A U.S. general recently lamented that the United States has multiple policy goals in Syria, but it has not been able either to prioritize or deconflict them—that is a problem, as CSIS Middle East Program director Jon Alterman writes in a new commentary.
September 24, 2018
| Jon B. AltermanThe United States needs an Iran strategy. Similarly, Iran needs a U.S. strategy. Now, it feels like neither country has such a strategy as CSIS Middle East Program director Jon Alterman writes in a new commentary.
July 12, 2018
| Jon B. AltermanMiddle Eastern governments are commonly described as conservative and cautious, but conservatism and caution won’t do in an era in which the stakes are so high and the future is so uncertain.
June 13, 2018
| Jon B. AltermanThe United States not only has a unique opportunity to loom large in the region’s future, but doing so would also push others to share in the burdens. Failing to do so is not merely a missed opportunity. It would represent an expensive mistake.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis is fond of pointing out, “The enemy gets a vote.” However masterful a maneuver the United States executes, the impact depends on how the adversary responds, and not just on what the United States has done.
April 24, 2018
| Jon B. AltermanYemen’s challenges are difficult, but they are not intractable. The GCC states seem to have internalized that they cannot bomb their way to victory in Yemen, and they recently pledged massive support to UN humanitarian operations.
Almost a year into the Trump administration, there still isn’t much of a Syria strategy. Momentum has drifted away from the Geneva-based negotiations on Syria’s political future, which the United States has backed, and toward security-oriented negotiations in which...
A lot has changed in the Middle East and around the world in the last 15 years. A lot has happened in the United States as well. Reading President Trump’s new National Security Strategy, almost all of the emphasis is on the latter. The country would have been better served...