• 2020-01-03

    Under the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement between the U.S. and Iraq, U.S. forces may only remain in Iraq at the “request and invitation” of the Iraqi government. If that invitation is withdrawn, they must leave, as they were forced to do in 2011. The U.S. presence in Iraq is now almost universally unpopular, especially in the wake of U.S. attacks on the very Iraqi armed forces they are supposedly there to support. Trump’s effort to blame Iran for this crisis is simply a ploy to divert attention from his own bungled policy. In reality, the blame for the present crisis should be placed squarely on the doorstep of the White House itself. The Trump administration’s reckless decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and revert to the U.S. policy of threats and sanctions that never worked before is backfiring as badly as the rest of the world predicted it would, and Trump has only himself to blame for it — and maybe John Bolton. So will 2020 be the year when Donald Trump is finally forced to fulfill his endless promises to bring U.S. troops home from at least one of its endless wars and military occupations?  Or will Trump’s penchant for doubling down on brutal and counterproductive policies only lead us deeper into his pet quagmire of ever-escalating conflict with Iran, with the U.S.’s beleaguered forces in Iraq as pawns in yet another unwinnable war?

  • 2020-01-03

    [...] What your advisers may have avoided telling you is that Iran has not been isolated. Quite the contrary. One short week ago, for example, Iran launched its first joint naval exercises with Russia and China in the Gulf of Oman, in an unprecedented challenge to the U.S. in the region. 

  • 2020-01-03

    In short, the United States has taken a highly escalatory step in assassinating one of the most important and powerful men in the Middle East. [...] The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump argues that Soleimani was a terrorist and that assassinating him was a defensive action that stopped an imminent attack. Both of those assertions may or may not be true, but the United States would never have felt compelled to act against the Iranian general if not for the reckless policy the administration has pursued since it came into office. In May 2018, Trump left the Iran nuclear agreement and adopted a “maximum pressure” policy of economic sanctions on Iran. For a year, Iran responded with restraint in an effort to isolate the United States diplomatically and win economic concessions from other parties to the nuclear agreement.

  • 2019-12-30

    ... In a statement, [former PM] Abdul-Mahdi said Secretary of Defense Mark Esper had called him about a half-hour before the U.S. strikes Sunday to tell him of U.S. intentions to hit the bases of the militia suspected of being behind Friday’s rocket attack. Abdul-Mahdi said he asked Esper to call off the U.S. plan. ...

  • 2019-12-04

    After 25 years of repeated failures, Americans want a foreign policy that preserves the security of the United States, enhances prosperity, and maintains the core U.S. commitment to individual liberty. They recognize that U.S. power can be a force for good, but only if it is employed judiciously and for realistic objectives. In short, a large and growing number of Americans want a foreign policy of restraint. But what does that mean in practice? In a sense, it’s easier to understand what restrainers don’t want. They don’t want endless wars, bloated military budgets, and security commitments that keep expanding, but are never seriously debated or approved by the public. If restrainers were suddenly put in charge of U.S. foreign and national security policy, however, what would they do differently? What do restrainers really want? 

  • 2019-12-01

    Turmoil in the Middle East and north Africa directly affects Europeans. Yet their influence in the region has never been weaker. This project maps Europe’s role across the Middle East and north Africa, making the case that Europeans can do more to leverage their influence in pursuit of core interests. [...] This project maps Europe’s influence across the Middle East and north Africa, making the case that it should take on a greater role to protect its core interests. Some European officials will likely argue that the EU and its member states have done enough to address the challenges of migration and terrorism, given the bloc’s structural deficits. Yet this would be to underestimate Europeans’ potential influence in the region and the risks that a largely hands-off approach poses.

  • 2019-11-25

    [...] China has signed a contract with Iraq to develop and complete 80 oil wells in the giant Majnoon Basra oil field at $54 million and another contract to drill 43 oil wells at $255 million to increase oil production rates to 400,000 barrels per day. It has signed a contract of $1.39 billion for housing, education and medical care for projects in Najaf, Karbalaa and Basra. The trade volume between Iraq and China surpassed $30 billion in 2017. China imports $20 billions of crude oil from Iraq every year, with a 10% increase in trade, rising every year.

  • 2019-11-04

    President Donald J. Trump has made U.S. engagement in the IndoPacific region a top priority of his Administration. In November 2017 in Vietnam, he outlined a vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific in which all countries prosper side by side as sovereign, independent states. That vision, shared with billions of people in more than 35 countries and economies, is based on values that have underpinned peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific for generations. Free, fair, and reciprocal trade, open investment environments, good governance, and freedom of the seas are goals shared by all who wish to prosper in a free and open future. This report describes how the United States is working with allies and partners to implement our shared vision: ...

  • 2019-11-04

    Israel is bracing itself for war with Iranian proxies, as Tehran escalates its provocations. But what will the United States do if conflict comes?. By Michael Oren (Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States)

  • 2019-11-01

    With expanding competitors and severe domestic challenges, the time has come for Saudi Arabia to publicly engage Israel in order to confront shared opponents and protect mutual interests. ...

Pages