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

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]

Weekend Thinking: Israel, China and Russia

In case you missed this week’s important stories from the Middle East and beyond. Israel Jonathan Tepperman’s bold essay in The Atlantic argues that while Israel is in a position of strength, it should control its own destiny with the Palestinians.  Although bilateral negotiations have failed to achieve a political settlement, Israeli unilateral actions in … More Weekend Thinking: Israel, China and Russia