Latest in Iran

Foreign Policy Essay

Russia Might Regret the U.S. Drawdown in Syria

Editor’s Note: The Syrian conflict, while hardly over, is diminishing. The Syrian people clearly lost, but who—other than the barbarous Assad regime—won? One candidate is Russia, whose military intervention helped save the regime and which has re-emerged as a power broker in the Middle East. Carol Saivetz of MIT, however, argues this may be a mixed blessing for Moscow. Although the regime has accomplished many things in Syria, these accomplishments have created new problems that will be tricky for Moscow to solve.

Daniel Byman

Foreign Policy Essay

Understanding the Houthi Faction in Yemen

Editor’s Note: Yemen’s war, the world’s deadliest active conflict, has no end in sight. Many of its chief protagonists—including the Houthis, whose ties to Iran and hostility to U.S. allies put them at the center of the conflict—are not well understood. Sama’a al-Hamdani, the director of the Yemen Cultural Institute for Heritage and the Arts, does a deep dive on the Houthis. She details their goals and divisions, as well as how they might be induced to join Yemen’s nascent peace process.

Daniel Byman

***

Foreign Policy Essay

Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea and Iran: From Transformational to Transactional

Editor’s Note: Iran and North Korea have posed thorny problems for multiple U.S. administrations. The Trump administration, however, is trying a new tack, hoping to transform the regimes and eschewing intermediate steps. Robert Litwak of the Wilson Center calls for a more transactional approach, working incrementally to decrease the danger these rogue regimes pose rather than trying, and probably failing, to fundamentally transform them.

Daniel Byman

***

Iran

The Iranian Revolution and Its Legacy of Terrorism

The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran has proved one of the most consequential events in the history of modern terrorism. The revolution led to a surge in Iranian-backed terrorism that continues, albeit in quite different forms, to this day. Less noticed, but equally significant, the revolution provoked a response by Saudi Arabia and various Sunni militant groups that set the stage for the rise in Sunni jihadism. Finally, the revolution sparked fundamental changes in American counterterrorism institutions and attitudes.

Foreign Policy Essay

Five Myths about Sponsor-Proxy Relationships

Editor’s Note: Minor powers, rebel groups, and other organizations often act as proxies for more powerful states or groups, which use them to fight (or commit) terrorism, counter rival regimes, or otherwise advance their interests. Despite the prevalence and importance of proxy war, it is often misunderstood. Assaf Moghadam of IDC Herzliya and Michel Wyss of the Swiss Armed Forces' Military Academy identify five myths about proxy war and offer more sophisticated ways for us to understand it.

Daniel Byman

***

Sanctions

'You Win Or You Die': Not a Model for a Sanctions Regime

The 100th anniversary of the end of World War I brought together world leaders in a show of unity and remembrance—yet instead of highlighting solidarity, European heads of state expressed fear of conflict and disunity among the allies. It’s doubtful any of those concerns have been allayed in the days after the ceremonies.

Subscribe to Lawfare

EmailRSSKindle