Issue Brief

Jun 14, 2021

What choices remain for the United States in Syria?

By Nate Rosenblatt and Jomana Qaddour

In a new issue brief Nate Rosenblatt and Jomana Qaddour describe the challenges the United States faces in Syria, including Russia’s attempt to expand the UN Strategic Framework as well the struggle to keep the UN humanitarian border crossings open in northern Syria.

Human Rights International Organizations

Issue Brief

Jun 4, 2021

Syrian lives in peril: The fight to preserve Syria’s last humanitarian border crossing

By Salman Husain, Yasmine Chawaf

A new Atlantic Council report, “Syrian Lives in Peril: The Fight to Preserve Syria’s Last Humanitarian Border Crossing,” places humanitarian considerations at the forefront of the cross-border debate. In addition to examining the devastating impacts of losing Bab al-Hawa, this report explores the limitations of cross-line operations (from government-held areas of Syria to areas outside of its control), which are presented as feasible alternatives.

Middle East Migration
A net launched from a net-capture system just before catching its target, Quantico, Virginia (December 2018). Source: Red Six Solutions

Issue Brief

May 4, 2020

Drone attacks against critical infrastructure: A real and present threat

By Dr. Scott Crino and Conrad “Andy” Dreby

Read the Middle East Program’s new paper on the use of weaponized drones in the Middle East, with recommendations for policymakers.

Drones Middle East

Issue Brief

Sep 24, 2019

The United States in Syria: Why it still matters

By Frederic C. Hof

The objective of the United States in Syria must be a full political transition from criminal, terrorist rule by family and entourage to a consensual, legitimate system featuring rule of law. Its achievement would, barring unanticipated regime collapse, take years of patient, focused, and disciplined effort.

Politics & Diplomacy Resilience & Society


Aug 13, 2019

The future of northeast Syria

By Aaron Stein and Emily Burchfield

Executive Summary The future of northeast Syria is unsettled after eight years of civil war and the US intervention to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). It also faces the various divergent interests of powerful external actors, including Russia and Turkey. In mid-April 2019, the Atlantic Council, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, and the Foreign Policy […]

Resilience & Society Rule of Law

Past events

All content


Jan 21, 2022

The Biden administration’s Syria policy sets a path towards disengagement. Here’s why it’s problematic.

By Abdulrahman al-Masri, Reem Salahi

It appears that the Joe Biden administration isn’t only deprioritizing Syria due to a cramped foreign policy agenda, but more clearly pronouncing a lack of strategic interest and an official approach of disengagement.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


Dec 17, 2021

2021: A year in the Middle East

By Holly Dagres

2021 was a year full of impactful elections, historic anniversaries, and new challenges for the Middle East and North Africa.

Iran Iraq


Oct 19, 2021

Jordan is pushing for rapprochement with Syria. But is it to reinforce artificial stability in the region?

By Laith Alajlouni

The normalization of ties with Syria is assumed to be a part of a broader regional stabilization plan that Jordan’s King Abdullah advocated for during his recent visit to Washington in July.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


Oct 15, 2021

Are Putin and Erdogan doing territorial swaps in Syria again?

By Ibrahim Hamidi

Talks of another territorial swap are back on the table now, amidst a common Turkish-Russian belief that the US is preparing to disengage from the Middle East, as they did with Afghanistan.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


Oct 6, 2021

Why Israeli gas and Syrian sanctions relief may turn on Lebanon’s lights

By Matthew Zais

Before the United States and World Bank throw a lifeline to either Bashar al-Assad or Lebanon, they should demand concessions that reduce Iranian and Russian influence in the region.

Lebanon Middle East


Oct 1, 2021

The northern countryside of Homs in Syria is facing a similar fate as Daraa

By Suhail al-Ghazi

Recently, a series of attacks against regime forces and threats by regime commanders are exposing the region to a similar fate as Daraa governorate.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


Sep 17, 2021

Syria after the fall of Kabul: A European perspective

By Michel Duclos

There is at least one common factor between Syria and Afghanistan: just as the Taliban has not changed once it took back power, the Bashar al-Assad regime will not change once its power is affirmed.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


Sep 15, 2021

Renewed hostilities in Daraa offer lessons and opportunities in Syria. But will Washington pay attention?

By Alexander Langlois

Prolonged unrest in the south highlights rifts within the pro-Bashar al-Assad camp, notably between Iran and Damascus on one side and Russia on the other, potentially presenting a unique opportunity for diplomacy.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


Sep 3, 2021

Afghanistan demonstrates why it’s time for a clear Syria policy, starting with northeast Syria

By Reem Salahi

If Afghanistan is to teach us anything, the Biden administration should not ignore Syria by having a non-existent policy. The longer the Syrian conflict continues, the more intractable and unmanageable it becomes.

Middle East Syria


Sep 2, 2021

To honor two generations of service members, prevent the next GWOT ribbon

By Caroline Donnal

Today, executive and legislative actions signal a shift: America’s military footprint in the Middle East is shrinking and thousands of troops are coming home.

Afghanistan Iraq


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