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Iran's New Revolutionary Moment
By Ilan Berman, Al-Hurra Digital, August 9, 2018
 

Thirteen years ago, as the Bush administration and its "freedom agenda" entered its second term in office, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman took the pulse of popular sentiment in Iran, and came away with some surprising conclusions. Iran, Friedman heard from Iranian expatriates and regime insiders, was the ultimate "red state," where the population did not share the ruling regime's hatred of the West and where people craved greater freedom and democracy.

 
Can Iran Wait Out Trump's Pressure Campaign?
By Lawrence J. Haas, The National Interest, August 8, 2018
 

U.S. foreign policy toward Iran is approaching a "back to the future" moment, with the Trump White House resurrecting the strategy pursued by President George W. Bush (and, for a while, President Barack Obama) of pressuring Iran economically into abandoning its nuclear pursuits.

 
U.S.-Turkish Relations In A Tailspin
By Ilan Berman, The Washington Times, August 8, 2018
 

It's official: U.S.-Turkish relations are in a tailspin.

The once-robust ties between Washington and Ankara have frayed considerably in recent years, riven by strategic issues like Turkey's growing strategic proximity to Russia and its cozy relationship with Islamist actors, as well as its increasingly conspiratorial, anti-American political discourse. But what may end up causing a lasting rupture between the two Cold War-era allies is an altogether different — and unexpected — issue: The fate of an American pastor named Andrew Brunson.

 
Russia's Patriotic Cinema
By Alexander Rojavin, The National Interest, August 6, 2018
 

It would be "cultural masochism" to support art critical of Russia. So says none other than Vladimir Medinsky, the Russian minister of culture. A trusted Putin loyalist and the author of a book series remarkable for its revisionist take on Russian history, Medinsky has spent his six years as Minister of Culture expanding the Ministry's control over all things artistic in the country.

 
Chinese and Russian Defense Innovation, with American Characteristics? Military Innovation, Commercial Technologies, and Great Power Competition
By Samuel Bendett and Elsa B. Kania, The Strategy Bridge, August 2, 2018
 

As great power rivalries intensify, China, Russia, and the United States are redoubling their pursuit of defense innovation in emerging technologies that could change the character, perhaps even the nature, of warfare. At present, U.S. primacy in innovation remains a critical, though contested, advantage. China is emerging as a scientific and technological powerhouse, while Russia is creatively pursuing asymmetric advantages. Since advances in these dual-use technologies, including robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), are emerging increasingly from the private sector, the capacity to integrate and leverage commercial technologies will be critical in this race for advantage.

 
Fight Against Terror Entering A New Phase, Still Just As Vital
By Ilan Berman and Chloe Thompson, USA Today, July 26, 2018
 

The war on terror now ranks as America's longest-running war. Yet, increasingly, the fight against terrorism has receded from the headlines, supplanted by acrimonious domestic politics and flashpoints like North Korea's nuclear program and trade disputes with China. Yet the war on terror still rages on — and the battlefield in that fight is changing significantly.

 
Here is How the Russian Military Is Organizing to Develop AI
By Samuel Bendett, Defense One, July 20, 2018
 

The Russian Ministry of Defense is pursuing artificial intelligence with an urgency that has only grown since Vladimir Putin’s “rule the world” speech in September. But after several years of watching American and Chinese researchers accumulate breakthroughs and funding, while Russia continues to lack a relevant high-tech culture, Ministry leaders have decided that if they can’t outspend their global competitors, perhaps they can out-organize them.

 
Lessons From A More Inspired Helsinki
By Lawrence J. Haas, The Hill, July 20, 2018
 
 
Syria And The Trump-Putin Parlay
By Ilan Berman, Al-Hurra Digital, July 13, 2018
 

On July 16th, President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in what is shaping up to be a highly anticipated – and highly controversial – bilateral summit. The meeting agenda is full of strategically vital topics, ranging from Russia's interference in the 2016 elections (and its anticipated meddling in the upcoming U.S. midterms this Fall) to the Kremlin's ongoing campaign of aggression against Ukraine. But as concerns the Middle East, the most important subject to be discussed by the two leaders is undoubtedly Syria.

 
The Economic Roots Of Iran's Unrest
By James S. Robbins, The National Interest, July 6, 2018
 

The fresh outbreaks of street protests in Tehran that have taken place in recent days raise the question of whether this will be just a temporary disturbance or a sign of more significant changes to come.

Last Monday, police in Tehran attacked protesters in front of Iran's parliament, and clashes were reported in other cities. These were reportedly the largest street protests since the ones in 2009 and 2012, and follow similar disturbances in late December and early January.

 
Optimizing America's Outreach Toward Iran
By Ilan Berman, The Washington Times, June 28, 2018
 

America's Iran policy is at a crossroads. In the wake of President Trump's recent decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal, his administration has unveiled a new, more muscular approach toward the Islamic Republic. That plan, announced publicly by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on May 21, has garnered extensive scrutiny for its pledge to reimpose economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic for its nuclear and ballistic missile work, and its vow to roll back Iran's extensive influence in Syria.

 
Russian Ground Battlefield Robots: A Candid Evaluation and Ways Forward
By Samuel Bendett, Mad Scientist Laboratory, June 25, 2018
 

Russia, like many other nations, is investing in the development of various unmanned military systems. The Russian defense establishment sees such systems as mission multipliers, highlighting two major advantages: saving soldiers’ lives and making military missions more effective. In this context, Russian developments are similar to those taking place around the world. Various militaries are fielding unmanned systems for surveillance, intelligence, logistics, or attack missions to make their forces or campaigns more effective. In fact, the Russian military has been successfully using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in training and combat since 2013. It has used them with great effect in Syria, where these UAVs flew more mission hours than manned aircraft in various Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) roles.

 
This Is Trump's Opportunity To Uncover The Iran-North Korea Connection
By James S. Robbins, The National Interest, June 8, 2018
 

Does the road to Tehran lead through Singapore? Hopes are high that next week's summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will begin a process leading to the total, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. But North Korea can also play a major role in the broader global effort against nuclear proliferation.

 
When It Comes To Iran, America Is Still Running The Show
By Lawrence J. Haas, The Hill, June 6, 2018
 

When President Trump announced last month that America would leave the global nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose U.S. sanctions, Europe's leaders vowed to create financial mechanisms that would enable their firms to do business with Tehran and protect them from U.S. financial retaliation.

 
New Report: Iran
By Ilan Berman, Tablet, May 31, 2018
 

Global outrage over last month’s peak to the so-called Great March of Return on the Gaza-Israel border was instant and understandable. Over 50 people died and hundreds more were injured on a single day. What happened was as viscerally unpleasant as civil strife gets. It was brutal.

 
New Report: Iran's Influence In Syria Far Broader Than Commonly Understood
By Ilan Berman, Tablet, May 31, 2018
 

Just how deep does Iran's influence run in Syria? After a half decade of overt and covert Iranian military assistance to the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Iranian regime is widely understood to be playing a key role in the Syrian theater. But, according to a new study from the Omran Center for Strategic Studies, an Istanbul-based think tank focused on the Syrian conflict, this backing is far broader than commonly understood, and encompasses not just military assistance but also an extensive web of economic and political contacts that are designed to give the Iranian regime a lasting presence on the territory of its top regional ally.

 
The Islamic State Attacks Indonesia - And Its 'Middle Way'
By Ilan Berman and James Clad, The Weekly Standard, May 30, 2018
 

Earlier this month, after experiencing a long hiatus from violent extremism, Indonesia succumbed anew to Islamist terrorism when a family of suicide bombers struck three different churches in the country's second-largest city, Surabaya. The coordinated attacks during Sunday services on May 13 killed at least 12. The following day, another family of extremists attacked Surabaya's police headquarters, wounding 10. The Islamic State immediately claimed responsibility for both attacks.

 
Uzbekistan's President Goes To Washington
By Ilan Berman, The National Interest, May 24, 2018
 

In official Washington, which is routinely awash in foreign dignitaries, it's all too easy to miss the comings and goings of world leaders. But even by the rather selective standards of the Beltway, last week's state visit of Uzbekistan's president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, was noteworthy because it provided policymakers with an authoritative glimpse into the momentous changes now taking place in Central Asia.

 
Scrapping Iran Deal Provides A Trump Card With North Korea
By Ilan Berman, The Hill, May 16, 2018
 

The political left is aghast over President Donald Trump's decision last week to abrogate the Iran nuclear deal. Among proponents of the 2015 agreement with Iran's ayatollahs engineered by the Obama White House, Trump's pullout was condemned as ill-advised for a host of reasons, not least because it complicates America's planned negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. After all, these critics argue, why would Pyongyang trust a Washington that doesn't honor its international obligations?

 
The End Of The JCPOA Era
By Ilan Berman, The Hill, May 10, 2018
 

It's official: the Iran nuclear deal is dead.

On May 8th, in a nationally televised address, President Trump announced that his administration was withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). By doing so, the White House has effectively killed the signature foreign policy achievement of the Obama era.