Rachel Brandenburg

  • Brandenburg Quoted in The Arab Weekly on Sadr's Win in Iraq


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  • Has The United States Jeopardized Its Prospects For ‘The Ultimate Deal’ In The Middle East?

    Early in his presidency, Donald J. Trump set out to achieve “the ultimate deal”: Israeli-Palestinian peace. The US president deputized his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with the task, claiming the feat could be achieved within the first year of his administration.

    A little over a year later that “ultimate deal” is nowhere to be seen. Instead, the Trump administration appears to have further jeopardized its own prospects of brokering such a deal by relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and again failing to acknowledge the potential for Jerusalem to also be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

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  • Concern and Uncertainty After Iran Deal Exit

    On May 8, 2018, President Donald J. Trump announced the United States would re-impose sanctions on Iran and withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – better known as the Iran nuclear deal.

    On May 9, the Middle East Security Initiative (MSI) in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security convened a panel of experts for a conference call conversation assessing the implications of President Trump’s decision. Rachel Brandenburg, MSI Director, moderated the discussion, which featured senior fellows Amir Handjani and David Mortlock, board director Dov Zakheim, Future of Iran Initiative Director Barbara Slavin, and Suzanne Maloney, Deputy Director for Foreign Policy and Senior Fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

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  • Bridging the Gulf in the GCC

    Relations between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have been fractured for much of the past year. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017 citing reports that Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani had made remarks of the United States while offering support for Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Iran, and claiming Doha’s policies fueled regional terrorism and extremism.

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  • Trump Quits Iran Nuclear Deal

    US President Donald J. Trump on May 8 pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal saying the agreement did not satisfactorily address the Islamic Republic’s ability to build a nuclear bomb or limit its “malign activity.” He also signed a memorandum to reimpose sanctions on Iran.

    Trump’s decision will likely strain Washington’s ties with its European allies who had urged him to remain in the deal.

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  • Are Israel And Iran Headed To War?

    Early in the morning on April 9, missiles streaked through the Syrian sky toward the Tiyas (T-4) air base in Homs province, northeast of Damascus. Besides Syrian forces, the base hosts Russians and Iranians, members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force. Several Iranians were killed in the strikes.

    Syria, Russia, and Iran blamed Israel for the attack on T-4.

    Israel neither confirmed nor denied that it carried out the strikes.

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  • Netanyahu: Iran Lied About Its Nuclear Weapons

    Less than two weeks before US President Donald J. Trump is due to decide on the future of US participation in the Iran nuclear deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that his country has found proof Iran lied about the extent of its nuclear program. 

    In a speech delivered on April 30, Netanyahu said Israel has collected more than 100,000 files and roughly 180 CDs worth of evidence to show that Iran had nuclear capabilities beyond those revealed in negotiations to establish the nuclear deal. The material was reportedly obtained by Israeli intelligence from a secret storage facility in Tehran. 

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  • Netanyahu: Iran Lied About Its Nuclear Weapons

    Less than two weeks before US President Donald J. Trump is due to decide on the future of US participation in the Iran nuclear deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that his country has found proof Iran lied about the extent of its nuclear program.

    In a speech delivered on April 30, Netanyahu said Israel has collected more than 100,000 files and roughly 180 CDs worth of evidence to show that Iran had nuclear capabilities beyond those revealed in negotiations to establish the nuclear deal. The material was reportedly obtained by Israeli intelligence from a secret storage facility in Tehran.

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  • Mike Pompeo is the New Secretary of State. Now What?

    The US Senate on April 26 confirmed former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo as the new US Secretary of State. 

    US President Donald J. Trump picked Pompeo, a known foreign policy hawk on issues from Russia to Iran to North Korea, to replace Rex Tillerson at the State Department on March 13.

    Atlantic Council analysts and experts weighed in on the confirmation, including its implications for US-Iranian relations.

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  • Mike Pompeo is the New Secretary of State. Now What?

    The US Senate on April 26 confirmed former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo as the new US Secretary of State.

    US President Donald J. Trump picked Pompeo, a known foreign policy hawk on issues from Russia to Iran to North Korea, to replace Rex Tillerson at the State Department on March 13.

    Tillerson officially stepped down on April 1. Pompeo assumed the post on April 26. This replacement is one of many that have taken place in the first fifteen months of the Trump administration. The White House has now seen two secretaries of state, three national security advisors, and two chiefs of staff. Whether Pompeo can help chart a steady course for US policy remains to be seen.  

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