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Skeptical Optimism for Success at the Trump-KJU Summit

This article was originally posted in the March 21st, 2018 edition of the Kentucky Standard.   Earlier this month, the White House announced that President Donald Trump would meet with reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Rightly, it was received with skeptical optimism. North Korea has been a vexing issue for more than six […]

Trump’s Iran Fantasy Risks American Power

This piece was originally published in the Kentucky Standard at the following link: “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 […]

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 […]

Nicola Pedde on Domestic Politics in Iran

According to Nicola Pedde, Director of the Institute for Global Studies in Rome, the categories we use to describe Iranian domestic politics aren’t enough. Iran, Pedde claims, is vastly different than what it was in 1980s. Pedde was speaking at an event on Thursday, hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center, entitled Iranian Domestic Politics and […]

Possible Reasons Behind Saudi Decision

Much has been made of the Saudi’s deciding not to take their seat at the UN Security Council. While it is clear that they have been attempting to take a bigger role in regional leadership (see my previous post), it is unclear if they have a clear strategy on how to do that. The royal […]

Iran’s Gambit In Syria

Originally posted in In a June 11 report in the Washington Post, journalist Liz Sly writes that the Islamic Republic of Iran is “emerging as the biggest victor in the wider regional struggle for influence that the Syrian conflict has become” and that “the regional balance of power appears to be tilting in […]

June 18th Article Round up

Each Day I’ll try to review a handful of articles. Most, if not all, are going to be focusing on some issue in the Middle East. First and foremost, I want to give a huge shout out to Iran. They secured their spot in next summer’s World Cup in Brazil. Two bits of good news […]

Damage Has Already Been Done

On Friday, Iranians went to the polls and elected Hassan Rouhani as president, the only relatively moderate candidate left in the election. By all reports, the turnout was large. While not as high as in 2009, it certainly dwarfed our own Presidential election this past November. Analysts, those with a deeper knowledge of Iran—not the […]

Iran Stands to Lose in Syria

Contrary to a recent Washington Post piece, Iran doesn’t stand to gain from continued fighting in Syria. While Iran wants the Assad government to remain – so that Iran can continue to use Syria as a conduit for influence in Lebanon – Iran would have to spend unreasonable amounts of blood and treasure to defeat […]

Bitter Pills to swallow for Greece and Italy

Greece and Italy are facing bitter pills in the upcoming months, but they wont be panaceas by any means–nothing ever is.  The impending cuts and slashes of looming austerity programs (a second round of austerity for the Greeks), however, are just one of many solutions in a cocktail of prescriptions necessary to bring both countries […]

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