Featured News

The Reckoning South Sudan Needs

The seventh anniversary of South Sudan’s independence on July 11 is, at best, a bittersweet occasion. Seldom has a country come into being with such promise and good will. Dozens of heads of state, including Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, came to Juba to witness the birth of the world’s newest state. Messages poured in from leaders who could not ma...    read more 

Russia and the U.S. have common interests in Syria. But it may not matter.

All eyes are on Russia as President Trump prepares to meet with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki next week. But the real geopolitical focus of the meeting might well be a few thousand miles away in Syria. Last week, national security adviser John Bolton said that the meeting could offer a “larger negotiation on helping to get Iranian forces out of Syria” and t...    read more 

Back to Pax Americana?

Two great powers are now challenging the position of the United States as the world’s leading power. As a powerful economy with global ambitions, China has invested billions of dollars to increase its soft power. Due to recent failures in its conduct in democratic countries, China has turned to using authoritative influence around the world, or a policy of...    read more 

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Marks Milestone, Approaches Completion

The April 2 anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in 2011 passed largely unremarked amid the cascade of momentous news coming recently from Ethiopia, including several years of unrest, the sudden release of thousands of detainees in mid-February, the resignation of the prime minister one day later, th...    read more 

Why Russia will prevail in Syria

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that Syrian and Russian warplanes killed more than 500 civilians, including 121 children, in Eastern Ghouta from Feb. 18 through Sunday. Moscow denies direct involvement, despite having deployed military forces in support of the Syrian government since 2015. This weekend, after initial resistance,...    read more 

Will the social unrest in Iran affect the regime’s regional policies?

Iranians’ protests over a weak economy and poor living conditions appear to be the largest to strike the country since the riots against the fraudulent presidential election in 2009. The unrest, primarily sparked by a surge in prices of food supplies, included chants of “Death to the dictator” and “Death to Khamenei.”...    read more 

Iran has driven Israel and the Gulf Arab states together

Quietly since 2002, several Sunni Arab rulers have shifted away from their long-standing hostility toward Israel to focus on the threat posed by Iran. They have acted in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative, also known as the Saudi peace plan, which called on the Arab League to terminate belligerency with Israel. It also envisioned [&hellip...    read more 

Trump’s Nothingburger: A Hanukkah Gift for Putin?

For the past seven-odd years, every time we drove a family member to the shiny new US Consulate-General in Jerusalem on visa or passport business, I was sure the huge edifice was actually an embassy-in-waiting. The United States was committed by act of Congress – from long before the building went up — to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerus...    read more 

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe is Gone, But What About His Enablers?

Detained by the same armed forces that had long helped keep him in power, repudiated by the very Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) liberation movement-cum-political party he co-founded, facing hundreds of thousands of peaceful (even celebratory) protesters calling for his ouster, and confronting the prospect of a humiliating impeachme...    read more 

Will Iran Stick to the JCPOA if Trump Refuses to Re-certify It?

Tension is building in Washington and Tehran as the date for re-certifying Iran as compliant with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nears.  Certification of the agreement every 90 days by the American administration is not part of the JCPOA. Rather, it was imposed on the Obama administration by the Republican-led Congress, which passed [&he...    read more