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Russia’s Syria Intervention a Blessing in Disguise for U.S.

While many of Washington's pundits have been worrying over Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to intervene militarily in Syria, TCF fellow Michael Cohen says the move is a blessing in disguise.

If anything, rather than be shaken by Putin’s actions, the U.S. should be celebrating them. Not only does his direct involvement in Syria’s civil war have a good chance of weakening Russia, it could also damage the self-declared Islamic State and might even set the groundwork for a diplomatic resolution to the Syrian conflict—all while keeping the U.S. out of the military fight. In the realm of international relations, that’s what we call a “win-win” proposition with very limited downside.

Check out Cohen's full column on Russia's intervention in Syria at World Politics Review.

Confronting the “Moscow Track” for Syria

​When it comes to Russian involvement in Syria, the United States will ultimately have to choose between two different courses.

Tags: syrian war, syrian refugees, syrian crisis, syrian civil war

Pentagon Hypes Russia Threat in Effort to Boost Defense Spending

Russia's recent behavior has left the Pentagon calling for increased military spending, says TCF fellow Michael Cohen in the latest installment of his foreign policy column for World Politics Review.

Russia is not about to begin a conventional war with a NATO country. If it did, it would lose, and the consequences to Russia—not just militarily, but also economically and diplomatically—would be catastrophic. The Pentagon’s no-holds-barred effort to turn Russia into America’s next bogeyman is, in reality, a rather transparent attempt by the military, and particularly the Army, to make the case for its continued budgetary relevance in a post-Iraq, post-Afghanistan world.

Read more from Cohen at World Politics Review.

Tags: russia, pentagon, military spending, military

2 Al-Jazeera Journalists Pardoned, Released in Egypt

On Wednesday, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi pardoned and released two Al-Jazeera Western journalists. TCF senior fellow Michael Wahid Hanna spoke with the Associated Press on the development:

Michael W. Hanna, senior fellow at the New York-based Century Foundation, said the presidential pardon "reflects greater comfort in his position internally."

"Now, he also has a better story to tell when he goes to New York; that he is addressing questions of international concern," Hanna said.

Read more on the journalists' release at the New York Times.

Tags: el-sisi, egyptian politics, al jazeera journalists, al jazeera, abdel fattah al-sisi

Israel Reopens Cairo Embassy 4 Years After Protesters’ Siege

On Wednesday, Israel opened an embassy in Cairo—four years to the day after its previous embassy in the city was stormed by protestors during the 2011 Arab Spring. TCF senior fellow Michael Wahid Hanna commented on what the embassy's reopening means for Egypt-Israel relations:

Michael Wahid Hanna, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation in New York, said Egypt was engaged in a “perpetual and inherent balancing act” in relations with Israel.

“There are always going to be very real limits in terms of how far this relationship can go because there is no people-to-people aspect to it,” Mr. Hanna said. “And obviously, public opinion is still very decidedly anti-Israel.”

Read more on the story at the New York Times.

Tags: mubarak, israel, egyptian protests, egyptian politics, arab spring

The Arab Spring Was a Revolution of the Hungry

Four years after the Egyptian revolution, Egypt has watched as its government has once again come under a dictator's rule. In a new article, TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis discusses why much of the Arab world's upheaval can be attributed to the region's food insecurity.

The ruler who controls the main staples of life — bread and fuel — often controls everything else, too.

Read more on what Cambanis describes as the "revolution of the hungry" in the Boston Globe.

Tags: food scarcity, egyptian uprisings, egyptian revolutions, arab spring


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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