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Putin’s Crushing Strategy for Syria

In a new article, TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis discusses Putin's actions in Syria:

History suggests a more pessimistic forecast. Russia might get lucky, winning a diplomatic settlement at an instant when the Islamic State’s attacks have prompted a confluence of interests. More likely, however, Moscow will settle in for a decade of crushing counterinsurgency in Syria, against foes with considerable legitimacy, who represent a possible majority of Syrians and have the backing of some of the world’s richest and most powerful states. Russia has the resources and security to wait and see how the long game plays out, but it’s unlikely to end with either the blitzkrieg for which Assad’s fighters yearn or the hasty and favorable political settlement that Putin’s diplomats are pushing.

Learn more about Russia's intervention in Syria in the Boston Globe.

ISIS’ Rotten Roots

In the aftermath of the Beirut and Paris attacks, it's important to remember the catalyst for ISIS' rise and sustained killings across the Middle East: bad governance. TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis has a new article on the role that "rotten rulers" have played in maintaining perfect conditions for strife and extremism and why there will continue to be unrest in the region until the issue of just governance is addressed.

An entire rotten cast of Middle East governments has spawned a lost era through misrule and repression. Rotten rulers are the root cause not just of the Islamic State but of hundreds of thousands of other deaths. A partial list of villains includes theocracies like Saudi Arabia and Iran, and secular nationalist states like Egypt and Syria.

See the rest of Cambanis' article in the Boston Globe.

Clear Thinking on Terrorism, Not Myths, Needed After Paris Attacks

Following the Paris attacks, a host of myths have cropped up attempting to explain everything from ISIS' motivations to proposed plans for dealing with the extremist group. TCF fellow Michael Cohen takes four such myths head on in his latest column out today.

It seems, however, that among the pundit class, one emotion above all is dominating: panic. And it’s creating a set of myths about what actually happened in Paris, and what the attacks mean, that could keep us from learning the necessary lessons from Friday’s horrors.

Read more about the four myths discussed by Cohen at World Politics Review.

Lebanon Can Survive Bombings but Not Its Own Failing State

A team of suicide bombers rocked a crowded southern suburb of Beirut on Thursday. TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis explains what this means for the fractured state of power-sharing in Lebanon, as well as the nation's shaky future.

Tags: syrian war, syria, suicide bombing, lebanon, hezbollah, beirut

Resisting Bomb Theory, Egypt Finds Itself Increasingly Alone

Following the bombing of a Russian charter flight departing from a resort area in Egypt, Egyptian officials have staunchly dismissed suggestions that the crash was a result of an act of terrorism. TCF senior fellow Michael Wahid Hanna commented on the investigation into the crash and the need for transparency during this process from the Egyptian government:

“The international community is not going to give Egypt the benefit of the doubt,” said Michael Wahid Hanna, a researcher based at the Century Foundation in New York.

So if the cause of the crash was not a bomb and Egypt hopes to dispel the Western fears, “this is going to have to be an investigation that is of the utmost professionalism and really transparent,” he said.

Read more on this developing story at the New York Times.

Assad’s Sunni Foot Soldiers

During his time in Syria, TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis spoke with the everyday people he met to learn more about their perspective of the ongoing war. In a new article, Cambanis gives a voice to three Sunni brothers fighting for the government.

Their world grows narrower every day, with fear and uncertainty the only constants of their lives, said Assad, the weary paterfamilias.

“Every day we leave our homes,” Assad said, “we don’t know if we will die on the way or never come back.”

Read more about the brothers and the struggles they've faced in the past few years in Foreign Policy.


Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

In the first years of the new century, an assertive foreign policy took a toll on the cultivated role of the U.S. as a responsible global leader. The Century Foundation's work in this area provides perspective on the international difficulties the U.S. is facing today, while providing policy recommendations to promote the nation's security interests. Our research and analysis focuses on effectively responding to challenges in the Middle East and Pakistan, as well as responding to international crime.

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