Markaz

  • Markaz

    Afghanistan after the drawdown

    A NATO soldier stands at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan June 30, 2015.

    Afghanistan was once the poster child for the war on terrorism but, almost 15 years after the fall of the Taliban, many Americans see it as yet another failed intervention in the greater Middle East. However, Stephen Watts and Sean Mann of RAND argue that the glass is half full. The United States and its allies have achieved several notable successes and can, for a modest investment, preserve some of the gains made in Afghanistan and keep the door open for even greater long-term success there.


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    Saudi Arabia field report: Another potential oil crisis in the Middle East

    A vehicle drives past workers near power plant number 10 at Saudi Electricity Company's Central Operation Area

    Yukari Hino writes about why Saudi Arabia's status as the biggest oil exporter in the world may be threatened as a result of domestic oil consumption.

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    Experts weigh in (part 4): Can the United States counter ISIS propaganda?

    Member of Iraqi security forces holds ISIS flag

    Charlie Winter writes that states in the coalition against the ISIS are structurally impaired from competing with Islamic State propaganda, which strategically offers different narratives to diverse audiences. Thus, efforts to counter the terrorist group’s messaging should come from NGO’s, independent activists, and civil society organizations, in addition to governments.

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    Iraq, Afghanistan, and the U.S. military’s morale “crisis”

    A U.S. serviceman holds up a U.S. flag during a Memorial Day ceremony at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in the Manhattan borough New York May 25, 2015

    Polls, studies, and the increasing frequency of suicide and drug abuse suggest that the U.S. Army and the military as a whole may be an institution in crisis. Raphael Cohen questions this perception, explaining that while the U.S. military has real problems, some are exaggerated and several are even improving. Cohen argues morale problems stem in part from concerns over the military’s accomplishments. The challenges faced in Iraq and Afghanistan have led some troops to question what their sacrifices have achieved.

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    New politics of religion and gender in Israel

    Tamara Cofman Wittes speaking at Brookings panel on religion and gender in Israel

    As part of a new research initiative examining important changes in Israel’s politics and society, on June 18, the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted a groundbreaking discussion exploring religion, politics, and gender in contemporary Israeli society. 

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    Experts weigh in (part 3): Can the United States counter ISIS propaganda?

    A member of militias known as Hashid Shaabi stands next to a wall painted with the black flag commonly used by Islamic State militants, in the town of al-Alam (REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani).

    Kamran Bokhari outlines two separate understandings of the idea of a counter narrative: some understand it as advancing an interpretation of Islam that could delegitimize jihadism, for others it should expose the fallacies of the geopolitical analyses and claims of the Islamic State. He argues it is very difficult to separate the religion from the politics in ISIS’ narrative, and thus countering their messaging poses significant challenges for the U.S. government.  Read More

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    A rare bipartisan consensus on the Iran nuclear negotiations

    Negotiators of Iran and six world powers face each other at a table in the historic basement of Palais Coburg hotel in Vienna on April 24, 2015, days before the announcement of a political framework for a final deal.

    A statement on the Iran nuclear negotiations issued earlier this week by a diverse, bipartisan group of experts and former U.S. officials has received considerable attention. Robert Einhorn explains why he joined colleagues in signing the letter and highlights its consistency with the Obama administration's approach and its reasonable and achievable recommendations for crafting an agreement that serves U.S. interests as well as those of American allies and partners in the Middle East.

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    Jihad in Ramadan: Terror attacks in Kuwait, Tunisia, and France as ISIS launches a new Syrian offensive

    Paramedics rush a victim of a suicide bomb attack on a Shia mosque to the hospital in Kuwait City on June 26, 2015.

    Charles Lister examines the latest terrorist attacks in Kuwait, Tunisia, and France in the context of a new offensive launched by the so-called Islamic State on the Syrian city of Hasakah.  Read More

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    Iranian breakout timelines in a comprehensive deal

    The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flies in front of its headquarters in Vienna, Austria

    Whether the possibility of a rapid Iranian nuclear breakout with one bomb’s worth of nuclear material is realistic, Richard Nephew writes that it is the metric of merit in today’s debate. Nephew argues that a deal along the lines of what was outlined by the U.S. Factsheet on April 2, 2015, is technically feasible and a material improvement over the status quo— and certainly over the scenario of a breakdown of talks and the Joint Plan of Action.

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    From Putin to Paris: Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman busy solidifying Saudi friendships

    REUTERS/Charles Platiau - French President Francois Hollande (R) greets Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman upon his arrival at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 24, 2015.

    Bruce Riedel writes about Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince's travels to Russia and France, and why these visits underscore the critical role Mohammed bin Salman plays in his father's cabinet.

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