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Thu, Mar 26, 2020

US strategy in Iraq and the coronavirus plot twist

Tehran is betting that the world is too consumed with managing a pandemic to hold them accountable—and that the US administration is unwilling to stay the course in Iraq because it is too gun shy in an election year and too financially strapped by the coming burden of US unemployment. The implications of a global pandemic make that a risky bet.

New Atlanticist by Kirsten Fontenrose

Conflict Coronavirus

Fri, Mar 20, 2020

Amid COVID-19, Iraq remains US-Iran battleground

Americans have been killed once again during attacks on Iraqi bases, and a series of strikes have been made by US forces and Iranian proxies within Iraq, with no immediate sign that the hostilities will abate anytime soon. Iran is trying to force a US withdrawal, and the United States is trying to protect its interests and reinforce its red lines. Caught in the middle once again, Iraq is simultaneously confronting a security crisis, a health emergency, and an economic free fall—all without the benefit of a functioning government in Baghdad.

New Atlanticist by Atlantic Council

Conflict Coronavirus

Mon, Mar 16, 2020

What the coronavirus emergency means for the US-Iran conflict

While the world is focused on the spread of a pandemic, the conflict between Iran and the United States is heating up. Without the laser-focused media attention of early January to temper the actions of both sides, we can expect to see riskier behavior and less concern for collateral damage.

New Atlanticist by Kirsten Fontenrose

Conflict Coronavirus

Kirsten Fontenrose is Director of the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council where she  leads the security pillar within the Middle East programs. This effort focuses on the Middle East and North Africa’s ongoing security challenges, geopolitical competition, and the transatlantic community’s role in promoting security and stability to allow for political and economic development.

Kirsten has twenty years of experience working with the national security apparatuses of nations in the Middle East and Africa from positions within the US Department of Defense, Department of State, White House, private industry, and non-profit sector. She served as Senior Director for Gulf Affairs at the National Security Council, leading the development of US policy toward nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Yemen, Egypt, and Jordan. Most recently, she was Senior Vice President for Global Relations at the Sonoran Policy Group.

Previously, Kirsten led the Middle East and Africa team in the interagency Global Engagement Center, built relationships with military officers and diplomats from the Middle East and South Asia for the Near East Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, which she helped establish. Her career began in the non-profit sector at the National Council on US-Arab Relations, and in the private sector working on US-Arab business projects with Arthur Houghton Associates.

She holds a BA in Middle East Studies from the College of William and Mary, an MA in Middle East Studies from Indiana University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.