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Sinjar After ISIS: What The Peshmerga's All-Female Unit Can Do
By Christine Balling, Foreign Affairs, February 9, 2017
 

When I first met Captain Khatoon Ali Krdr, at a peshmerga military base near Dohuk, in Iraqi Kurdistan, last June, her all-female Yazidi peshmerga unit, the Hezi Roj, or "Sun Force," was weeks away from graduating from its first basic infantry training course, which involved military discipline, physical conditioning, and the handling of weaponry such as selective-fire rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. Khatoon had formed the Sun Force, the only all-female, all- Yazidi unit in the Kurdish peshmerga, in response to the horrors that the Islamic State (or ISIS) had inflicted on Sinjar, a majority-Yazidi district of Iraqi Kurdistan. In August 2014, ISIS had slaughtered over 5,000 Yazidi men in the district. And in Snuny, a town at the base of Mount Sinjar, where the Sun Force is currently deployed, ISIS had killed unknown numbers of Yazidi residents, dumping their bodies into mass graves before the peshmerga retook the town in 2015. 

 
How Trump Enables Democracy's Decline
By Lawrence Haas, U.S. News & World Report, February 8, 2017
 

President Donald Trump's unnerving failure to distinguish the free and democratic nation he leads from the autocratic and menacing Russia of strongman President Vladimir Putin has generated two notable sets of concerns - but the implications of Trump's rhetorical excesses expand far beyond current story lines. 

 
China's Aircraft Carriers: Full Steam Ahead?
By Jeff M. Smith, The Diplomat, February 7, 2017
 

I first visited Hainan Island six years ago, part of an annual exchange of delegations my think tank, the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC), has been conducting with China since 1994. Led by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers, the January 2011 delegation chose Hainan Island for the customary "second province" visit following the obligatory deluge of meetings in Beijing. 

 
Trump's Ukraine Dilemma
By Ilan Berman, U.S. News & World Report, February 6, 2017
 

What's behind the renewed fighting in Ukraine? Over the past week, the country's eastern Donbas region - which has been a hotbed of separatist activity since the start of military hostilities between Russia and Ukraine in early 2014 - has been rocked by new, and intense, clashes between the Ukrainian military and Russian-supported rebels. The violence has already ravaged Avdiivka, a Ukrainian town of some 20,000, and left international observers scrambling to re-impose some sort of ceasefire. The situation, in the words of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, is now "an emergency situation verging on a humanitarian disaster." 

 
Will Trump Fire Back At Iran?
By James S. Robbins, U.S. News & World Report, February 1, 2017
 

On Sunday, Iran reportedly test-fired a Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile from a test site near Semnan, 140 miles east of Tehran. Iran began production of what it calls the "high-precision" weapon in 2016. The missile flew 600 miles before detonating in what U.S. officials called a "failed test of a reentry vehicle." 

 
Trump's Troubling Retreat
By Lawrence J. Haas, U.S. News & World Report, January 24, 2017
 

At this historical turning point, with the free world hungry for renewed American leadership, President Donald Trump's foreboding inaugural address was as troubling for what it didn't say as what it did. It was the mirror image of John Kennedy's stirring address of 1961, which focused almost entirely on America's struggle to defend freedom around the world and mentioned domestic policy only in passing. More than half a century later, with America's global leadership just as vital and far more widely doubted, Trump focused overwhelmingly on domestic affairs, citing foreign policy only in passing. 

 
Peril In Peru: Islamist Terror Shifts South
By Ilan Berman, Foreign Affairs, January 19, 2017
 

It might just be the most important terrorism case you've never heard of. Last fall, prosecutors in the Peruvian capital of Lima launched formal legal proceedings against a 30-year-old alleged Hezbollah operative named Mohammed Hamdar. The trial, now underway, has major regional - indeed, global - implications for the fight against international terrorism. 

 
Move The Embassy
By Lawrence Haas, U.S. News & World Report, January 10, 2017
 

President-elect Donald Trump's promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem provides a timely opportunity for the new president to make a sharp break with President Barack Obama's unwise, unjustified and ultimately ineffective hostility toward America's closest ally in the turbulent Middle East. 

 
China's New Silk Road Is Getting Muddy
By Joshua Eisenman and Devin T. Stewart, Foreign Policy, January 9, 2017
 

 With the future of U.S.-China relations an open question for the incoming Donald Trump administration, many have focused on whether the president-elect's promise to withdraw from negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will enhance Beijing's growing influence in East Asia. But rather than hand-wringing over TPP's ignominious failure, Asia watchers should turn their attention to China's unprecedented $1 trillion strategic gambit: the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, aka "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR). Launched in 2013 as President Xi Jinping's signature initiative, OBOR holds great promise, as well as potential pitfalls, for both China and its neighbors. 

 
Trump's Arsenal Against Iran
By Ilan Berman, USA Today, December 29, 2016
 

What will the new president do about Iran? 

While still on the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump railed repeatedly against President Obama's "disastrous" nuclear deal with Iran. He pledged to tear up the agreement, or at least amend it substantially, as one of his first acts in office. Yet, for a host of reasons, the nuclear pact concluded between the Iran and the P5+1 powers (the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, France and Germany) last summer is likely to prove more resilient than either the president-elect or his advisers hope.