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...
There isn’t a number system in the world in which three is greater than 73. And yet, in Syria, an alliance of three governments has run circles around an alliance of 73, imposing its order on a violent and chaotic situation.
To many leaders in the Middle East, the Trump administration is a breath of fresh air. The president’s statements about battling extremism and reinforcing the status quo, and his general disinterest in the region’s domestic conditions, are a huge relief after President...
We don’t know much about what was said when U.S. President Donald Trump sat across from Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit on July 7, but we do know they talked a lot about the Middle East. By his own account, Trump told Putin,