• Fried Quoted in NBC News on Sending Captured ISIS Prisoners to Guantanamo

    Read More
  • Stein Quoted in The New York Times on US-Turkey Tensions Potentially Stalling Progress on ISIS Fight

    Read More
  • Can The West Be Saved?

    An unholy alliance of Russia, the Islamic State, and far-right Western politicians and political movements is threatening democracies in the West.

    The Western populists—playing off fears created by the Islamic State and cooperating both formally and less openly with Russia—seek to move democracies in the West away from a political system that is based on the rule of law and toward a more centralized system.

    Read More
  • Miscalculations, Machismo, and Military Misjudgment Could Create New Global Hot Spots

    Connecting 2017’s political and military missteps to 2018’s global economic outlook

    The shift toward nationalist populism, demonstrated by the sweeping political changes around the world in 2017, has throughout history been a harbinger of global instability and conflict, and could directly affect both the international security landscape and global economy in 2018.

    Looking back, it is hard to believe how quickly the geopolitical landscape has changed in just one year.  Through 2017, elections all over the world brought new forces to power, challenged the political establishment, introduced new tensions into global politics, and exacerbated old ones.

    Read More
  • ISIS, Syria, and Iraq: A Year-End Appraisal

    As 2017 closes, so does the physical “caliphate” of a pseudo-religious criminal enterprise known by the names ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, and Islamic State. But killing the caliphate is only step one. Keeping it dead will be a generational struggle.

    Rooted in al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and supplemented by pro-Saddam Hussein Iraqi Baathists, ISIS seized the Syrian city of Raqqa from Syrian rebels in 2013 and, from there, invaded Iraq in 2014. For over three years an American-led military coalition has sought to degrade and destroy a ruthless collection of murderers, rapists, thieves, and terrorists; a band of criminals drawn from the dregs of the Sunni Arab world seeking to mask crude depredations by purporting to act in the name of Islam.

    The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and other brands of murderous extremism are the results of political illegitimacy. Legitimacy exists when there is societal consensus that a political system is right and just: consensus...

    Read More
  • Tillerson's Takes on US Foreign Policy: A Year in Review

    Diplomatic negotiations with "no preconditions" will be the US approach to solving the problem of North Korea, while working in concert with friends and allies, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at the Atlantic Council on December 12.

    “We’re ready to talk any time North Korea would like to talk,” said Tillerson, “and we’re ready to have the first meeting without preconditions.”

    “Let’s just meet and let’s – we can talk about the weather if you want. We can talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table if that’s what you’re excited about. But can we at least sit down and see each other face to face?” he added.

    Read More
  • Cole Quoted in Wired on Tracing ISIS' Weapons Supply Chain Back to the US

    Read More
  • Iraq: Managing Economic Reformation and Fighting Corruption, with an Eye on Election

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi recently announced his new war against corruption. In using the term “war,” he intended to convey the difficulty of implementing a productive policy to fight corruption. Abadi hopes to build on his successes in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the crisis with Kurdistan by turning his attention to a popular and persistent demand: fighting corruption. International financial institutions and nonprofit organizations—including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF)- identify rampant corruption as a main impediment to development in Iraq, and Transparency International consistently rank Iraq among the most corrupt countries.

    Read More
  • Iraq After the Kurdish Referendum

    Read More
  • US Strikes on ISIS in Somalia Underscore Threat, Vulnerabilities

    On November 3, the United States carried out two separate airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Somalia, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced in a statement. The operations marked the first time that US forces have targeted ISIS militants in the conflict-ridden Horn of Africa country, where al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab has been the primary focus of American and partner efforts in recent years.

    The strikes also underscore the shift in ISIS’ center of gravity following the group’s losses not only in Iraq and Syria this year, but also the routing of its affiliate in Libya last December. These developments have sent surviving fighters and arms flowing into more remote areas, including the Sahel, where the killing of four US Special Forces troops in an ambush in Niger in October focused...

    Read More