Seven Worst-Case Scenarios in the Battle with the Islamic State

by Peter Van Buren You know the joke? You describe something obviously heading for disaster — a friend crossing Death Valley with next to no gas in his car — and then add, “What could possibly go wrong?” Such is the… Continue Reading  

Obama Mulling Broader Strikes Against ISIS?

Obama-Iraq-Speech

by Jim Lobe This week’s video-taped beheading of a U.S. journalist by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has spurred renewed calls for President Barack Obama to broaden Washington’s military efforts to strike the terrorist group, including in… Continue Reading  

A Saudi-Iranian Rapprochement?

Saudi-Iran-Rouhani-Riyadh-KSA

by Jim Lobe Paul Pillar has a blog up at the National Interest on the possibility that Saudi Arabia and Iran are moving toward some form of rapprochement. The latest development, as Paul points out, is the long-awaited invitation this week by… Continue Reading  

New Gestures to Opposition Unlikely to Change U.S. Syria Policy

Jarba-USIP-Syria

by Jim Lobe* Despite new gestures of support for the Syrian opposition, the administration of President Barack Obama is unlikely to change its longstanding policy of restraining U.S. involvement in the country’s more than three-year-old civil war, according to experts… Continue Reading  

Hezbollah Winning in Syria: At What Price?

Hezbollah-Syria

by Aurélie Daher As the Syrian uprising against the Baathist regime enters its fourth year, it is clear, given the changing balance of power on the ground, that predictions about the imminent collapse of the Assad dynasty, which constituted conventional… Continue Reading