Pompeo Casts International Law Aside On Israeli Settlement Policy

By Helena Cobban On November 18, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States no longer judges the settlements Israel has established in the occupied West Bank to be illegal. Under international law, that announcement—like the Trump administration’s… Continue Reading  

Can the Turkey-Russia Agreement Help Syrians End Their Civil War?

By Helena Cobban The United Nations’ Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, recently expressed confidence that the Syrian Constitutional Committee (SCC), a key gathering of representatives of the country’s government, opposition, and civil society, can convene as planned in Geneva,… Continue Reading  

Mutual Deterrence: Good for the Middle East, Bad for the Nuclear Weapons Industry?

by Helena Cobban Over the past three-plus months it has become increasingly clear that, despite the bombast that Pres. Donald Trump has hurled against the Islamic Republic of Iran (along with a full deck of extremely harmful sanctions and some… Continue Reading  

The Emperor’s New-Old Nuclear Clothes

by Helena Cobban How is it still possible to write a lengthy article about the military/strategic dynamic among the triad of Israel, Iran, and the United States while making zero mention of Israel’s robust nuclear-weapons capability? New York Times staffers… Continue Reading  

Hizbullah Reminds Israel of Its Power

by Helena Cobban On September 1, Hizbullah fighters on Lebanon’s border with Israel fired two precision-guided missiles over the border, apparently hitting an Israeli “Wolf” armored personnel carrier (APC) and inflicting casualties of unknown severity on its occupants (see below).… Continue Reading