Trump Administration’s Mideast Policy

[John Bruton] Trump Administration's Middle East policy is increasing the risk of unintended conflict between the US forces and Iranian forces & loyal militias. The policy is also making a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict impossible and a one-state solution more inevitable.

Syria, Hezbollah’s Next Lebanon

[Manish Rai] With its permanent presence in Syria, Hezbollah wants to deliver the message that the borders have collapsed and that there are new rules of engagement, to the detriment of the Sunni countries as well as Israel.

Asia’s Geopolitical Alliances are Shifting

[Conn M. Hallinan] From what direction on the Compass Rose the winds out of Washington will blow is hardly clear, but increasingly a number of countries are charting a course of their own.

Iran on the Verge of Total Revolution

[Manish Rai] Iranian currency, Rial, has lost 40% value since May when Donald Trump pulled out of Iran deal and announced sanctions. Now Rial is one of the most worthless currency on earth. What’s more, Iran is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years, leaving electricity output from hydropower plants at a bare minimum. Capital outflow surpassed the inflow. Last year, Iran had a capital account deficit of $11 billion and unemployment is above 11%. All these numbers indicate that Iran’s economy has become fragile and is quickly moving into a death spiral.

Houthis: Iran’s New Hezbolla in Making

[Manish Rai] Iran is transferring the know-how in ballistic missiles to Yemenis. Iran is also using Yemen as a testing ground for its missiles. The greater Iranian support to Houthis is not surprising. What's surprising is that the Houthis, who claim they are fighting to liberate Yemen (in name of Yemeni nationalism), have blindly chosen to take orders from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, even when these orders completely contradict their agenda.

Quds Force a Threat for Peace in the Middle East

[Manish Rai] Qud force, which is the Iranian regime’s primary foreign action arm for executing its policy of supporting terrorist organizations and extremist groups across the region and around the world, is clearly an obstacle for the process of peacemaking and stabilization in the Middle East.

Turkey’s President: Short Term Victory, Long Term Trouble

  When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a presidential and parliamentary election June 24—jumping the gun by more than a year—the outcome seemed foreordained: the country is under a state of emergency, Erdogan has imprisoned more than 50,000 of his opponents, dismissed 140,000 from their jobs, jailed a presidential candidate, and launched an … Continue reading Turkey’s President: Short Term Victory, Long Term Trouble