Expectations for Trump’s Meeting with Putin in Helsinki

The United States has little leverage in Syria and very few policy options. Russia is the strongest external actor in Syria and Russian influence will likely prevail. Since 2015, Putin has deployed military force in support of the Syrian government. The United States and Russia have supported opposite sides in the Syrian war, and there … More Expectations for Trump’s Meeting with Putin in Helsinki

Russia and the U.S. have Common Interests in Syria. But it may not Matter

Despite their alliance, Russia has never had much influence over Syria’s policies. Published in the Washington Post. All eyes are on Russia as President Trump prepares to meet with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki next week. But the real geopolitical focus of the meeting might well be a few thousand miles away in Syria. Last week, national … More Russia and the U.S. have Common Interests in Syria. But it may not Matter

John Bolton’s Syria Policy [Interview]

Ambassador John Bolton views Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as an obstacle to peace. However, he perceives Iran, a powerful Assad ally, as a bigger threat. Bolton will likely avoid confronting Assad directly to prevent a clash with Russia, another principal Assad ally because it is believed that President Trump admires President Putin. Therefore, Bolton may propose weakening Assad … More John Bolton’s Syria Policy [Interview]

Why Russia will Prevail in Syria

Published in the Washington Post. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that Syrian and Russian warplanes killed more than 500 civilians, including 121 children, in Eastern Ghouta from Feb. 18 through Sunday. Moscow denies direct involvement, despite having deployed military forces in support of the Syrian government since 2015. This weekend, after initial resistance, … More Why Russia will Prevail in Syria

Why Russia will Prevail in Syria [Interview]

The US does not have a coherent strategy in Syria. At times Washington has advocated different agendas such as humanitarian relief, Assad’s resignation, and the defeat of Islamic State. Russia, on the other hand, has always had a clear and consistent strategy:  defending its ally, Assad. In 2015, Russia deployed military force in support of the government which … More Why Russia will Prevail in Syria [Interview]

Book Review in the Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs

Reviewed in the Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs by David Sultan, former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt. What was Gamal Abdel Nasser’s attitude toward Israel? Did it change as a result of his country’s stunning defeat in the Six-Day War? Was the Egyptian president willing to achieve a political settlement with Israel? Did Israel miss an opportunity to … More Book Review in the Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs

Iran has Driven Israel and the Gulf Arab States Together

Published in the Washington Post. Quietly since 2002, several Sunni Arab rulers have shifted away from their long-standing hostility toward Israel to focus on the threat posed by Iran. They have acted in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative, also known as the Saudi peace plan, which called on the Arab League to terminate belligerency … More Iran has Driven Israel and the Gulf Arab States Together