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Call It a War and Win It
Articles - September 16, 2014
 

Last week, President Barack Obama pledged to destroy the Islamic State group (also known as ISIS or ISIL). It is worth asking what that means, and whether the United States can actually do it.

 
Iran Won't Slow Down On Ballistic Missiles
Articles - July 18, 2014
 

With time for nuclear diplomacy between Iran and the P5+1 nations (the U.S., UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) running out, and with the White House scrambling to cobble together some sort of deal with Tehran, it's perhaps not surprising that Pentagon's latest annual assessment of Iran's military capabilities has so far garnered little attention, either within the Washington Beltway or outside it. 

 
A Stalled War On Terror Finance
Articles - July 15, 2014
 

Only two weeks after the attacks of September 11th, President George W. Bush addressed the media in the White House Rose Garden and declared "war" on terrorism financing. "Money is the lifeblood of terrorist operations," he told reporters.[1] "Today, we are asking the world to stop payment." A few weeks later, the Treasury Department—the agency that would become the weapon of choice of the White House in this new economic conflict—boasted in a press release, "The same talent pool and expertise that brought down Al Capone will now be dedicated to investigating Usama bin Laden and his terrorist network."[2] 

 
A Moment Of Truth For Mahmoud Abbas
Articles - July 1, 2014
 

Sometimes, tragedies can provide moments of clarity. The brutal deaths of teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel – whose bodies were discovered on Monday half-buried in an open field north of the city of Hebron – represent more than just a national disaster for the state of Israel. They are also an inflection point for Palestinian governance, as well as a litmus test for the true prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

 
What Peace Process?
Articles - July 1, 2014
 

As the parents of three Israeli teens live their worst nightmare, their sons the latest victims of terror, the drama can now follow a well-worn path of Palestinian triumphalism, Israeli revenge and global moral blindness. It is but another teaching moment - lest anyone still needs one - about why Israeli-Palestinian peace will not come soon and why the basic assumptions behind the "peace process" are so off-base. 

 
The Once And Future Threat: Al-Qaeda Is Hardly Dead
Articles - June 19, 2014
 

Is al-Qaeda really on the run? Since the death of Osama Bin Laden, the Obama administration has actively promoted the narrative that it has gained the upper hand in its struggle with the world’s most dangerous terrorist group.

 
The Islamist Canaries In The Bruneian Mine Shaft
Articles - May 13, 2014
 

Human rights and liberal values are under threat in a small, little-known country most people would be hard-pressed to find on a map. Brunei Darussalam, following the radical vision of Usama bin Laden and his followers, became an Islamic state under strict Sharia law this past week, with punishments of death by stoning for adulterers and severing of limbs for thieves. Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic have yet to focus on the challenges posed by radical Islamic regimes, much less tackle them effectively.

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 146
Bulletins - April 3, 2014
 

The IRGC versus Rouhani;
Iran's ties with Hamas: Back on track
Iran's oil export surge;
Fear and loathing in Sana'a;
A tug-of-war over investment in Iran

 
South Asia Security Monitor - No. 338
Bulletins - February 19, 2014
 

U.S. freezes Haqqani assets;
Launch dates set for INS Arihant, AGNI-5;
Taliban 15 demands for peace talks;
Pakistan invests in JF-17

 
End the Terror of Ivory Trade
Articles - January 25, 2014
 

Transnational criminal syndicates, terrorist organizations and Islamic extremists are increasingly turning to wildlife trafficking to bankroll their operations. Specifically, elephant and rhinoceros ivory accounts for an increasing share of the budget of Somali militant groups and al-Qaeda affiliates. So far, the White House and international agencies have failed to effectively address this emerging threat.

 
Russia Is Losing Against Radical Islam
Articles - January 8, 2014
 

Last month was a bloody one in Russia. On December 29th and 30th, two suicide bombings in the southern city of Volgograd killed a combined total of 34 people and injured many more. In the process, they shone a rare spotlight on the true state of Russia's counterterrorism policy.

 
World Almanac of Islamism: 2014
Books - January 2014
 

The American Foreign Policy Council’s World Almanac of Islamismis a comprehensive resource designed to track the rise or decline of radical Islam on a national, regional and global level. This database focuses on the nature of the contemporary Islamist threat around the world, and on the current activities of radical Islamist movements worldwide.

Access the updated 2014 Almanac online http://almanac.afpc.org/ or order a hard copy from Amazon.com.

 

 
The Day the Music Died?
Articles - November 25, 2013
 

The deal hammered out over the weekend between the P5+1 powers and Iran in Geneva should have come as a surprise to no one. The White House’s dogged pursuit of some sort of diplomatic breakthrough with Iran, whatever the political and international-security cost, meant that an agreement — no matter how bad — was in the offing, unless the Iranians themselves decided it wasn’t in their interest.

 
Eurasia Security Watch - No. 303
Bulletins - November 18, 2013
 

Brotherhood banned and fleeing Egypt;
Al qaeda influence spreads in Syria, peace talks delayed;
Brotherhood leader arrested in Egypt

 
Chemical Belly of the Syrian Beast
Articles - October 22, 2013
 

With civil war raging, Syria, a state sponsor of terror, has attacked its own people with chemical weapons and attempted to skirt international sanctions. The United States, the EU, Russia and the UN must identify the full extent of the threat and eliminate Syria's chemical weapons capacity

 
Implosion: The End of Russia and What It Means for America
Books - September 2013
 

Today, Putin’s Russia is fast approaching a social and political crisis—one that promises to be every bit as profound as the fall of the USSR. Author Ilan Berman tackles the crisis that has Russia on the fast track to ruin, and the grave danger Russian collapse poses to America’s security, in his new book, Implosion.

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 138
Bulletins - September 17, 2013
 

Iran's economic crisis deepens...;
...as regime readies nuclear bargaining chip;
A helping hand from Moscow

 
The Fight Against Al-Qaida Is Far From Over
Articles - September 11, 2013
 

Whatever happened to the war on terror? Unless you've been paying close attention, you could be forgiven for thinking that America's struggle against radical Islam is largely a thing of the past.

 
Iran's New President Won't Compromise
Articles - June 27, 2013
 

History, it is said, doesn't repeat itself, but occasionally it does rhyme. So it is with Western policy toward Iran, which is on the verge of returning to the costly rhythm of the past.

 
Despite Sanctions, Iran's Money Flow Continues
Articles - June 25, 2013
 

The United States and Europe are failing to use a tool already in their possession that would deliver a knockout blow to Iran's nuclear program. It isn't a new piece of computer malware or a bomb. The group that would accomplish the mission isn't the Pentagon or the European Union—it's the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift.

 
Iran's Rigged Election
Articles - June 24, 2013
 

Iranians closed the page on the tumultuous eight-year tenure of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when they went to the polls on June 14 to pick a new president. In a national election marked by tremendous fervor and massive turnout (some 75 percent of Iran’s roughly 50 million eligible voters are estimated to have participated), the victor was Hasan Rowhani, a soft-spoken cleric widely billed as a “moderate” among Iran’s field of presidential contenders.

 
Iran: Much More Than Nukes
Articles - June 13, 2013
 

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey's acknowledgment this week that Iran "is a threat to U.S. national security in many ways," and not just in its pursuit of nuclear weapons, is both welcome and timely.

In highlighting Iran's nuclear pursuit, U.S. policymakers and pundits have cast insufficient light on Tehran's other activities in the region and beyond that dog U.S. security interests and make its potential nuclear capacity so frightening.

 
Iran On Our Back Porch
Articles - June 5, 2013
 

Last week, Argentine state prosecutor Alberto Nisman dropped a bombshell when he issued his long-awaited indictment in the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israel Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires. The 502-page report pins the blame for the attack -- which killed 85 and wounded hundreds more in what experts call Latin America's 9/11 -- squarely on the Islamic Republic of Iran. In doing so, it provides a timely reminder that Iran's radical regime is active in the Western Hemisphere and that its presence here is far broader than is commonly understood.

 
Boston Bombing's Russian Roots
Articles - May 14, 2013
 

Ever since last month’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, speculation has abounded as to what led the perpetrators — suspected to be ethnic Chechens 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar — to carry out the most significant act of terrorism on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. By all accounts, both were largely homegrown radicals who received inspiration, and perhaps even dangerous instruction, from jihadist elements in the United States and abroad. The roots of the Tsarnaevs’ militancy can be traced back at least in part to Russia’s own troubled “war on terrorism” — a struggle that Moscow, more than two decades after the Soviet collapse, is in real danger of losing.

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 133
Bulletins - April 26, 2013
 

Flashpoint: Iran's Azeris;
Economic uncertainty, and food insecurity, in Iran;
Number of Presidential hopefuls continues to grow

 
Overlooked Middle East Crises
Articles - April 23, 2013
 

These days, American policy toward the Middle East tends to be dominated by two regional crises.

The first is the long-running showdown with Iran over its nuclear program. Despite mounting Western financial pressure, the Islamic republic shows no signs of changing course. To the contrary, Iran’s leaders have defiantly tightened their fiscal belts and redoubled their efforts to cross the nuclear Rubicon. Meanwhile, negotiations between Tehran and the West have concluded predictably, without any tangible progress on bringing the Iranian regime’s nuclear ambitions to heel.

 
What Are The Roots Of Tsarnaev's Murder Spree?
Articles - April 21, 2013
 

The apprehension of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ends a five day reign of terror in the Boston area. Taking him alive allows authorities the opportunity to find answers to critical questions surrounding the deadly April 15 Boston marathon bombing. Most important of this is, why did Dzhokhar and his brother Tamarlan allegedly do it?

 
The Dangers Of Neglecting Central Asia
Articles - April 16, 2013
 

Secretary of State John Kerry made news recently by referring to the venue of the latest nuclear talks with Iran as the fictional country of "Kyrzakhstan." That off-the-cuff comment was a telling indicator of the general lack of concern for Central Asia that prevails in official Washington.

 
Shift Tactics In Iran Negotiations
Articles - February 28, 2013
 

Suddenly, it's springtime for diplomacy with Iran once again. After a year that saw a dramatic escalation of economic pressure against the Islamic Republic, the Obama administration and its allies are now once again talking to Tehran. Yesterday, negotiations concluded in Almaty, Kazakhstan on the latest round of multilateral diplomacy aimed at bringing Iran's nuclear ambitions to heel. Additional talks are now set for April, to be held once again in Kazakhstan.

 
Does Iran Already Have The Bomb?
Articles - February 27, 2013
 

During Secretary of State John Kerry's listening tour of the Middle East, one troubling regional issue might go unspoken: the possibility that Iran already has nuclear weapons capability.

 
Eurasia Security Watch - No. 279
Bulletins - February 26, 2013
 
 
Cutting The Iran-China Connection
Articles - February 14, 2013
 

Just what will it take to bring Iran’s nuclear ambitions to heel? The past year has seen a dramatic expansion of economic pressure against the Iranian regime by the United States and Europe, all with a single-minded purpose: to ratchet up the costs to Iran of its stubborn atomic endeavor.

 
Rogue Nations Shrug Off Obama's Threats
Articles - February 13, 2013
 

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama pledged that "America will continue to lead the effort to prevent the spread of the world's most dangerous weapons."

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 131
Bulletins - February 6, 2013
 


Iran adapts to western sanctions...:
...or does it?;
With an eye towards election, a new order of battle

 
Iran Electoral Power Play Shows How Fragile Regime Actually Is
Articles - February 5, 2013
 

Iran's presidential election may still be some four months away, but the political machinations have already begun. Last week, Iran's Council of Guardians, the powerful governmental oversight body tasked with interpreting the country's constitution, passed a new law imposing additional curbs on the electoral process within the Islamic Republic—and adding a new layer of bureaucracy to its already-convoluted political process.

 
Assessing Iran's Asia Pivot
Articles - January 30, 2013
 

A significant shift is underway in U.S. defense posture. Over the past year, the Obama administration has carried out a public pivot in strategic focus toward the Asia Pacific theater. The reorientation has been driven in large part by concerns over China’s “peaceful” (or not so peaceful) rise to regional prominence—and by an effort to exploit the opportunities that have been created by it. Widespread regional unease over China’s growing footprint among Asian countries has paved the way for stronger relationships between Asia and the United States, as well as a growing willingness to partner with Washington on matters of regional security and politics.

 
The Cost Of Misunderstanding Iran
Articles - January 17, 2013
 

Today, the United States confronts no shortage of strategic challenges in the Middle East. Initial optimism about democratic change among the countries of the “Arab Spring” has given way to deep apprehension over the ascendance of Islamist forces in places like Egypt and Libya. The post-Saddam government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki remains fragile and unstable, riven by sectarian divisions and propelled by divisive power politics. And al-Qaeda, although down in the wake of the May 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden, is decidedly not out, as frequent bombings in Iraq and mounting unrest in Yemen underscore.

 
The Brotherhood's Agenda, Cairo's Catastrophe
Articles - January 14, 2013
 

It has been heralded as a humanitarian gesture and a sign of Arab leadership, but Qatar’s decision last week to double its $2.5 billion aid package to Egypt is also a telling indicator of the true economic state of affairs in post-revolutionary Egypt.

 
Why North Korea's Missile Launch Matters
Articles - December 21, 2012
 

North Korea's successful use last week of a long-range rocket to launch a satellite into orbit has catapulted the Asian rogue state back into the international spotlight. It also has brought back the global danger posed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea into sharp focus.

 
Anatomy Of A Power Struggle
Articles - December 19, 2012
 
 
U.S. Sanctions Push Iran To Foreign Meddling
Articles - November 27, 2012
 

There's a tried-and-true rule in politics that, when there's trouble at home, it's time to look abroad. The Iranian regime is proving to be no exception to this axiom; as its economic fortunes have dimmed as a result of widening Western sanctions, the Iranian regime has ramped up its interference throughout the Middle East.

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 128
Bulletins - November 20, 2012
 

An Energy Lifeline for Syria...;
...and an Iranian Hand in Yemen's Unrest?;
Still More Fiscal Belt Tightening

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 127
Bulletins - November 8, 2012
 
 
Blacklist The United Arab Emirates
Articles - November 6, 2012
 

The security of many countries is being endangered by the United Arab Emirates, a confederation of seven small states located in the Arabian Peninsula. Usually considered a Western ally, this false friend also serves as a regional financial hub for mob figures, arms dealers, drug traffickers, jihadis, and rogue regimes. The White House and the Financial Action Task Force—set up by the G7 to combat money laundering and terrorism financing—have so far failed to take action to stop this emerging threat.

 
The Mirage Of Nuclear Talks With Iran
Articles - October 22, 2012
 

Call it President Obama’s “October surprise.” This past weekend, just days before tonight’s much-anticipated presidential debate on foreign policy and national security, the New York Times reported that the White House appears to be on the cusp of a diplomatic breakthrough with Tehran—and that direct, one-on-one negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear effort could take place in the near future, following the U.S. presidential election in November.

 
Iran's Mullahs Blame Mahmoud
Articles - October 11, 2012
 

You've got to feel a little sorry for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. With his nuclear brinksmanship and inflammatory public rhetoric, Iran's firebrand president is accustomed to hogging the international spotlight. But recent days have seen him making news for a different reason entirely. Ahmadinejad is now fighting for his political life against domestic opponents who blame him for the country's current fiscal crisis.

 
The Contours of Iran's Currency Crisis
Articles - October 5, 2012
 

Quite suddenly, it seems, Iran’s economy is in serious trouble. In recent days, the country’s national currency has fallen to record lows against the U.S. dollar. On October 1st alone, the value of the Iranian rial declined by some 17 percent, collapsing to 34,700 to one American dollar. (It has since reportedly fallen still further). All told, the rial has lost more than 80 percent of its worth over the past year.

 
Seeing Sanctions Straight
Articles - October 3, 2012
 

When it comes to American policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran, one approach has tended to crowd out all others. Over time, economic sanctions have come to be seen as something of a catch-all—a panacea of sorts for the West's nagging problem with the Iranian regime and its persistent nuclear ambitions. As a result, policymakers in Washington, as well as their counterparts across the Atlantic, have invested tremendous time and energy in crafting an elaborate framework of economic pressure against the Iranian regime.

 
The dangerous Iran flirtation: Argentina likely to get burned
Articles - September 27, 2012
 

At first blush, Argentina seems like an odd choice of partners for the Islamic Republic of Iran. The South American nation holds the dubious distinction of being the first victim of Iranian terrorism in the Western Hemisphere, suffering terrorist attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets in Buenos Aires that were carried out by Iranian-sponsored radicals in 1992 and 1994. Yet today, relations between Argentina and Iran are unmistakably on the upswing.

 

 

 
Post-Election, Iran Could Become Obama’s Decision
Articles - September 6, 2012
 

For the moment, let's set aside the friction in U.S.-Israeli relations over Iran's nuclear program, which serves neither Washington nor Jerusalem.