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…

Wir Schaffen Das: Is it a Reality?

By: Emily Janicik Angela Merkel’s famous slogan “wir schaffen das,” which she originally introduced in 2015 in response to the refugee crisis in Europe, translates in English to “we can do it.” After three years of tackling the difficult issue of world migration, however, many Germans are becoming disillusioned with this sentiment. In 2015, Germany…

Are Missiles the Answer?

By: Ilana Friedman The conflict in Syria began in March 2011 with pro-democracy demonstrations against the harsh regime of President Bashar al-Assad. In August 2011, then-President Obama called for Assad to step down and also enforced new sanctions on the Syrian government. Allies of the United States — France, Germany, and the United Kingdom —…

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…

Iran’s CIA? A Strengthening IRGC Must Be Dealt With Prudence

By: Daniel Ramallo Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has been adamant about exporting its revolution into the rest of the Arab World. Last month, in what was possibly Israel and Iran’s most heated exchange since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, Iran launched an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drone into Israeli airspace that was…

The Middle East’s Cold War: Iran and Saudi Arabia

By: Maura Pallitta On Saturday, November 4, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, shocked both his country and the international community by announcing his resignation. A Sunni Muslim who came to power in 2016 because of a compromise, he stepped down in Saudi Arabia, citing Iran’s interference in his country and the region as a…