Author Archives: David Shams

Trump’s Iran Fantasy Risks American Power

This piece was originally published in the Kentucky Standard at the following link: http://www.kystandard.com/content/opinion-trump%E2%80%99s-iran-fantasy-risks-american-power “Diplomacy takes place in reality,” wrote Roger Cohen in a recent column for the New York Times. He was writing about President Trump’s Fantasy Land diplomatic approach with Iran. On Friday, Trump pledged to not certify Iran’s compliance with the Joint […]

Possible US-Iran Collision in Syria

Both FP and MEI’s IranObserved are reporting increased tensions between Iran and the US in Syria. Last week, US forces bombed an convoy from an Iranian backed militia operating close to a “deconfliction zone” close to the Jordanian–Iraqi–Syrian border. As Daesh continues to lose ground, while Free Syrian Army forces move North from the border with […]

Rouhani Re-elected

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was re-elected on Friday. He beat his challenger Ebrahim Raisi in a landslide, earning 57% of the votes to Raisi’s 38%. Many had thought that Rouhani would face a serious challenge since much of his campaign promises in 2013 hadn’t come to fruition. He had promised to improve the economy and […]

Erdogan Strikes Again

On Wednesday, bodyguards for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked peaceful protestors outside the residence of the Turkish Ambassador to the US in Washington, DC. The scenes evoked images from Erdogan’s visit last year, when clashes erupted during protests near the Brookings Institution where he was scheduled to give a speech. In both, cases security […]

Jordan Bears Brunt of Trump’s Chaos

President Trump has been notorious for waffling on policy. For Jordan, that is causing a great deal of concern. Even before he came into office, Trump seemed to back off the idea that Syrian leader Bashar al Assad had to go. But he changed his tune once Assad used chemical weapons on a village near […]

Iranian Hegemony or Strategic Depth?

Iran began its revolution, in part, by promoting its own special brand of Pan-Islamism. Through revolution, led by Iran, the Muslim world would be delivered from the hands of the oppressor, the Great Satan, the United States. That objective has proven easier said than done. But forecasting it in the aftermath of the revolution has […]

Barbs-The Messy Dance

I was going to write about Nagorno-Kharabakh or the centrality of the Kurds to the fight against Daesh. But something a little more lighthearted  caught my attention. There’s a new beat coming out of the Saudi Kingdom. It’s a mix of Middle Eastern sound, late 80’s-early 90’s hip hop, and some clever editing. In the […]

Bosnia’s Struggle with Islamic Extremism

  Of the parties to the Yugoslav Civil War, Bosnia was the hardest hit. Sarajevo, the capital, was once the cosmopolitan epicenter of the Balkans. Some called it the Jerusalem of Europe, as it sits that the crossroads of Islam, Catholicism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the years after the Dayton Peace Accords (the agreement bringing […]

Bacevich Speaks to My Strategic Soul

I first heard of Ret. Col. Andrew J. Bacevich in graduate school. His book, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, had been required summer reading. Looking back, I hated it before I even started reading–how dare someone talk about the end of American exceptionalism. Nonetheless, a few days later, after I finished, […]

Erdogan Brings His Crackdown to DC

On Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s planned speech at the Brookings Institution was the scene of loud protests and scuffles between demonstrators and Turkish Security. Inside the event, Turkish Security attempted to remove several journalists they considered unfriendly. Erdogan was in DC to attend the Nuclear Security Summit. Brookings’ staff were forced to intervene. Strobe Talbott, Brookings President, even threatened to cancel the […]

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