Frederic C. Hof

  • Liquidating American Leverage in Northeastern Syria

    The United States has invested nearly 5 years and tens of billions of dollars in northeastern Syria to terminate the terrorist “caliphate” of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, IS). The battle against thousands of at-large ISIL operatives continues. But for how long?


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  • Responding to Assad's Violence Against Syrian Civilians

    The worldwide security consequences of Syrian state terror have been clear to two American presidents. But what to do? How might the West defend Syrians and itself from this ongoing scourge?


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  • Underestimating the Global Impact of the Syrian War

    The tactic of placing civilians on the bullseye has sent shock waves of destabilization radiating well beyond Syria, thereby placing the national security of the United States and its allies at risk. This deliberate targeting—by the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran—continues. The threat it presents to Western security endures. There is no end in sight.


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  • Syria: Why it Still matters

    Deliberate, systematic, and relentless targeting of defenseless civilians is the headline of eight-plus years of conflict in Syria. Mass murder by aircraft, artillery and missiles, ‘starve or surrender’ sieges, illegal detentions, horrific torture: these have been the hallmark tactics of a ruling regime determined to survive politically at any cost; one that has inflicted industrial scale state terror on civilians residing in rebel-controlled areas. The results inside Syria have been catastrophic. But they have not beenlimited to Syria. What has happened in Syria—one of history’s most sustained assaults on innocent human life—has not stayed in Syria. The consequences of mass homicide threaten the security of the United States and the entire Western alliance.


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  • In Syria, Civilians Again on the Bullseye

    According to a Western physician who returned days ago from a mission of mercy into Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province, no fewer than thirteen hospitals have been successfully targeted by Russian combat aircraft; three of them had previously declared their geographic coordinates to the United Nations. Thus far, Russia’s hospital offensive and the Assad regime’s barrel bombings have reportedly killed dozens of civilians and put 150,000 terrified people on the road. Provided the regime of Bashar al-Assad refrains from using chemical weapons, it seems very unlikely that anyone will lift a finger to protect Syrian civilians and, by extension, defend the West.
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  • The Growing Russian Challenge and What Should Be Done About It

    All around the world, Russia is increasingly asserting itself, propping up dictators, and, in some instances, posing a direct challenge to US interests. Russian President Vladimir Putin held his first-ever meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vladivostok on April 25. Kim’s visit to Russia, an old ally, came as diplomacy with US President Donald J. Trump has faltered.

    Trump and Putin spoke on the phone for over an hour on May 3. Venezuela and North Korea were among the topics the two leaders discussed.


    We take a look at some areas of confrontation, what is driving Russian interests, and how the United States is responding to this challenge.


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  • In Syria, Trump Claims Victory but ISIS Remains

    US President Donald Trump’s December 2018 tweet announcing the withdrawal of American military forces from Syria has inadvertently invited ISIS (ISIL, IS, Daesh, Islamic State) to resurrect itself. Even though American officials have walked-back the presidential decree, the president himself has signaled no enduring or enthusiastic support for the essential, victory-sealing stabilization of areas liberated from ISIS.


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  • The Folly of the Trump Administration's Proclamations on Israel

    Recently the White House and the Department of State released statements: one proclaiming American recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights; and the other commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Israel-Egypt treaty of peace. Each, in its own way, revealed serious leadership dysfunction.


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  • Trump’s Support for Israeli Sovereignty Over the Golan Heights May Hurt Israel

    In a departure from longstanding US policy, US President Donald J. Trump on March 21 tweeted that it was time the United States recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau Israel captured from Syria in 1967.


    While there is perhaps more than a touch of politics behind the timing of the tweet—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, is up for re-election on April 9—an actual shift in US policy on this sensitive issue could have serious consequences.


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  • Hof Quoted in The Guardian on Trump Recognizing Israel's Sovereignty over Golan Heights


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