Picking Up the Middle East Pieces

Donald Trump’s tough talk of defeating Islamic terrorists, ripping up the Iran nuclear deal, and barring Muslims from entering the U.S. suggests a sharp pivot in Middle East policy, but could be surprising continuity with Barack Obama’s approach to the region.

Uncharted Waters

Judging from his campaign rhetoric, Donald Trump aims to radically alter American foreign policy, but broad political and social forces constrain any American president’s foreign policy agenda.




Terror Will Be a Blight on the Obama Legacy

/ Tahrir Forum

This is a bitter legacy for the past three American administrations and for all their international partners in inhuman, uncaring policies that have wrecked the lives and futures of hundreds of millions of people.




Words of Wisdom from Another Ex-General

/ Tahrir Forum

When the Arab uprisings erupted in late 2010, the total Arab population was 348 million; today, it is 400 million. Former general John Allen calls for a Middle East ‘Marshall Plan’.


Barack Obama’s Presidency

Obamacare. The Wall Street bailout. Race relations. The Iran deal. The Arab upheavals. How will history judge the 44th American president? Much will depend on what happens after his successor takes office.





Hillary the Hawk

Despite Hillary Clinton's reputation as a liberal, the record suggests her presidency would push America toward a more militaristic approach to the Middle East.


Obama’s Tarnished Legacy in the Middle East

President Barack Obama had to deal with a dysfunctional state system and fraying civil societies, as well as blowback from George W. Bush's invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet his own actions and inactions throughout two terms of office contributed significantly to the great unraveling of the Middle East.


A Long Road to Havana

In 2014, Cuba and the United States shocked the world by announcing the normalization of bilateral relations after a half century of hostility. Yet with political leadership changing soon in both Havana and Washington, the path forward is still marked with uncertainty. Decades of enmity will not be easily forgotten.


Fear Trumps Facts in This U.S. Presidential Year

/ Tahrir Forum

Fear trumps fact in American presidential primaries. This is mostly domestic emotional exhibitionism at this stage, and not genuine foreign policy-making, so we should just enjoy the show and not worry about the nuttiness.


Changes in Syria’s Armed Opposition

/ Tahrir Forum

The promise of Western military support and a shared opposition to Russia’s intervention are driving Syrian opposition forces to unite and—for many of them—move away from extremist rhetoric.


More Evidence on How Not to Fight ISIS

/ Tahrir Forum

A typical week in the confounding “global war on terror,” in which terrorists perform their evil deeds across many countries while governments keep looking for the appropriate strategy to defeat them.




America’s Middle East Challenge

Washington’s foreign policy rests on shaky ground due to longstanding mistrust by Arabs and Iranians alike. To ease tensions and fight terrorism, the United States should support a new order based on cooperation among regional powers.