Trump’s Doomed Quest for a Middle East Strategic Alliance

Mike Pompeo with the UAE's  Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (State Department via Flickr)

by Daniel Brumberg American efforts to foster Middle East alliances have long run into roadblocks, not least of which is the clashing interests of the region’s key states. The animating logic of any alliance is that states will subordinate their… Continue Reading  

Iran’s Hardliners and Reformists and the Syria Gambit

Javad Zarif and Hassan Rouhani (Wikimedia Commons)

by Daniel Brumberg In Iran, domestic and foreign policies are mutually inclusive. Domestic maneuvering to either restrict or open the political arena shapes Iran’s regional and global diplomacy just as much as Iran’s engagement beyond its borders shapes the balance… Continue Reading  

Trump’s Syria Announcement Underscores U.S. Policy Meltdown

Donald Trump (Shutterstock.com)

by Daniel Brumberg President Donald Trump’s sudden decision to pull 2,000 US troops out of northern Syria has shocked US policymakers and political leaders across the political spectrum, not to mention Washington’s western allies. Thus far, there has been little… Continue Reading  

U.S. Economic Warfare and Iran’s Politics of Muddling Through

Hassan Rouhani (Wikimedia Commons)

by Daniel Brumberg It is too early to gauge the overall economic consequences for Iran of the Trump administration’ re-imposition of oil-related sanctions. Their full impact will partly depend on the ability of the European Union (EU), China, Russia, India,… Continue Reading  

U.S. Syria Policy Is a Strategic Failure

Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan (vector_brothers via Shutterstock)

by Daniel Brumberg U.S. policy toward Syria pivots around vague and potentially incompatible goals that are not linked to adequate means. The White House wants to insure the permanent destruction of the Islamic State (ISIS or IS), expel Iranian and… Continue Reading