Middle East and North Africa

Net Assessment of the Middle East and North Africa

Dec. 2, 2015 Modern Middle Eastern states were largely formed by the British and French starting at the conclusion of World War I. The region today is struggling with a deep divide between declining secular regimes and emerging Islamist non-state actors.

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The Limits of Iranian Power

May 25, 2017 Geography and demography work against the government in Tehran.

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Terrorism as a Tactic

May 24, 2017 The attack in Manchester highlights some basic truths about the Islamic State.

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The Dispensability of Allies

May 17, 2017 Trump brings unpredictability to his talks with Middle East leaders, but some things we already know.

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Don’t Forget About the Islamic State

May 15, 2017 The U.S. may be preoccupied with North Korea, but the conflict in Syria has not gone away.

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Tackling a Change in US Foreign Policy Head On

May 11, 2017 A departure in Middle East policy may compel us to adjust our forecast.

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The Best-Laid Plans of Saudi Arabia and Russia

May 9, 2017 Gone are the days when Riyadh could dictate oil prices by itself.

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For US, Shared Interests Trump Moral Purity

May 3, 2017 Donald Trump is not crazy for wanting to meet with Kim Jong Un or Rodrigo Duterte.

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Recasting Hamas

May 2, 2017 Hamas’ new charter seeks to soften the group’s tone.

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The Myth of the Arab Spring

April 28, 2017 In 2010, a fruit vendor put Tunisia on the world’s stage when he lit himself on fire.

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The Saudi Social Contract Under Stress

April 26, 2017 Economic reforms may not be possible because of the political sacrifice they entail.

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The US-Saudi Alliance

April 21, 2017 The two countries need each other, but their interests are diverging.

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Islamic States and Muslim Secularism

April 18, 2017 Muslim-majority nations will struggle with the role of religion in politics for a long time to come.

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Major Choke Points in the Persian Gulf and East Asia

April 17, 2017 For Persian Gulf exporters and East Asian consumers, the free passage of oil shipments is essential.

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Turkey, Secularism and Religion

April 17, 2017 A struggle between two segments of Turkish society is emerging.

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Salafism’s Three Strands

April 13, 2017 The ultraconservative branch of Islam is being pulled in multiple directions.

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The United States, Syria and Russia

April 12, 2017 A strategy toward the Middle East requires more than short-term tactical moves.

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The Significance of the Turkish Referendum

April 11, 2017 Regardless of the result, Turkey will continue rising as a regional power.

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Chemicals and Cruise Missiles in Syria

April 7, 2017 The American action reveals an important observation about U.S. strategy.

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Exporters’ Crisis Update: 16 Vulnerable Countries

April 6, 2017 GPF has identified and tracked how the exporters’ crisis has unfolded in what we consider the most vulnerable countries.

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The Next Four Years

April 6, 2017 A GPF conference put a spotlight on some of the key events in the world today.

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Regional Security and the Islamic Military Alliance

April 5, 2017 The formation of a “Muslim NATO” may actually encourage jihadism.

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Extremism and Counter-Messaging

March 31, 2017 The West is fighting Islamist radicals on both the military and ideological battlefield.

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What Past Empires Tell Us About the Future

March 27, 2017 We are doomed to repeat history whether we know it or not.

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Coalitions and the Battle Against Islamic State

March 24, 2017 Optics cannot overcome the will to fight.

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The Emerging Post-Caliphate Syrian Battlespace

March 22, 2017 Conflicting regional and international forces are vying for control.

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Taking Raqqa from the Islamic State

March 20, 2017 The battle for Raqqa will be a marathon rather than a sprint.

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Al-Qaida-Islamic State Competition in Syria

March 16, 2017 Al-Qaida is poised to take advantage of a weakened Islamic State.

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Russia’s Role in Libya

March 15, 2017 Moscow has little to gain from involvement in the country, other than an appearance of power.

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Islamic State’s Strategy Involving Jordan and Israel

March 9, 2017 IS may try to draw in Israel by threatening Amman.

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A Busy Day in Geopolitics

March 8, 2017 Massive geopolitical upheavals often fly under the radar.

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Water and Geopolitical Imperatives

March 6, 2017 Access to and control over water is a strategic imperative that has been the impetus of conflict throughout history.

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The US, Turkey and the Kurds

March 3, 2017 Ankara is challenging Washington’s approach to the Kurds.

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Saudi Arabia Turns to Asia for Investment

March 1, 2017 The kingdom is facing financial strain and looking for new sources of cash.

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A Significant Iranian Military Exercise

Feb. 28, 2017 Naval exercises launched this week offer key insights into the country’s view of the region.

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Turkey and the United States Groping to Accommodation

Feb. 21, 2017 Despite past differences, the two countries are getting closer.

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The Unending Muslim Civil Wars

Feb. 17, 2017 Conflict between Muslim groups is nothing new.

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Islamic State Faces Key Threat

Feb. 15, 2017 IS is fighting for strategic territory and the result will indicate the group’s conventional strength.

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US Strategies in the Middle East

Feb. 8, 2017 Washington must choose sides.

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Iran’s Economy Is Bouncing Back

Feb. 2, 2017 A year after the U.S. agreed to lift sanctions, Iran is recovering its regional influence.

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Thinking Through Trump’s Views on the Islamic State

Jan. 25, 2017 The president has said he will eradicate IS, but how might this happen?

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The Geopolitics of 2017 in 4 Maps

Jan. 23, 2017 We showcase some of the maps that visually represent the year ahead best.

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Understanding Peace Talks

Jan. 23, 2017 Few formal peace negotiations actually lead to peace.

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The Lira’s Fall and Turkey’s Rise

Jan. 13, 2017 The country’s currency struggle is a bump in the road.

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The 2nd Phase in the Battle for Mosul Begins

Jan. 6, 2017 Islamic State fighters are trying to draw coalition forces away from Mosul.

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Demographics and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Jan. 5, 2017 The demographics argument in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict deserves more scrutiny.

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Thinking About the Arabs in History

Jan. 2, 2017 Editor’s Note: As another year begins with yet another cease-fire in Syria, the disintegration of Middle Eastern states is evident. Therefore, we are republishing this article from Dec. 9, 2015 in which we explain why it may not be possible to talk about the Arab world as a whole anymore.

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The Palestinian National Project

Dec. 29, 2016 Will there ever be a two-state solution?

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Forecasting 2016: Final Grades

Dec. 26, 2016 Self-evaluation is a key part of forecasting.

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A Meaningless UN Security Council Resolution

Dec. 27, 2016 The international community’s gestures and edicts will have no real bearing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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2016 Forecast Year-End Report Card

Dec. 22, 2016 As the year comes to an close, we examine how our forecast for 2016 fared.

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The Slowing Battle for Mosul

Dec. 22, 2016 The anti-Islamic State coalition is getting bogged down.

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Israel’s Disappearing Act

Dec. 21, 2016 Israelis have benefited from not being a main focus in the Middle East.

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In Defense of Nationalism

Dec. 21, 2016 The concept of nationalism in the modern world remains largely misunderstood.

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Jordan: The Small Kingdom in the Middle

Dec. 20, 2016 The Arab monarchy’s short-term stability could be at risk.

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The Balance of Weakness in the Syrian Civil War

Dec. 15, 2016 We examine the three main actors that control territory in Syria.

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The Islamic State Strikes Back

Dec. 14, 2016 IS’ capture of Palmyra has pulled the cloak back on Russia’s vulnerability.

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The World in 2017

Dec. 12, 2016 Major countries will see economic downturns due to low oil prices and a declining export market.

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The Insidious Method to the Jihadist Madness 

Dec. 12, 2016 Jihadist attacks on minority religious and ethnic groups are part of a deeper strategy to destabilize regimes.

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The Kurds: Not Quite a Nation

Dec. 8, 2016 Division between Kurdish groups makes them unreliable partners for the U.S.

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The Muslim Dispute Over Martyrdom

Dec. 7, 2016 Beyond the battles in the streets is a battle over ideas.

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The Fallout from Saudi Arabia’s Economic Downslide

Dec. 1, 2016 The kingdom could face challenges due to economic strains and plunging oil prices.

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OPEC’s Prisoner’s Dilemma

Dec. 1, 2016 OPEC countries have an agreement on production, but will they abide by it?

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Islam and Terrorism

Nov. 28, 2016 Clarity in defining the enemy is essential to waging war.

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Mosul Battle to Continue Well into 2017

Nov. 24, 2016 The offensive to retake Mosul is not progressing as well as the media is depicting.

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The National Security Adviser

Nov. 21, 2016 A first glimpse at U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s world.

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Egypt as a Regional Non-Power

Nov. 16, 2016 Domestic political and economic problems have constrained the country’s influence over other Arab states.

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Retaking Raqqa?

Nov. 8, 2016 Tough talk on a new offensive to take back the Islamic State’s de facto capital.

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Explaining Mosul in 5 Maps

Nov. 7, 2016 The battle to retake the city is part of a much broader war.

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The Battle for Mosul: Current Tactics, Future Fallout

Oct. 27, 2016 The Islamic State faces the possibility of losing its largest stronghold in Iraq.

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Turkey Faces Serious Obstacles in Syria and Iraq

Oct. 26, 2016 Several factors, including Iran, are keeping Turkey from intervening on its southern flank.

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Israeli Strategy and the UNESCO Resolution

Oct. 24, 2016 Israel will need external support to ensure its security in the long run.

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Compromising in the Caucasus

Oct. 19, 2016 Normalizing Russian-Turkish relations are unlikely to lead to an understanding on security in the Black Sea region.

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The Harsh Reality Behind the Battle for Mosul

Oct. 18, 2016 The city’s religious and ethnic groups are unlikely to unite, even if they are freed from the Islamic State.

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The US Retaliates in Yemen

Oct. 14, 2016 The war in Yemen could shut down shipping lanes, which the U.S. can’t afford.

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The End of the Islamic State?

Oct. 12, 2016 If IS is weak, we must ask, compared to who?

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Germany Warns of the Danger of War

Oct. 11, 2016 With lower stakes, the U.S. and Russia might take riskier actions.

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Four Maps That Explain Iran’s Place in the Middle East

Oct. 10, 2016 The country’s geography limits its ability to project power externally.

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The War of Ramadan and Yom Kippur

Oct. 7, 2016 The conflict taught all sides indispensable lessons.

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Why Russia Is Threatening the US in Syria

Oct. 4, 2016 Moscow’s ability to back up its rhetoric is questionable.

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Behind the OPEC Agreement

Oct. 3, 2016 Russia and Saudi Arabia are cooperating as a stopgap measure to buy some time.

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Shimon Peres

Sept. 29, 2016 The prominent Israeli politician was the last of his kind.

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Why Syria Matters to You

Sept. 26, 2016 The Syrian civil war has managed to draw in many global powers.

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15 Years in Something They Call War

Sept. 19 2016 The U.S. has veered away from its original mission since going to war in Afghanistan after 9/11.

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The Middle East Since 9/11

Sept. 12, 2016 The region has changed significantly following the attacks 15 years ago.

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The World Before World War II Re-Emerges

Sept. 8, 2016 Instability runs rampant across the Eurasian landmass today at a level unseen since the years leading up to World War II.

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Europe’s Long War with Islam

Aug. 29, 2016 Both Christianity and Islam are political religions, combining internal conflict with foreign adventures.

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Germany and Turkey’s Quiet Alliance

Aug. 25, 2016 Though Berlin and Ankara’s relationship is often contentious, they know they need each other.

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Turkey and Iran’s Problems with Russia as an Ally

Aug. 25, 2016 In geopolitics, sometimes distance makes the heart grow fonder.

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Russia’s Illusion of Influence in the Middle East

Aug. 23, 2016 Moscow’s position in the region is not as dominant as it might seem.

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Dismantling a Story on US Nukes

Aug. 19, 2016 A recent report that the U.S. moved nuclear weapons from Turkey to Romania bears the hallmarks of disinformation.

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A Status Check on the War in Syria

Aug. 18, 2016 With so many reports circulating, we take a step back to get the whole picture and see what’s really going on.

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Jordan’s Uneasy Approach in Syria

Aug. 11, 2016 Amman appears anxious about developments in southern Syria.

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Russia and Turkey Maneuver

Aug. 10, 2016 The two countries seem to be moving closer, but will it last?

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Beyond the Turkish Coup

Aug. 5, 2016 Turkey has three options for its national strategy moving forward.

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Iran’s Delicate Stability

Aug. 4, 2016 Though on opposing sides, the pragmatists and ideologues need each other.

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Troubling Signs out of Germany and Saudi Arabia

Aug. 2, 2016 Deutsche Bank and the Saudi central bank released unnerving statements yesterday.

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The Coup and Turkey as a Great Power

Aug. 1, 2016 Instability does not prevent a country from becoming powerful.

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A Purge Is a Purge Is a Purge

Aug. 1, 2016 Four major global powers are in the midst of different types of purges.

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The Problem with Fighting Islamist Terrorism

July 26, 2016 Radical Islamism is a movement, not an organization, which makes it much harder to defeat.

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Turkey’s Geopolitical Imperatives

July 21, 2016 Ankara appears in disarray, but the attempted coup is unlikely to prevent it from taking the necessary steps to emerge as a major power.

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Were Turkish Coup Planners Involved in Downing Russian Jet?

July 20, 2016 Erdoğan is using the coup attempt to reframe Turkey’s relations with Russia.

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The Blurry Line Between Religion and Secularism in Turkey

July 19, 2016 The divide between Islamists and secularists is not as clear as some believe.

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The Coup

July 18, 2016 How did the coup plotters in Turkey avoid being detected?

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The Implications of the Coup in Turkey

July 17, 2016 The recent coup attempt highlights the secular-religious divide in Turkey.

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Erdoğan Appears to Regain Control in Turkey

July 16, 2016 The president appears to have control of the government after a coup attempt.

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Coup in Turkey

July 15, 2016 The military has claimed a takeover of the government.

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The Strategy Behind the Nice Attack

July 14, 2016 The purpose of terror is to terrify.

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2016 Forecast Mid-Year Report Card

July 7, 2016 Six months into the year, we take a look at how our forecasts have held up so far.

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Turkey Shifts Again

June 28, 2016 It is in Ankara’s interest to keep Washington on its toes.

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The EU Model and the Muslim World

June 27, 2016 After Brexit, the EU should not be seen as a model for unity between nation-states.

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The US Brokers a Turkish-Israeli Reconciliation

June 22, 2016 The two Middle Eastern countries are close to making peace over a 2010 incident.

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The Problem with the State Department Dissenters

June 20, 2016 If the Assad regime was destroyed, what would take its place?

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Iraqi Army Pushes Ahead in Fallujah

June 17, 2016 IS’ retreat from the city will not weaken its control over its core territory.

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The Trouble with Ending Wars

June 14, 2016 Today’s U.S. deployments in the Middle East look similar to those in 1972 Vietnam.

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The Future of the Islamic State and Its Caliphate

June 8, 2016 The Islamic State is under pressure in Iraq and Syria, but its opponents also face great challenges.

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Turkey’s Shifting Policy on Syria

June 8, 2016 Over the past few days, Ankara has seemed to relax its stance on Syrian Kurds.

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The Forgotten Legacy of the Six-Day War

June 7, 2016  Israel’s belief in its military invincibility might be its downfall.

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Turkey, Germany and Moral Posturing

June 3, 2016 The Bundestag’s statement about Armenia is a political tool.

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Turkey and the US Converging on Syria

May 23, 2016 The Americans are hoping the Turks will play a larger role in Syria.

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The Strategic Weakness of Targeted Killing

May 23, 2016 This strategy has done little to help the U.S. destroy terrorist organizations.

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The Next Chapter for the Intermarium

May 20, 2016 Growing indications suggest a new alliance structure is forming.

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Libya and the Lessons of Afghanistan

May 18, 2016 Afghanistan is a useful case to consider as Western powers plan to send arms to Libya.

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Making Sense of Turkey

May 17, 2016 The prime minister’s dismissal had more to do with policy than personality.

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National Transformation Plans and Lessons for Saudi Arabia

May 16, 2016 The country has embarked on an ambitious project that many have failed at in the past.

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Turkey: Geopolitics Beyond the Politics

May 5, 2016 The power struggle between Erdoğan and Davutoğlu pales in comparison to Ankara’s other challenges.

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Iraq’s Ghost State

May 3, 2016 The country has been disintegrating since the fall of the Baathist regime.

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The Heirs of Osama bin Laden

May 3, 2016 Bin Laden was killed five years ago, but transnational jihadism lives on.

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Saudi Arabia’s Risky Reform Project

April 26, 2016 The Saudis may be taking on too much change too fast.

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The Geopolitics of Sanctions

April 19, 2016 Imposing economic pressures is a tactic governments use to pursue goals, but shifting interests ultimately shape negotiations.

 

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American Muslims and the Islamic State

April 18, 2016 U.S. Muslims present a major challenge to IS.

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Why Turkey and Russia Will Avoid Confrontation

April 12, 2016 The two countries have competing interests, but no desire for conflict with one another.

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Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Arab Security

April 11, 2016 Both countries are weakening, as instability grows throughout the Middle East.

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The Old Islamic State Versus the New

April 6, 2016 Outside of Syria and Iraq, the threat of IS is most potent in Saudi Arabia.

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Erdoğan’s Not Mad, He’s Ruthless

April 5, 2016 The dynamics of the Turkish president’s visit to the U.S. underscore Turkey’s current geopolitical position.

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Shifting Alliances in the Middle East and South Asia

April 4, 2016 For Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan and India, the long-established dynamics are changing.

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Erdoğan’s Clash with Journalists

April 1, 2016 Seemingly rash actions can be better understood through empathetic analysis.

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Counterterrorism and Jihadist Capabilities

March 30, 2016 Islamic State’s capabilities warrant much more scrutiny than its ideology.

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The Political Nature of Strong Armies

March 29, 2016 A military’s role goes beyond fighting wars.

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Iran’s Balancing Act in Iraq

March 28, 2016 While the fall of Saddam Hussein presented opportunities, the ensuing chaos has not been as manageable as Tehran had hoped.

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Understanding the Islamic State’s Retreat from Palmyra

March 28, 2016 The Islamic State’s recent setback is not yet cause for celebration.

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Bosnia, Kosovo and Brussels

March 25, 2016 This week’s attacks in Belgium are a continuation of Muslim-Christian confrontations that began when the Soviet Union fell.

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The Link Between Syria and Ukraine

March 24, 2016 The fact that the two conflicts have become intertwined is not a coincidence.

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Belgium, Turkey and Islamic State’s Strategy

March 22, 2016 The recent attacks strike at the heart of two potential threats to IS.

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Regime Change, State Disintegration and Jihadists

March 21, 2016 In the Arab world, Western-style governance models are unlikely to succeed in the future because of the autocratic nature of the regimes in crisis, as well as their challengers.

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The Pitfalls of US Power

March 21, 2016 Applying a balance of power strategy is easier in the abstract than in practice.

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The Week: Elections, Russians and Missiles

March 19, 2016 The U.S. presidential candidates grabbed headlines, while events in the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula also took center stage.

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Syria and Unwarranted Optimism

March 16, 2016 Since Putin announced Russia’s withdrawal, diplomats and media have been unreasonably hopeful about the future of the Syrian civil war.

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Why Putin Went into Syria

March 15, 2016 Russia’s true intentions didn’t have much to do with propping up the Assad regime.

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Making Sense of Islamic State’s Position in Libya

March 14, 2016 IS has set its sights on the North African state, but will it be able to replicate the control it has in Syria and Iraq?

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The US Pivot to Everywhere

March 14, 2016 U.S. strategy demands more of a pirouette than a pivot.

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Shaping a Presidential Legacy

March 11, 2016 The limits of Obama’s office played a significant role in creating his ‘doctrine.’

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Islamic State and the Possibility of Chemical Weapons

March 10, 2016 If IS is able to develop such weapons, the U.S. will have to change its strategy.

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Saudi Arabia’s Loan Request Underscores Financial Crisis

March 9, 2016 The country is reportedly interested in a bank loan worth billions.

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The US and Israel Drift Apart

March 9, 2016 The two nations’ strong relationship has faded along with the Cold War strategies that brought them together in the first place.

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The Muslim World Between Shariah and the Rule of Law

March 7, 2016 The debate over the role of religion in politics has heavily contributed to the lack of rule of law in Muslim-majority countries.

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The Greatly Exaggerated Rumors of Islamic State’s Demise

March 7, 2016 IS’ position in Syria and Iraq remains strong, despite reports to the contrary.

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The Future of Russia’s Involvement in Syria

March 3, 2016 Despite concerns from Western powers, the Kremlin’s military operations will likely stay limited.

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Uncovering What Will Happen for Rising Powers

March 3, 2016 A deeper look at how our geopolitical model informs our forecasts.

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Oil Rallies, Fantasies Surge

March 2, 2016 Prices may have risen in the past couple weeks, but the oil crisis is not over.

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What It Means to Be Moderate

March 1, 2016 Can an essentially human trait describe a political stance?

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Ceasefire and 97 Flavors of Opposition

Feb. 26, 2016 The Syrian ceasefire will be ineffective at building peace and will not lead rebel groups to form a united front.

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Saudi Arabia’s Untenable Military Position

Feb. 25, 2016 The Saudis are projecting an image of military strength that does not match up with its actual capabilities.

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Israel’s Strategic Vulnerability

Feb. 25, 2016 Chaos in the Middle East may serve Israel well now, but any solution will create new tensions.

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Why the Syrian Kurds Can’t Win

Feb. 22, 2016 Despite recent victories, the Kurdish YPG forces face several challenges.

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The Turkish Week: Caution and Ambition

Feb. 19, 2016 This week, many major developments in the ongoing crises in Europe, Russia and the Middle East all intersected in Turkey.

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The Destruction of the Iraqi and Syrian States

Feb. 18, 2016 Both countries have disintegrated to the point that their governments no longer have control.

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Why Bombings Don’t Change Strategy

Feb. 17, 2016 If it bleeds, it leads – but does it matter?

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Iran’s Evolving Domestic Politics

Feb. 11, 2016 The country is facing a struggle between reformists and hardline conservatives.

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The Syrian Civil War Through Assad’s Eyes

Feb. 8, 2016 What would victory look like for the Syrian president?

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Why Russian-Turkish Hostility Makes Sense

Feb. 5, 2016 Tensions between the two countries have heightened again, although this is not surprising when viewed in historical context.

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The Arab Spring Five Years Later

Jan. 28, 2016 Many Western observers misunderstood the 2011 uprisings across the Middle East.

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Turkey Hesitates on Islamic State Strategy

Jan. 25, 2016 The U.S. is careful to avoid tensions over the Kurds, but Turkey is still hesitant to take the lead in the fight against IS.

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Coalitions and the Islamic State: It’s Not Happening

Jan. 25, 2016 Few countries are both willing and able to defeat IS and manage the aftermath.

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Israel’s Reaction to Iran Without Sanctions

Jan. 18, 2016 Despite strong rhetoric against the U.S.-Iranian nuclear deal, Israel is as safe as it has ever been.

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Post-Sanctions Iran and the Middle East

Jan 16, 2015 As oil supermajors begin talks with Tehran, its tensions with Riyadh will grow.

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The US-Iranian Non-Crisis

Jan. 14, 2016 Despite expectations, both governments quickly and amicably settled a potentially volatile situation.

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Egypt’s Stagnating Position in the Middle East

Jan. 9, 2016 Egypt’s inability to influence Turkish-Israeli negotiations is reflective of the country’s weak position in the Middle East.

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China, Saudi Arabia and Germany: The Export Crisis Matures

Jan. 8, 2016 The impact of the export market’s global decline, which was initiated by the 2008 financial crisis, is reverberating through the supply chain and spreading to more countries.

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Saudi Arabia Considers Radical Changes to its Political Economy

Jan. 7, 2016 Saudi Arabia’s consideration of an IPO for its state-owned oil firm suggests the country is in need of financial resources to maintain stability internally and strengthen its position in the Middle East.

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Islamic State Strikes Back After Loss of Ramadi

Jan. 5, 2016 The Islamic State’s attempts to take the Iraqi town of Haditha indicate that its position in Iraq has not weakened, despite its retreat in Ramadi.

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The Oil Circle

Jan. 5, 2016 The decline of oil prices has affected many countries, but has begun to show conspicuously in Saudi Arabia.

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Iran and Saudi Arabia: Posturing and Reality

Jan. 4, 2016 Having failed to pacify Iraq, the United States has moved to a more complex strategy of trying to maintain a balance of power among major regional powers.

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Importance of Saudi Arabia’s Mass Executions

Jan. 2, 2015 The Saudis are attempting to deal with both internal strains and external attacks and our model says their attempts to do so will have deleterious ramifications in 2016.

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Jihadists Central to Fight Against Islamic State

Dec. 30, 2015 As the Islamic State becomes the dominant force in the Middle East, anti-IS actors are increasingly relying on jihadist rebel groups to take on IS in Syria.

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The Limits of Saudi Arabia’s Budget Cuts

Dec. 29, 2015 Saudi Arabia will cut public spending in 2016, which may signal problems for a government that relies on public funds to maintain control at home and in the region.

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The State of Islamic State

Dec. 29, 2015 Without knowing the details of the Islamic State’s activities in the weeks and days before the Kurdish-led alliance took the Tishrin Dam in Syria, it isn’t clear whether this was a major defeat or even preparation by IS for a new offensive elsewhere.

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The Battle for Ramadi

Dec. 23, 2015 The reality is that the Islamic State is retreating from a non-crucial town not integral to its current battle plans.

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Turkish and Israeli Talks Are Underway and May Actually Lead Somewhere

Dec. 18, 2015 A regional realignment triggered by the Russians and Islamic State, and beneficial to the United States, is potentially underway.

 

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Washington’s Role in Turkey-Iraq Dispute

Dec. 17, 2015 After Turkey deployed unauthorized troops to a training camp in Iraq, the U.S. has been trying to calm tensions between two countries.

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Saudi Arabia’s Hollow Anti-Terrorism Coalition

Dec. 16, 2015 The Saudi-led Islamic Military Alliance includes 34 Arab and Muslim states, however, is unlikely to gain any traction in the fight against global jihadism.

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Syria and the Fact No One Mentions

Dec. 16, 2015 U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have reached an agreement, but there’s far more to consider than just Bashar al-Assad or his regime leaving.

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US Strategy Towards Russia and Turkey

Dec. 15, 2015 The U.S. is holding simultaneous high-level talks in Turkey and Russia, however, the negotiations will highlight the diverging priorities of the Americans and the regional powers in the Middle East.

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The Coming Turkey-Iran Conflict

Dec. 9, 2015 As Turkey becomes more active in defending its interests in Syria and Iraq, tensions with Iran are rising.

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Net Assessment of Saudi Arabia

Dec. 9, 2015 The country is trying to limit the fragmentation in the Middle East caused by the Arab Spring, while facing numerous challenges at home.

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Thinking About the Arabs in History

Dec. 9, 2015 As the strength of many Arab states deteriorates, it may not be possible to think of the Arab world as a whole anymore.

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Turkey-Russia Dispute Intensifies

Dec. 7, 2015 In what amounts to an escalation of tensions between the two countries, Turkey has reportedly been delaying passage through the Bosporus Strait for Russian ships.

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Islamic State’s Current Standing

Dec. 7, 2015 The group has managed to redefine the region’s borders, suggesting it is far more than just a terrorist organization.

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Evaluating a Rumor About Islamic State

Dec. 5, 2015 A rumor has surfaced about a potential split in the Islamic State.

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US Special Operations Forces in Iraq

Dec. 2, 2015 U.S. deployment of special operations forces in Iraq is bound to create problems within the anti-Islamic State camp, including the Iraqi government.

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Turkey’s View of the Islamic State

Dec. 2, 2015 Some world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama, have recently accused Turkey of colluding with the Islamic State.

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Iraq’s Hollow Efforts in Ramadi

Dec. 1, 2015 The Iraqi army has been increasing its efforts to retake Ramadi, however, recovering the city from the Islamic State will not be a substantial advance in its fight against the group.

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The Turkish Red Line and A Strategic Shift

Nov. 30, 2015 Turkey’s decision to shoot down a Russian warplane drew the country deeper into the Syrian crisis, even though it has been reluctant to get involved in the civil war raging across its border.

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EU-Turkey Deal to Stem Refugee Flow

Nov. 29, 2015 The European Union and Turkey have reached a deal to prevent some migrants from travelling to Europe but the plan does not address the root causes of the crisis.

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Russia Responds to Turkey

Nov. 25, 2015 After the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish forces, Russia has said it will start deploying air-defense systems in the area and is continuing to support Assad’s offensive on the Syria-Turkey border.

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The Strategy Behind a Downed Russian Plane

Nov. 25, 2015 Many are wondering what compelled the Turks to shoot down a Russian warplane they say entered Turkish air space.

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Turkey Downs Russian Warplane

Nov. 24, 2015 The Turkish military says it shot down a warplane on Tuesday, which reports claim was a Russian Su-24 fighter jet.

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Armies, War and Islamic State

Nov. 23, 2015 The future of the Middle East will be determined by whether the Islamic State’s military force is more capable fundamentally than the Arab military forces we have seen in the past.

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The Arab Spring and Other Fables

Nov. 20, 2015 Far from creating democracies in the Arab world, the Arab Spring ended up being a catalyst for civil wars in Syria and Libya.

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Paris, Sharm el-Sheikh and the Resurrection of Old Europe

Nov. 25, 2015 Europe is considering its options following the Islamic State’s attacks on French and Russian targets.

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Turkey Edging Closer to Islamic State Confrontation

Nov. 19, 2015 Turkey has avoided military intervention in Syria but may now be moving in that direction.

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Islamic State’s Warning on Paris Attacks

Nov. 16, 2015 Iraq’s intelligence service received a warning that Islamic State was planning to attack coalition countries prior to the deadly attacks in Paris.

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The Strategic Context of the Paris Attacks

Nov. 16. 2015 The terrorist attacks in Paris indicate a new level of sophistication in Islamic State’s planning and coordination.

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Net Assessment of the Middle East and North Africa

Dec. 2, 2015 Modern Middle Eastern states were largely formed by the British and French starting at the conclusion of World War I. The region today is struggling with a deep divide between declining secular regimes and emerging Islamist non-state actors.

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The World in 2016

Dec. 2, 2015 We look ahead at the major geopolitical developments the world can expect to see in 2016. These include fragmentation in the European Union, as a result of the continuing refugee and financial crises, and a reluctant confrontation between Turkey and the Islamic State.

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The World in 2016: A Summary of Our Forecast

Dec. 2, 2015 We look ahead at the major geopolitical developments the world can expect to see in 2016. These include fragmentation in the European Union, as a result of the continuing refugee and financial crises, and a reluctant confrontation between Turkey and the Islamic State.

Here is a summary of some of our key predictions for the year ahead.

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The Road to 2040

Dec. 2, 2015 We look into the future and forecast what the world will look like in a quarter of a century. We predict several disruptions in the global structure by 2040 and conclude that much of the instability over the next 25 years will be focused in the European and Asian continents.

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The Road to 2040: A Summary of Our Forecast

Dec. 2, 2015 We look into the future and forecast what the world will look like in a quarter of a century. We predict several disruptions in the global structure by 2040 and conclude that much of the instability over the next 25 years will be focused in the European and Asian continents.

Here is a summary of some of our key predictions for the next 25 years.

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