pressure from watchdog groups — contemplated bringing charges against Shahroudi for "crimes against humanity" for his role in directing the imprisonment and torture of numerous opponents of the Iranian regime. The sixty-nine-year-old jurist ultimately decided to flee the Federal Republic in order to avoid the fallout.

 
How Poland Is Stoking Anti-Semitism
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, February 6, 2018
 

After Israel's ambassador to Poland criticized that nation's bill to outlaw words that suggest Polish complicity in the Holocaust, a spokesperson for Poland's ruling party retweeted the comment that the ambassador's action "makes it difficult for me to look at Jews with kindness and sympathy."

 
A Turkish-American Divorce?
By Ilan Berman, Al-Hurra Digital, February 5, 2018
 

The United States "is an enemy country. It is a serious threat to our country's existence, its unity, integrity, present and the future. It is carrying out an open attack, and an undeclared war..."

Those aren't the words of the radicals of the Islamic State, whose "caliphate" has been dismembered by America and its international partners over the past year. Nor are they the views of Iran's ayatollahs, now facing a White House that appears committed to curbing their regime's global menace.

 
The U.S. And Turkey: Past The Point Of No Return?
By Svante E. Cornell, The National Interest, February 1, 2018
 

U.S.-Turkish relations have deteriorated for some time. But until recently, no one would have thought that the American and Turkish militaries, closely allied since the 1950s, could end up confronting each other directly. Yet in northern Syria today, that is no longer unthinkable.

 
Trump Believes In U.S. Power
By James S. Robbins, U.S. News & World Report, January 31, 2018
 

In the national security section of Tuesday's State of the Union speech, President Donald Trump had a single, unifying message: The administration will confront America's international challenges with a realistic appreciation for the importance of U.S. power and leadership.

 
Russia Is Poised To Surprise The US In Battlefield Robotics
By Samuel Bendett, DefenseOne, January 25, 2018
 

No one would call Russia's government and budgetary bureaucracy particularly nimble, nor its defense industry particularly advanced. Certainly, it trails Western economies in such key areas as communication equipment, microelectronics, high-tech control systems, and other key technologies. But in certain aspects of the field of unmanned military systems, Russia may be inching ahead of its competition in designing and testing a wide variety of systems and conceptualizing their future use.

 
Freedom On The Wane
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, January 23, 2018
 

When Great Britain told the United States in February of 1947 that it could no longer protect Greece and Turkey, President Harry Truman and his top aides realized that America would have to step up to protect freedom or cede the Mediterranean and maybe Europe and other regions to the Soviets.

 
A New Approach To Iran
By Ilan Berman, U.S. News & World Report, January 17, 2018
 

The recent protests in Iran may be petering out, but the White House is ramping up its response to them. Last week, in tandem with his most recent decision to prolong the controversial 2015 Iran nuclear deal for another three months, President Trump opened a new front against the Islamic Republic by levying fresh human rights sanctions on a number of key regime figures and institutions.

 
What Trump Needs To Know To Reform US Broadcasting
By Robert Bole, The Hill, January 16, 2018
 

The announcement last week by Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the powerful chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, that he plans to resign at the end of his current term in office will unquestionably have enormous ramifications for the shape of U.S. foreign policy toward Syria, Ukraine, North Korea and Iran, as well as a host of other topics on which the congressman has distinguished himself during his eleven terms in office. But Royce's impending retirement will be felt in another area as well: that of U.S. public diplomacy.

 
Unconventional Wisdom in the Middle East
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, January 9, 2018
 

Recent events across the Middle East put the lie to one of the foreign policy establishment's most enduring tenets of conventional nonsense: that Israeli-Palestinian peace is key to greater regional peace and stability.

 
What To Watch For In Iran's Turmoil
By Ilan Berman, The Hill, January 8, 2018
 

Will Iran's pro-democracy protests last? As the uprisings that have unexpectedly swept across the Islamic Republic approach their second full week, that's the question on the mind of policymakers in Washington.

 
Trump's foreign policy pattern is all bark and no bite
By Stephen Blank, The Hill, January 8, 2018
 

Recent foreign policy moves by the Trump administration disclose a pattern of thought and action that merits being seen in its totality. Towards the end of 2017 the administration released a vigorous national security strategy that not only labeled China and Russia as adversaries but also “took no prisoners” in asserting that the U.S. would act vigorously against challenges.

 
How Washington Can Influence The Outcome Of Protests In Iran
By Ilan Berman, The National Interest, January 4, 2018
 

These are heady days in Iran. For more than a week now, thousands of Iranians have rallied publicly against their government, demanding accountability, transparency and an end to the repressive clerical status quo. In the process, they have presented Iran's radical theocratic regime with one of the most profound challenges to its authority since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

 
How To Support The Second 'Persian Spring'
By Ilan Berman, USA Today, January 2, 2018
 

Could we see a new Iranian revolution in 2018? For nearly a week now, tens of thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in various cities throughout the Islamic Republic in the largest mass demonstrations of their kind in nearly a decade. In the process, they have raised the tantalizing possibility that we might in fact be witnessing a second "Persian Spring."

 
Expect 2018 to be a year of living dangerously as global tensions rise
By Stephen Blank, The Hill, January 2, 2018
 

Anyone hoping to leave the turbulence of 2017 in the past will be in for a rude awakening. While we can’t know for certain what will unfold in the year to come, observable trends in several countries, including the U.S., give us a glimpse of what to expect in 2018.

 
The National Security Strategy Will Work
By James S. Robbins, The National Interest, December 28, 2017
 

President Donald Trump's new National Security Strategy codifies what has already been a noteworthy shift from his predecessor's worldview. It is the difference between "leading from behind" and actually leading.

 
NATO Next Steps: Upgrade The Role Of Finance Ministers
By James Jay Carafano and Herman Pirchner, Jr., The National Interest, December 27, 2017
 

Next year's NATO summit, slated to take place July 11-12 in Brussels, will clarify just how serious the member states are about recommitting to collective defense. The assembled heads of state will also be in a position to assess how effectively and swiftly the alliance and its individual members are implementing key decisions taken last year at the 2016 Warsaw summit and the Brussels "mini-summit."