Unhappy Iraq, Buffeted from Within and Without

Haidar al-Abadi (Shutterstock)

by Paul R. Pillar Syria is getting most of the attention these days as a Middle Eastern cockpit of competition among outside powers, with one of the latest moves being the Trump administration’s indefinite extension of the U.S. military presence… Continue Reading  

Why Iran Prefers the Eastern Bloc Over the West

Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey

by Seyed Hossein Mousavian As the military phase of the Syrian conflict reaches its final stages, the leaders of Russia, Iran, and Turkey met in Tehran on September 9 and reiterated in a joint statement that a political solution to… Continue Reading  

An Unending U.S. War in Syria

James Jeffrey (Hudson Institute via Flickr)

by Paul R. Pillar Amid a week of attention-grabbing drama about the dysfunction of Donald Trump’s presidency, it almost escaped notice that his administration is putting U.S. troops in harm’s way in a foreign war for a new purpose—a purpose… Continue Reading  

Counterproductive Counterterrorism in Afghanistan and Yemen

A U.S. soldier and an Afghan tactical air controller. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins

by Paul R. Pillar Fighting terrorism has been the most commonly invoked rationale for U.S. involvement in overseas military conflicts during the past two decades. But much of that involvement has sustained and strengthened, rather than weakened, international terrorism. Recent… Continue Reading  

The Legacy of Infinite War

Army Lt. Gen. Austin S. Miller testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee

by Nick Turse Raids by U.S. commandos in Afghanistan. (I could be talking about 2001 or 2018.) A U.S. drone strike in Yemen. (I could be talking about 2002 or 2018.) Missions by Green Berets in Iraq. (I could be talking about 2003 or 2018.) While so much about… Continue Reading