Frederic C. Hof

  • Syria: Policy Made in Tampa?

    Last week the US Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman for the anti-ISIS (ISIL, Daesh, Islamic State) coalition announced what seemed to be a major clarification of American policy in Syria. Referring to a Syrian town on the Iraqi border, Colonel Ryan Dillon said the following: “If they [Assad regime forces] want to fight ISIS in Abu Kamal and they have the capacity to do so, then that would be welcomed. We as a coalition are not in the land-grab business. We are in the killing-ISIS business. That is what we want to do, and if the Syrian regime wants to do that and they’re going to put forth a concerted effort and show that they are doing just that in Abu Kamal or Deir el-Zour or elsewhere, that means that we don’t have to do that in those places.”

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  • Missing a Syria Strategy?

    The Trump administration stands accused by some commentators of having entered into an escalating military situation in eastern Syria without the benefit of an objectives-based strategy. The truth or falsity of the accusation can best be judged by President Trump, National Security Advisor McMaster, Secretary of Defense Mattis, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dunford. They are the ones most likely to know if Syrian regime aircraft and Iranian drones are being shot down in pursuit of a national security objective and consistent with a strategy aimed at achieving that objective. If a strategic context exists it should be shared with the Congress.

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  • Expert Commentary on the Appointment of Mohammed bin Salman as Saudi’s New Crown Prince

    On June 21, 2017 Saudi Arabia’s king appointed his son, Mohammed bin Salman, as crown prince, replacing the king’s nephew, Mohammed bin Nayef, as first in line to the throne. Bin Salman, who is just 31 years old, is known as an ambitious member of the royal family who wields an unprecedented amount of power for one of his age, especially in a country that puts a great deal of emphasis on age and power sharing within the state structures. He is known for making drastic changes to the economy, such as implementing austerity measures on government employees and trying to move Saudi’s economy away from oil, and for pushing for reforms in Saudi, such allowing new forms of entertainment and loosening social restrictions that young people complain of. He is also known for initiating Saudi’s involvement in the war in Yemen, which has since dragged out and cost Saudi billions.

    Rafik Hariri Center experts were asked to comment on the crown prince’s appointment. Their answers are below.

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  • Hof Quoted in New York Times on Russia's Warnings to the U.S. After Syrian Airstrike


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  • To Defeat Extremism, Protect Civilians

    For the past six years, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic has reported comprehensively and eloquently on the systematic, deliberate, and criminal targeting of civilian populations throughout the course of the Syrian revolution. The overwhelming preponderance of the Commission’s evidence-rich indictment has fallen on the regime of Bashar al-Assad: a family, entourage, and a cast of enablers holding governmental titles and military ranks; people who will, justice permitting, ultimately face legal accountability. But a Commission that has focused nearly all of its attention on the regime, on ISIS (ISIL, Daesh, Islamic State), and on the multi-named Al Qaeda element operating in Syria, now has an additional player to consider: the United States of America.

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  • Retreating from the Middle East Is Not the Solution

    Ambassador Frederic Hof contributed to NSI’s recent Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) report titled “US Foreign Policy as a Global Power.” SMA is a “multidisciplinary, multi-agency portfolio of projects that assesses and studies challenging problems associated with planning and operations of DoD, military services, and Government agencies,” and delivered to the commander of US Central Command. Ambassador Hof and other experts were asked:Does US foreign policy strike the right balance in supporting US interests and its role as a global power? Or, should the US consider a more isolationist approach to foreign policy? What impact could an isolationist policy have on Middle East security and stability, balance of influence by regional and world actors, and US national interests? Below is Ambassador Hof’s response to the question. The full report can be found by following this link to NSI’s website.

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  • Hof Quoted by Iran Focus on the Role of the Tanf Border in the Syrian Conflict


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  • Hof Quoted by the Christian Science Monitor on the Role of the US in Syria


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  • Hof Quoted in Hurriyet Daily News on Possibility of Trump’s Impeachment


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  • Hof Quoted by Middle East Eye on Trump’s Trip to the Middle East


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