Executive Summary In the latest episode of ‘The Phoenix’ Podcast, listeners were treated to the expert insights of Norman Roule, a prominent figure with a storied 34-year career in the CIA, primarily focused on Iran and the Gulf region. This episode comes at a critical time, as tensions in the Middle East continue to […]
Navigating the Troubled Waters of the Maritime Middle East: A Strategic Dialogue with Admiral Gary Roughead
The Phoenix In a recent episode of the American Center for Levant Studies’ podcast, “The Phoenix Podcast,” hosted by Joel Rayburn and Rania Kisar, a thought-provoking dialogue unfolded with Admiral Gary Roughead, former Chief of Naval Operations and commander of the Pacific Fleet. This conversation offered deep insights into the complexities of the maritime
by Michael Doran May 2023 Pity Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. The Turkish opposition candidate faced an impossible challenge: running for president with American lipstick on his cheek. Call it the kiss of Biden. In 2020, when Joe Biden was a candidate for president, he told the editorial board of the New York Times that he favored working with “elements
Time is Ripe for Snap Back Sanctions on the Iranian Regime, the Weakest Link in the Beijing-Moscow-Tehran Alliance
Time is Ripe for Snap Back Sanctions on the Iranian Regime, the Weakest Link in the Beijing-Moscow-Tehran Alliance By Dr. Samir Altaqi After establishing their quasi-total hegemony over the power centers in Iran, the hardliner leadership of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is sinking into a multilayered crisis. Facing tremendous hardships, the Iranian people seem far
Cole Bunzel and Joel Rayburn: The Saudi Climbdown And The Iranian Shakedown, A Hoover Caravan Podcast
Big things are shaping up in the Middle East as the Biden administration appears to be rethinking its get-tough policy on Saudi Arabia, even as it continues to hold out hope for a revived nuclear deal with Iran. Meanwhile, Russia looks poised to shut down a key humanitarian aid corridor in Syria, while the West
“Is the Russian Military a Paper Tiger?” by Isaac Chotiner In The New Yorker, April 6, 2022 This week, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, announced the onset of what he called a new phase in his country’s war on Ukraine, which appears to consist of a focus on Ukraine’s east and a more gradual speed
The disastrous Russian invasion of Ukraine will have major consequences for Putin’s allies across the world. Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad will be among the first to experience the negative fallout from Russia’s strategic blunder, as his regime’s reckoning may finally be approaching. Several former senior officers from Syria’s main intelligence and security agencies are facing
The Biden Administration’s Syria Policy: A Forecast For War By Joel Rayburn, via The Hoover Institution’s December 7, 2021 “Caravan”
Syria as a Continuing Danger We ignore Syria at our peril. After almost eleven years, the Syrian conflict is as acutely dangerous an international security problem as ever. What began in 2011 as a popular revolt against Bashar al-Assad’s rule quickly expanded into a regional conflict that has no end in sight. With five external
The October 13 agreement by Lebanon and Israel to delineate the maritime boundary between the two countries was not an easy task to accomplish. Anybody who followed the process remembers U.S. envoy Frederick Hof’s efforts starting in 2011 and the subsequent “Hof line,” and many other such episodes before U.S. energy envoy Amos Hochstein’s successful
As a Syrian, I could not hide my anger and disappointment despite my great sympathy for the Ukrainian people and enthusiasm for the historical stance that President Joe Biden took against Russian aggression in Ukraine. Where were you when those monstrous crimes were committed in Syria? We can accept the pragmatic point that in foreign
Commentators in the United States and Israel have hailed the agreement on the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon, which the Biden administration recently brokered, as a great success. They liken it to the Abraham Accords and claim that it is a major step toward normalizing relations between the Jewish State and a historic Arab
More than a year and a half into their tenure, the Biden administration studiously avoids having a Syria policy.
Syria has disappeared from the world’s newspaper headlines, but the situation inside the country grows more volatile by the day. In every quarter of Syria, daily life is becoming unsustainable.
The Syrian regime is guilty of terrible war crimes – the killing of civilians, destruction of property, and the use of chemical weapons against defenseless civilian populations. The regime has also committed crimes against humanity which, in my view, include: the systematic killing, arrest, forced disappearance of countless individuals, as well as the torture, and
For more than eleven years there has been precious little accountability as Bashar al-Assad and his Syrian regime have committed the worst atrocities of the twenty-first century, but mounting documentary evidence of Assad’s deliberate policy of mass murder and torture may change that.