Trump’s Kurdish Fumble: What’s in it for Putin?

by Mark N. Katz It is commonplace to observe that U.S. missteps in the Middle East will end up benefiting Moscow. Often, though, these observations are either mistaken or exaggerated. What is described as a misstep may only be a… Continue Reading  

The Shortsighted Debate on Syria

by Paul R. Pillar President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the border region in northeast Syria is exceptionally rare in drawing fire from Republicans at least as much as from Democrats who oppose him on a multitude of… Continue Reading  

If At First You Don’t Succeed

by Derek Davison On December 14, 2018, Donald Trump spoken by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Though U.S.-Turkish relations have been strained in recent years over disagreements around the war in Syria and Turkey’s increasing closeness with Russia,… Continue Reading  

Various Players Maneuver for an Uncertain Future in Syria

by Gregory Aftandilian Although uncertainties abound regarding the future of Syria, various players are maneuvering to consolidate and enhance their positions there, or at least to hedge their bets. Alliances such as those between Iran and Russia now appear to… Continue Reading  

After Trump’s Syria Announcement, YPG Looks to Moscow and Damascus

by Giorgio Cafiero When a plethora of state and non-state actors were collaborating in the struggle against the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) in Syria during the so-called caliphate’s peak, the dominant Kurdish force—the People’s Protection Units (YPG)—cooperated with both… Continue Reading