Three Key takeaways from ISIS

By: Daniel Yun On March 23rd, 2019, U.S.-backed coalition forces finally captured the last remaining Syrian town, Baghuz, held by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). A once mighty caliphate, the terrorist organization has wreaked havoc and terror in the Middle East for the last five years. In response, the United States and coalition…

Contentious Partnership: The U.S. Military Withdrawal from Syria

By: Ariana King On December 19th, 2018, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw 2,000 troops from Syria within 30 days, claiming that the Islamic State (IS), an Islamist extremist group, had been defeated and that U.S. troop presence was no longer necessary.  This decision was met with significant domestic and international criticism. National…

Mission Accomplished?: Why Trump can’t withdraw troops in Syria

By: Daniel Yun On January 16th, 2019, four Americans were killed by an Islamic State suicide bomber in Syria. This incident came weeks after President Donald Trump declared the war against ISIS won and ordered the withdrawal of the 2,000 American special forces operators currently located in Syria. Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and…

Syria: Russia’s Hope for Relevance in the Middle East

By: Jared Lang From the conventional perspective on recent Russian foreign policy, getting involved in the Syrian Civil War appears to break from Putin’s playbook. When it comes to foreign conflicts, Putin has, since his ascendence to the Russian presidency in 2000, deployed armed forces almost exclusively in the countries immediately neighboring the Russian Federation…

Water Wars: How Water Scarcity Leads to Conflict

By: Jasmine Owens Although water makes up 70% of the Earth, only 3% of this water is freshwater. Of this 3%, about two-thirds is trapped in glaciers and is therefore unusable. This leaves about 1% of the world’s water supply to support a population of 7.7 billion people and counting, much of which is increasingly…

Small Terrorist Attack in France Adds to Big Debate

By: Julie Schneiberg On Friday, March 23th, tragedy struck in Trèbes, France, a small town that lies roughly 60 miles southeast of Toulouse. Islamic extremist Radouane Lakdim, a French-Moroccan of dual citizenship, first hijacked a car where he shot and wounded the driver and killed a passenger. He then proceeded to leave the car in…

Should We Still Consider The Taliban In Our War In The Middle East?

By: Simon Fischer President Donald Trump has made waves in the international community for a number of reasons. One of the more controversial countries where his views have been criticized is Afghanistan. He reversed on his promise to end the US’s longest-running war, which drew the ire of the Taliban, the Islamic militia movement that…

Trump in Syria

By: Rebecca Hanks For the past five years civil war has raged within Syria’s borders. Under President Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian Arab Army pushes back against the Free Syrian Army in an attempt to maintain power. The presence of Kurdish nationalists and the Islamic State serves to further complicate the conflict, creating a vicious cycle of…

What An al-Qaeda-Islamic State Rapprochement Could Look Like

Written By: Iakovos Balassi While al-Qaeda and the Islamic State compete for supremacy, analysts have debated the likelihood of the two groups joining forces. In “The Coming the ISIS-al Qaeda Merger,” Bruce Hoffman outlines why it could make sense for the groups to reunite, and predicts that by 2021 the two could merge or be in…