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The Persian Night
By James S. Robbins, New York Post, December 7, 2008

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has three phobias," according to Iranian expatriate journalist Amir Taheri. "Women, Jews and America." Forget bombs. Maybe we should send in Barbra Streisand.

American Carrots For Syrian Sticks?
By Matthew RJ Brodsky, Jerusalem Post, November 26, 2008

As the president-elect begins to weigh the carrots and sticks he can employ when dealing with the Middle East, he will run into the question of how to handle Syria. Bashar Assad was the first to reach out with a telegram to Barack Obama on November 7 that "expressed hope for constructive dialogue so that the difficulties can be overcome which have hampered the advance of peace, stability and progress in the Middle East."

Iran's Economic Dire Straits
By Ilan Berman,, November 19, 2008

What should the next administration do about Iran? During the 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. Barack Obama advocated the need for direct negotiations as a way of addressing the Iranian regime's persistent nuclear ambitions. And since his electoral victory, the president-elect has given every indication that he intends to initiate a diplomatic dialogue with Tehran after he assumes office on Jan. 20.

The Presidential Test Has Begun
By James S. Robbins, Washington Times, November 13, 2008

During the presidential campaign Vice President-elect Joe Biden predicted, "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy." This wasn't just another gratuitous allusion to the impending Camelot 2.0, but an apt comparison. A new, young president is a standing temptation to foreign powers seeking to find his limits.

Will Georgian Anniversary Bring Renewed Political Violence?
By E. Wayne Merry, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Newsline, November 7, 2008

November 7 marks the first anniversary of the Georgian government's use of force to break up peaceful opposition demonstrations in the heart of Tbilisi. Opposition groups have announced renewed public action against President Mikheil Saakashvili on that date, with the added objective of bringing him to account for his disastrous military confrontation with Russia in August. Georgia's image in the West as a developing democracy will be influenced by the ability of the government and the opposition to mark this anniversary in a peaceful manner.

Chill Wind Blows Over Claims To Arctic Lands
By Ilan Berman, Jane's Defense Weekly, October 22, 2008

Give the Kremlin credit for ambition. Just weeks after its invasion of Georgia ignited a major conflict in the Caucasus and dramatically altered the status quo in the 'post-Soviet space', the Russian government appears to have set its sights on another strategic prize.

Holding The Line On Iran
By Ilan Berman, The American Spectator, October 15, 2008

 These must be heady days for Iran’s ayatollahs. Just a year ago, American efforts to contain and isolate the Islamic Republic seemed to be gathering steam. A third UN Security Council resolution censuring Iran for its nuclear advances was on the horizon, and the Bush administration could claim headway on the creation of a regional coalition of Sunni Arab states to counteract Iran’s growing clout. Today, however, things are very different. Western efforts to control and contain the Islamic Republic have clearly faltered, while Iran’s march toward the bomb gives every indication of having accelerated.

North Korea Wins Again
By James S. Robbins, National Review Online, October 14, 2008

 Over the past few years we have been witnessing the slow rolling defeat of the United States at the hands of North Korea. In the past six years this charter member of the Axis of Evil, a country with a nominal GDP slightly less than Aruba — and GDP per capita one-thirteenth that of the island paradise — has gone from being an isolated remnant of Stalinist political theory in action to joining the nuclear club and becoming a major weapons-of-mass-destruction proliferator. This took place while the United States asserted that North Korea should not, must not, will not be allowed to go nuclear, but obviously could not figure out how to get the North to cooperate.

How To Think About The Iranian Bomb
By Ilan Berman, The Journal of International Security Affairs, October 13, 2008

When he takes office on January 20th, 2009, the next President of the United States will have to contend with a range of pressing issues, from a global economic slowdown to soaring energy prices and a domestic housing market in crisis. On the foreign policy front, however, none will be as urgent as dealing with the persistent nuclear ambitions of the Islamic Republic of Iran. How the United States responds to Iran’s atomic drive will, to a large extent, dictate the shape of American strategy toward the greater Middle East for the foreseeable future. 

9/11 + 7
By James S. Robbins, National Review Online, September 11, 2008

It is now seven years after 9/11. The attack designed to change the world has done so, but not in ways its planners predicted, or any Americans anticipated. The United States had been on autopilot in the 1990s, expecting the world to evolve on its own, believing that progress would arrive as the result of historic forces that required no leadership, demanded no sacrifice. But nature abhors a vacuum, and into the void stepped a small group of ultra-violent radicals with a program of their own. Through a combination of methodical planning, strategic audaciousness and a bit of luck, they pulled off an attack that brought about the new world in a matter of hours.