International Crisis Group last updated: May 20, 2019
A series of escalations in both word and deed have raised fears of U.S.-Iranian military confrontation, either direct or by proxy. It is urgent that cooler heads prevail – in European capitals as in Tehran and Washington – to head off the threat of a disastrous war.
Mark N. Katz last updated: May 17, 2019
Vladimir Putin excels at taking advantage of mistakes made by Russia’s adversaries to further his country’s interests. Donald Trump’s Iran policy has given Putin plenty of opportunity to do that.
Ben Armbruster last updated: May 11, 2019
The Trump administration’s claims about purported Iranian threats have been repeated by credulous reporters and TV news programs far and wide.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 7, 2019
This is the cartoon that the international edition of the New York Times should have run, at least as regards U.S. policy toward Iran.
Imad K. Harb last updated: April 30, 2019
The assault on Tripoli by Khalifa Haftar, Libya’s renegade general and leader of the self-anointed Libyan National Army (LNA), has forced an indefinite postponement of key UN peace efforts in the country even as the Trump White House announced that the president recognized Haftar’s “important” role in fighting terrorists.
John Feffer last updated: April 26, 2019
With all eyes focused these days on Donald Trump and his myriad crimes, John Bolton’s speeches are a reminder that even worse options are waiting in the wings.
Mitchell Plitnick i last updated: April 22, 2019
Advocates of cutting U.S. aid to Israel rather than using it as leverage must understand how this aid works, how big a challenge it represents for advocacy, and how to make a potentially successful argument against it.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: April 11, 2019
The new government will, once again, be the most right wing in Israel’s history. But this time, the length of the new government’s tenure will depend more on Netanyahu’s legal troubles than on the political dynamics of the coalition.
Right Web last updated: April 5, 2019
Given such a dismal U.S. record on non-proliferation, why should North Korea trust U.S. promises of future sanctions relief and security guarantees in exchange for denuclearization? If anything, the case of the JCPOA has demonstrated that regardless of its pledges the United States can reinstate sanctions and even bully private multinational companies to divest from Iran.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: March 31, 2019
As Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi crown prince and de facto ruler Mohammad bin Salman clamor for a war against Iran, they seem to have conveniently forgotten the destruction and mayhem wrought by the American invasion of Iraq 16 years ago.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: March 23, 2019
President Trump’s announcement that he would recognise Israeli sovereignty over the western part of the Golan Heights destroys the negotiating basis for any future peace between Israel and Syria. It also lays the groundwork for a return to a world without territorial integrity for smaller, weaker countries.
Ben Armbruster last updated: March 14, 2019
The Senate on Wednesday passed a measure mandating the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Saudi/UAE-led war against Houthi rebels in Yemen. The vote marks the first time since the War Powers Act of 1973 became law that both chambers of Congress have directed the president to withdraw American forces from a conflict.
James M. Dorsey last updated: March 12, 2019
The Trump administration’s failed “maximum pressure” approach to Iran and North Korea begs the question what the US president’s true objectives are and what options he is left with should the policy ultimately fail.
Mitchell Plitnick i last updated: March 6, 2019
In the United States, it’s possible to debate any and every policy, domestic and foreign, except for unquestioning support for Israel. That, apparently, is Ilhan Omar’s chief sin.
Akbar Ahmed and Lawrence Wilkerson last updated: March 5, 2019
While Michael Cohen mesmerized the House of Representatives and President Trump resumed his love affair with North Korea’s Kim Jong, one of the most dangerous state-to-state confrontations, centering in Kashmir, began to spiral out of control.
Farhang Jahanpour last updated: March 3, 2019
The Trump administration’s irresponsible withdrawal from the landmark Iran nuclear agreement undermined Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and emboldened hardliners who accused him of having been deceived by Washington while negotiating the agreement. However, the Iranian government could use the shock of Zarif’s resignation to push back against hardliners and take charge of both the domestic and foreign affairs of the country while Iran’s foreign opponents should consider the risks of destabilizing the government under the current critical situation.
Peter Jenkins last updated: February 28, 2019
Europe can play an important role in rebuilding confidence in the non-proliferation regime in the wake of the demise of the INF treaty, including by making it clear to the Trump administration that it wants the United States to refrain from deploying INF-banned missiles in Europe and to consider a NATO-Russian joint declaration on non-first deployment.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: February 24, 2019
The decline in Israel’s appeal to Democrats is directly related to the wider awareness of the country’s increasingly authoritarian nature, its treatment of Palestinians, and its reluctance to take substantive steps toward peace. Pro-Israel liberals face a fundamental paradox trying to reconcile Israel’s illiberalism with their political values.
Lawrence Wilkerson last updated: February 19, 2019
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s dramatic incompetence as the number-one U.S. diplomat is killing this country, session by session, moment by moment, inept word by inept word.
Kourosh Ziabari last updated: February 12, 2019
François Nicoullaud, the former French ambassador to Iran, discusses the ups and downs of Iran-France relations and the new US sanctions.
Daniel Brumberg last updated: February 9, 2019
Effective alliances require that powerful states shoulder a far larger share of the alliance maintenance costs than other states, a premise that Donald Trump rejects.
Robert E. Hunter last updated: February 5, 2019
The new imbroglio over the INF treaty does not mean a revival of the old Cold War practice of nuclear deterrence. However, it does reveal the inability of the West and Russia to find a way to deal with the latter’s inevitable return to the ranks of major powers, a need that was obvious even at the time the USSR collapsed.
Mandy Smithberger and William D. Hartung last updated: January 29, 2019
As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump appeared to recognize the obvious problem of the revolving door. But as the appointment of Patrick Shanahan, who spent 30 years at Boeing, as the Trump administration’s acting secretary of defense reveals, little has changed. America is indeed great again, if you happen to be one of those lucky enough to be moving back and forth between plum jobs in the Pentagon and the weapons industry.
Jim Lobe and Ben Armbruster last updated: January 25, 2019
Domestic troubles, declining popularity, and a decidedly hawkish anti-Iran foreign policy team may combine to make the perfect storm that pushes Donald Trump to pull the United States into a new war in the Middle East.
International Crisis Group last updated: January 21, 2019
The same calculus that brought Iran and world powers to make a deal and has led remaining JCPOA signatories to preserve it without the U.S. still holds: the alternatives to this agreement – a race between sanctions and centrifuges that could culminate in Iran obtaining the bomb or being bombed – would be much worse.
John Feffer last updated: January 18, 2019
With Bolton and Pompeo by his side and Mattis departed, Trump may well go with his gut and attack Iran militarily. He’ll be encouraged in this delusion by Israel and Saudi Arabia. He’ll of course be looking for some way to distract the media and the American public. And he won’t care about the consequences.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: January 16, 2019
When will Mike Pompeo realize that his ideological proclivities against Iran and disregard for people’s desire to live freely and in dignity are no substitute for regional progress?
James J. Zogby last updated: January 12, 2019
As this past week began, with the shutdown of parts of the US government entering its third week, Republicans, desperate to force the Democrat’s hand, decided to play the “Israel card.” The effort failed.
Ben Armbruster last updated: January 8, 2019
National Security Advisor John Bolton is bringing reinforcements into the White House to bolster his push for war with Iran.
Daniel Brumberg last updated: January 3, 2019
President Donald Trump’s sudden decision to pull troops out of Syria has given hardliners reason to celebrate, even as they prepare for the next battle with what they believe are US-supported jihadist forces.
Lawrence S. Wittner last updated: December 28, 2018
Although a widespread movement has developed to fight climate change, no counterpart has emerged to take on the rising danger of nuclear disaster — yet.
Mitchell Plitnick i last updated: December 27, 2018
Had Washington made an effort after the last time President Trump promised to quit Syria to pursue diplomatic and military channels and prepare the ground for a U.S. departure, we have had something to celebrate.
James J. Zogby last updated: December 22, 2018
U.S. supporters of Israel are in a bind: public opinion is changing; there are more actors publicly challenging Israel; and the crude, heavy-handed tactics they have successfully used in the past to silence criticism now only aggravate the situation.
Eli Clifton last updated: December 10, 2018
As the civilian death toll from Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen grows and the backlash against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in Khashoggi’s murder escalates, former Sen. Norm Coleman’s control of Republican Party campaign purse strings positions him as a key influencer of Republican congressional action, or inaction, in curtailing the increasingly aggressive and reckless actions of Saudi Arabia.
Derek Davison last updated: December 7, 2018
Increasingly, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are positioned as rivals, each with pretensions to Middle Eastern influence or even hegemony. It’s not clear whether they can continue to coexist without one or the other—or both—backing down. This has made it more difficult for the United States to maintain its ties with both countries.
Andrew Bacevich last updated: November 30, 2018
What does President Trump’s recent nomination of retired Army General John Abizaid to become the next U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia signify? Next to nothing — and arguably quite a lot.
PAUL PILLAR last updated: November 27, 2018
The Donald Trump administration’s handling of nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia promises to lay bare some realities about security issues and nuclear programs in that part of the world that the administration has refused to acknowledge.
Miriam Pemberton last updated: November 21, 2018
Eminent U.S. foreign policy expert Stephen Walt’s new book critique’s the “liberal hegemony” grand strategy that has dominated U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.
Eli Clifton last updated: November 20, 2018
(Lobelog) Retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told LobeLog he will remain on the board of the Gatestone Institute, a right-wing think tank that receives money from Trump megadonors Robert and Rebekah Mercer and disseminates anti-Muslim and anti-refugee conspiracy theories. Last week, LobeLog reported that Dershowitz received $120,000 from the Gatestone Institute in 2017 and…
William D. Hartung last updated: October 17, 2018
Jobs should not be an excuse to arm a murderous regime that not only appears to be behind the assassination of a U.S. resident and respected commentator but is also responsible for thousands of civilian casualties in Yemen—the majority killed with U.S-supplied bombs, combat aircraft, and tactical assistance.
Daniel Brumberg last updated: October 11, 2018
The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.
James J. Zogby last updated: October 8, 2018
While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism.
Danny Sjursen last updated: October 2, 2018
Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.
Andrew Bacevich last updated: September 17, 2018
Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi and Nader Entessar last updated: September 12, 2018
The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.
Mike Lofgren last updated: September 10, 2018
In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.
Eric Eikenberry last updated: September 2, 2018
Soon after a Saudi-led coalition strike on a bus killed 40 children on August 9, a CENTCOM spokesperson stated to Vox, “We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the U.S. sold to them.”
William D. Hartung last updated: September 1, 2018
The Trump administration’s massive sales of tanks, helicopters, and fighter aircraft are indeed a grim wonder of the modern world and never receive the attention they truly deserve. However, a potentially deadlier aspect of the U.S. weapons trade receives even less attention than the sale of big-ticket items: the export of firearms, ammunition, and related equipment.
David Isenberg last updated: September 1, 2018
For the past few decades the vast majority of private security companies like Blackwater and DynCorp operating internationally have come from a relatively small number of countries: the United States, Great Britain and other European countries, and Russia. But that seeming monopoly is opening up to new players, like DeWe Group, China Security and Protection Group, and Huaxin Zhongan Group. What they all have in common is that they are from China.
James Watt last updated: August 13, 2018
The West has dominated the post-war narrative with its doctrine of liberal values, arguing that not only were they right in themselves but that economic success itself depended on their application. Two developments have challenged those claims. The first was the West’s own betrayal of its principles: on too many occasions the self interest of the powerful, and disdain for the victims of collateral damage, has showed through. The second dates from more recently: the growth of Chinese capitalism owes nothing to a democratic system of government, let alone liberal values.
Arnold R. Isaacs last updated: August 10, 2018
Falsely demonizing all Muslims, their beliefs, and their institutions is exactly the wrong way to make Americans safer, because the more we scare ourselves with imaginary enemies, the harder it will be to find and protect ourselves from real ones.
John Feffer last updated: August 8, 2018
Division in the ranks of the conservative movement is a critical sign that a war with Iran isn’t inevitable.
Conn Hallinan last updated: August 3, 2018
Donald Trump stole the headlines, but the declaration from the recent NATO summit suggests the odds of an unnecessary conflict are rising. Instead of inviting a dialogue, the document boasts that the Alliance has “suspended all practical civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia.” The fact is, NATO was a child of the Cold War, when the West believed that the Soviets were a threat. But Russia today is not the Soviet Union, and there’s no way Moscow would be stupid enough to attack a superior military force.
William D. Hartung last updated: July 31, 2018
War with Iran may not be imminent, but neither was war with Iraq in late 2001.
Paul Pillar last updated: July 28, 2018
Donald Trump was one of the many bets the Russians routinely place, recognizing that while most such bets will never pay off a few will, often in unpredictable ways. Trump’s actions since taking office provide the strongest evidence that this one bet is paying off handsomely for the Russians. Putin could hardly have made the script for Trump’s conduct at the recent NATO meeting any more to his liking—and any better designed to foment division and distrust within the Western alliance—than the way Trump actually behaved.
Rebecca Gordon last updated: July 25, 2018
With President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talking openly about a possible “escalation between us and the Iranians,” there is a real risk that some combination of the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia could initiate a war with Iran. If there’s one lesson to be learned from U.S. wars since 9/11, it’s “don’t start another one.”
Esfandyar Batmanghelidj last updated: July 22, 2018
The former Kansas congressman and now Secretary of State in the Trump administration once told his constituents in Wichita, “The threat to America is from people who deeply believe that Islam is the way and the light and the only answer.” In this conception, if totalitarianism or terrorism is the content of the Iranian policy, then the Islamic Republic is its enabling form.
Brian D’Haeseleer last updated: July 21, 2018
President Trump reporteldy has spent a considerable amount of time advocating a U.S. invasion of Venezuela. If Trump and his foreign policy advisers meticulously scrutinized the past, an unlikely event, they might realize that military interventions largely yield negative long-term consequences.
John Feffer last updated: July 19, 2018
Contrary to popular opinion, President Trump is attacking Europe and siding with Russia for political — not just personal — reasons. If the crisis in transatlantic relations were just about trade, it could be handled by some hardnosed negotiating. If the disputes with the EU and NATO were simply about Trump’s disruptive style, then everything could be resolved by a regime change at the polls in 2020. But Trump has launched a much larger, ideological assault on European institutions and values. What’s worse: It’s part of the same attack on liberal values here in the United States.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: July 17, 2018
The Irish Senate passed a bill last week that would criminalize doing any business, in goods or services, with Israeli settlements. As with most legislation that concerns Israeli settlement activity, the bill is already highly controversial. Supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement have hailed it as a great victory while the usual suspects in and outside of Israel have leveled baseless accusations of anti-Semitism at Ireland and made disingenuous arguments to oppose any action against Israel’s blatantly illegal settlement program.
Diana Ohlbaum last updated: July 15, 2018
Since the secretary of defense, secretary of state, White House chief of staff, national security advisor, and director of national intelligence have been unwilling or unable to convince President Trump to faithfully defend the interests of the United States, they are in violation of their own oaths. It is time for them all to resign.
Robert Hunter last updated: July 9, 2018
Backing away from US global responsibilities, shared with other countries, would require not just that President Trump use the powers conferred on the presidency. It would also have to be fully backed by Congress and the US private and non-governmental sectors across the board. In the unimaginable event that such support would be forthcoming, Trump would bring down America’s whole economic, social, and national security house of cards.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: July 1, 2018
The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: June 14, 2018
A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.
Arnold R. Isaacs last updated: June 13, 2018
Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.
Daniel Brumberg last updated: June 10, 2018
The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.
Andrew J. Bacevich last updated: June 8, 2018
Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.
Nick Turse last updated: June 2, 2018
To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.
James J. Zogby last updated: June 1, 2018
The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.
Conn Hallinan last updated: May 30, 2018
Are new U.S. sanctions designed to produce a “better” Iran nuclear deal or to justify going to war?
Shemuel Meir last updated: May 25, 2018
Israel, which is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is paradoxically among the principal beneficiaries of the Iran deal, which has blocked a new candidate’s (Iran) access to the regional nuclear club, lifted an existential threat off its neck, and prevented a domino effect of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Israel could lose all of these if the move to terminate the JCPOA is successful.
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi last updated: May 21, 2018
The US is suffering from the delusions of a hegemonic power that can no longer impose its will on other nations yet refuses to acknowledge the new reality. It has now manufactured another unnecessary, destructive, and imprudent crisis with Iran, which is bound to bring a future clash between US and Iran to the detriment of world peace.
David Isenberg last updated: May 21, 2018
Significant numbers of military combat operations across the globe are being outsourced to the private sector with little accountability, including in Syria where both Russia and the United States have put contractors to war.
Paul Pillar last updated: May 20, 2018
Among the many disturbing images from the ceremony redesignating a U.S. consulate building in Jerusalem as the new U.S. embassy was the participation of two bigoted American preachers, Robert Jeffress and John Hagee, which reveals just how far removed the issue has become from any presumed effort to provide succor or shelter to a historically persecuted religious minority. Only dogma and raw power remain.
Tom Engelhardt last updated: May 19, 2018
The costs of America’s “war on terror,” still spreading in the Trump era, are incalculable. Just look at photos of the cities of Ramadi or Mosul in Iraq, Raqqa or Aleppo in Syria, Sirte in Libya, or Marawi in the southern Philippines, all in ruins in the wake of the conflicts Washington set off in the post–9/11 years, and try to put a price on them. That number is not included in the $5.6 trillion that the “Costs of War Project” at Brown University’s Watson Institute estimates has been spent since September 12, 2001.
John Feffer last updated: May 18, 2018
President Trump is a very powerful boat with no rudder. Unfortunately, John Bolton is now his rudder. Which effectively means, when it comes to foreign policy, that it’s Bolton’s administration now.
Dan Sisken last updated: May 16, 2018
Given the chaotic policymaking process in the White House, Iran policy will likely be implemented in an ad hoc fashion subject to the interplay between President Trump’s continued incoherence and a drive toward confrontation pushed primarily by John Bolton.
Eli Clifton last updated: May 9, 2018
Donald Trump and the GOP are deeply indebted to anti-Iran deal billionaires who aren’t afraid to advocate for policies that push the country closer to another war in the Middle East.
Right Web last updated: May 9, 2018
Lobelog President Trump’s decision to violate and withdraw from the Iran anti-nuclear deal is one of the most dangerous foreign policy blunders in recent memory, setting the stage for a war that one analyst has noted could “make the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts look like a walk in the park.” The decision to go…
Camille Lons last updated: May 7, 2018
Oman has been careful to maintain strong relations with Iran despite the escalating anti-Iran rhetoric amongst its Gulf neighbours.
Danny Sjursen last updated: May 4, 2018
Contrary to popular opinion, the Corker-Kaine bill, ostensibly aimed at reining in executive authority to wage war, would rubber stamp the president’s authority to continue ongoing shooting wars in at least seven countries and provide a mechanism for the president to declare nearly any future group an “associated force” or “successor force” linked to one of America’s current foes and so ensure that Washington’s nearly 17-year-old set of forever wars can go on into eternity without further congressional approval.
Paul Pillar last updated: May 1, 2018
The last time that a U.S. administration kicked out of a Middle Eastern country international inspectors who were getting to the ground truth about alleged weapons of mass destruction activity, it was a prelude to a long, costly, and highly destabilizing war.
Eli Clifton last updated: May 1, 2018
Shmuley Boteach, “celebrity rabbi” and outspoken supporter of Donald Trump, is enamored with his sugar-daddy, Sheldon Adelson, conveniently overlooking where Adelson’s money comes from and the close ties Adelson has established with Beijing to secure a casino license in Macau and maintain a steady flow of Mainland Chinese gamblers to his casinos in the former Portuguese colony.
Robert E. Hunter last updated: April 30, 2018
Both in and out of government, there is insufficient “thinking about the thinkable” and no replication of the strategic analyses the US conducted during World War II and the Cold War. With so much at stake, acceptance of today’s groupthink within such a large part of the US research community is becoming a threat to US national security.
John H. Johns and Trita Parsi last updated: April 30, 2018
Two weeks ago Donald Trump signalled that he wanted to get U.S. troops out of Syria. Then last week, Trump ordered missile attacks against the country. And now his UN ambassador says that the U.S. presence in Syria will remain indefinitely. What changed?
Paul Pillar last updated: April 27, 2018
The discussions at the White House with French President Emmanuel Macron about devising, in Macron’s words, a “new deal with Iran” may be an instance of different governments using similar words to mean very different things.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: April 19, 2018
Other than the cynical political interests in Moscow and Tehran, there is no conceivable rationale for wanting Bashar al-Assad to stay in power. But the simple fact is, he has won the war. And while Donald Trump has reveled in positive press coverage of the recent attacks on the country, it is clear that they were little more than a symbolic act.
Paul Pillar last updated: April 16, 2018
The reality is that the Assad regime is winning the Syrian civil war, and this matters far less to U.S. interests than it does to that regime or its allies in Russia and Iran, who see Syria as their strongest and most consistent entrée into the Arab world. Those incontrovertible facts undermine any notion of using U.S. military force as leverage to gain a better deal for the Syrian people.
Adam Johnson last updated: April 12, 2018
An effective rhetorical tool to normalize military build-ups is to characterize spending increases “modernization.”
Michael Klare last updated: April 10, 2018
The Pentagon has officially announced that that “long war” against terrorism is drawing to a close — even as many counterinsurgency conflicts rage across the Greater Middle East — and a new long war has begun, a permanent campaign to contain China and Russia in Eurasia.
David Isenberg last updated: April 6, 2018
Revelations that data-consulting firm Cambridge Analytica used ill-gotten personal information from Facebook for the Trump campaign masks the more scandalous reality that the company is firmly ensconced in the U.S. military-industrial complex. It should come as no surprise then that the scandal has been linked to Erik Prince, co-founder of Blackwater.
Danny Sjursen last updated: April 5, 2018
As the United States enters the second spring of the Trump era, it’s creeping ever closer to more war. McMaster and Mattis may have written the National Defense Strategy that over-hyped the threats on this planet, but Bolton and Pompeo will have the opportunity to address these inflated threats in the worst way possible: by force of arms.
Tom Engelhardt last updated: April 3, 2018
We meet Donald Trump in the media every hour of every day, which blots out much of the rest of the world and much of what’s meaningful in it. Such largely unexamined, never-ending coverage of his doings represents a triumph of the first order both for him and for an American cult of personality.
Robert E. Hunter last updated: March 29, 2018
Is the U.S. heading into another Mideast war? While President Trump most likely would like to stop short of a direct military attack on Iran, events in the region have a habit of getting out of hand. At the very least, Washington is moving further away from any attempt to reconcile divergent interests in the region in favor of abetting others as they throw more gasoline onto the fires.
Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe last updated: March 25, 2018
While Sheldon Adelson may have gotten his wish to have the U.S. embassy moved to Jerusalem, he still hasn’t succeeded in pushing the U.S. into a military confrontation with Iran. But Trump’s new war cabinet has made the likelihood of a new U.S. war in the Middle East much more likely.
Esfandyar Batmanghelidj last updated: March 23, 2018
New NSA John Bolton represents an existential threat to the Iran nuclear deal and any hopes for peace in the region.
Peter Jenkins last updated: March 20, 2018
Hardliners at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies are working overtime to convince the Trump administration to “fix” the nuclear agreement with Iran on the pretext that it will give the US leverage in negotiations with North Korea.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: March 14, 2018
North Korea and Iran both understand the lesson of Libya: Muammar Qaddafi, a horrifyingly brutal dictator, gave up his nuclear weapons, was eventually ousted from power with large-scale US assistance, and was killed. However, while Iran has a long and bitter history with the United States, North Korea’s outlook is shaped by its near-total destruction by forces led by the United States in the Korean War.
Mohammad Ghaderi last updated: March 13, 2018
Europe loathes having to choose between Tehran and Washington, and thus it will spare no efforts to avoid the choice. It might therefore opt for a middle road, trying to please both parties by persuading Trump to retain the accord and Iran to limit missile ballistic programs and regional activities.
Shahed Ghoreishi last updated: March 9, 2018
Key members of Trump’s cabinet should recognize the realism behind encouraging a Saudi- and Iranian-backed regional security agreement because the success of such an agreement would not only serve long-term U.S. interests, it could also have a positive impact on numerous conflicts in the Middle East.
Ali Rizk last updated: March 8, 2018
Given that Israel failed to defeat Hezbollah in its war in Lebanon in 2006, it’s difficult to imagine Israel succeeding in a war against both Hezbollah and its newfound regional network of Shiite allies. And at the same time not only is Hezbollah’s missile arsenal a lot larger and more dangerous than it was in 2006, but it has also gained vast experience alongside its allies in offensive operations against IS and similar groups.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: March 7, 2018
Donald Trump should never be excused of responsibility for tearing down the respect for truth, but a foundation for his flagrant falsifying is the fact that many people would rather be entertained, no matter how false is the source of their entertainment, than to confront truth that is boring or unsatisfying or that requires effort to understand.
William Hartung last updated: March 2, 2018
It would be a welcome change in twenty-first-century America if the reckless decision to throw yet more unbelievable sums of money at a Pentagon already vastly overfunded sparked a serious discussion about America’s hyper-militarized foreign policy.
Peter Jenkins last updated: February 27, 2018
President Trump and his advisers ought to ask themselves whether it is in the U.S. interest to run the risk of Iranian withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. Seen from the other side of the Atlantic, running that risk looks dumb.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: February 26, 2018
The unethical blurring of private interests and public business, which increasingly involves U.S. foreign policy, is a hallmark of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Mark N. Katz last updated: February 23, 2018
Just as dissatisfaction with American policy has led many in the Middle East to turn toward Moscow, dissatisfaction with Russian policy can be expected to result in some Middle Eastern governments retaining their ties to the U.S.
Ben Armbruster last updated: February 16, 2018
The usual neocon suspects, including at the American Enterprise Institute and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, are making a concerted effort to push the Trump administration into military conflict with Iran.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: February 13, 2018
Between Israel’s looming Annexation Bill, and the much-feared Trump “Peace Plan,” the Palestinians are out of option amid a bleak future.
Harry Blain last updated: February 7, 2018
The growing admiration of Israel among white nationalists should be giving all Israelis a lot more pause than it is.
Derek Davison last updated: February 2, 2018
After 16 years of US war in Afghanistan, the latest report from the Department of Defense indicates there is no end in sight.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 1, 2018
An annual report on the top news items in the media shows that, except for the ongoing civil war in Syria, coverage of the Middle East virtually disappeared from American mainstream news.
Giorgio Cafiero last updated: January 31, 2018
Qatar is working overtime to cast itself as a sympathetic character in its ongoing conflict with Saudi Arabia.
John Feffer last updated: January 31, 2018
In Davos, Trump shed his isolationist image and was warmly embraced by the community of wealthy internationalists.
WAM/Tariq alfaham/Hatem Mohamed last updated: January 30, 2018
With the United States withholding nearly one-third of the funding for the UN Palestinian refugee aid agency, UNRWA appeals to the rest of the world to save its programs
Emile Nakhleh last updated: August 9, 2017
President Trump and his Iranophobe supporters are itching for a war with Iran, without any consideration of the disastrous consequences that will ensue.
Daryl G. Kimball last updated: August 9, 2017
The war of words and nuclear threats between the United States and North Korea make a peaceful resolution to the escalating crisis more difficult than ever to achieve.
Mark Perry last updated: August 8, 2017
The new White House chief of staff, retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, is anything but non-partisan or apolitical. For the deeply conservative Kelly, the United States is endangered not only by foreign enemies but by domestic forces that either purposely, or unwittingly, support them.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: August 7, 2017
The prospects of Benjamin Netanyahu continuing as Israel’s prime minister are growing dim. But for those of us outside of Israel who support the rights of Palestinians as well as Israelis and wish for all of those in the troubled region to enjoy equal rights, the fall of Netanyahu comes too late to make much difference.
Eli Clifton last updated: August 3, 2017
Rich Higgins, the recently fired director for strategic planning at the National Security Council, once said in an interview on Sean Hannity’s radio program, that “more Muslim Americans have been killed fighting for ISIS than have been killed fighting for the United States since 9/11.”
Peter Jenkins last updated: August 2, 2017
This is how the Trump administration could try to use the IAEA to spur Iran to back out of the JCPOA.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: July 31, 2017
President Trump seems determined to go forward with a very hostile program toward Iran, and, although a baseless US pullout from the JCPOA seems unlikely, even the so-called “adults” are pushing for a pretext for a pullout. Such an act does not seem likely to attract European support. Instead, it will leave the United States isolated, break the nuclear arrangement and provide a very reasonable basis for Iran to restart the pursuit of a nuclear deterrent in earnest.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: July 11, 2017
The time has come for a new set of partnerships to be contemplated between the United States and Middle East states – including Iran – and between regimes and their peoples, based on a bold and inclusive social contract.
David Isenberg last updated: July 10, 2017
Erik Prince is back. He’s not only pitching colonial capitalism in DC. He’s huckstering ex-SF-led armies of sepoys to wrest Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and perhaps, if he is ever able to influence likeminded hawks in the Trump administration, even Iran back from the infidels.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 7, 2017
Encouraged by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement late last month that Washington favors “peaceful” regime change in Iran, neoconservatives appear to be trying to influence the internal debate by arguing that this is Trump’s opportunity to be Ronald Reagan.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: July 5, 2017
When asked about “confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing in world affairs,” 22 percent of those surveyed as part of a recent Pew Research Center global poll expressed confidence in Donald Trump and 74 percent expressed no confidence.
Ervand Abrahamian last updated: July 4, 2017
A much-awaited new State Department volume covering the period 1951 to 1954 does not reveal much new about the actual overthrow of Mohammad Mossadeq but it does provide a vast amount of information on US involvement in Iran.
Colby Goodman and Taner Bertuna last updated: June 30, 2017
As debate continues around the Trump administration’s arms sales and defense spending, am new book suggests several ways to improve security and reduce corruption, for instance by increasing transparency on defense strategies, including “how expenditures on systems and programs align with the threats to national security.”
Danny Sjursen last updated: June 30, 2017
Lobelog We walked in a single file. Not because it was tactically sound. It wasn’t — at least according to standard infantry doctrine. Patrolling southern Afghanistan in column formation limited maneuverability, made it difficult to mass fire, and exposed us to enfilading machine-gun bursts. Still, in 2011, in the Pashmul District of Kandahar Province, single…
Paul R. Pillar last updated: June 28, 2017
War with Iran remains a very real possibility. Citizens and members of Congress need to be fully aware of the possibilities and alert to any new signs that the United States may be headed toward such a war, and they should ask the toughest of questions every step of the way as to whether this path is in U.S. interests.
Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio and Jim Lobe last updated: June 28, 2017
“Senator Corker’s action should send a clear message to Saudi Arabia and the UAE that there are some limits on what the U.S. will tolerate in terms of their aggressive foreign policy in the Arabian Peninsula.”
Thomas W. Lippman last updated: June 6, 2017
The Trump administration appears to have been surprised by this breach among its friends in the critical Gulf strategic area. But it is difficult to envision an effective U.S. role in rebuilding this Humpty-Dumpty.
Eldar Mamedov last updated: June 2, 2017
A recent vote in the European Parliament shows how President Trump’s relentless hostility to Iran is likely to isolate Washington more than Tehran.
Derek Davison last updated: May 31, 2017
The head of the Institute for Science and International Security—aka “the Good ISIS”—recently demonstrated again his penchant for using sloppy analysis as a basis for politically explosive charges about Iran, in this case using a faulty translation from Persian to misleadingly question whether Tehran is “mass producing advanced gas centrifuges.”
Paul R. Pillar last updated: May 28, 2017
Trump has exhibited a general preference for authoritarians over democrats, and that preference already has had impact on his foreign policy. Such an inclination has no more to do with realism than does a general preference for democrats over authoritarians.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: May 25, 2017
The President went to the region as a deal maker and a salesman for American weapon manufacturing. He talked about Islam, terrorism, Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the benefit of expert advice in any of these areas. After great showmanship in Riyadh, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, he and his family left the region without much to show for or to benefit the people of that war-torn region.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: May 17, 2017
Although the Comey memo scandal may well turn out to be what brings Trump down, this breach of trust may have had more lasting effect than any of Trump’s other numerous misadventures. It was an unprecedented betrayal of Israel’s confidence. Ironically, Trump has now done what even Barack Obama’s biggest detractors never accused him of: seriously compromised Israel’s security relationship with the United States.
William Hartung last updated: May 10, 2017
Congress and the public acquiesce in another military intervention or a sharp escalation of one of the U.S. wars already under way, perhaps it’s time to finally consider the true costs of war, American-style — in lives lost, dollars spent, and opportunities squandered. It’s a reasonable bet that never in history has a society spent more on war and gotten less bang for its copious bucks.
Diana Ohlbaum last updated: May 2, 2017
Trump’s reorganization of the foreign policy bureaucracy is an ideologically driven agenda for undermining the power and effectiveness of government institutions that could lead to the State Department’s destruction.
Barbara Crossette last updated: April 21, 2017
Spurred by anti-internationalist sentiment among conservative Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration, the US is headed for a new confrontation with the UN over who decides how much the US should pay for peacekeeping.
Right Web last updated: April 19, 2017
Decent developments in the Trump administration indicate that the neoconservatives, at one point on the margins of Washington’s new power alignments, are now on the ascendent?
William Astore last updated: April 14, 2017
As the end of Donald Trump’s first 100 days as president approaches, it seems that his version of an “America-first” foreign policy is in effect a military-first policy aimed at achieving global hegemony, which means it’s a potential doomsday machine.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 9, 2017
Hopeful that Donald Trump may actually be their kind of guy, neoconservatives are full of praise for the cruise-missile strike against Syria and are pressing for more.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 5, 2017
Steve Bannon’s removal from the NSC’s Principals Committee doesn’t mean that he’s gone from the White House or no longer exerts a powerful influence on Trump. His office is still located very close to the Oval Office, and there’s nothing to indicate that his dark and messianic worldview has changed.
Lara Friedman last updated: April 2, 2017
Promoting sanctions that could undermine the Iran nuclear deal, pushing security assistance for Israel, combatting BDS, and more.
Eldar Mamedov last updated: March 28, 2017
Contrary to some wishful thinking following the Trump administration’s decision to “put Iran on notice” and seemingly restore U.S.-Saudi ties, there are little signs of apprehension in Tehran.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: March 27, 2017
“The fundamental conflict at the heart of Israeli-Russian views on Syria is that Israel’s redline is the establishment of a permanent Iranian presence in Syria and Russia’s redline is the elimination of a permanent Iranian presence in Syria.”
Eli Clifton last updated: March 17, 2017
AIPAC has done more than just tolerate the U.S. tilt toward extreme and often xenophobic views. Newly released tax filings show that the country’s biggest pro-Israel group financially contributed to the Center for Security Policy, the think-tank that played a pivotal role in engineering the Trump administration’s efforts to impose a ban on Muslim immigration.
Naomi Dann last updated: March 13, 2017
It would have been hard for Trump to find someone with more extreme positions than David Friedman for U.S. ambassador to Israel.
James J. Zogby last updated: March 12, 2017
Just as the “bogeyman” of the Mexican rapist and drug dealer is used to justify the Wall and mass immigration detention, the specter of Muslim terrorists is being used to validate gutting the refugee program and limiting admission from North Africa, and Southwest and South Asia.
Hannah Gais last updated: March 8, 2017
Although the mainstream media narrative about Trump’s Russia ties has been fairly linear, in reality the situation appears to be anything but.
Gordon Adams last updated: March 1, 2017
Reagan’s military buildup had little justification, though the military was rebuilding after the Vietnam disaster. Today, there is almost no case at all for a defense budget increase as big as the $54 billion that the Trump administration wants.
Paul Pillar last updated: February 27, 2017
The very idea of any U.S. president putting his personal financial interests ahead of the U.S. national interest is sufficient reason for the public to be outraged. That such a conflict of interest may affect real U.S. foreign policy decisions is an outrage.
Edward Hunt last updated: February 23, 2017
The new US administration is continuing a state of war that has existed for 16 years.
William Hartung last updated: February 21, 2017
Will Trump’s new national security adviser H.R. McMaster counsel caution with respect to Iran or advocate an ill-conceived military intervention? The answer may depend in part on which McMaster is speaking—the one who wrote a devastating critique of the U.S. debacle in Vietnam or the one who fought confidently, and at least in his own view, successfully, in two wars in Iraq.
Lyndal Rowlands last updated: February 21, 2017
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s veto of former Palestinian-Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as the UN’s peace envoy to Libya reveals the widening tensions over Palestine between the US and the UN.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 20, 2017
If, as reported, KT McFarland was allowed to choose John Bolton as her boss at the National Security Agency, it should scare the hell out of everyone.
James J. Zogby last updated: February 20, 2017
Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with Donald Trump was overshadowed by unsettling events that preceded and followed their bizarre press conference.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: February 17, 2017
The meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provided the clearest indication yet that the United States will support Netanyahu in stepping back from the two-state solution.
Michael Flynn last updated: February 10, 2017
Will President Donald Trump name Elliott Abrams deputy secretary of state? Although a knowledgeable and capable operator, Abrams is better known for being convicted on charges of withholding information from Congress about the Iran-Contra scandal, smearing those with whom he disagrees with charges of anti-Semitism, and defending perpetrators of mass human rights violations, including in particular people accused of genocide in the Central American conflicts of the 1980s.
Derek Davison last updated: February 3, 2017
Reports the the United States plans ti impose new sanctions on “Iranian entities” appears to indicate the the start of a systematic effort by the Trump administration to abrogate the Iran nuclear deal.
Eli Clifton last updated: February 1, 2017
Trump’s support for a Muslim ban are connected to his embrace of an unscientific poll undertaken by one of his top advisors (who claims that she disseminates “alternative facts”) and commissioned by a renowned anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 26, 2017
The people who are expected to have the biggest impact on Donald Trump’s foreign policy collectively have no experience at all in this issue.
Derek Davison last updated: January 20, 2017
Two eminent foreign policy analysts, historian Andrew Bacevich of Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies and political scientist John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, discuss fundamental problems with American foreign policy and the Obama legacy, particularly with respect to Israel-Palestine.
Eli Clifton last updated: January 12, 2017
Not only is Monica Crowley, Donald Trump’s pick to head communications for the National Security Council, the subject of a wide-ranging plagiarism scandal, she pushed fringe conspiracy theories about “Islamist infiltration in the U.S.”
Shemuel Meir last updated: January 11, 2017
From a territorial perspective the Security Council resolution 2334, stating that Israel′s settlement activity constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law, represents an escalation in the way the international community relates to Israel’s borders and its settlements in the West Bank.
Baher Kamal last updated: January 9, 2017
On Oct. 27, 2016, the UN adopted a resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapon. Two weeks later the US elected Donald Trump, who subsequently argued that the US must “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability.”
Jim Lobe last updated: January 6, 2017
As Trump supporters gear up for a fight to weaken or destroy the Iran nuclear deal, a new poll has found that nearly two-thirds of the U.S. public opposes withdrawing from the agreement.
Gordon Adams last updated: January 4, 2017
For all of its faults, the Obama administration was acutely aware of the limits to the use of American military force, whether it was struggling with terrorist organizations or contemplating the impact the use of force would have on achieving U.S. national security objectives.
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man last updated: January 3, 2017
A senior Israeli government minister has announced that he will introduce legislation to effectively annex Israel’s third-largest settlement, part of a plan to incrementally annex parts of the West Bank .
Scientists to Trump: the JCPOA Is Working last updated: January 3, 2017
A group of 37 American scientists–including Nobel laureates, nuclear specialists, and former White House advisers–has sent an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump in support of the Iran nuclear deal.
Thalif Deen last updated: December 28, 2016
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the world’s longstanding unresolved political problems firmly entrenched on the UN agenda: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict dating back to the Six Day War in June 1967.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: December 24, 2016
Donald Trump’s response to the UN resolution regarding Israeli settlements should cause deep dismay as it constituted an attempt to pressure the current U.S. administration into a course of action that would do the bidding of a foreign government.
Tharanga Yakupitiyage last updated: December 23, 2016
A historic UN Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements was adopted with 14 votes in favour and one abstention on Friday.
Tharanga Yakupitiyage last updated: December 19, 2016
The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution allowing the UN to monitor the evacuation of civilians from Aleppo.
David Isenberg last updated: December 13, 2016
For the military-industrial-congressional complex, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: December 8, 2016
Those in the United States who want to avoid war with Iran should take the early Trump appointments as a warning sign.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 6, 2016
The NSA’s close association with neocon Michael Ledeen should raise all kinds of alarm bells, especially for those who had placed their hopes in a Trump presidency because so many neoconservatives and Iraq war advocates had opposed his election.
James J. Zogby last updated: December 5, 2016
Without debate or an actual vote, the Senate stealthily passed a disturbing and dangerous piece of legislation called “The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016,” which requires the Department of Education to apply the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism in evaluating complaints of discrimination on US campuses. The problem is, the State guidelines on anti-Semitism were designed to help US officials monitor anti-Semitism abroad. They were not intended to be applied to police speech on college campuses here in the US.
Derek Davison last updated: December 5, 2016
General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of defense, is known first and foremost as an Iran hawk.
Joshua Kucera last updated: December 5, 2016
Donald Trump’s national security adviser has expressed contradictory opinions about the former Soviet Union, making it difficult to assess what policies the next White House administration may pursue in the region.
Andrew J. Bacevich last updated: November 30, 2016
Trump: “Well, I’ll be honest with you, I probably do because look at the job they’ve done. OK, look at the job they’ve done. They haven’t done the job.”
Eli Clifton last updated: November 30, 2016
Trump’s deputy national security advisor Kathleen McFarland has a history of making wildly conspiratorial claims about China leveraging its holdings of U.S. debt to demand the elimination of Fourth of July celebrations and casually joking about nuclear winter as a solution to global warming.
Edward Hunt last updated: November 25, 2016
Thus far, signs indicate that Donald Trump will continue to ensure that the United States plays the dominant role in policing the world.
Shemuel Meir last updated: November 24, 2016
The Iran deal is beneficial to Israeli security. Without an Iranian nuclear weapon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have no incentive to obtain nuclear weapons, thus preventing a domino scenario. The deal also closed off the chapter of pre-emption strikes scenarios on Iran’s military targets and reduced the risks for a new and long regional war. All of this could be threatened by the Trump administration.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: November 23, 2016
People are attaining positions of power under Trump not because of perspicacity and temperament but because they were not sufficiently outraged during the campaign to exile themselves from Trumpland.
Eli Clifton last updated: November 22, 2016
Little attention has been paid to the roll of Trump’s national security adviser in a small drone company that has received Pentagon contracts after he joined the company in April, while he was simultaneously serving as an adviser to the Trump campaign. If Trump follows through on his campaign promise to deploy more surveillance drones on the Canadian and Mexican borders, the company would be well-placed to win even bigger contracts.
Derek Davison last updated: November 18, 2016
As Donald Trump’s national security team begins to take shape, it’s becoming clear that Trump indeed has a “basket of deplorables” around him. And many of them are going to wind up serving in his administration.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: November 17, 2016
Because of his seeming lack of knowledge about the region and disinterest in the complex factors that underpin its endemic violence, the incoming president should take a measured look at the Middle East and the long-term U.S. engagement with it.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 16, 2016
Will a President Trump put U.S. business first and expand the U.S. manufacturing workforce as part of his plan to make America great again? Or will he hold to the reflexive anti-Iran positions of the Republican Congressional majority, Sheldon Adelson, and the neoconservatives, including the NeverTrumpers who, with Democrats marginalized across the board, are already seeking ways to gain influence with whomever the president-elect chooses to advise him?
Eli Clifton last updated: November 14, 2016
Sheldon Adelson ignored the concerns of fellow members of the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Anti-Defamation League, and the vast majority of Jewish voters to help elect a president who reflected his hawkish views on America’s role in the Middle East.
Derek Davison last updated: November 12, 2016
Reacting to Donald Trump’s election victory, one Israeli official said that it represented “an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the centre of the country. … This is the position of the president-elect. …The era of a Palestinian state is over.”
Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe last updated: November 10, 2016
Although Republican opponents of the Iran nuclear deal frequently suggest unilaterally reneging on the agreement, they have never been faced with the real likelihood of a president who might go along with the proposal or, possibly, even take the lead in such an action. Now they are. And the consequences could be severely damaging to U.S. interests.
Reese Erlich last updated: November 8, 2016
Donald Trump’s absurd claim that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama “founded” ISIS is not the only conspiracy theory about he Middle East that is rampant in U.S. popular discourse.
Peter Jenkins last updated: November 4, 2016
A recent Congressional Research Service report on Iran is misleading in two important respects—concerning Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and its possession of a capability to produce chemical warfare agents.
Robert. E. Hunter last updated: November 1, 2016
Regardless of Hillary Clinton’s national security predilections, a future Clinton administration will rapidly discover that U.S. foreign policy options are in fact quite limited. The default course is thus likely to be “more of the same” of the Obama administration’s policies and approaches.
Jim Lobe and Eli Clifton last updated: October 31, 2016
The Foreign Ministry of the United Arab Emirates may have helped draft the latest Middle East report by the “liberal” Center for American Progress.
John Scales Avery last updated: October 29, 2016
President Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union and recipient of the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize, has appealed to world leaders to reduce the dangerous tensions that threaten to plunge world into war.
Hannah Gais last updated: October 28, 2016
Hillary Clinton’s impassioned defense of a no-fly zone in Syria last Wednesday may not have won her many friends in certain wings of the Democratic Party, but it spoke to at least one group: America’s foreign policy elite.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 25, 2016
If one is looking for new thinking about improving U.S.-Iran relations, they are not going to find it at the Center for American Progress (CAP) if its latest report on Middle East policy is any indication.
Paul Pillar last updated: October 24, 2016
The U.S. presidential election campaign has done more to set back U.S. foreign relations and the cause of good foreign policy than has any other election within memory.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 20, 2016
Whoever moves into the White House next January should be willing to “take more risk to find some common ground with Iran,” according to a new report released by the non-partisan Atlantic Council.
Eli Clifton last updated: October 18, 2016
As the GOP establishment scrambles for the lifeboats in the wake of Donald Trump’s disastrous campaign, Trump’s biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson, is moving full-steam ahead, writing big checks and mobilizing newspapers owned by his family to support Trump, even as the candidate careens toward a massive defeat.
Chas W. Freeman, Jr. last updated: October 17, 2016
Osama bin Laden surely died happy. He devoted the last third of his life to creating animosity between the West and Islam and to driving a wedge between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Today, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey are all estranged from the United States. And, as an unexpected bonus, so is Israel.
Eldar Mamedov last updated: October 15, 2016
Saudi Arabia has launched a charm offensive following the historic vote by the European Parliament demanding an arms embargo on Riyadh.
John Feffer last updated: October 14, 2016
The world according to Trump: The American economy has tanked. Mexico has sent a horde of criminals over the border to steal jobs and rape women. The Islamic State, cofounded by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, is taking over the globe. “We haven’t seen anything like this, the carnage all over the world,” he has declared.
Fabíola Ortiz last updated: October 13, 2016
During five decades of Israeli occupation, the number of Palestinian refugees has grown with every generation, saturating basic services in the 19 camps that are home to about 200,000 people in the West Bank run by the United Nations.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: October 11, 2016
Among the lingering effects of this awful election campaign season will be widespread misunderstanding of serious issues of foreign policy, beyond even the habitually low baseline public understanding of many such issues.
James J. Zogby last updated: October 8, 2016
Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu has been playing the Obama administration for almost eight years, repeatedly sticking his finger in their eye and getting away with it. In fact, it is a running joke that Netanyahu, either before or after high level US visits, defiantly announces new settlement plans, boasting that he knows how to control America.
Ali Gharib last updated: October 6, 2016
Hillary Clinton didn’t help to eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons program because the nuclear negotiations weren’t about eliminating Iran’s nuclear weapons program because Iran didn’t have a nuclear weapons program at that time to eliminate. Kaine, therefore, did exaggerate Clinton’s role: he credited her with participating in talks that didn’t actually do what he said they did.
Marsha B. Cohen last updated: October 5, 2016
The Tikvah Fund, a foundation that works closely with neoconservative think tanks and media outlets, seeks to influence both academic discourse and the media on issues impacting economics, politics, culture, and religion, with a particular emphasis on the role of Judaism in society.
Eli Cifton last updated: September 27, 2016
From all outward appearances, AIPAC’s fundraising arm effectively pocketed the boost in fundraising revenue it enjoyed during the heated battle over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Samah Salaime last updated: September 26, 2016
The Israeli prime minister’s tells imaginary tales at the UN about meetings with Palestinians.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: September 23, 2016
The unrelenting urge among American politicians to keep punishing Iran continues to work against sensible statecraft and U.S. interests.
Seth Binder last updated: September 16, 2016
The new U.S. aid deal for Israel is the largest military aid package to any country in the history of U.S. security assistance, providing Israel $38 billion over ten years starting in 2019.
Eli Clifton last updated: September 13, 2016
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), a hardline Iran hawk who consistently opposes diplomatic efforts to constrain Iran’s nuclear program, had a change of heart when it came to seeking the release of Americans held in Iran.
Tom Engelhardt last updated: September 11, 2016
Within days of the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration announced a “war on terror,” which included launching an air war in numerous hotspots across the globe. Almost 15 years have passed and that air war is still ongoing.
Paul Pillar last updated: September 3, 2016
In a recent speech Hillary Clinton made American exceptionalism a major theme. She chose that theme in part because it would enable her to criticize Donald Trump, who has said he doesn’t like the term.
Mohammad Badrul Ahsan last updated: August 17, 2016
The United States needs to undertake the same type of investigation that condemned former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision-making during the lead up to the Iraq War.
Derek Davison last updated: August 16, 2016
A recent spate of high-casualty Islamic State-linked attacks has raised fears about the group’s ability to carry out international terrorist strikes while also obscuring its failures at creating a “state.”
By Paul R. Pillar last updated: April 22, 2016
Is Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness on foreign policy due to core principles or political calculation?
By Louis Kriesberg last updated: April 18, 2016
In minimizing U.S. resort to violence, President Obama has brought conflict resolution to the Oval Office.
By Paul Pillar last updated: April 13, 2016
Whatever influence the United States seeks from sanctions depends on demonstrating that those targeted will get relief if they take the required actions, otherwise there is no incentive for change.
By William Hartung last updated: April 12, 2016
From spending $150 million on private villas for a handful of personnel in Afghanistan to blowing $2.7 billion on an air surveillance balloon that doesn’t work, the latest revelations of waste at the Pentagon are just the most recent howlers in a long line of similar stories stretching back at least five decades.
by Chas W. Freeman, Jr. last updated: April 5, 2016
We need a peaceful international environment to rebuild our country. To achieve this, we must erase our strategy deficit. To do that, the next administration must fix the broken policymaking apparatus in Washington.
By Jim Lobe last updated: April 1, 2016
A recent “open-letter” to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and signed by a diverse group of U.S. foreign policy figures highlights neoconservative efforts to gain respectability within the foreign-policy establishment by persuading prominent experts to sign on to letters they circulate around Washington on specific issues of concern to them.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 31, 2016
Polls Indicate that Iranian public is losing confidence that the United States will abide by the terms of the landmark nuclear deal.
John Feffer last updated: March 30, 2016
It might take someone of Trump’s vapid visibility to drive home the point that “world’s policeman” is not a viable role for the U.S. to play.
By Baher Kamal last updated: March 11, 2016
This is not the first time that the risk that Gulf countries may acquire nuclear arms has been raised. Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi ambassador to the United States, warned two years ago that nuclear threats from Israel and Iran might force Saudi Arabia to follow suit.
Baher Kamal last updated: March 4, 2016
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon claimed at the recent Munich Security Conference that Persian Gulf states are seeking nuclear weapons to counter “bad guy” Iran and have held clandestine meetings with Israel.
Peter Jenkins last updated: February 23, 2016
It is still unclear if 2016 will be the year in which American voters end the influence of neoconservatives on decision-making.
Shervin Malekzadeh last updated: February 22, 2016
Donald Trump evokes a similar kind of populism as former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Eli Clifton and Ali Gharib last updated: February 9, 2016
Billionaire Republican mega donor Sheldon Adelson’s media properties have come out strongly in support of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Adam Simpson last updated: February 1, 2016
Middle East instability is in large part due to past dictators centralizing the state around themselves and a small cadre of elites.
James J. Zogby last updated: January 31, 2016
More should be demanded of the 2016 presidential candidates than mindless bluster or vacuous pronouncements on the Middle East.
Eli Clifton last updated: January 22, 2016
Similar to her 2008 attacks against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton is now criticizing Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) for his advocacy of diplomacy with Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 21, 2016
Neoconservative columnists like the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens continue to use the same discredited arguments to defend U.S. support for the staunchly authoritarian Saudi regime.
Eli Clifton, Ali Gharib, and Jim Lobe last updated: January 21, 2016
Rightwing foreign policy hawks have applied a double standard in their comments on the prisoner exchange between Iran and the United States.
Peter Jenkins last updated: January 17, 2016
The Iran nuclear deal was not a “triumph” for the sanctions policy against Iran, but rather was due to pragmatic Iranian elites viewing it as in their country’s interest.
Ali Gharib last updated: January 16, 2016
The claims made by prominent neoconservatives about Iran’s detainment of 10 American sailors in its territorial waters have all been certifiably false.
Marsha B. Cohen last updated: January 11, 2016
Hardline “pro-Israel” outlets have reacted with typical anti-Obama fervor to reports that President Obama rejected an offer by Sheldon Adelson to fund “Iron Dome” batteries in Israel.
Eli Clifton last updated: January 8, 2016
The biggest donor to anti-Iran deal Rep. Ed Royce’s (R-CA) 2014 campaign committee was NORPAC, a political action committee aligned with AIPAC.
Eli Clifton last updated: January 7, 2016
Saudi Arabia spends millions of dollars a year on lobbyists and PR firms to improve its image in Washington.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 6, 2016
Neocon pundits have lined up in support of the fundamentalist Islamic regime in Saudi Arabia in the wake of that country’s controversial execution of a prominent Shiite leader.
Baher Kamal last updated: January 5, 2016
The recent UN resolution endorsing a “road map” for a peace process in Syria raises too many unanswered questions.
David Isenberg last updated: December 28, 2015
There is still a stunning lack of oversight and accountability over private military contractors, who the U.S. military has even begun relying on to operate drones.
Mel Gurtov last updated: December 25, 2015
Congress can do little to limit the Obama administration’s decision to scale up U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.
Eli Clifton last updated: December 15, 2015
The Jewish Communal Fund, which claims to direct donor funds to purposes that serve the “interests of the Jewish community,” funds some of the most high-profile Islamophobes.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: December 9, 2015
While ISIS is a significant security problem in the Middle East, it is a problem distinct from countering terrorist threats in the United States.
Derek Davison and Jim Lobe last updated: December 8, 2015
A new poll has revealed that evangelical Christian Republicans are significantly more supportive of Israel and Israeli influence in U.S. politics than non-evangelical Republicans.
Sina Toossi last updated: December 8, 2015
GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is quietly racking up the support of right-wing mega-donors and Bush-era neocons.
Peter Jenkins last updated: December 7, 2015
Headlines about a recent International Atomic Energy Agency report on alleged past nuclear weapons work by Iran have been needlessly alarming.
Ali Gharib last updated: December 2, 2015
Elliot Abrams has wildly argued in a recent column that Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments in reaction to the Paris attacks were tacitly anti-Semitic.
Eli Clifton last updated: December 2, 2015
GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie has sought to latch onto anti-Muslim sentiment in an apparent effort to win the support of mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.
Ali Gharib last updated: November 20, 2015
Much of the Islamophobia running through the right now originated from hardline “pro-Israel” circles.
Eli Clifton last updated: November 19, 2015
Elliott Abrams, convicted for lying before Congress during the Reagan years, has willfully misinterpreted President Obama’s recent comments on refugees in order to repeat the far-right cliché that the president is anti-Christian.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 19, 2015
The large quantitative and qualitative disparity in the media’s coverage of the terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut cannot be justified.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 18, 2015
In the wake of the Paris attacks, prominent neoconservative Max Boot has breathlessly called for the United States to unilaterally support Sunni autonomy in Iraq and deploy 20,000 U.S. troops against ISIS.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 12, 2015
The claims made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his presentation at the Center for American Progress have been thoroughly debunked.
Eli Clifton last updated: November 10, 2015
Just days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat down with President Obama in the Oval Office, Israel approved new settlements in West Bank, a move that directly runs counter to U.S. national security interests.
Ali Gharib last updated: November 10, 2015
The Democratic Party-aligned Center for American Progress has controversially hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his stay in Washington.
Robert E. Hunter last updated: November 9, 2015
US diplomacy regarding the Middle East, whether with Israel or other allies, should make clear that America’s regional partnerships must become a genuine two-way street.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 3, 2015
Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi con man who played a decisive role in manipulating the United States into the Iraq War, has died at age 71.
Medea Benjamin last updated: November 3, 2015
When it comes to war and peace, it might not matter too much if a Republican or Hillary Clinton wins the White House.
Eli Clifton last updated: November 2, 2015
Hardline “pro-Israel” billionaire Paul Singer’s endorsement of Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) presidential campaign has made Rubio the neoconservative candidate of choice.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 26, 2015
An organization advising many of the 2016 GOP presidential candidates and dominated by neoconservative ideologues has published a comprehensive outline of what it believes a Republican foreign policy should look like as of Inauguration Day 2017.
Thalif Deen last updated: October 22, 2015
As the flow of refugees into Europe continues to rise, migrants have found themselves facing increasingly hostile and degrading conditions in the countries they have fled to.
Ali Gharib last updated: October 21, 2015
In his new book, “pro-Israel” ideologue and former Obama administration official Dennis Ross suggests that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bears little or no responsibility for Israel’s rocky relationship with the United States.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 19, 2015
Prominent neoconservative Richard Perle has notably been missing from the Iran deal debate, with some inside sources saying he has fallen out of favor with senior staff at the American Enterprise Institute.
Chas W. Freeman last updated: October 18, 2015
The reliance of the United States on ineffective policies centered on military intervention and sanctions in the Middle East has destabilized the region and spurred the need for new U.S. strategic partnerships.
Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe last updated: October 7, 2015
The makers of a new anti-Argentine government documentary on the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman have ties to notorious holders of Argentina’s debt.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: October 6, 2015
The lesson of the “pro-Israel” lobby’s attempted scuttling of the Iran deal is that it is necessary to construct a policy toward Israel that would not reward it for this type of behavior towards the United States.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: October 2, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hostile speech before the UN General Assembly will only increase Israel’s isolation on the world stage.
Eli Clifton last updated: September 30, 2015
AIPAC spent at least $14.5 million on TV ads from mid-July to mid-September in its failed attempt to convince members of Congress to derail the Iran nuclear deal.
Graham E. Fuller last updated: September 30, 2015
The real danger of propaganda, whether in the United States or elsewhere, comes when you start believing your own spin.
John Feffer last updated: September 30, 2015
On-going crises in the Middle East, ranging from the Israel-Palestinian conflict to the war in Syria and Iraq, are resulting in the remapping of the entire region.
Farhang Jahanpour last updated: September 29, 2015
Now that overwhelming majority of countries in the Middle East have come out in support of the Iran deal, it is necessary for these countries to cooperate more broadly to resolve regional issues.
Ali Gharib last updated: September 22, 2015
AIPAC found itself in a tough spot over the Iran deal not only because of donor pressure, but also because of the maximalist positions taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Iran negotiations.
John Feffer last updated: September 22, 2015
America’s inexhaustible capacity for interfering in far-flung places may not be a sign of a dynamic civilization, but of a fatal flaw.
Farhang Jahanpour last updated: September 18, 2015
In their attempts to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program over the years, the United States and Israel utilized illegal methods at times, including assassinations and cyber warfare.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 16, 2015
A recent survey indicates that the gap between Democrats and Republicans on U.S. international engagement and military use is as wide as it has been at any time in the recent past.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 13, 2015
Having lost the Iran deal vote, AIPAC and hawkish outlets like the Washington Post are moving to support other measures aimed at preventing broader cooperation between the United States and Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 12, 2015
Jewish support in Congress for the Iran nuclear deal shows once again that that there is no Jewish monolith that automatically supports Israeli government policies come what may.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 11, 2015
The fact that only a handful of prominent Republicans have spoken out in support of the Iran deal is possibly a sign of the enormous influence of Sheldon Adelson on the GOP.
Wayne White last updated: September 10, 2015
The claim by some Republican figures, including Colin Powell, that responsibility for the Iraq War lies with the intelligence community does not stand up to scrutiny.
Eli Clifton last updated: September 10, 2015
During a recent speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared to blame the 9/11 attacks on Iran in a seemingly desperate ploy to attract donors like Sheldon Adelson.
Ali Gharib and Jim Lobe last updated: September 9, 2015
A scuffle between a protestor and a prominent neoconservative executive during Dick Cheney’s recent Iran talk at the American Enterprise Institute is symbolic of the decline of the neoconservative ideology.
Eli Clifton last updated: September 8, 2015
Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) surprise opposition to the Iran deal may due to the enormous pressure he has received from “pro-Israel” groups.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 3, 2015
With AIPAC failing to win a veto-proof majority of Senators to oppose the Iran deal, the lobby has shifted its approach to promoting proposals that would undermine the deal’s implementation.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 1, 2015
With Sen. Bob Casey, a close ally of AIPAC, coming out in favor of the Iran nuclear agreement, it is now a virtual certainty that President Obama will have enough votes to sustain a veto against any resolution to reject the deal.
Grace Cason and Jim Lobe last updated: August 27, 2015
Many prominent opponents of the Iran nuclear deal were board members of the infamous Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a group established by the Bush White House in 2002 to mobilize support for invading Iraq.
Mark N. Katz last updated: August 25, 2015
Russian critics of the Iran nuclear deal believe the agreement will strengthen the United States as a global power at the expense of Russia.
Noam Chomsky last updated: August 23, 2015
Famed linguist Noam Chomsky dismantles the claim that Iran is the gravest threat to world peace.
Thalif Deen last updated: August 21, 2015
The United States has virtually legitimized the use of banned cluster bombs by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
John Kiriakou last updated: August 19, 2015
Bush-era CIA Directors George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden, and several of their underlings have announced plans to release a book justifying torture.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 18, 2015
It appears that a consensus has emerged among vast majority of nuclear non-proliferation experts in support of the nuclear deal with Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 10, 2015
The stridently anti-deal United Against Nuclear Iran and its president Gary Samore have parted ways after Samore came out in favor of the Iranian nuclear deal.
Ali Gharib last updated: August 10, 2015
Critics of the Iran nuclear deal seek to inoculate themselves from pushback by leveling claims of anti-Semitism at President Obama and others who have noted the warmongering agenda of many of the right-wing “pro-Israel” groups.
Benjamin Tua last updated: August 8, 2015
The Iranian nuclear deal could lead to a broader rapprochement between the United States and Iran, resulting in a more stable Middle East.
Paul Pillar last updated: August 5, 2015
John Bolton, the neoconservative former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has ironically criticized a provision of the Iran deal that recognizes U.S. veto power within the U.N. Security Council.
Aruna Dutt last updated: August 4, 2015
A senior South Korean diplomat argues that the Iran nuclear deal will likely have a “positive impact” on North Korea.
Mark N. Katz last updated: August 3, 2015
The real fear that Israel and most Gulf states have about the Iran nuclear deal is that it may lead to broader Iranian-American rapprochement.
Paul Pillar last updated: August 1, 2015
Recent moves by Turkey and Saudi Arabia have the potential to shake up regional alignments in the Middle East.
Eli Clifton last updated: July 28, 2015
GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee’s recent remarks comparing the Iran nuclear deal to the Holocaust have been widely denounced by American Jewish organizations but have won praise from the Sheldon Adelson-funded Zionist Organization of America.
Ali Gharib last updated: July 28, 2015
Avowed interventionist Leon Wieseltier has written a piece lambasting the Iran nuclear deal that critics contend is rife with hollow arguments and inconsistencies that refute themselves.
Eli Clifton last updated: July 27, 2015
Groups lobbying against the Iran nuclear deal have a massive financial advantage over pro-deal organizations.
Derek Davison and Jim Lobe last updated: July 27, 2015
Prominent former officials and diplomats, including from the George W. Bush administration, as well as nuclear experts, have all come out in support of the Iran nuclear deal.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 25, 2015
According to a former AIPAC official, the lobby is heavily investing in sinking the Iran nuclear deal for a variety of reasons, none of which have to do with the merits of the agreement itself.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 16, 2015
With the controversy over the Iran deal heating up, more than 100 former U.S. ambassadors have signed a letter lauding the agreement and urging support from Congress.
Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe last updated: July 15, 2015
Sheldon Adelson, the Republican Party’s largest donor and a close ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has had a significant impact on the GOP’s rejection of the Iran nuclear negotiations.
Paul Pillar last updated: July 14, 2015
Everything that opponents of the Iran deal claim to worry about would be far worse without a deal.
Paul Pillar last updated: July 9, 2015
American attitude and assumptions towards the Middle East, and thus U.S. foreign policies, have been weighed down by accumulating historical baggage.
Eli Clifton last updated: July 6, 2015
A new report has revealed several of the hawkish billionaire funders behind the secretive United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) group.
Lara Friedman last updated: June 30, 2015
Various bills and resolutions circulating in Congress promote hardline “pro-Israel” positions on Iran and the Palestinians.
Ali Gharib last updated: June 30, 2015
A recent open letter by the hawkish Washington Institute for Near East Policy about the Iran nuclear negotiations was signed by many figures who claim they support a nuclear deal with Iran, but whose past recommendations would have led to war with Iran.
Peter Jenkins last updated: June 29, 2015
The authors of an open letter published by the hawkish Washington Institute for Near East Policy most likely knew that their statement was intended to set goals for the negotiations that are unattainable.
Marsha B. Cohen last updated: June 22, 2015
Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., has released a new book vilifying President Obama and his supposed treatment of the U.S.-Israel relationship.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 20, 2015
Neocon stalwart Elliott Abrams prides himself on having a passion for democracy and human rights even as he has brazenly praised the tightening of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Ali Gharib last updated: June 18, 2015
Critics of the Iran nuclear negotiations fail to see that any potential agreement was always going to be a compromise and that what they claim are “concessions” are really the compromises necessary for a successful deal.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 13, 2015
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Clifford May conveniently criticizes China for creating “facts on the ground” in the South China Sea while ignoring similar Israeli moves in the Occupied West Bank.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 8, 2015
The neoconservative claim that George W. Bush “won” the Iraq War is ridiculous.
Sina Toossi last updated: June 4, 2015
A tight-knit network of think-tank gurus, special interest groups, and media pundits have peddled a plethora of alarmist narratives aimed at scuttling the Iran nuclear negotiations.
Ali Gharib last updated: June 4, 2015
While Congress regularly denounces Iran for its human rights situation and its imprisonment of several American citizens, it ignores the appalling human rights situation in Egypt, where numerous American citizens have also been held.
Derek Davison last updated: June 4, 2015
A recent New York Times article alleging that Iran has not abided by the interim-nuclear deal reached in 2013 has been rebuked by nuclear experts, the State Department, and an expert who says his quote in the piece was taken out of context.
Prem Shankar Jha last updated: June 2, 2015
The ceaseless efforts of U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia to undermine the Iran nuclear negotiations may ultimately pay off and prevent a deal from being reached by the end of June.
Derek Davison last updated: June 1, 2015
Despite the Obama administration’s claims to the contrary, the U.S.-supported, Saudi-led attack on Yemen has made a political solution to the Yemen conflict less likely.
Michael Klare last updated: May 30, 2015
Strategies aimed at perpetuating U.S. global supremacy are destined to result in “imperial overstretch,” a reality that can only be avoided by abandoning the pretense that the United States remains the sole global superpower.
Jasmine Ramsey last updated: May 26, 2015
If the nuclear negotiations with Iran fail to reach a final deal, the sanctions regime against Iran could begin to unravel, according to top European diplomats.
Eli Clifton last updated: May 20, 2015
Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) super PAC consists of a donor base of hawkish “Jewish conservatives,” who Graham appears to believe that in order to appeal to he must derail the Iranian nuclear negotiations.
Conn Hallinan last updated: May 11, 2015
The United States has played an important, if somewhat uncomfortable, role in the Yemen War by supporting the Saudi-led military strikes while quietly urging Riyadh to look for a political solution.
Eli Clifton last updated: May 8, 2015
Billionaire investor Paul Singer, who has taken Argentina to court over its debt default, has been a significant financial contributor to a variety of hawkish groups seeking to defame the Argentine President.
Inge Fryklund last updated: May 7, 2015
U.S. military strategy towards the Middle East often ignores the underlying issues that nurture militant movements and make them resilient, which are often the product of American policies.
Thalif Deen last updated: May 7, 2015
During the nuclear non-proliferation treaty review conference at the United Nations, a coalition of faith-based organizations, activists, and civil society organizations called for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.
Ali Gharib last updated: May 5, 2015
The latest Iran bill wending its way through Congress has divided neoconservatives as Bill Kristol and his Emergency Committee for Israel find themselves attacked from the left by rightwing hawks like the Post’s Jennifer Rubin for their opposition to the bill.
Jim Lobe and Charles Davis last updated: May 1, 2015
The Washington Post has attempted to paint Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as anti-Semitic for connecting billionaire Paul Singer and the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), while avoiding any mention of the financial connection between Singer and FDD.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: April 30, 2015
Elliott Abrams’ recent “concern” over Jewish settlements outside the major settlement blocs in the West Bank is a red herring, as it avoids the obstacle existing settlements pose to achieving a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Eli Clifton last updated: April 28, 2015
Rep. Ted Poe’s unusual invitation to MEK-leader Maryam Rajavi to provide testimony on ISIS before Congress may be due to the significant funding Poe receives from MEK supporters.
Eli Clifton last updated: April 20, 2015
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) recently spoke bluntly about his aim to rely on “pro-Israel” funding to support his potential run for president.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 18, 2015
Prominent neoconservatives like Bill Kristol are upset over the watered-down Corker-Menendez bill on the Iranian nuclear negotiations, which President Obama has said he will not veto.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 14, 2015
United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), the secretive neoconservative group, is apparently intent on distancing itself from the comments of its own president, Gary Samore, who has spoken favorably of the framework agreement reached with Iran.
Eli Clifton last updated: April 8, 2015
Hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer, a major Republican donor and “pro-Israel” hawk, has recently been sounding the alarm about the alleged threat of an electromagnetic pulse attack.
Ali Gharib last updated: April 7, 2015
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has stated that critics of a nuclear deal do not want a war with Iran, even as a long list of individuals associated with AIPAC have explicitly called for war with Iran.
Eli Clifton last updated: April 7, 2015
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is a major recipient of funding from prominent hawkish donors and AIPAC-aligned political action committees.
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: April 3, 2015
Now that a final nuclear deal with Iran is on the horizon, Republicans in Congress will have a harder time convincing their Democratic counterparts to sign on to potentially damaging bills.
Gary Sick last updated: April 1, 2015
As the Iran nuclear talks enter the final stretch, there are five main things to watch out for from those stoking hysteria about a potential agreement with Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 28, 2015
As recent events demonstrate, the Obama administration has a vision of Middle East equilibrium that balances limited rapprochement with Iran with a continued military alliance with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 24, 2015
Jeb Bush, presumptive 2016 Republican presidential candidate, says that his “support for Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu is unwavering,” thereby helping confirm that multi-billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has effectively gained control of the Republican Party leadership.
John Feffer last updated: March 24, 2015
The Iran nuclear negotiations are similar to diplomatic efforts made with North Korea 20 years ago, which were also met with opposition from congressional hawks.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: March 18, 2015
With Netanyahu’s dramatic election victory, the United States and Europe will have to exert enormous pressure on Israel to change its approach to negotiations with the Palestinians.
Henry Johnson last updated: March 15, 2015
A new report by Chatham House argues that if the United States seeks long-term stability in the Middle East, it must begin empowering opposition voices in the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 14, 2015
While the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies has lambasted Turkey for treating al-Qaeda affiliated fighters in its hospitals, it has turned a blind eye to Israeli medical support of the same militants.
Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe last updated: March 10, 2015
The new face of the GOP war hawks, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)—who masterminded the controversial letter to Iran signed by 47 Republican Senators—has been a major recipient of financial donations from billionaire rightwing “pro-Israel” donors Sheldon Adelson and Paul Singer.
Andrew Bacevich last updated: March 9, 2015
So-called policy intellectuals have for decades shaped the national security strategy of the United States, it is past time to stop taking their judgments or the people who promote them seriously.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 9, 2015
A letter signed by 47 Republican senators to Iran’s leaders has been derided as reflecting a poor understanding of U.S. and international law—it could also potentially solidify Democratic opposition to congressional efforts to sabotage negotiations.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 7, 2015
Not mentioned in most news reports about Netanyahu’s speech was that key guests at the address included Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson and neoconservative ideologue Bill Kristol.
Eldar Mamedov last updated: March 7, 2015
As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to convince Congress last week that a nuclear deal with Iran would be bad, a delegation consisting of European Parliament members and former high-ranking diplomats held brainstorming sessions with their Iranian counterparts on a host of issues aimed at improving relations between the EU and Tehran.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 3, 2015
According to a new poll, a strong majority of the U.S. public supports a nuclear agreement with Iran in line with what the Obama administration has been negotiating for.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 3, 2015
Hawkish Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) are back with a new version of their bill that threatens to sabotage a comprehensive nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and Iran.
Daniel Levy last updated: March 3, 2015
Netanyahu’s attempt to punch holes in a prospective nuclear deal as well as define a morning-after narrative regarding Iran fails to stand up to post-speech scrutiny.
Marsha Cohen last updated: March 3, 2015
Instead of elevating AIPAC’s stature, Benjamin Netanyahu has completely upstaged it.
Lara Friedman last updated: March 2, 2015
The eleven most prominent arguments echoed by Netanyahu against the Iranian nuclear negotiations have been thoroughly debunked.
Paul Pillar last updated: February 28, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main reason for staking out such a hardline on Iran is less about controlling its nuclear program than ensuring that Iran has a permanent pariah status that would preclude Washington-Tehran rapprochement.
Leon Anderson last updated: February 27, 2015
The primary reason the United States is militarily involved in the Middle East is to support Israel, which has led to its loss of credibility across the region.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 25, 2015
Rather than allowing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to dominate the media stories about the Iran nuclear negotiations, more airtime and even invitations to address Congress should be given to our NATO allies.
Alfred W. McCoy last updated: February 24, 2015
There is a clear correlation between state secrecy and the rule of law—as one grows, the other surely shrinks.
Paul Pillar last updated: February 22, 2015
Jeb Bush’s failure to repudiate his brother’s Iraq War leaves the question if he has similar attitudes towards the use of military force.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: February 17, 2015
If the Obama administration wants to avoid the Bush administration’s mistakes in Iraq, it must find a way to ensure that a war against ISIS does not become “enduring” or morph into an “occupation.”
Wayne White last updated: February 16, 2015
The Obama administration’s draft Authorization for Use Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS is dangerously broad and risks U.S. mission creep.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 12, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s enthusiastic promotion of the invasion of Iraq in Congress in 2002 begs the question why his current assessments about Iran should be viewed as any more accurate than his assessments about Iraq.
John Feffer last updated: February 9, 2015
The 2015 National Security Strategy, President Obama’s last, fails to provide any sense of how the United States will be able to afford to address the numerous challenges facing the country and the world while it remains committed to pouring resources into the usual panoply of tanks, fighter jets, and drones.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 8, 2015
A former Israeli opposition leader has derided Prime Minister Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress in a revealing op-ed published in Haaretz.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 6, 2015
House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) unilateral invitation to Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress has served above all else to persuade some Democrats to rally behind President Obama.
Eli Clifton last updated: February 4, 2015
A new investigation has shed light on the billionaire donors behind The Israel Project, a hawkish “pro-Israel” advocacy group.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: February 3, 2015
Hawkish members of Congress want to suspend U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority as punishment for bringing their grievances against Israel to the International Criminal Court.
Marsha B. Cohen last updated: February 2, 2015
Experts have fact-checked Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer’s talking points on Iran, which are likely to be reiterated by Netanyahu in his address to Congress in March, and found them to be less than accurate.
Andrew Bacevich last updated: January 30, 2015
President Obama has lacked a foreign policy vision, but instead of replacing his national security team with the old foreign policy elite, he should turn to a new crop of visionaries.
Derek Davison last updated: January 27, 2015
Three top foreign policy analysts have criticized efforts by Congress to levy new sanctions on Iran.
Peter Jenkins last updated: January 26, 2015
In order to reach a deal that significantly scales back Iran’s nuclear program, nuclear sanctions on the country should be lifted, not suspended.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: January 25, 2015
The latest twist in the Iran nuclear talks is the deal killers’ efforts to paint recent turmoil in the region a result of Iran’s “evil doings.”
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: January 23, 2015
The White House has earned support from world leaders and even Israeli intelligence in its warnings against Congress passing additional Iran sanctions.
Peter Certo last updated: January 22, 2015
President Obama’s State of the Union address highlighted some defensible goals in regards to foreign policy, but left out some crucial context.
Wayne White last updated: January 21, 2015
As he meets with members of the anti-ISIS coalition in London, Secretary of State John Kerry should act to ensure the spotlight remains on greater action against ISIS by US allies.
David Shams last updated: January 21, 2015
A new report by the Center for New American Security, a think tank close to the Obama White House, emphasizes any change in the United States’ relationship with Iran will be gradual.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: January 21, 2015
House Speaker John Boehner has announced that he has invited Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, in a move the White House has called “departure from protocol.”
Ali Gharib last updated: January 20, 2015
A list of talking points sent by the head of the Israel Project to reporters ahead of the State of the Union address misrepresented Congress’ new Iran sanctions bill.
Ali Gharib last updated: January 19, 2015
In a recent editorial, the Washington Post tacitly endorsed Congress’ push for additional sanctions on Iran while failing to make clear to its readers all the risks this poses.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: January 14, 2015
Terrorism in the name of Islam will remain a menace for Muslims and non-Muslims until political systems in the Arab and Muslim world are replaced and Islam undergoes a reformation.
John Feffer last updated: January 14, 2015
Forget the false frame of the West versus Islam, the real battle is over the soul for Europe, with the far-right increasingly animated by Muslim immigration.
John Feffer last updated: January 9, 2015
The attack on Charlie Hebdo has renewed concerns that blowback from the fighting in Syria and Iraq is reaching Europe.
Amanda Ufheil-Somers last updated: January 5, 2015
In a sign of the decreasing U.S. emphasis on democratization, Washington has increased support for authoritarian regimes throughout the Middle East.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: January 2, 2015
The belief that lower oil prices push U.S. rivals to make concessions is mistaken and discourages U.S. flexibility in important negotiations.
Thalif Deen last updated: December 31, 2014
A U.N. Security Council resolution calling for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territories failed to be adopted after U.S. pressure on member states to vote against the resolution or abstain.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 28, 2014
Sen. Lindsey Graham has remarkably gone to Jerusalem and told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. Congress will follow his lead with respect to Iran sanctions.
Mario Osava last updated: December 23, 2014
The détente between the United States and Cuba saves the Organization of American States from corrosion caused by the exclusion of Cuba.
Christine Ahn last updated: December 19, 2014
The landslide victory of a new governor in Okinawa who opposes U.S. efforts to construct additional military bases on the island obstructs America’s “pivot to Asia.”
Gareth Porter last updated: December 19, 2014
Former IAEA Director General Hans Blix has recently called for greater skepticism about the intelligence documents and reports alleging Iranian nuclear weapons work.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 17, 2014
President Obama’s announcement of a change of course on Cuba has spurred derision from hardliners in Congress.
Paul R. Pillar last updated: December 17, 2014
The main opponents to a nuclear deal with Iran are those with don’t want to see Iran integrated into the international community regardless of the nuclear issue.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 10, 2014
Many human rights groups have said the release of the Senate torture report does not go far enough and have called on the Obama administration to prosecute those responsible for the CIA’s torture program.
Tom Engelhardt last updated: December 8, 2014
The departure of Chuck Hagel comes at a time when the “war party” is ascendant in Washington.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: December 8, 2014
A recent poll shows that support among US citizens for a single-state in Israel and the Occupied Territories—where all would have full and equal rights—has increased by ten percentage points in the past year.
Russ Wellen last updated: December 3, 2014
Additional U.S. sanctions on Iran would play into the hands of Iranian hardliners and discourage cooperation from Tehran, as well as from China, Russia, and Europe.
Robert E. Hunter last updated: December 1, 2014
In choosing his next secretary of defense, President Obama can begin to move in the right direction by avoiding a “yes person.”
Peter Jenkins last updated: November 26, 2014
As nuclear talks between Iran and world powers are extended, hawkish elements in Washington are ramping up their efforts to impose additional economic pressure on Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 24, 2014
With talks between Iran and the P5+1 extended by seven months, “pro-Israel” and Republican hawks have ramped up their rhetoric, calling for Congress to be given a veto over any final deal.
Jasmine Ramsey last updated: November 24, 2014
Negotiators in Vienna failed to reach an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program and extended the deadline to July 1, 2015.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 19, 2014
The Bipartisan Policy Center, which claims to support “reasoned negotiation and respectful dialogue,” has firmly aligned itself with neoconservatives on Iran.
Robert E. Hunter last updated: November 18, 2014
Israel’s chief fear in a possible nuclear deal with Iran is that it will lose an enemy that it shares in common with the United States, and thus Washington’s commitment to its security.
Kaja Baum last updated: November 17, 2014
A Republican-controlled Senate could leave a huge imprint on President Obama’s foreign policy agenda during his last two years in office.
Wayne White last updated: November 11, 2014
George W. Bush and Barack Obama both sought to convince former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s to keep U.S. troops being in Iraq. Both failed.
François Nicoullaud last updated: November 8, 2014
As the November 24 deadline for reaching a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran approaches, the different sides are scrambling to ensure all bases are covered before the official resumption of talks in Vienna on November 18.
Adil E. Shamoo and Peter Certo last updated: November 6, 2014
Once a taboo topic in Washington, leading members of the foreign policy establishment now increasingly scrutinize Israel’s actions.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 3, 2014
A recently launched website unveils U.S. security and military assistance to countries around the world.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: October 31, 2014
Recent name-calling notwithstanding, US-Israel relations are not at a point of crisis, but could be in the near future.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: October 24, 2014
The U.S. bears enormous responsibility for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and needs to do less, in terms of its overriding commitment to Israel, to resolve this conflict.
Eli Clifton last updated: October 24, 2014
A recent letter to members of Congress from 37 organizations urges support for the White House’s efforts to reach a diplomatic agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 24, 2014
A recent endorsement for a possible nuclear deal with Iran by an influential former official will provide much needed political cover to shaky Democrats.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 21, 2014
Obama’s decision to airdrop new weapons and supplies to Kurdish fighters in the besieged town of Kobani has been praised by Republican hawks, who have called for much stronger action, including no-fly zones and attacks on Syrian military targets.
Stephen Zunes last updated: October 21, 2014
Democrats and Republicans in Washington have been swift in their efforts to discredit human rights groups who have criticized the Israeli government’s talking points on Gaza.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: October 15, 2014
The crumbling Levant poses a greater danger than ISIL and must be addressed first and foremost by the states of the region.
James A. Russell last updated: October 15, 2014
America’s Cold-War era Middle East policy of relying on a cast of autocratic states plus Israel must change.
Shireen Hunter last updated: October 14, 2014
The longstanding U.S. policy of not engaging Iran and working to contain its influence in the Middle East has in fact contributed to rising sectarian tensions and extremism in the region.
Paul Pillar last updated: October 9, 2014
The U.S. track record of using military force in the Middle East has tended to make things worse rather than better, and there is no reason to believe things will be different in the campaign against ISIS.
Russ Wellen last updated: October 7, 2014
The Obama administration has announced that the strict standards it set-out last year to prevent civilian deaths in U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military actions in Iraq and Syria.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 7, 2014
President Obama’s anti-ISIL strategy is drawing growing skepticism amid ISIL gains against the Kurds in the Syrian town of Kobani and on the eastern edge of Al-Anbar province in Iraq in spite of U.S.-led airstrikes and recent U.S. helicopter gunship attacks.
Peter Jenkins last updated: October 7, 2014
With a wide gap between the two sides in the Iran nuclear talks over how much nuclear enrichment capacity Iran should have, the prospect of not reaching a deal is on the horizon. Tolerating Iranian operation of nine or ten thousand centrifuges would be the lesser of two evils – the greater evil being no deal.
John Feffer last updated: October 4, 2014
President Obama does not lack a “will to fight,” as many of his critics claim, especially given the many military interventions that have taken place under his watch. He does, however, lack a will to fight hawkish opponents in Congress and the media.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: October 1, 2014
During his recent UN speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of trying to “fool the world with a moderate president,” equated Hamas with the Islamic State, and failed to make any mention of the two-state solution, instead claiming that Israelis have had a “singular attachment to this land for over 3,000 years.”
Eli Clifton last updated: September 30, 2014
Gary Samore, president of the controversial pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran, does not appear to share the same alarmist tendencies as others associated with the group. What gives?
Jim Lobe last updated: September 23, 2014
At a press breakfast during his trip to New York for the UN General Assembly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani questioned the legality of U.S. strikes on Syria, expressed hope for reaching a nuclear agreement with the P5+1, and called for warmer ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: September 22, 2014
As nuclear negotiations between Iran and international negotiators approach their November deadline, domestic criticism in Iran and the U.S., as well as the complicated regional politics surrounding ISIS, may influence their course.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 18, 2014
A new report by former senior U.S. foreign-policy officials and regional experts argues that a U.S. nuclear accord with Iran could open the way for cooperation on a host of challenges in the Middle East, including responding to ISIS in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 15, 2014
Though recent global unrest has spurred an uptick in public support for military interventions, favorable U.S. attitudes toward the use of force abroad appear to be on the decline.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 12, 2014
President Barack Obama’s proposal to attack ISIS will likely receive support from Congress, but experts question his choice of tactics and allies.
Thalif Deen last updated: September 12, 2014
Despite earlier saying that an attack on Syria would require authorization by the UN Security Council, the Obama administration has suggested that it will bypass the UN in its campaign against ISIS.
Thalif Deen last updated: September 11, 2014
Although political conditions and opposition from the U.S. and Israel have stymied efforts to create a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East, disarmament activists remain optimistic that progress in nuclear negotiations with Iran will open the door for wider talks.
Derek Davison last updated: September 11, 2014
In a recent speech at the American Enterprise Institute, former Vice President Dick Cheney said the United States should be committing “substantial military forces” to address purported threats in at least 10 countries.
Louis Trager last updated: September 8, 2014
Recent revelations about United Against Nuclear Iran’s access to sensitive materials have spurred allegations that it’s actually a U.S. government front. It wouldn’t be the first.
Bill Miller last updated: September 4, 2014
As ISIS plunges Iraq into a new sectarian and humanitarian crisis, the U.S. media has ceded the discussion of solutions to proponents of the war that helped ISIS come about.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 29, 2014
As AIPAC and other U.S. “pro-Israel” groups have drifted to the hawkish right, they’ve lost support from many reliably “pro-Israel” Democrats and liberal Zionists, widening the gap between the U.S. Jewish community and Israel’s right-wing government.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 28, 2014
Many prominent Iraq War boosters are now supporting U.S. incursions into Syria alongside a fresh intervention in Iraq.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 23, 2014
Obama administration officials have strongly hinted that they are considering expanding their intervention against ISIS over the Syrian border.
James A. Russell last updated: August 20, 2014
Although the Obama administration has grown skeptical of full-blown military interventions, it has increased its reliance on air strikes and special forces—forms of intervention that are no more capable of influencing political or strategic outcomes than their predecessors.
Somar Wijayadasa last updated: August 20, 2014
Many of the most egregious violators of international law are not rogue dictatorships but developed democracies like the United States and its allies.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 18, 2014
Recent polling reveals a degree of public support for the recent U.S. intervention in Iraq, though a majority of respondents also worried that the U.S. would go “too far” in responding to the threat posed by ISIS.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: August 12, 2014
Political settlements in Iraq and Syria—preferably ones that depose Nouri al-Maliki and Bashar al-Assad, respectively—would go much further toward stopping ISIS than airstrikes.
Gareth Porter last updated: August 12, 2014
Despite repeated insistences that it urged Israel to reduce civilian casualties, the U.S. government has systematically played down Israeli abuses and recited Israeli government talking points about the latest war in Gaza.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 9, 2014
Inside the Beltway, President Obama’s decision to launch a limited military action in northern Iraq has garnered qualified support from across the political spectrum.
Peter Custers last updated: July 27, 2014
The extremist group ISIS has used a Saudi tactic—monopolizing oil revenues—to fund its brutal execution of a Saudi goal: the repression of the Middle East’s Shiites.
Thalif Deen last updated: July 23, 2014
The latest conflict between Israel and Hamas brings to bear the vast technological superiority of Israeli’s U.S.-backed and U.S.-supplied military.
Joel Jaeger last updated: July 22, 2014
The influence of the International Criminal Court has grown steadily over the years, but the organization remains hampered by opposition from the United States, China, and Russia, as well as by charges that it chiefly prosecutes African leaders at the expense of human rights abusers elsewhere.
Paul Pillar last updated: July 21, 2014
Although Iran hawks have sought to portray the recent extension of talks over the country’s nuclear enrichment program as evidence that they are faltering, the highly technical negotiations have achieved a tremendous amount in the last year.
Thalif Deen last updated: July 18, 2014
China and Russia have staunchly resisted Western-backed UN resolutions against the Syrian regime, but they have proven unwilling to challenge the West directly by introducing their own resolution against Israel’s latest incursion into Gaza.
Kanya D'Almeida last updated: July 8, 2014
Across the globe, nonviolent movements for peace and demilitarization are showing results.
H.L.D. Mahindapala last updated: June 30, 2014
As it did in Vietnam, the United States has strenuously sought to blame others for the mess it created by invading Iraq.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 28, 2014
While many realists in Washington support U.S. cooperation with Iran and even Syria to roll back gains made by ISIS in Iraq, neoconservatives and Washington’s Gulf allies are rallying against any normalization of U.S. relations with Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 26, 2014
While opposition to the U.S. Export-Import bank, which financially incentivizes the purchase of U.S. exports, previously came from the left, the House Tea Party faction has launched a revolt against the bank and its backers in the business community and the GOP establishment.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 21, 2014
Despite their ubiquity on television talk shows and newspaper op-ed pages, the hawks who propelled the U.S. into war in Iraq 11 years ago appear to be falling short in their efforts to persuade the public and Congress that Washington needs to return.
Eldar Mamedov last updated: June 17, 2014
Some European supporters of the exiled Iranian opposition group MEK have played down the role of ISIS in Iraq, painting the violence plaguing the country as a popular revolution against an Iranian-backed autocrat.
Shireen T. Hunter last updated: June 14, 2014
Although Iraq’s Sunnis have a multitude of legitimate grievances against Shia Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, much of the country’s current unrest is a result of preexisting social fractures, Western meddling, and predatory behavior by the country’s largely Sunni neighbors.
Gareth Porter last updated: June 13, 2014
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has reportedly disclosed a plan to international negotiators to prevent Iran from obtaining “breakout” nuclear weapons capability while still retaining its right to enrich uranium.
Marsha Cohen last updated: June 11, 2014
The recently defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor enjoyed plenty of support from the Israel lobby, but an increasing tendency by some ‘pro-Israel’ activists to support the Tea Party may have contributed to Cantor’s upset by a Tea Party primary challenger.
Noah Habeeb last updated: June 10, 2014
While Israel uses soccer to bolster its international image, critics note that it has violently oppressed the Palestinian national soccer team.
Derek Davison last updated: June 10, 2014
Establishing Iranian trust of U.S. motives will be key to negotiating timelines for sanctions relief and guidelines for future nuclear enrichment in the country.
Jesse Franzblau last updated: June 9, 2014
Beset by infighting among militias and rampant arms trafficking, Libya has become a cautionary tale about the long-term consequences of military intervention.
Mairead Maguire last updated: June 6, 2014
One hundred years after the start of World War I, new calls are emerging to resuscitate the peace movement that flourished in the decades before the war.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 6, 2014
A recent report by the Council on Foreign Relations highlights declining global cooperation across a range of issues—especially climate change, conflict prevention, and nuclear deproliferation.
Mona Alami last updated: June 5, 2014
The longer Syria’s civil war drags on, the more it develops a religious character for its sectarian combatants—Sunni and Shiite alike.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 3, 2014
Neoconservatives and hawks have hammered Barack Obama over his support for a less militarized U.S. foreign policy, but his views are virtually indistinguishable from those of former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a Republican they seldom criticized.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 28, 2014
President Barack Obama has announced that all U.S. troops will be removed from Afghanistan by the end of 2016.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 28, 2014
President Barack Obama has announced a plan to fight terrorism through multilateral actions and cooperation with foreign governments rather than U.S.-led military action.
Robert E. Hunter last updated: May 28, 2014
President Obama has indicated a desire to reposition U.S. foreign policy toward multilateral priorities and away from military force, but has yet to articulate a strategy for the transition.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 14, 2014
A new poll commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) suggests that anti-Jewish views are three times more prevalent in the Middle East than the global average.
John Feffer last updated: May 14, 2014
Hyping threats from Russia, China, and the rest of the world, U.S. foreign policy hawks are crafting a confrontational agenda ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Joeva Rock last updated: May 14, 2014
The U.S. military is using humanitarian missions to gain a foothold for future interventions in Africa.
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: May 12, 2014
As Iran meets with international negotiators in Vienna, some of the thorniest questions from the nuclear saga will be on the table—including how much of its enrichment capacity Tehran can retain, how sanctions will be rolled back, and how long Iran must abide by any agreement.
Pratap Chatterjee last updated: May 12, 2014
A small but growing group of former drone pilots is joining the campaign against the use of drones.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 7, 2014
The Obama administration has recently increased its assistance to Syrian rebels, but experts believe the White House is more interested in appeasing its allies and co-opting domestic opponents than measurably changing its involvement in the war.
Gareth Porter last updated: May 6, 2014
A UN investigation into the Assad regime’s alleged sarin attack outside Damascus suggests that fewer people were affected than originally reported.
François Nicoullaud last updated: May 5, 2014
Iran’s latest nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 powers have thus far proceeded smoothly, though lingering questions remain over breakout capacity, possible weaponization, and the duration of any concluded agreement.
Emile Nakleh last updated: May 4, 2014
With the demise of the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, activists and academics are considering alternatives to the elusive two-state solution.
John Feffer last updated: April 29, 2014
Ever since the Obama administration announced its ‘strategic rebalance’ of U.S. foreign policy away from the Middle East and toward the Asia-Pacific, the effort has encountered both domestic and foreign challenges.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: April 28, 2014
The neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel has called for Secretary of State John Kerry to resign over his off-the-record warning—one previously issued by Israeli politicians—that Israel could become an “apartheid” state if negotiations over a Palestinian state fail.
Derek Davison last updated: April 24, 2014
Iran’s vice president recently suggested that Tehran has reached a deal with international negotiators over the heavy water reactor at Arak, which has been a sticking point for critics who allege that Iran is planning on weaponizing its nuclear program in the future.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 24, 2014
A new poll shows considerable U.S. support for cooperative international engagement, but not for unilateral military adventures.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 23, 2014
In his memoir, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recalls sternly warning President George W. Bush against heeding Dick Cheney’s advice to green light an Israeli attack on Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 22, 2014
As the U.S. attempts to reassure its allies in Asia of its longstanding security commitments in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, some Asian leaders—such as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe—are making provocative gestures toward their rivals, complicating Washington’s balancing act between containing China and engaging it.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 17, 2014
Sen. Mark Kirk, the strongly hawkish Republican from Illinois who has accused the State Department of playing politics by negotiating with Iran, has grown increasingly strident in his support for Israel as campaign donations from “pro-Israel” groups has ballooned.
Farideh Farhi last updated: April 15, 2014
A recent resolution passed by the European Parliament promoting renewed engagement between Iran and the EU has angered Iran because it scrutinizes Tehran’s human rights record and calls on EU diplomats to meet with Iranian dissidents.
Barbara Slavin last updated: April 13, 2014
A new book argues that President Harry Truman, the U.S. president who first recognized the state of Israel, was skeptical of a Jewish-led state, preferring instead a joint Jewish-Arab federation in Palestine.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 9, 2014
In its report on GOP mega-donor Paul Singer’s financial support for gay rights causes, the Washington Post neglected to mention Singer’s potentially greater support for hardline neoconservative foreign policy outfits.
Thalif Deen last updated: April 7, 2014
Although Palestinians have sought to pressure Israel by applying for membership in a host of international organizations, they have so far refrained from joining the International Criminal Court, which would enable them to bring war crimes cases against Israel.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: April 1, 2014
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks may serve the interests of political leaders in Washington, Ramallah, and Tel Aviv, but they appear doomed to failure.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 31, 2014
A recent report by a Brookings scholar recommends passing a congressional authorization for war in the event that Iran abandons nuclear negotiations with the west.
Gareth Porter last updated: March 31, 2014
The United States appears to have dropped a key Israeli demand that Iran ‘confess’ to past nuclear weapons research—which Iran has denied conducting—as a condition for a future deal.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 26, 2014
Potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates are already courting casino magnate and ‘pro-Israel’ mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: March 26, 2014
Support for reform in Iran and progress in nuclear negotiations depends on a political balance in the country that tentatively—but precariously—favors centrists over conservatives.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 24, 2014
Neoconservatives and their allies in the military-industrial complex and fossil fuel industry have seized upon the prospect of a new Cold War with Russia to push a host of pet causes.
James A. Russell last updated: March 20, 2014
A recent upturn in civil and interstate conflicts is a return to form for international politics, not a deviation—and it calls for caution, not wanton intervention.
Derek Davison last updated: March 19, 2014
Neoconservatives are pushing impossible standards for a settlement of the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, suggesting that they want little from the talks beyond a justification for war.
Thalif Deen last updated: March 17, 2014
Simmering regional tensions, fears of uprising, and abundant oil wealth are driving a glut of arms sales in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
Thalif Deen last updated: March 14, 2014
Brinkmanship over the crisis in Crimea could lead to rollbacks in arms control agreements between the United States and Russia.
Thalif Deen last updated: March 11, 2014
By supplying arms to Egypt’s historically U.S.-backed military, Russia may be attempting to drive a wedge between Washington and its longtime clients in Cairo.
Derek Davison last updated: March 10, 2014
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE are launching a full-fledged diplomatic assault against Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, but the real cause may be Doha’s cordial ties with Tehran.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: March 4, 2014
As the political window for a two-state solution in Israel-Palestine closes, polls show surprising U.S. support for the “one-state” option.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 4, 2014
A familiar cast of neoconservatives is blaming Russia’s intervention in Ukraine on the Obama administration.
Pavol Stracansky last updated: March 4, 2014
In the absence of a political settlement in Kiev, Crimea could remain under Russian control indefinitely.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 2, 2014
Thwarted in its attempt to push new Iran sanctions through Congress, AIPAC is now banking on getting bipartisan support for a watered-down letter about Iran’s nuclear enrichment capabilities.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 26, 2014
Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel’s recent proposal to cut the size of the regular Army while increasing funding for Special Forces in many ways reflects the approach of Donald Rumsfeld, who embraced a similar vision prior to the Iraq War.
Thalif Deen last updated: February 25, 2014
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains vulnerable, but a fractured armed opposition and polarized geopolitics mean that he’s unlikely to lose his grip on power in the immediate future.
Gareth Porter last updated: February 22, 2014
The Obama administration has suggested that it will press Iran on halting its ballistic missile program, adopting a key Israeli demand that Iran may consider a deal breaker in talks over its nuclear enrichment program.
Thalif Deen last updated: February 18, 2014
An upcoming global summit to address the threat of nuclear weapons will focus on the proliferation of nuclear materials to rogue actors, but not on how to prevent the use of these weapons by the world’s current nuclear powers.
Joe Cirincione last updated: February 17, 2014
A workable nuclear deal with Iran must address lingering questions about uranium enrichment, the production of plutonium, verification, past research, sanctions relief, and future relations between Iran and the West.
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: February 11, 2014
As Iran marks the 35th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, new generations of leaders are discovering the value of diplomacy, even while fighting a rear-guard battle against hardliners and old-school revolutionaries.
William D. Hartung last updated: February 6, 2014
The Obama administration has pledged not to sell arms to parties that violate human rights even as it’s given U.S. exporters free reign to export many new classes of weapons and equipment.
Farideh Farhi last updated: February 4, 2014
U.S. efforts to get Iran to play a ‘constructive’ role in Syria behind closed doors are undermined by its condemnations of Iran in public.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: February 3, 2014
The dustup over actress Scarlett Johansson’s appearance in an advertisement for SodaStream, whose factory is located in the occupied West Bank, has obscured a deeper movement in the international community against doing business with entities that profit from or finance the Israeli occupation.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: February 1, 2014
On the eve of an expected framework agreement between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, polls of both Israelis and Palestinians show diminishing support for—and optimism about—a two-state solution.
Peter Jenkins last updated: January 29, 2014
A new book by Gareth Porter argues that evidence of the Iranian ‘nuclear threat’ is largely the result of bureaucratic and ideological exaggeration, misinterpreted intelligence, and in some cases, forged documents.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: January 24, 2014
If Washington banks again on autocratic leaders to preserve “stability” in the Middle East, it will sow the seeds of unrest for years to come.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 23, 2014
AIPAC and the “Israel lobby” suffered a heavy blow with its defeat over new Iran sanctions, but the legislation will likely return in force if nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 powers stumble.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 20, 2014
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent claim that Hezbollah launched a missile attack on Israel—even when Israeli intelligence analysts say the Iranian-backed militia likely wasn’t responsible—illustrates a key problem with an Iran sanctions bill before Congress, which would pledge U.S. support for any purportedly “defensive” Israeli military actions against Iran or its proxies.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 16, 2014
Mounting Democratic opposition to an AIPAC-backed bill that that would create new sanctions on Iran while nuclear negotiations are underway appears to have convinced Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to table the bill for now.
Gareth Porter last updated: January 10, 2014
A recent memoir by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates accuses President Obama of being insufficiently committed to his own troop surge in Afghanistan, but neglects to mention that public and private pressure from top security officials limited the president’s options.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 9, 2014
The Foreign Policy Initiative, a neoconservative letterhead group that shares many names with the erstwhile Project for the New American Century, has just published an open letter backing new AIPAC-supported sanctions on Iran, giving credence to the belief that the sanctions are designed to sink negotiations between Iran and the West.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 9, 2014
The capture of Fallujah by al-Qaeda-linked fighters has led some Washington policymakers to call for renewed U.S. assistance for the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki, while others warn that U.S. arms could be used to commit human rights abuses and bolster Maliki’s sectarian agenda.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 3, 2014
President Barack Obama faces a number of critical foreign policy challenges in 2014—ranging from escalating tensions in East Asia and sectarian violence throughout the Middle East to the U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan—but also big opportunities, including a potential rapprochement with Iran and progress on Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 3, 2014
Forty-seven U.S. senators have signed on to cosponsor an AIPAC-backed Iran sanctions package that could tank U.S. diplomatic progress with Iran, which appears to be exactly what its advocates want.
Robert E. Hunter last updated: December 18, 2013
The United States is attempting to assure its client states in the Persian Gulf that arms sales, rather than diplomacy, can secure the region.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 18, 2013
The latest sanctions bill—introduced by “pro-Israel” Sens. Mark Kirk, Robert Menendez, and Chuck Schumer—violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the recent U.S. accord with Iran, and was likely designed to sink the interim accord over Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.
Thalif Deen last updated: December 16, 2013
UN chief Ban Ki-moon has identified the ongoing disintegration of Syria and the Central African Republic as key challenges for the international community in 2014.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 12, 2013
The Israel lobby’s failure to move new Iran sanctions through Congress before the Christmas recess marks a major setback for opponents of the interim agreement with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program.
Peter Jenkins last updated: December 11, 2013
A recent Wall Street Journal op-ed by Republican former Secretaries of States Henry Kissinger and George Shultz makes numerous false presumptions about Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and the geopolitics surrounding it.
Gareth Porter last updated: December 10, 2013
The Washington Post’s designated “fact checker” misrepresented important context—and quoted observers who were hardly disinterested—in a recent column casting doubt on Iran’s religious injunctions against producing nuclear weapons.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 6, 2013
GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor and his Democratic counterpart Steny Hoyer are engaged in talks to push a resolution for new Iran sanctions through the House, even as the White house makes diplomatic progress with the regime in Tehran.
Barbara Slavin last updated: December 6, 2013
A new poll suggests that Iran’s nuclear enrichment program is of limited interest to most Iranians—until it is joined to the question of sanctions, in which case the program attracts nearly universal support.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 5, 2013
Washington’s foreign policy elites have generally welcomed the interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, leaving little space for congressional hawks to advance new sanctions that could tank negotiations.
Peter Jenkins last updated: November 24, 2013
In its agreement with the P5+1, Iran has agreed to inspections of its nuclear enrichment facilities that are considerably more intrusive than required by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: November 24, 2013
The recent deal struck between Iran and the P5+1 on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program should accommodate everyone but the war hawks.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 23, 2013
The U.S. Israel lobby has made clear that it will fight the implementation of any interim agreement with Iran that does not require Iran to fully dismantle its nuclear reactors.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 16, 2013
The U.S. Senate appears unlikely to vote on any new Iran sanctions before December 2013, giving the administration time to reach an interim deal with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program.
Johan Galtung last updated: November 14, 2013
The scandal surrounding the NSA’s surveillance of U.S. allies is the latest evidence that the United States has grown increasingly alienated from its clients.
Ignacio Ramonet last updated: November 12, 2013
Despite strident opposition in some quarters to efforts to reach an accord between Washington and Tehran, circumstances are gradually changing in favor of a deal.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: November 12, 2013
Saudi concerns that U.S. rapprochement with Iran would sideline the conservative Sunni Gulf kingdom are key to understanding Saudi Arabia’s public spat with Washington.
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: November 9, 2013
Talks between Iran and the world powers known as the P5+1 have yet to yield an agreement.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 7, 2013
Citing policy differences over Syria and a possible U.S. détente with Iran, Saudi Arabia has become increasingly willing to openly challenge U.S. policy in the Middle East.
Pierre Klochendler last updated: November 7, 2013
Israel is not about to relinquish its nuclear arsenal anytime soon, but a growing number of civil society activists are breaking the taboo about discussing it openly.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 5, 2013
Even as anti-American hardliners rally in Tehran and hawkish U.S. lawmakers peddle new sanctions legislation against Iran in Washington, experts believe a U.S.-Iran détente could be in the works.
Peter Jenkins last updated: November 4, 2013
The necessary elements of a nuclear deal between the West and Iran have long been clear: submission to inspections by Iran, and an easing of sanctions and recognition of Iran’s right to enrich uranium by the West.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 2, 2013
A recent visit to Washington by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki highlighted the growing U.S. concern about al-Qaeda activity in Iraq, but some lawmakers are skeptical that U.S. assistance can mitigate the violence, blaming it in part on Maliki’s authoritarian governance.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 23, 2013
With Washington facing new challenges in its relations with Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the United States is less equipped to dictate events in region than at any other point in recent history.
Robert Hunter last updated: October 22, 2013
Robert E. Hunter, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, was director of Middle East Affairs on the National Security Council Staff in the Carter Administration and in 2011-12 was Director of Transatlantic Security Studies at the National Defense University.
Thomas W. Lippman last updated: October 19, 2013
It remains unclear what Saudi Arabia hopes to gain by refusing a seat on the UN Security Council that it campaigned hard to receive.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 19, 2013
Although recent progress in nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 powers has blunted the momentum of Washington’s Iran hawks, congressional supporters of a strike on Iran are preparing legislative measures to chill the negotiations and limit the Obama administration’s ability to scale back sanctions in exchange for concessions.
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: October 17, 2013
Officials left the latest nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 feeling more optimistic than ever about a deal.
John Feffer last updated: October 16, 2013
America’s foreign policy hawks are no longer counting on Iran to collapse, but North Korea and Cuba remain the “Teetering Twosome.”
Richard Heydarian last updated: October 16, 2013
With Washington shut down and President Obama pulled away from trade negotiations in Asia, China is making an aggressive pitch to Washington’s trading partners in the region.
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: October 16, 2013
Iran’s deputy foreign minister has indicated that Iran would be willing to allow additional inspections of its nuclear sites as part of an agreement with the United States and its allies.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 16, 2013
As Iranian diplomats meet with their western counterparts in Geneva, Israel and the Gulf monarchies are united in their opposition to a U.S. peace agreement with Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 8, 2013
Nervous about potential U.S. rapprochement with Tehran over its nuclear enrichment program, some neoconservatives are urging Israel to scuttle the deal by attacking Iran.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: October 4, 2013
Hardliners have begun to lose sway in the U.S. “pro-Israel” community, but the gulf between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating positions remains formidable in the latest round of U.S.-brokered talks.
Richard Javad Heydarian last updated: October 1, 2013
The emerging U.S.-Iran modus vivendi over Syria could be the beginning of the end for three decades of mutual hostility and estrangement.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: September 30, 2013
As the United States and Iran move towards renewed talks over Tehran’s nuclear enrichment program, anti-Iran hardliners in Washington and the Middle East are likely to step up their attacks on the process.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 29, 2013
As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu escalates his pressure on Washington to avert its rapprochement with Iran, critics recall his fervent support for the invasion of Iraq.
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: September 25, 2013
In their addresses to the UN General Assembly, U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani each indicated that they were committed to renewing diplomatic engagement between their two countries, which each administration appointing high-level diplomats to resume talks.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 24, 2013
With both sides sending conciliatory signals in advance of the UN General Assembly, a U.S.-Iran détente appears more within reach than ever—much to the chagrin of hawkish “pro-Israel” factions in the United States.
Ramy Srour last updated: September 24, 2013
The recent assault by Somali terrorists on a Kenyan mall has highlighted the limitations of—and blowback from—targeting terrorists without addressing certain root causes of terrorism.
Pierre Klochendler last updated: September 23, 2013
The prospect of Syria relinquishing its chemical weapons arsenal has sparked discussion of whether Israel will be pressured to reduce its own widely suspected stockpile.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 21, 2013
Amid collapsing support at home for military intervention and widening diplomatic inroads with U.S. rivals, Washington’s “pro-Israel” Iran and Syria hawks find themselves increasingly isolated.
George Gao last updated: September 19, 2013
The recent U.S. failure to marshal international support for military intervention in Syria—and subsequent reliance on diplomacy—highlights the increasing clout of other world powers and alliances.
Casey L. Biron last updated: September 19, 2013
Hundreds of military contractors have signed onto an agreement to regulate their conduct in overseas warzones, but critics warn that the agreement is voluntary and lacks an effective enforcement mechanism.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 14, 2013
While some foreign policy elites have lamented the creeping “isolationism” supposedly reflected in the growing public opposition to U.S. military intervention in Syria, recent polls suggest that disillusionment over U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as economic concerns and the failure to muster multilateral support for an attack have been critical factors.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 10, 2013
With domestic and international support floundering for the Obama administration’s bid to attack Syria, a Russian proposal for Assad to turn over Syria’s chemical weapons is gaining steam.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 6, 2013
Washington’s failure to enlist a robust “coalition of the willing” for a strike on Syria mirrors the Obama administration’s failure to sell the war at home.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 5, 2013
Even as the Obama administration is attempting to couch its proposed military intervention in Syria as a humanitarian response to the use of chemical weapons, members of the right-wing “pro-Israel” lobby are pushing for strikes on Syria as an escalation in the U.S. standoff with Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 28, 2013
A similar cast of neocons and hardliners who pushed for U.S. military intervention in Iraq and Libya is pressing the Obama administration to attack Syria.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 27, 2013
Recent allegations that Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemical weapons have bolstered the standing of Washington’s Syria hawks, even as experts warn that the risks of intervention have not diminished.
Robert E. Hunter last updated: August 26, 2013
A former U.S. ambassador to NATO warns President Obama to avoid the temptation to intervene militarily in Syria and advises him to “place his bet on vigorous and unrelenting diplomacy for a viable post-Assad Syria.”
Jim Lobe last updated: August 24, 2013
Saudi Arabia, traditionally the linchpin of U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf, has increasingly distanced itself from Washington’s dictates, seeking an outside understanding with Russia over Syria and encouraging Egypt’s crackdown on supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
Thalif Deen last updated: August 23, 2013
Over the objections of Russia and China, the United States, the UK, and France have been circulating a letter among UN member states pushing for a wider investigation into the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Daniel Luban last updated: August 23, 2013
The neoconservative split over Egypt may not be symptomatic of what’s happening among other elements of the U.S. right, where a number of commentators have characterized the unrest in sectarian terms, arguing that the bloody military crackdown on Islamist protesters is a defense of Egypt’s Christians.
Thalif Deen last updated: August 16, 2013
Most of the $1.3 billion in annual U.S. “aid” to Egypt goes directly to U.S.-based military contractors.
Jim Lobe and Jared Metzker last updated: August 15, 2013
Although it harshly condemned Egypt’s horrific crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters, Washington has indicated that it will continue to finance the Egyptian military.
Jillian Kestler-D'Amours last updated: August 14, 2013
Illegal settlement growth continues in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem even as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meet to discuss the division of land for a potential Palestinian state.
Pierre Klochendler last updated: August 12, 2013
The Israeli government’s decision to release over 100 long-serving Palestinian prisoners, many of whom are considered terrorists, has evoked complex feelings among Israelis.
Thalif Deen last updated: August 7, 2013
Some analysts worry that the United States and Russia could use the dustup over whistleblower Edward Snowden as a pretext to sink disarmament talks between the two preeminent nuclear powers.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: July 30, 2013
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry exceeded expectations in getting Israeli and Palestinian leaders to the table for new peace talks, but signs of progress on final-status issues remain elusive.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: July 23, 2013
Some observers—including former President Jimmy Carter—are optimistic that a referendum could provide popular legitimacy to a potential Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 20, 2013
Prospects for new unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran have appeared to dim after the release of a letter, signed by 131 House members, urging renewed engagement with Tehran.
Wayne White last updated: July 16, 2013
Fierce infighting among moderate and Islamist rebel groups, as well as Hezbollah’s entry into the war, have boosted the Assad regime in Syria.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 16, 2013
Intelligence experts and diplomats are urging patience with Iran’s new president-elect, even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and some of his supporters in the U.S. Congress agitate for new threats.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 13, 2013
From a tightrope act in Egypt to new obstacles in Syria, events in the Middle East have put the Obama administration in a precarious position.
Robert Hunter last updated: July 10, 2013
By reflexively calling to maintain or increase sanctions on Iran, Washington commentators are helping to sully any opportunity to open a dialogue with Iran’s newly elected president, even as the U.S. faces regional challenges in Syria and Afghanistan that could be mitigated by cooperation with Tehran.
Thalif Deen last updated: July 9, 2013
Military coup and the violent repression of demonstrations notwithstanding, the Egyptian army continues to receive arms and assistance from the United States.
Jared Metzker last updated: July 9, 2013
A new report argues that because of disarray in Washington and decentralization in the Taliban, efforts to broker an agreement between the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan ahead of the planned U.S. withdrawal in 2014 are likely to fail.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 6, 2013
Some neoconservatives and other “pro-Israel” advocates in the United States are insisting that Washington maintain its close ties with the Egyptian military, despite the latter’s involvement in toppling Egypt’s democratically elected Islamist government.
Abolghasem Bayyenat last updated: July 1, 2013
The surprise landside victory of Iranian moderate Hassan Rouhani restored the faith of many Iranians in their electoral system, but it also spoke to disillusion across the political spectrum with the country’s isolated status and stagnant economy.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: June 25, 2013
On the eve of John Kerry’s fifth visit to Israel-Palestine this year, prospects for a two-state solution to the conflict remain dim.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 20, 2013
Repression of all stripes has increased in Bahrain despite the government’s promises to reform, leaving some U.S. officials frustrated and embarrassed.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 18, 2013
While official Washington has greeted the election of Hassan Rouhani—the Iranian moderate slated to become the country’s next president—with cautious optimism, neoconservatives continue to insist that diplomatic progress over Iran’s nuclear program remains unlikely.
Wayne White last updated: June 14, 2013
Some analysts believe that the U.S. decision to arm “moderate” elements of Syria’s opposition forces is more likely to prolong the bloodshed and foster rebel in-fighting than turn the tables against Assad.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 14, 2013
Although the Obama administration has couched its decision to arm Syria’s rebels as a response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, it remains unclear how much assistance Washington intends to provide and to what end.
Jim Lobe and Thalif Deen last updated: June 6, 2013
Susan Rice, President Obama’s new National Security Adviser, and Samantha Power, the administration’s new nominee for UN ambassador, are both firmly committed to the principles of “humanitarian” intervention.
Usha Sahay and Laicie Heeley last updated: June 5, 2013
Because lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran requires legislative action that Congress is unlikely to take no matter what steps Iran’s leaders make, analysts say the Iranian regime has less incentive than ever to halt its nuclear enrichment.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: May 24, 2013
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent push to resume Israeli-Palestinian negotiations has received almost no support from Congress, which has largely ignored the issue even as it has drifted to the right.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 23, 2013
As the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to back Israel in the event of a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran, the House Foreign Affairs Committee moved closer to imposing a full trade embargo on Iran and the countries who trade with it.
Jim Lobe and Joe Hitchon last updated: May 18, 2013
A new report by the Rand Corporation argues that while a nuclear-armed Iran might raise tensions among the country’s Sunni neighbors, it would be extremely unlikely to use the weapons offensively or transfer them to proxies.
Right Web last updated: May 16, 2013
An examination of media coverage of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program reveals a tendency by mainstream outlets to frame the issue according to the statements of government officials to the exclusion of alternative voices—a trend also observed during the run-up to the Iraq war.
Stephen Zunes last updated: May 15, 2013
Syria’s simmering sectarian tensions and increasingly extreme rebel movement make even a large-scale U.S. intervention unlikely to restore stability to the country.
James A. Russell last updated: May 14, 2013
The much-publicized hearings over the Benghazi fiasco have neglected to examine the proper balance of security and flexibility for America’s diplomats—or the limitations of military intervention as a tool for improving security environments.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 14, 2013
A report by the Center for a New American Security, a national security think tank close to the Obama administration, argues that the United States has a plethora of viable strategies—including deterrence—to manage the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 8, 2013
Ten years after right-wing and liberal hawks came together to push the U.S. into invading Iraq, key members of the two groups appear to be reuniting behind stronger U.S. military intervention in Syria.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: May 7, 2013
A group of former European leaders is urging the EU to sidestep the stalled U.S.-backed Israeli-Palestinian peace process and take a strong stance against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 4, 2013
The Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons has led to calls for increased U.S. assistance to rebels, but lingering doubts in Washington about intervention means assistance will likely remain limited.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: May 1, 2013
Although Israel has thus far appeared reluctant to intervene in Syria’s civil war, some analysts believe that increased Hezbollah activity in the Syrian conflict could eventually draw the Israelis in.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: April 30, 2013
John Kerry and the Obama administration have placed renewed attention on the Middle East and Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but some analysts think their efforts are too little and too late .
Michael Walker last updated: April 29, 2013
At the same time that the United States vilifies North Korea and Iran for their nuclear programs, it remains silent about the atomic weapons of its friends.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: April 19, 2013
Although several Obama administration officials have visited the Middle East in recent months, many analysts believe the administration has given up on negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement with the current Israeli government.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 17, 2013
Even as ‘pro-Israel’ advocacy groups press for harsher sanctions on Iran, an emerging think tank consensus in Washington emphasizes bolstering diplomatic efforts long neglected because of Congress’s focus on military force and crippling sanctions.
Joe Hitchon last updated: April 17, 2013
A compelling op-ed published by a Guantanamo detainee on hunger strike has helped spur renewed scrutiny of the Obama administration’s failure to close the detention facility.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 5, 2013
The NATO intervention in Libya left behind an unstable state and helped to spread Libyan arms into conflicts throughout the region, but it may have wrought its most consequential damage on great-power relations.
George Gao last updated: April 2, 2013
Over the opposition of a tiny group of recalcitrant states as well as lobbies like the NRA, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to approve new controls on the international arms trade.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 1, 2013
Tensions over Syria may undermine the unity of the P5+1 powers as they go back to Kazakhstan to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 30, 2013
Costs to U.S. taxpayers of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will run between four and six trillion dollars, making them the most expensive conflicts in U.S. history.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 25, 2013
The fact that major media outlets have invited virtually no Iraqis to comment on the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of the country suggests that Americans remain as uncurious as ever about the world their government so actively intervenes in.
Right Web last updated: March 22, 2013
The subtext of Obama’s recent trip to Israel suggests that the president has much bigger fish to fry than placating Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 20, 2013
Most of the U.S. media and foreign policy commentariat opted to overlook the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq—save for the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, which held a low-key event devoted to celebrating the so-called “surge” in 2007.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 18, 2013
Neoconservatives and like-minded militarists continue to hold sway over the Republican Party’s foreign policy establishment 10 years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but they face a growing insurrection from libertarian deficit hawks.
Joe Hitchon last updated: March 13, 2013
Despite clear evidence that the United States is holding prisoners without charge or possibility of trial at Guantanamo, an official from the Obama administration’s State Department testified to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that no “indefinite detention” is taking place at the prison.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 12, 2013
Amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and a brewing dispute over Chinese hacking, the Pentagon insists that the Obama administration’s “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region will not be derailed by defense cuts.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 12, 2013
The latest national threat assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies suggests a greater threat to the United States from “cyber threats” and climate change than terrorism or Iran.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: March 7, 2013
While its base remains active and invested, AIPAC is increasingly confronting a political landscape in which its membership seems more out of touch with Americans—Jewish or otherwise—than ever.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 6, 2013
A report by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has concluded that the U.S. wasted billions of dollars rebuilding Iraq by farming projects out to unreliable contractors and failing to account for local needs and circumstances in planning projects.
Richard Javad Heydarian last updated: March 5, 2013
Iran and the P5+1 powers are finally negotiating instead of just talking.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: March 5, 2013
As President Barack Obama travels to Israel and Palestine in the spring, Washington’s unconditional backing of Israel could soon begin to harm U.S. interests and security in Arab Muslim countries.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 27, 2013
Despite a massive effort by “pro-Israel” neoconservatives to derail his nomination, the Senate has voted to confirm Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of defense.
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: February 26, 2013
On the eve of renewed P5+1 negotiations in Kazakhstan, at least two former hostages of the U.S. embassy crisis in Iran have called on the United States to engage with more direct dialogue with Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 20, 2013
A new report suggests that, due to a combination of factors, countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey would be unlikely to seek nuclear weapons in the event that Iran develops one.
Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani last updated: February 17, 2013
With its frequent and sometimes violent protests, Egypt’s secular opposition may be alienating potential supporters ahead of the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 14, 2013
An array of policy experts are urging the Obama administration to press the Bahraini royal family to make genuine compromises with the predominantly Shi’a opposition.
Samer Araabi last updated: February 14, 2013
Despite the Obama administration’s apparent skepticism about the wisdom of providing U.S. arms to Syrian rebels, recent reports have indicated support for a more militarized U.S. role among key administration advisers.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 8, 2013
Many analysts are skeptical that Iran ‘s Supreme Leader is prepared to deal with the West at February’s P5+1 talks in Kazakhstan, even as many in Washington have come to doubt the long-term efficacy of sanctions.
Mel Frykberg last updated: February 4, 2013
During the recent Israeli election, a group of Israeli activists called attention to Palestinian statelessness by offering their votes to Palestinians living in the occupied territories.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 2, 2013
Israel dominated the Senate hearings on Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: February 1, 2013
Although Obama administration officials have expressed optimism about progress on Israeli-Palestinian peace, experts suspect that the political climates in Washington and Tel Aviv will preclude it.
Pierre Klochendler last updated: January 30, 2013
If reelected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stays true to his political survivalism, he’ll take his coalition toward the center—but to what end?
Carey L. Biron last updated: January 28, 2013
Shifting political winds in the United States have brought immigration reform to the forefront of Washington’s agenda, but some observers worry that a right-wing insistence on more robust “border security” could stymie the deal.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 25, 2013
A letter backing Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense, signed by 13 former cabinet-level officials from both parties, highlights the marginalization of the beltway neoconservatives who have opposed Hagel’s nomination.
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: January 24, 2013
A letter from seven exiled Iranian parliamentarians urges a nuclear deal between Iran and the West based on Iran’s right to peaceful enrichment.
Eli Clifton last updated: January 24, 2013
A video calling for unspecified parties to set a “red line” for Iran’s nuclear program has gone viral thanks to the promotional efforts of right-wing, “pro-Israel” interest groups.
Pierre Klochendler last updated: January 23, 2013
Benjamin Netanyahu has won another term as Israel’s prime minister even as his support base seems more tenuous than ever.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: January 23, 2013
Israel’s centrist parties gained ground in the country’s recent elections, but it’s unlikely to result in any progress on the stalled peace process.
George Gao last updated: January 18, 2013
A recent poll reveals widespread U.S. support for various UN agencies—including UNESCO, which the U.S. has withheld its support from ever since the agency agreed to recognize the “state” of Palestine.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 12, 2013
Hinting at the possibility of a more rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, President Obama announced recently that U.S. forces would shift into a strictly training and support role by the spring, leaving primary security responsibilities to the Afghan army.
Phyllis Bennis last updated: January 9, 2013
Chuck Hagel is no political progressive, but the former Nebraska senator does have a history of butting heads with neoconservatives, the defense industry, and the Israel lobby.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 8, 2013
President Obama’s appointment of Chuck Hagel to head the Pentagon will likely prove contentious, even as his appointment of John Brennan—an architect of the administration’s controversial targeted killing program—will likely proceed unencumbered.
Noor Wali Sheenwari last updated: January 8, 2013
One night in 1979, bombs dropped from the sky, killing 16 members of Ismail’s family.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 4, 2013
President Obama has again drawn the ire of human rights groups by signing a defense appropriation that restricts his ability to repatriate Guantanamo detainees or transfer them to the U.S. for trial, making it virtually impossible to close the infamous prison.
Thalif Deen last updated: December 27, 2012
In the wake of the Newtown shooting, UN negotiators are gathering for one last push for a strong treaty to regulate international arms sales.
Mel Frykberg last updated: December 19, 2012
As the Fatah-Hamas rift slowly closes amid backlash from Israel’s recent strikes on Gaza, the stirrings of a third Intifada have begun to emerge in Palestine in the wake of the slaying of an unarmed Palestinian youth.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 19, 2012
Neocons and leaders of the powerful Israel lobby are waging an all-out campaign to pre-empt the nomination by President Barack Obama of an outspoken former Republican senator and decorated Vietnam War hero to replace Leon Panetta as secretary of defense.
Gareth Porter last updated: December 17, 2012
A graph released to the AP by the International Atomic Energy Agency last November, which purportedly suggested that Iran had been researching the power of a nuclear blast, turns out to have been lifted from the Internet.
Carey Biron last updated: December 17, 2012
The U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals account for over 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons—and the post-Cold War rate of disarmament is slowing.
Samer Araabi last updated: December 14, 2012
Many of the best armed Syrian rebel groups—and therefore the most likely to wield influence in a post-Assad Syria—are Islamists linked to al-Qaeda, with whom the United States refuses to deal.
Al Jazeera last updated: December 12, 2012
The Syrian National Coalition—the new Syrian opposition umbrella group—recently won recognition from the more than 100 countries in the “Friends of the Syrian People” coalition, but –wary of their experience in Libya—Western countries still remain hesitant to provide arms.
Mohammed Omer last updated: December 8, 2012
An Israeli assault on Gaza has fortified the previously dwindling Palestinian support for Hamas … again.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 6, 2012
In light of the Israeli government’s decision to build thousands of new settlement units in retaliation for the UN vote to upgrade Palestine’s observer status, foreign policy realists are urging Obama to get tough on Netanyahu.
Thalif Deen last updated: December 6, 2012
Whenever the UN chastises Israel, the reaction from the Jewish state is highly predictable: either launch a military strike on Palestinians or announce new settlements in the occupied territories.
Samer Araabi last updated: December 4, 2012
Even as Syria’s rebels advance on Damascus and reorganize their political leadership, the political calculus of the concerned parties remains unchanged.
Pierre Klochendler last updated: December 3, 2012
With its opposition to an elevated diplomatic recognition for Palestine, Netanyahu’s government is signaling its opposition not just to a Palestinian state, but to a negotiated end to the conflict.
Thalif Deen last updated: November 28, 2012
A conference to establish a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East has been derailed, with the United States arguing that the talks should only go forward if Israel—the region’s only nuclear power—isn’t “singled out.”
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: November 26, 2012
Beneath the hawkish bluster on Capitol Hill, many observers and seasoned security officials see peaceful negotiations—followed by containment, if necessary—as the optimal way forward for the U.S. relationship with Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 14, 2012
The concentration of so many Middle Eastern states—led by Israel—at the top of the Global Militarization Index underscores the degree to which the region has become a powder keg.
Al Jazeera correspondents last updated: November 14, 2012
A fresh wave of Israeli strikes on Gaza has opened up with the assassination of Ahmad Jabari, the Hamas military leader who had previously been an Israeli negotiating partner.
Samer Araabi last updated: November 13, 2012
Syrian opposition groups have organized under a new umbrella in an effort to appease foreign benefactors.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: November 8, 2012
A former CIA officer says it’s time for the Obama administration to stop turning a blind eye to atrocities in the Middle East.
Gareth Porter last updated: November 6, 2012
Reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli military to prepare for a strike on Iran in 2010 largely misunderstand the nature of the order—and conceal the fact that no parties to the discussion ever thought Israel had a realistic military option in Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 23, 2012
The Middle East stole the show at the last debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 23, 2012
The popular memory of the Cuban missile crisis—one in which the United States simply forced the Soviets to back down under threat of war—is both incorrect and disastrous as a guide for contemporary policy.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 23, 2012
The Middle East stole the show at the last debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani last updated: October 1, 2012
Despite renewed tensions in U.S.-Egyptian relations—marked by what Washington regarded as tacit Muslim Brotherhood support for boisterous protests outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, as well as President Obama’s off-hand remark that Egypt was not a U.S. “ally”—regional analysts see the two countries continuing to enjoy friendly, if increasingly complex, relations.
Thalif Deen last updated: October 1, 2012
When the Israeli Prime Minister stood before the UN General Assembly and called for action against Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program—complete with a cartoonish graphic of a bomb with a lit fuse—he mentioned neither his own country’s sizable nuclear arsenal nor its persistent refusal to ratify the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Becky Bergdahl last updated: September 24, 2012
On the International Day of Peace, Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka visited the United Nations—and called for armed intervention against the terrorist group Boko Haram in his home country of Nigeria.
Thalif Deen last updated: September 24, 2012
In the wake of an International Day of Peace marred by reports of violent riots from across the Islamic world, UN officials are calling on the international media not to amplify inflammatory hate speech.
Jim Lobe and Jasmin Ramsey last updated: September 22, 2012
In a move certain to ratchet up already high tensions with Iran, the Obama administration has announced that it will remove the MEK from the State Department’s terrorism list.
Thalif Deen last updated: September 17, 2012
Against a backdrop of international conflict and turmoil in the Middle East, UN officials are pleading for new investments in peacebuilding, a rollback in military spending, and a more democratic United Nations.
Jim Lobe and Jasmin Ramsey last updated: September 13, 2012
A new report by a bipartisan cast of former military and intelligence officials argues authoritatively that a U.S. or Israeli strike on alleged Iranian nuclear facilities—to say nothing of a full-fledged campaign for regime change—would be counterproductive and dangerous.
Mel Frykberg last updated: September 12, 2012
The killing of U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens comes in the wake of a new threat of Islamic fundamentalism that has rocked Libya over the last few weeks.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 10, 2012
Disillusioned by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. public is becoming increasingly comfortable with a more modest and less militarised global role for the nation.
Mel Frykberg last updated: September 2, 2012
Black-market weapons from Libya’s civil war are turning up from Nigeria to Syria as former fighters look to capitalize on the Libyan state’s inability to control the flow of arms.
Jillian Kestler-D'Amours last updated: September 1, 2012
Many Israelis don’t seem to believe that war with Iran is inevitable—but they’re picking up gas masks just in case.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: August 24, 2012
Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak appear more isolated than ever within Israel in their support for a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran.
Samer Araabi last updated: August 23, 2012
Armed insurrection is not the only way to bring down the Assad regime, and the strengthening of armed groups directly undermines alternative methods of resolution to the conflict.
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: August 22, 2012
One former CIA agent believes that NATO, via Turkey, should provide arms and a safe haven for the armed Syrian opposition.
Gareth Porter last updated: August 16, 2012
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is ratcheting up the threat of a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran to badger the Obama administration into shifting its own “red lines.”
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: August 10, 2012
The United States is pushing back against a controversial claim by the Israeli Defense Minister that the U.S. now believes Iran is close to building a nuclear weapon.
Samer Araabi last updated: August 6, 2012
High-ranking officials have begun to defect from the Syrian regime in record numbers, although the opposition remains fragmented and has increasingly incorporated extremist elements.
Dorian Jones last updated: August 4, 2012
Recent gains by rebellious Syrian Kurds have unnerved the Turkish government and media.
Jillian Kestler-D'Amours last updated: July 30, 2012
One right-wing Israeli group has taken it upon itself to map Palestinian villages in the West Bank—with the aim of rooting them out.
Haider Rizvi last updated: July 27, 2012
As the international community attempts to redirect spending from nuclear-weapons programs to development, at least nine UN member states—led by the United States—continue to boost their spending on nuclear stockpiles.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 23, 2012
With the Assad regime showing new vulnerability, neoconservatives and other hawks are pressuring the Obama administration to ramp up U.S. involvement in Syria.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 20, 2012
Neoconservative think tanks have joined the U.S. defense industry to lobby against defense cuts by sequestration.
Gareth Porter last updated: July 18, 2012
The government of Benjamin Netanyahu enjoys a hawkish reputation, but both Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have been careful to avoid publicly making explicit threats to Iran.
Jim Lobe and Samer Araabi last updated: July 7, 2012
The defection of a key Sunni backer of the Assad regime is a major blow to Syria’s ruling party, but it could also foreshadow the sectarian conflict to come.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: July 6, 2012
The U.S. Presbyterian Church’s debate over divesting from Caterpillar, a construction supply corporation that profits from the Israeli occupation of Palestine, shows considerable momentum for the BDS movement, opening up rifts between some Church members and pro-Israel allies.
Zohad Arshad and Jim Lobe last updated: July 6, 2012
Pakistan has reopened its border for NATO supply routes into Afghanistan in exchange for a U.S. apology for killing Pakistani soldiers last November. Experts warn that the rapprochement could be short-lived.
Gareth Porter last updated: June 30, 2012
The man who helped build Netanyahu’s “war cabinet” sounds skeptical about an Israeli strike on Iran and has shifted the emphasis of Israeli security concerns from Iran to Palestine.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 29, 2012
Neoconservatives are looking to ramp up sanctions on Iran—and to make sure they hit China.
Pierre Klochendler last updated: June 26, 2012
Israel’s 1982 war with Lebanon never really ended.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 7, 2012
Neoconservatives and other U.S. hawks are mounting pressure on the Obama administration to intervene in Syria, but so far the administration has remained committed to largely diplomatic measures.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 22, 2012
Hawks in the U.S. Congress are finding it difficult to ratchet up the U.S. military threat against Iran.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 16, 2012
The battle over the future of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) has been a humbling experience for the Tea Party.
Emile Nakhleh last updated: May 16, 2012
Arab autocrats in Syria, Bahrain, and elsewhere are indirectly contributing to the resurgence of terrorism in their societies.
John Feffer last updated: May 15, 2012
With its expanded drone program, the Obama administration has encouraged the view of a America as serial killer who keeps suffering from blowback.
Kerry Kennedy last updated: May 15, 2012
The 1965 bullying incident at Michigan’s elite Cranbrook School that came to light this week has kicked off a series of conversations about bullying and about the extent to which we should hold our nation’s leaders accountable for past behavior.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 8, 2012
A new report by the influential Council on Foreign Relations urges Washington to develop a stronger strategic partnership with Turkey.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 26, 2012
As it slowly extracts ground troops from Afghanistan, the Obama administration is escalating the drone war in Yemen.
John Feffer last updated: April 24, 2012
Is diplomacy really dead in Syria, or has it even been given a chance?
Jim Lobe last updated: April 23, 2012
The Obama administration’s new “Atrocities Prevention Board” has drawn bipartisan praise, but some critics worry that it institutionalizes the policy priorities of liberal hawks.
Gareth Porter last updated: April 12, 2012
The inclusion of an Israeli and western demand that Iran close its Fordow nuclear facility could be a “poison pill” designed to tank the latest round of P5+1 negotiations.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 11, 2012
Long silent about government abuses in Bahrain, the Obama administration has lately responded to pressures to cajole the Gulf monarchy over its treatment of a hunger-striking political prisoner.
Dean Baker last updated: April 4, 2012
Though slow to assert itself internationally, China is already surpassing the United States as the world’s preeminent economic power.
John Feffer last updated: April 3, 2012
During his first term in office, President Obama’s foreign policies fell far short of meeting the hopes of progressives, but it was also a far cry from RomneyWorld.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 3, 2012
Despite an aggressive push by Republicans and neoconservatives to pry Jewish voters from the Obama camp, American Jews are largely sticking with the Democratic president over his Republican rivals.
Jasmin Ramsey last updated: March 28, 2012
Even as negotiations are slated to resume between Iran and the West, hawks in the U.S. Congress are ramping up pressure for new sanctions and punitive measures against Iran.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: March 27, 2012
Despite criticism over its inclusion of former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, J Street’s third annual conference featured several prominent voices for peace who pushed renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 20, 2012
Despite an aggressive push by neoconservative groups and hawks in Congress, the American public simply doesn’t support U.S. intervention in Syria.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 13, 2012
Americans may sympathize with Israel’s quandary over Iran, but there’s little public support for getting the United States involved.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 17, 2012
Although Israel and its U.S. backers are pushing for action to stop Iran’s nuclear enrichment, the Obama administration is giving negotiations and sanctions more time—and the Iranians may be coming around.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 14, 2012
Neoconservatives and their allies in Congress have strengthened their calls to arm Syrian opposition groups, despite the fact that such a move would likely create more problems than it solves.
David Isenberg last updated: February 13, 2012
The technical hurdles to an Israeli strike on Iran are higher than usually claimed.
Marsha Cohen and Jim Lobe last updated: February 13, 2012
Israel and many of its U.S. backers have blamed Iran for the attacks on Israeli diplomats in New Delhi and Tbilisi. But the U.S. government isn’t so sure.
Charles Davis last updated: February 7, 2012
A new book by Tom Engelhardt argues that the United States’ domestic woes are not isolated challenges but part of a broader imperial decline, hastened by a culture of militarism and foreign policy overreach.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 3, 2012
Leon Panetta’s surprise announcement that U.S. troops will phase out their combat role in Afghanistan by mid-2013 is drawing mixed reactions, as well as a fair bit of confusion, from both critics and supporters of the 11-year-old war.
Barbara Slavin last updated: January 16, 2012
U.S. policymakers worry that Israel might attack Iran without giving prior warning to Washington.
Charles Davis last updated: January 13, 2012
In contrast to assertions from U.S. policymakers about a Persian menace emerging in the American neighborhood, Iran has only weak and superficial ties to Latin America.
Thalif Deen last updated: January 13, 2012
Egypt and Israel may be at a crossroads in their relations, but each is violating the terms of its U.S. military assistance.
John Feffer last updated: January 10, 2012
Dress them up in black, put some Goth makeup on them, give them a name like The Apocalyptics, and the GOP candidates for president would fit right in with the head-banger crowd.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 5, 2012
President Obama’s “strategic shift” from counter-insurgency in the Middle East to force projection in the Asia-Pacific has frustrated hawks and doves alike.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 4, 2012
Perhaps at the expense of his more eccentric domestic political views, Ron Paul’s anti-interventionist foreign policy has attracted considerable interest from left and right alike.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 2, 2012
The U.S. network news giants paid more attention to foreign affairs in 2011 than usual, but gaps in coverage remained.
Barbara Slavin last updated: December 28, 2011
A new book by analyzes the Obama administration’s truncated attempt to engage Iran, documenting failures by both sides to break the present impasse.
Barbara Slavin last updated: December 19, 2011
U.S. officials fear that unless the MEK’s leaders approve of vacating their camp north of Baghdad, the residents could face violent raids from Iraqi forces or commit mass suicide.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 16, 2011
Although Congress spared foreign aid the massive cuts favored by the GOP-led House, aid spending continues to pale beside Pentagon appropriations.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 15, 2011
The United States marked the formal end of its unpopular eight-and-a-half year war in Iraq with little fanfare.
Barbara Slavin last updated: December 9, 2011
The Obama administration hasn’t shied away from confrontation with Iran, but some administration officials are resisting pressure from Congress to escalate the situation further.
Samer Araabi last updated: December 8, 2011
As the West ramps up its engagement with Syrian opposition figures, the behavior of armed opposition groups inside the country increasingly resembles that of the Assad regime.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 10, 2011
Dennis Ross, one of the Obama administration’s most pro-Israel Middle East advisers, is leaving his post to return to the neoconservative-linked WINEP.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 9, 2011
Hawks in Israel, Western Europe, and the U.S. Congress have Iran in their crosshairs since the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran may be developing a nuclear weapon.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 7, 2011
Iraq war hawks have launched broadsides against the Obama administration for allowing the U.S. role in the conflict to wind down, but no one seems to be listening.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 31, 2011
The Obama administration announced that it would immediately cut U.S. funding for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, just hours after UNESCO’s governing board voted to grant Palestine full membership.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 21, 2011
President Obama has confirmed his commitment to ending the U.S. troop presence in Iraq on schedule—much to the chagrin of some right-wing writers and politicians.
Gareth Porter last updated: October 21, 2011
If the alleged Iran plot to assassinate the Saudi U.S. ambassador is genuine, it may have been part of a surveillance operation to identify potential targets in the case of a U.S.-Israeli attack on Iran.
Barbara Slavin last updated: October 20, 2011
With key al-Qaeda figures dead and Iran under harsh sanctions, Obama seems unlikely to rock the boat on foreign policy in advance of the 2012 elections.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 18, 2011
Familiar Iraq war boosters have seized on the alleged Iranian plot against the Saudi ambassador to the United States to push for war with Iran.
Charles Davis last updated: October 17, 2011
Iran’s alleged effort to have a used-car salesman from Texas contract Mexican narcos for an assassination attempt casts doubt on the claims by some hawks that Iranian influence in Latin America represents a threat to the United States.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 11, 2011
Advocates of regime change in Tehran are embracing the bizarre story of an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 7, 2011
Mitt Romney’s first major foreign policy address was light on specifics, but heavy on American exceptionalism and neoconservative talking points.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 30, 2011
While the Obama administration has celebrated the killing of Al-Qaeda militant and U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, the reaction among human rights groups and Yemen specialists has been far more critical.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 24, 2011
Right-wing “pro-Israel” advocates have apparently convinced President Obama that his Jewish support depends on his own support for the Netanyahu government.
Thalif Deen last updated: September 23, 2011
UN delegates from the United States and Israel were noticeably quiet as the rest of the General Assembly rapturously applauded.
Ali Gharib last updated: September 16, 2011
A new report from the Atlantic Council evaluates the reliability of intelligence about Iran’s nuclear program.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 15, 2011
Led by the Foreign Policy Initiative, a coterie of Iraq war hawks has sent a letter to President Obama urging a longer U.S. commitment in Iraq. Many of the signatories also signed a letter sent 10 years ago by FPI’s predecessor, the Project for the New American Century, promoting regime change in Baghdad.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 14, 2011
Regardless of the political consequences, critics of the Obama administration advocate pressuring the Iraqi government to accept more U.S. troops after the negotiated U.S. withdrawal date.
John Feffer last updated: September 12, 2011
The word “peace” has such a negative reputation inside the Beltway that the U.S. Institute of Peace, which saw Congress nearly ax all its funding over the summer, is now considering a name change.
Elizabeth Whitman last updated: September 11, 2011
Even 10 years after 9/11, American Muslims continue to face discrimination, suspicion, and profiling.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 9, 2011
A decade after its devastating attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, Al Qaeda appears to have largely succeeded in its hopes of accelerating the decline of U.S. global power.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 19, 2011
Barack Obama for the first time said “the time has come” for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down on August 18th, a stance seconded by European allies.
Samer Araabi last updated: August 19, 2011
The international chorus against Bashar al-Assad has steadily grown as Syria’s Ramadan crackdown on anti-government protesters escalates.
Haider Rizvi last updated: August 19, 2011
Barack Obama’s push for nuclear disarmament has slowed considerably since the ratification of New START, and the United States is nowhere close to eliminating its nuclear arsenal.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 5, 2011
Syria has escalated its violence against anti-regime protesters, prompting the Obama administration to inch closer to calling for Bashar al-Assad’s ouster.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 3, 2011
Proposed defense cuts in the deal to raise the debt ceiling have caused neoconservatives to lambast the agreement.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 3, 2011
Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik’s numerous citations of right-wing Islamophobes in his manifesto have prompted furious denials of culpability from prominent neoconservatives.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 19, 2011
Washington is responding to the violent crackdown on Syrian protests continues with ever harsher rhetoric.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 6, 2011
Robert Gates left the Pentagon as one of most important Defense secretaries in decades.
Barbara Slavin last updated: July 6, 2011
Turkey and Israel are close to resolving their dispute over last year’s flotilla fiasco, but the partnership that existed between them for more than a decade will almost certainly stay submerged.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 27, 2011
By announcing a small troop drawdown, but refraining to set a deadline for full troop withdrawal, Barack Obama is trying to stake out a middle ground in the Afghan war debate.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 27, 2011
In the face of growing congressional criticism over the legal basis for the Libyan War, Barack Obama received a lifeline from two Senate allies: John Kerry and John McCain.
Gareth Porter last updated: June 27, 2011
Despite Barack Obama’s announcement of a gradual withdrawal from Afghanistan, the reality is that U.S. troops are far from coming home.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 20, 2011
Neoconservative dominance of Republican Party foreign policy trends is steadily waning, with leading 2012 candidates expressing doubt about U.S. military engagements abroad and massive majorities of Republican voters turning their backs on the Bush-era “Freedom Agenda.”
Jim Lobe last updated: June 20, 2011
The U.S. intervention in Libya has passed its 90th day, prompting Congress to angrily claim President Obama is not complying with the 1973 War Powers Act.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 14, 2011
With the war in Afghanistan showing no great signs of progress, the debate on Capitol Hill is shifting ever so slightly toward a faster withdrawal.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 3, 2011
Aid to Pakistan is under threat from both Congress and the public, but it would be smarter to reform the U.S. package than end it.
Samer Araabi last updated: June 3, 2011
The Syrian opposition remains unsure of the way forward in the wake of brutal state oppression, but events like the murdering of 13-year-old Hamzah Ali Alkhateeb will ensure that the struggle will not end soon.
Gareth Porter last updated: June 3, 2011
U.S. hints at peace talks with the Taliban are designed to isolate the group from its Pakistani patron—but as long as western troops occupy Afghanistan, negotiations are unlikely.
Thalif Deen last updated: June 3, 2011
The United States, in the face of global opposition, looks likely to veto a possible UN resolution recognizing Palestine as an independent country.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 30, 2011
A slate of measures recently voted on in Congress reflect growing war weariness among elected officials and the U.S. public.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: May 26, 2011
Benjamin Netanyahu’s AIPAC speech demonstrates that he is not interested in a fair peace with Palestine.
John Feffer last updated: May 26, 2011
For some people, there’s nothing President Obama can do to prove his love for Israel.
Analysis by Gareth Porter last updated: May 23, 2011
President Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan has not fully come to terms with the fact that Pakistan is loathe to give up its ties with the Taliban and Haqqani Network — groups that just so happen make up the Afghan insurgency.
Pierre Klochendler last updated: May 23, 2011
In his Middle East speech, Barack Obama offered policy prescriptions that largely toed the Israeli line, making Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s aggressive reaction all the more stultifying.
Samer Araabi last updated: May 16, 2011
The Arab Spring has been a cause for celebration for the Arab Left, but regional considerations have impacted its view of the unfolding struggle in Syria.
Mitchell Plitnick last updated: May 16, 2011
Barack Obama’s planned address this week on Middle Eastern policy will be a harbinger of the administration’s future approach to the region.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 11, 2011
In one swoop, the raid that killed Osama bin Laden could revolutionize the perception of Barack Obama’s foreign policy image.
Pratap Chatterjee last updated: May 11, 2011
The official story of Osama bin Laden’s death is only a legend, but those involved have been none too quick to correct the myths.
Gareth Porter last updated: May 11, 2011
U.S. officials expecting to use Osama bin Laden’s death as impetus for peace talks in Afghanistan are oblivious to the most crucial factor—that the presence of thousands of U.S. troops in the country will never be tolerated by the Taliban.
Ashfaq Yusufzai last updated: May 11, 2011
In the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s killing, the Pakistani government finds itself under both domestic and foreign pressure.
Ashfaq Yusufzai last updated: May 4, 2011
Osama bin Laden’s death will have a spillover effect in anti-terror efforts, as jihadist groups in northwest Pakistan compete for influence and attention.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 4, 2011
Osama bin Laden’s death has been hailed as a victory in the “war on terror,” but it is likely to raise as many questions as it answers about U.S. military plans in the region.
Ali Gharib last updated: April 29, 2011
The Arab Spring is spurring some neoconservatives to dust off their theories about how Iran’s “Green Movement” would benefit from U.S. military action against Iran, despite the fact that rights leaders in Iran argue that armed intervention would merely play into the regime’s hands.
Hannah Gurman last updated: April 29, 2011
As the silent response to certain locales of the Arab Spring shows, states and businesses have a history of divorcing their espoused lofty ends from the actions. In the Gulf states, this stance props up the political and economic interests of “friendly” dictatorships and undermines the interests of the people.
John Feffer last updated: April 29, 2011
The United States has shaped its policy toward the evolving situation in the Middle East according to the Chinese proverb of “killing the chicken to scare the monkey.”
Jim Lobe last updated: April 25, 2011
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, seemingly encouraged by Washington acquiescence, push back against Arab Spring movements as part of a regional proxy war with Iran.
Sameer Araabi and Jim Lobe last updated: April 20, 2011
Bashar al-Assad’s government struggles to cope with growing protests as the State Department denies any involvement in the unrest, despite reports of it providing millions of dollars to the Syrian opposition in the last five years.
Barbara Slavin last updated: April 18, 2011
With the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia toppled and rebellions raging from Libya to Yemen, U.S. officials and NGOs dedicated to democracy promotion in the Middle East face unprecedented opportunities — but also new questions about the U.S. role.
Thalif Deen last updated: April 13, 2011
Israel has gone on the offensive after Richard Goldstone admitted “regret” over parts of the UN-report investigating Israel’s War on Gaza that carried his name — but critics charge that Israel is overplaying Goldstone’s comments.
Jim Lobe last updated: April 7, 2011
In a replay of the infighting among Republicans over U.S. military interventions in the Balkans in the 1990s, U.S. involvement in the civil war in Libya is exposing serious splits among self-described conservatives.
Gareth Porter last updated: April 7, 2011
President Obama’s plan to station U.S. combat troops in Iraq beyond 2011 is threatened by developments in both Iraq and elsewhere in the region.
Barbara Slavin last updated: April 7, 2011
Turkey has endeavored to make itself a central player in the unfolding Middle East upheaval, leading one observer to comment that the country is displaying a “new self-confidence bordering on hubris.”
Saif Shahin last updated: April 6, 2011
The flame lit by Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation last December 17 has also engulfed some myths about the region and beyond, which will have a profound impact on the domestic and foreign policies of the new governments that emerge from the ongoing upheaval.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 31, 2011
Despite opposition from the Obama administration and the apparent ambivalence on the part of Israel’s right-wing government, neoconservatives are pushing to have Syrian President Bashar al-Assad be the next domino to fall in the “Arab Spring.”
Jim Lobe last updated: March 29, 2011
Does President Obama’s cautious, limited approach to intervention in Libya augur a new U.S. role in world affairs?
Jim Lobe last updated: March 16, 2011
With Libyan forces seeming to have the upper hand, time is running out on whether and when the United States, NATO or the UN should intervene militarily in the conflict.
Jim Lobe last updated: March 11, 2011
While neoconservatives in the U.S. are itching to get into the fight against Gaddafi, the United States and its European allies are first focused on non-military support for the Libyan insurgency.
Aprille Muscara last updated: March 11, 2011
Controversial hearings on extremist Islam in the United States, spearheaded by Homeland Security chair Rep. Peter King, are raising red flags among Muslim-Americans, civil rights groups, and within the Obama administration as well.
David Elkins last updated: March 3, 2011
Israel’s growing migrant population has spurred the rightwing Likud government to pursue increasingly harsh detention and deportation policies, which could further complicate the country’s relationships with its neighbors and the international community.
David Elkins last updated: March 1, 2011
The possibility of finding a solution to the “Palestinian question” hinges in part on how Israel and Egypt respond to the changed regional dynamics, according to a recent panel of experts.
Jim Lobe and David Elkins last updated: February 24, 2011
Republican Party-aligned hawks and some administration allies have applied increasing pressure on the President Obama to push for regime change in Libya.
Kanya D'Almeida last updated: February 18, 2011
The United States will once again block a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli expansion into the Occupied Territories, despite growing global opposition to the settlements.
Barbara Slavin last updated: February 18, 2011
Events in Egypt have spurred the U.S. to step up its rhetoric on Iran, calling the Iranian government “hypocritical” for praising the Arab revolts while crushing its own.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 18, 2011
The Obama administration now must add Bahrain to its political balancing act as it copes with unprecedented turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East.
Jim Lobe last updated: February 14, 2011
While the Muslim Brotherhood claims it is the victim of lies and distortions, policymakers aligned with the “Israel lobby” want the organization excluded from any role in Egypt’s future.
David Elkins last updated: February 14, 2011
Growing Arab demands for an end to autocratic rule and U.S. regional hegemony have led to calls for a complete reassessment of U.S. policy in the region.
Ali Gharib last updated: February 8, 2011
The Likud Party star, Natan Sharansky, warns that if the United States continues to support the Mubarak regime it could bolster the standing of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Chris Toensing last updated: February 7, 2011
The extraordinary events of January 2011 in Egypt should prove one point for good: Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, U.S. presidents wish their favored Arab states would forever remain nice, docile autocracies.
John Feffer last updated: February 2, 2011
Can the Muslim Brotherhood be a partner in a democratic Egypt? Not according to neoconservatives and other Middle East hawks. But the trajectory and recent history of the organization tell a more nuanced tale.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 28, 2011
The Obama administration is scrambling to confront an unprecedented number of challenges across the Arab world.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 25, 2011
The exposure of a huge cache of documents detailing Palestinian accounts of a decade of peace negotiations with Israel could deal a lethal blow to the peace process.
Ali Gharib and Jim Lobe last updated: January 21, 2011
Some observers are optimistic that the P5+1 talks in Istanbul on Iran’s nuclear program could help ease tensions.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 20, 2011
Arguing that U.S. credibility in the Mideast is on the line, some four dozen former top U.S. officials have urged President Obama not to veto a proposed UN Security Council resolution on the illegality of Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories.
Aprille Muscara last updated: January 14, 2011
Defense contractors will not feel the pinch in the recently announced military spending reductions.
Haidar Rizvi last updated: January 14, 2011
As Israel continues to build new settlements in Palestinian territories, there’s growing international pressure for the UN and the U.S. to take action.
Aprille Muscara last updated: January 14, 2011
Days ahead of a highly anticipated summit between China and the United States, much attention is being given to leaked cables that discuss China’s trajectory as a sophisticated military power.
Barbara Slavin last updated: January 14, 2011
Economic sanctions may have slowed Iran’s nuclear development, but the republic’s decision to cut subsidies on basic commodities appears to have mostly cut consumption and not ignited popular protest.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 14, 2011
The collapse of the Hariri-led government in Lebanon adds to the list of policy challenges the U.S. faces across the Middle East.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 14, 2011
Two years into the Obama administration, Latin Americans have seen little change in inter-hemispheric relations with the U.S., and expect more disappointment with the new Republican-led Congress.
Jim Lobe last updated: January 5, 2011
The Weekly Standard and former Bush advisor Karl Rove have been pushing the argument that Guantanamo is not motivating terrorist groups, and in the process bolstering the case that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most important recruitment tool of Al Qaeda and presumably other violent Islamist groups.
Gareth Porter last updated: January 4, 2011
The war in Afghanistan has been touted as a vital to countries across the globe, but NATO seems to have taken on the lead role in the campaign there mainly in order to help justify its own existence.
Ali Gharib last updated: December 17, 2010
A neoconservative think tank appears to have held a fundraiser at the residence of Pakistan’s ambassador without telling the hosts that the dinner was billed as part of conference on “Countering the Iranian Threat.”
Conn Hallinan last updated: December 17, 2010
The Obama administration’s decision to transfer nuclear fuel to Israel represents an end run around the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the same treaty the United States and other countries accuse Iran of violating in developing its nuclear program.
Barbara Slavin last updated: December 17, 2010
The Obama administration is preparing a new batch of sanctions against Iran to be announced in advance of upcoming nuclear talks in Turkey.
Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe last updated: December 9, 2010
Although U.S. neoconservatives and their right-wing Israeli counterparts have touted the Wikileaks dump as showing that Arab governments no longer think the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is key to regional peace, the documents themselves tell a very different story.
Gareth Porter and Jim Lobe last updated: December 9, 2010
A careful reading of the Wikileaks diplomatic cables reveals that, contrary to the mainstream media’s portrayal of the documents, most Gulf Arab regimes are seriously concerned about the consequences of a strike against Iran.
Barbara Slavin last updated: December 9, 2010
The first meeting between Iran and the world’s major powers in more than a year ended with little to show apart from a vague promise to meet again next month in Turkey.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 6, 2010
With time running out before he faces a much more hostile and Republican Congress, President Obama seems to have made ratification of the new START Treaty with Russia his top legislative priority, despite considerable push back from hardline neoconservatives and far-right Republicans.
Jim Lobe last updated: December 6, 2010
Despite Washington’s Mideast focused “war on terror” and renewed interest in East Asia, there is increasing pressure to move West Africa up the ladder of foreign policy priorities.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 30, 2010
The dump of U.S. diplomatic cables reveals few deep secrets but may bury diplomatic trust in the short run.
Ali Gharib and Jim Lobe last updated: November 30, 2010
Leaked diplomatic cables reveal hazardous playing field for U.S. policy towards Iran and other regional actors.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 29, 2010
North Korea has propelled itself to the top of an already over-crowded U.S. overseas agenda with news that is has built a state-of-the-art facility capable of enriching uranium to weapons grade, followed by its bombardment of a South Korean island.
Gareth Porter last updated: November 22, 2010
Key evidence used to argue Iran had a covert nuclear weapons R&D program is found to depict a reentry vehicle design abandoned by Iranian officials.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 22, 2010
Influential Republican Party figures are pushing back against efforts to target the Pentagon budget for cuts.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 18, 2010
A new study by two centrist think tanks urges the Obama administration to pursue a policy of “strategic engagement” with Iran that would offer Tehran more attractive incentives to curb its nuclear program.
Barbara Slavin last updated: November 18, 2010
The Obama administration is trying to sell the new START to Republicans by arguing that failure to ratify the treaty would weaken efforts to apply collective international pressure on Iran’s nuclear program.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 18, 2010
Calls to block the new START Treaty reveal the challenges confronting President Obama in gaining any support from Republicans on foreign policy during the remainder of his term.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 9, 2010
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent call for the United States to “create a credible threat of military action” suggests his right-wing government and its allies in Washington are preparing to escalate pressure on President Obama to adopt a more confrontational stance with Tehran.
Peter Certo last updated: November 8, 2010
Speculation about Tea Partiers cooperating with progressives on foreign policy is interesting but ultimately unconvincing.
Jim Lobe last updated: November 8, 2010
While foreign policy issues played almost no role in last Tuesday’s election results, the historic Republican landslide will almost certainly make President Obama’s vision of a more positive U.S. role in international affairs more difficult to pursue.
Ali Gharib last updated: November 2, 2010
The evidence used by hawks from the recent Wikileaks documents dump to push for attacking Iran isn’t all that it seems.
Gareth Porter last updated: November 1, 2010
The newly released Wikileaks document on Iraq provides fresh evidence that the U.S. war against Shi’a militias in 2007-2008 was a futile exercise.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 19, 2010
To service the war the Afghanistan, the Obama administration has provided six times more on military aid for the mostly authoritarian states of Central Asia than on efforts to promote political liberalization and human rights.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 18, 2010
American Jewish support of President Obama’s performance may be on the wane while their attitudes towards Iran may be growing more hawkish, according to a recent poll conducted by the American Jewish Committee of 800 self-identified Jews.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 13, 2010
A new independent report calls into doubt whether recent U.S. moves aimed at reducing civilian casualties in Afghanistan have succeeded in overcoming the population’s perception of Western indifference and malevolence.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 13, 2010
A month-long effort to restore military-to-military ties between Washington and Beijing seems to have paid off as Pentagon chief Robert Gates is set to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Liang Guanglie, in Vietnam this week.
William Fisher last updated: October 13, 2010
According to a recent Senate Armed Services Committee report, failures in vetting, training, and supervising private security contractors are putting coalition troops and Afghan civilians at risk.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 5, 2010
With Israeli-Palestinian tensions rising and the peace process faltering, the Obama administration has made a controversial offer to Israel’s right-wing Likud-led government in order to have the moratorium on settlement construction extended.
Stephen Zunes last updated: October 5, 2010
Just as President Obama began to renew pressure on Israel to freeze the expansion of settlements in Palestinian territories, leading congressional Democrats joined in with Republicans to try to stop him.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 4, 2010
Amid rising calls for preparing to strike Iran, the Obama administration imposed new unilateral sanctions on Iranian officials whom it accused of committing “sustained and severe violations of human rights.”
Matthew O. Berger last updated: October 4, 2010
The one-time backer of neocon campaigns pushing U.S. military intervention in the Middle East, World Bank head Zoellick now says the “new, fast-evolving multi-polar world economy” requires greater fiscal transparency from the Bank itself.
Barbara Slavin last updated: October 4, 2010
As the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama struggles to salvage Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Syria is well positioned to benefit no matter the outcome.
Gareth Porter last updated: October 4, 2010
The Obama administration has reportedly taken its first steps toward a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan by exploring the possibility of talks with the Taliban.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 28, 2010
A new survey reveals the American public is looking increasingly toward reducing Washington’s role in world affairs, especially in conflicts that do not directly concern the United States.
Daniel Luban last updated: September 20, 2010
Recent efforts by right-wing groups and individuals to hype the purported threat to the United States posed by shariah law cap a summer of attacks on Islam in the U.S.
William Fisher last updated: September 20, 2010
Three years after Blackwater security guards gunned down unarmed civilians in Baghdad, not nearly enough has been done to improve oversight and accountability of private contractors abroad, says a new report.
Gareth Porter last updated: September 15, 2010
General Petraeus’ recent claim that the security situation in Afghanistan is slowly improving is contradicted by Pentagon data, which reveals a sharp increase in the number of NATO troops killed by Taliban using improvised explosive devices.
Haider Rizvi last updated: September 13, 2010
Competing rallies in New York City on the anniversary of 9/11 revealed a deep divide in how Americans interpret the events of 9/11 and view Islam.
Jim Lobe last updated: September 8, 2010
The announced “end” of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq and the start of direct talks on Israeli-Palestinian peace notwithstanding, the United States remains deeply mired in Middle East conflicts.
Andrew Feldman last updated: September 8, 2010
Andrew Bacevich, professor of international relations and history at Boston University, discusses his new book, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War.
Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler last updated: August 26, 2010
Israeli civil rights groups and academics are harshly criticizing a campaign by right-wing politicians and activists to clamp down on what they call an “anti-Zionist tilt” at universities.
William Fisher last updated: August 26, 2010
If private security contractors are phased out in Afghanistan, as Afghan President Hamid Karzai has demanded, it could have a profound impact on U.S. military strategy there.
Gareth Porter last updated: August 24, 2010
While White House is trying to reassure its anti-war base that the U.S. military role in Iraq is coming to an end, there are indications that it intends to renegotiate its agreement with Baghdad to keep combat troops there into 2011.
Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler last updated: August 17, 2010
If the United States succeeds in getting Palestinian President Abbas to agree to direct peace talks, will Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reciprocate?
Gareth Porter last updated: August 16, 2010
The effort by some Israeli officials to threaten a unilateral strike against Iran if the United States doesn’t act first, as reported in Jeff Goldberg’s new Atlantic article, may be little more than bluster.
Eli Clifton last updated: August 16, 2010
The suspension of U.S. military aid to Lebanon after that country’s recent border skirmish with Israel could lead to increased Iranian influence in Beirut.
Marsha B. Cohen last updated: August 10, 2010
News that Iran’s Bushehr’s nuclear reactor is about to go “live” appears to be fueling speculation in the region of an imminent military attack by Israel or the United States.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 10, 2010
While President Obama’s reputation in the Arab world is in free fall, Iran’s appears to be improving.
John Feffer last updated: August 10, 2010
By holding military exercises on China’s doorstep—and within range of Norht Korea—the United States is playing with fire.
Eli Clifton last updated: August 2, 2010
New polling in Pakistan reveals a public that holds unfavorable views of the United States as well as of al Qaeda and the Taliban, and wants to see an end to the conflict in Afghanistan.
Gareth Porter last updated: August 2, 2010
A recent resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives expressing support for a decision by Israel to attack Iran coincided with the start of a new lobbying campaign aimed at drawing the U.S. into war.
Jim Lobe last updated: August 2, 2010
While President Obama spins the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq as a sign of success of his policies in the region, the latest news from the Greater Middle East is far less encouraging.
Haider Rizvi last updated: July 30, 2010
Some analysts think that new U.S. plans to improve its nuclear weapons complex are likely to hinder international efforts to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
Antiwar.com Radio last updated: July 30, 2010
The director of IPS Right Web discusses the Emergency Committee for Israel and the neoconservatives with Antiwar.com Radio.
Gareth Porter last updated: July 27, 2010
Although the 92,000 reports on the war in Afghanistan made public by the WikiLeaks offer no major revelations, they increase the political pressure on a war policy that has already suffered a precipitous loss of credibility.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 26, 2010
The release of tens of thousands of classified documents detailing the war in Afghanistan comes amid a growing crisis of confidence in the nearly nine-year-old war.
Gareth Porter last updated: July 21, 2010
Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri, who recently “redefected” to Iran after claiming to have been abducted by the United States, allegedly told the CIA that Tehran does not have an active nuclear weapons program.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 21, 2010
One high-profile U.S. observer thinks Israel might initiate hostilities with Hezbollah as a possible catalyst to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 15, 2010
A familiar clutch of Iraq war hawks appear to be preparing the ground for a major new campaign to rally public opinion behind military action against Iran.
Eli Clifton last updated: July 14, 2010
CNN’s firing last week of its Mideast editor because of a Twitter post in which she expressed sadness over the death of a Lebanese cleric has set off a firestorm of debate about CNN’s fairness in reporting on the region.
Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler last updated: July 14, 2010
Last week’s diplomatic dance between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama did little more than to give the Israeli government more time to avoid making the hard decisions needed to achieve peace with the Palestinians.
Jim Lobe last updated: July 7, 2010
Described as a “meaningless PR exercise” by one prominent observer, this week’s meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appears to have been little more than an opportunity for the two leaders to reassure their domestic audiences.
Gareth Porter last updated: July 5, 2010
Blurb A recently removed high-level IAEA official was notorious for using suspect intelligence to promote the view that Iran has been pursuing a covert nuclear weapons program.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 25, 2010
Both houses of Congress approved a sweeping unilateral sanctions package again Iran this week that raises to a new level Washington’s confrontation with Tehran.
Gareth Porter last updated: June 25, 2010
Ostensibly a result of the indiscreet comments by General McChrystal and his aides, the switch from McChrystal to General Petraeus was clearly the result of White House unhappiness with McChrystal’s handling of the Afghan war.
Right Web last updated: June 25, 2010
Despite increasing international condemnation of the actions of Israel’s Likud-led government, the right-wing leadership of the “Israel Lobby” in Washington is riding a wave of recent victories.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 23, 2010
Although President Obama’s popularity around the globe remains high, a recent poll shows considerable disillusionment with the direction of his foreign policies in the Middle East.
Daniel Luban last updated: June 22, 2010
A year and a half into the presidency of Barack Obama, any hopes that he would usher in a dramatic rethinking of U.S. foreign policy have been more or less definitively dashed.
Thalif Deen last updated: June 14, 2010
A UN working group is leading efforts to draft a new global treaty aimed at reining in human rights abuses committed by private security firms employed din war zones.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 14, 2010
A familiar clutch of neo-conservative hawks is going on the offensive against what they see as the Gaza flotilla’s chief defender, Turkey.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 14, 2010
Senior military officials are conceding privately that their much-touted counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan is not working out as planned despite the “surge” of some 20,000 additional U.S. troops over the past six months.
Gareth Porter last updated: June 14, 2010
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, confronts the spectre of a collapse of U.S. political support for the war in Afghanistan in coming months comparable to the one that occurred in the Iraq War in late 2006.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 8, 2010
Doubts about Israel’s value to the United States have recently been expressed by a diverse group of people, including the head of Israel’s foreign-intelligence agency, the Mossad, and leading centrist analysts in Washington.
John Feffer last updated: June 8, 2010
The Obama administration wants to cut several outdated defense items not so that it can balance the budget or expand healthcare, but in order to boost the war effort in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 8, 2010
The U.S. “Israel Lobby” has pulled out all the stops in its efforts to defend Israel’s attack on the Palestine aid flotilla.
Jim Lobe last updated: June 2, 2010
While calling the blockade against Gaza “unsustainable and unacceptable,” the Obama administration has steadfastly avoided assigning blame for the deadly Israeli attack on the Gaza aid flotilla.
Mel Frykberg last updated: June 2, 2010
The Israeli government has launched a full-throttle defense of its attack on the Gaza aid flotilla as outrage over the attack grows around the world.
Amanda Bransford last updated: May 31, 2010
The United States continues to lead the world in defence spending, according to a new report by the Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, a U.S.-based non-partisan research organization.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 31, 2010
In his first National Security Strategy, President Obama pledged to maintain the U.S.’s “military superiority” while stressing that the persistence of the nation’s global power will depend more on the health of its domestic economy and international cooperation.
Gareth Porter last updated: May 31, 2010
Despite continued U.S. efforts to dismiss the Iran nuclear deal with Turkey and Brazil, there are signs that the deal is spurring diplomatic pressure from UN Security Council members, particularly Russia and China.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 28, 2010
At the same time that it is working with the Senate to gain flexibility in pushing Iran sanctions, the Obama administration seems to be upping the potential for covert operations in the region.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 28, 2010
A recent report by several Washington-based policy groups reveals growing disenchantment with the Obama administration’s lack of effort to curb U.S. militarization in Latin America.
Eli Clifton last updated: May 21, 2010
Some observers in Washington are raising concerns that the Afghan War may be unwinnable and that the money being spent on military operations in there could be better spent.
Jim Lobe last updated: May 21, 2010
Despite U.S. and EU skepticism, many independent experts agree that the Iran’s nuclear agreement with Turkey and Brazil will throw a wrench into efforts to gain approval by the Security Council for a fourth round of sanctions against Tehran in the coming weeks.
By Ellen Massey last updated: May 20, 2010
As the anniversary of the “reunification” of Jerusalem is observed this week, marking Israel’s annexation of the eastern portion of the city, a new initiative has been announced in Washington that calls for a sustainable and unified solution for governing the “Old City.”
Pratap Chatterjee last updated: May 20, 2010
Pentagon chief Robert Gates recent call for a cutback of $15 billion in military spending on contractors and government bureaucracy was an acknowledgment that the financial costs of U.S. military expansion since 9/11 are not sustainable.
By Eli Clifton last updated: May 11, 2010
Efforts by Congress to pass sanctions against Iran could jeopardize efforts by the Obama administration to organise multilateral sanctions through the U.N. or negotiate a diplomatic solution with Tehran.
By Jim Lobe last updated: May 11, 2010
The failed Times Square bombing attempt has highlighted the challenges in pressuring Pakistan on anti-terror efforts.
By John Feffer last updated: May 6, 2010
North Korea and Israel have a lot in common, but partly as a result of U.S. policy towards them, one country is an official rogue while the other only plays one on Arab TV.
By Mel Frykberg last updated: May 6, 2010
U.S.-backed proximity talks between the Israelis and Palestinians are scheduled to begin just as a growing alignment of international sympathy for the Palestinian perspective of the conflict has started to emerge.
By Jim Lobe last updated: May 4, 2010
As mid-term elections approach, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are eager to demonstrate their strong support for Israel, in part by arguing for “crippling” sanctions against Tehran.
By Jim Lobe last updated: April 28, 2010
Reports earlier this month that President Barack Obama may present a comprehensive U.S. peace plan for resolving the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict have spurred a growing public debate over its wisdom and timing.
By Charles Froom last updated: April 28, 2010
Recent Israeli allegations that Syria is providing Hezbollah with Scud missiles is jeopardizing U.S. efforts to woo Damascus away from its alliance with Iran.
By Gareth Porter last updated: April 28, 2010
Although the Obama administration has carefully avoided drawing a connection between Israel and its decision to reserve the right to use nuclear weapons against Iran, the new Nuclear Posture Review broadens the range of contingencies in which nuclear weapons might play a role so as to include an Iranian military response to an Israeli attack.
By Jim Lobe last updated: April 8, 2010
The Obama administration appears to be considering launching a major push later this year to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, much to the displeasure of the Likudniks and neocons.
By Jim Lobe last updated: April 6, 2010
The Obama administration’s efforts to get UN approval for new international sanctions against Iran could be hampered by the “Israel Lobby,” which intends to push Congress to impose unilateral measures.
By Eli Clifton last updated: March 30, 2010
Eighty-one percent of U.S. citizens say the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has hurt their country’s interests, according to a new poll, although a sharp partisan divide increasingly frames the issue.
By Matthew Berger last updated: March 30, 2010
The new U.S.-Russia nuclear agreement, hailed as one of President Obama’s most significant foreign policy accomplishments, will continue the gradual reduction of the two countries’ nuclear stockpiles.
By Charles Fromm last updated: February 26, 2010
A new study published by an institute led by former Republican official James Baker argues that the Obama administration needs to be more aggressive in pushing Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
By Ali Gharib last updated: January 29, 2010
The Senate’s swift passage of new Iran sanctions reveals an administration losing control of even its own party in foreign policy dealings.
By Jim Lobe last updated: January 28, 2010
As the Senate prepares to consider new Iran sanctions in coming weeks, hawks are pressuring the administration to pursue “regime change” in Tehran.
Analysis by Gareth Porter last updated: January 26, 2010
Iran’s “hidden” nuclear sites are really meant to dissuade U.S. and Israeli military planners from trying to attack the country’s nuclear program, claims analyst.
By Sananda Sahoo and Jim Lobe last updated: January 26, 2010
On the eve of a major conference on Afghanistan, U.S. and British officials are hinting that they are open to a political settlement with elements of the Taliban.
By Jim Lobe last updated: December 9, 2009
A recent poll suggests that the U.S. public has become more inward-looking and unilateralist than at any time since the early stages of the Vietnam War.
By Gareth Porter last updated: December 2, 2009
Despite President Obama’s decision to surge troops in Afghanistan, he recently rejected the critical link needed to justify such a deployment—the allegedly indissoluble link between the Taliban insurgency and al Qaeda.
By Jim Lobe and Eli Clifton last updated: December 2, 2009
In a highly anticipated speech, President Barack Obama announced the dispatch of 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan over the next seven months, while promising to begin withdrawing them within a year.
By Jim Lobe last updated: November 27, 2009
A think tank close to the Obama administration is urging Washington to ramp up U.S. aid and involvement in strife-torn Yemen…
By Jim Lobe last updated: November 23, 2009
President Obama’s decision on a host of problems spanning the Greater Middle East could well determine his foreign policy legacy.
By Anthony Fenton last updated: November 23, 2009
The inaugural Halifax International Security Forum, cosponsored by the Canadian government and the German Marshall Fund, highlighted Canada’s more militant role with NATO.
By Eli Clifton last updated: November 13, 2009
A chorus of hawks is using the killings at Ft. Hood to revive Islamophobic rhetoric.
By Jim Lobe last updated: November 13, 2009
Obama appears to be dashing hopes both in the Arab world and in Latin America that he can bring major changes in U.S. policy toward their respective regions.
By Ellen Massey last updated: November 9, 2009
Since the Obama administration announced several months ago that it would appoint an ambassador to Syria, efforts to strengthen diplomatic relations between the countries have stalled.
By Jim Lobe last updated: November 4, 2009
Recent setbacks from Palestine to Pakistan threaten to reverse whatever gains President Obama has made in restoring Washington’s badly battered image and influence among Muslims.
Jim Lobe last updated: October 30, 2009
An influential Democratic senator has warned against deploying tens of thousands more U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
By Eli Clifton last updated: October 30, 2009
J Street, the relatively new “pro-Israel, pro-Peace” advocacy group, exceeded expectations for its inaugural conference here in Washington with over 1,500 participants attending the four-day event.
By Eli Clifton last updated: October 23, 2009
StandWithUs, a rightist-leaning “pro-Israel” U.S. advocacy group determined to prove that moderate groups like J Street are working to undermine Israeli security, receives funding from donors accused of supporting anti-Muslim propaganda.
Analysis by Gareth Porter last updated: October 16, 2009
Experts claim that new intel reports alleging closer ties between al Qaeda and the Taliban, which have been used to promote a full-fledged U.S. counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan, are misleading.
By Jim Lobe last updated: October 16, 2009
Days after Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel, two of Washington’s prominent hawks launched a new campaign aimed at depicting the president as weak and pushing militarist foreign policies.
By Jim Lobe last updated: October 8, 2009
Despite strong support for diplomatic engagement with Iran, most U.S. citizens believe such efforts will ultimately fail.
Analysis by Jim Lobe last updated: October 8, 2009
On the eighth anniversary of the launch of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, President Obama spent much of his time deliberating with top advisers on what is likely to be one of the most momentous decisions of his tenure: the future of U.S. involvement in that war.
By Jim Lobe last updated: October 6, 2009
While much of the foreign policy debate has focused on Afghanistan and Iran recently, official Washington has been moving to tighten ties with a key neighbor of both countries, Pakistan.
By Jim Lobe last updated: October 5, 2009
Observers are cautiously optimistic that last week’s talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany could lay the basis for a long-sought diplomatic breakthrough.
Analysis by Gareth Porter last updated: September 30, 2009
Did the United States really catch Iran trying to conceal its “secret” nuclear facility?
By Matthew Cardinale last updated: September 30, 2009
The U.S. Energy Department is pushing to expand nuclear weapons programs at the same time that President Obama is seeking to reduce the number of such weapons in the world.
By Jim Lobe last updated: September 25, 2009
Charges that Iran has a secret underground uranium enrichment plant will bolster calls by Israel and U.S. right-wing hawks to impose “crippling sanctions” against Tehran, even as world leaders are set to formally engage the country in talks.
By Jim Lobe last updated: September 25, 2009
President Obama’s decision to shelve his long-held demand for a freeze on Israeli settlements, announced during trilateral talks this week with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, may prove a Pyrrhic victory for Israeli’s Likud-led government.
By Jim Lobe last updated: September 18, 2009
President Obama’s decision to scrap long-range-missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic seems aimed at enlisting Russian support in dealing with Iran.
Analysis by Helena Cobban last updated: September 4, 2009
As a new round of U.N.-sponsored Israeli-Arab peace negotiations fast approaches, it remains unclear how much and what kind of pressure the Obama administration is willing to exert on Israel.
By Daniel Luban last updated: September 3, 2009
Conservative pundit George Will’s defection on the war in Afghanistan has outraged right-wing hawks and highlighted the growing public discontent with that conflict.
By Daniel Luban last updated: August 31, 2009
A growing number of experts believe that regardless of its eventual outcome, the recent Afghan election will do little to advance the U.S. war effort against the Taliban.
Analysis by Helena Cobban last updated: August 25, 2009
The close alignment of some Republican Party stalwarts with Israel’s rightwing government signals a significant political shift on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
By Daniel Luban last updated: August 19, 2009
Apparently in response mounting pressure from hawks, the Obama administration is moving toward a harder line on Iran.
By Danielle Kurtzleben last updated: August 19, 2009
Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke told an audience at the Center for American Progress that when it comes to U.S. civilian efforts in Afghanistan, concepts of victory and defeat are irrelevant.
By Eli Clifton last updated: August 19, 2009
Right-wing commentators are furiously working to discredit the liberal J Street organization, which lobbies for a two-state solution in Israel-Palestine, because a tiny percentage of its donors have Arab or Muslim names.
By Ali Gharib last updated: August 5, 2009
A neocon think tank blames President Obama for an Iraqi raid on an enclave of Iranian dissidents that killed several members of a cultish opposition group.
By Gareth Porter last updated: August 5, 2009
U.S. and UK forces in Afghanistan’s Helmand province are working to bring back the provincial police. But there is a big problem: Not only are the police linked with a local warlord, they’ve committed horrific abuses.
Analysis by Helena Cobban last updated: August 5, 2009
Many Israelis believe President Obama has been neglecting Israel. Will this perception harm his ability to broker a final Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement?
By Daniel Luban last updated: July 21, 2009
A new report from veteran Middle East hands urges the Obama administration to proceed cautiously with Iran, but move quickly to broker formal talks between Israel and Palestine.
Analysis by Gareth Porter last updated: July 16, 2009
The recent release of five Iranians held by the U.S. military in Iraq highlights growing differences between Washington and Baghdad over Iranian policy in Iraq.
Analysis by Tony Karon last updated: July 13, 2009
Although the Obama administration clearly believes an Israeli attack on Iran would be disastrous, recent events seem to point to a concerted campaign to make the Iranians think an attack is coming, a strategy that could have severe unintended consequences.
By Gareth Porter last updated: July 8, 2009
In an effort to put pressure on Iran, the Obama administration has revived the false Bush administration claim that Tehran is providing military training and aid to the Taliban.
Analysis by Helena Cobban last updated: July 8, 2009
The pivotal role that Vice President Biden is likely to play in U.S.-Iraqi affairs has raised fears that partition may be back on the agenda.
Analysis by Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe last updated: July 3, 2009
Neoconservatives’ support for the recent military coup against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is a reminder of their history as apologists for dictatorial regimes in Latin America.
By Ali Gharib last updated: July 2, 2009
Western’s media’s recent focus on pro-regime change Iranian exile groups has given the authorities in Tehran a new way to discredit the opposition movement.
By Daniel Luban last updated: July 1, 2009
Beltway pundits and partisans are debating which U.S. president deserves more credit for helping pave the way for the Iranian opposition movement—Bush or Obama.
By Daniel Luban last updated: June 23, 2009
As President Obama navigates the treacherous currents of Iran’s post-election political crisis, he faces a heated attack from right-wing hawks, who are pressing him to speak out more forcefully in support of protesters and abandon engagement with Tehran.
Analysis by Gareth Porter last updated: June 19, 2009
Rather than reining in the special ops units mainly responsible for civilian casualties, the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan apparently plans to curb “collateral damage” through enhanced high-tech battlefield surveillance.
By Ali Gharib last updated: June 19, 2009
The Obama administration remains quiet on how Iran’s post-election crisis will affect U.S. plans to engage the Islamic Republic.
By Jim Lobe and Daniel Luban last updated: June 17, 2009
As President Barack Obama takes a wait-and-see approach to the violent aftermath of Iran’s contested election, U.S. neoconservatives are pushing the administration to demonstrate support for the protestors in Tehran.
By Mel Frykberg last updated: June 17, 2009
Despite receiving some support from the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for a qualified Palestinian state was widely unpopular with Palestinian leaders, spurring one prominent figure to call for the annulment of the Arab Peace Initiative.
Analysis by Phyllis Bennis last updated: June 11, 2009
President Obama’s Cairo speech represented a significant shift away from the ideological framework that shaped the Bush administration’s policy towards the Middle East, but there’s a long way to go before the rhetoric becomes policy.
By Ali Gharib and Jim Lobe last updated: June 8, 2009
In his speech in Cairo, President Barack Obama extended a hand to the world’s 1.5 bil lion Muslims, and addressed nearly all of the issues that divide the United States and the Islamic world.
By Daniel Luban last updated: June 4, 2009
As President Obama pushes Israel toward a two-state solution, right-wing hawks are pressing the U.S. administration to adopt the “three-state solution,” under which Jordan would take over the West Bank and Egypt would control Gaza.
Analysis by Ali Gharib last updated: June 4, 2009
Now that his administration has completed its review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, President Obama gets to the hard part: how to prevent the Talibanization of both countries.
Analysis by Helena Cobban last updated: June 4, 2009
Divergent Israeli and U.S. views on the place of Iran and the Palestinian situation within the larger question of regional peace and stability reveal much about the underlying challenges facing Mideast peacemakers.
By Jim Lobe last updated: May 29, 2009
The reaction by the Obama administration to North Korea’s nuclear test will send a message about how the new president intends to confront foreign policy crises.
Analysis by Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton last updated: May 22, 2009
A new film from a little-known U.S. organization with foreign right-wing ties claims that radical jihadists are preparing for an eventual Islamic takeover of the United States.
By Jim Lobe last updated: May 22, 2009
Despite recent face-to-face talks, it seems clear that President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu view Iran and the Israel-Palestine peace process from divergent angles…
Analysis by Gareth Porter last updated: May 15, 2009
While the Obama administration says it wants its new commander in Afghanistan to carry out politically sensitive counterinsurgency tactics, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal has no experience in nonmilitary tactics, and has been challenged over detainee abuses and aggressive raids against civilians.
By Daniel Luban last updated: May 11, 2009
Last week’s annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee provided a stark reminder that although the lobby has come under increasing fire in recent years, it remains a force to be reckoned with.
By Ali Gharib last updated: May 6, 2009
Foreign policy hawks speaking at a recent American Enterprise Institute conference revealed a softening in their rhetoric toward Iran and expressed a willingness to engage the country.
By Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe last updated: April 15, 2009
The newly founded Foreign Policy Initiative, led by the same neocon writers who set up the Project for the New American Century, supports a “surge” in Afghanistan and stresses “threats” from countries like Russia and China.
Analysis by Daniel Luban last updated: April 15, 2009
As the United States boosts its forces in Afghanistan, hawks in both Republican and Democratic circles are championing small wars theory and counterinsurgency doctrine as guides for the U.S. military.
By Meena Janardhan last updated: April 2, 2009
Iran’s dismissive response to U.S. attempts at engagement will likely isolate it even further, much to the detriment of Middle East stability.
The brainchild of Sears-Roebuck heiress Nina Rosenwald, the Gatestone Institute is a New York-based advocacy organization formerly chaired by John Bolton that is notorious for spreading misinformation about Muslims and advocating extremely hawkish views on everything from Middle East policy to immigration.
Conrad Black is a former media mogul closely connected to rightist political factions in the United States who was convicted in July 2007 for fraud and obstruction of justice and later pardoned by his friend President Trump.
David Friedman is U.S. Ambassador to Israel under Donald Trump. He is known for his extreme views on Israel, which include opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state and support for Israeli settlements.
Jason Greenblatt is the Special Representative for International Negotiations for President Donald Trump primarily working on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies has re-established itself as a primary driver of hawkish foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, during the Trump administration.
Rupert Murdoch is the head of News Corp, the parent company of Fox News, and a long-time supporter of neoconservative campaigns to influence U.S. foreign policy.
Shmuley Boteach is a “celebrity rabbi” known for his controversial “pro-Israel” advocacy.
For media inquiries,
A series of escalations in both word and deed have raised fears of U.S.-Iranian military confrontation, either direct or by proxy. It is urgent that cooler heads prevail – in European capitals as in Tehran and Washington – to head off the threat of a disastrous war.
Vladimir Putin excels at taking advantage of mistakes made by Russia’s adversaries to further his country’s interests. Donald Trump’s Iran policy has given Putin plenty of opportunity to do that.
The Trump administration’s claims about purported Iranian threats have been repeated by credulous reporters and TV news programs far and wide.
This is the cartoon that the international edition of the New York Times should have run, at least as regards U.S. policy toward Iran.
The assault on Tripoli by Khalifa Haftar, Libya’s renegade general and leader of the self-anointed Libyan National Army (LNA), has forced an indefinite postponement of key UN peace efforts in the country even as the Trump White House announced that the president recognized Haftar’s “important” role in fighting terrorists.
With all eyes focused these days on Donald Trump and his myriad crimes, John Bolton’s speeches are a reminder that even worse options are waiting in the wings.
Advocates of cutting U.S. aid to Israel rather than using it as leverage must understand how this aid works, how big a challenge it represents for advocacy, and how to make a potentially successful argument against it.