America’s Mixed Messages

by Karen J. Greenberg I grew up in New London, Connecticut, watching many a military ship float by my window. New London was home to the Coast Guard Academy and sat across the river from a U.S. Navy submarine base.… Continue Reading  

Will the United States Ever Think Seriously About the Middle East?

by Robert E. Hunter Troops to depart suddenly from Syria. Troop strength in Afghanistan to be halved. James Mattis to resign as Secretary of Defense. Last week was a week of turmoil that likely presages worse to come. But is… 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  

Avoiding a Free-for-all in Syria’s North East

by International Crisis Group What’s new? President Trump’s surprise decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria followed previous warnings that he justified their presence only as part of the campaign to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS). Trump said the mission… Continue Reading  

Game Over in Rojava?

by Walter Posch Donald Trump’s decision to order U.S. troops to leave Syria comes as a surprise. A year ago, experts would have counted the days until the Pentagon quit its unnatural alliance with the Syrian branch of the PKK—a… Continue Reading