The aggressive U.S. strategy has raised tensions in Iraq without creating prospects for a resolution.
Colin P. Clarke is a senior research fellow at The Soufan Center and an assistant teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Politics for Strategy.
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The Hanau attack comes amid a wave of surging anti-Semitism and violence against newly arrived migrants in Germany.
Botched terrorist attacks aren't failures for terrorist groups. They're a learning process.
The announcement that the United States will withdraw its remaining troops from Syria has clear implications for many players with interests at stake in the ongoing civil war. Attention has focused on what the U.S. withdrawal will mean for the Kurds, and whether Turkey will be less restrained, or how Iran and Russia might try to project influence farther east in rebel-held territories retaken from the Islamic State. Noticeably absent from these analyses has been how the withdrawal would affect another great power with vested interests in the Middle East—China.
For more than a year, Saudi Arabia and its allies—especially the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt, collectively referred to as the Quartet—have led a relentless, and seemingly counterproductive campaign against Qatar in a feckless attempt to bully and intimidate Doha. In addition to a blockade, the Saudis are allegedly moving forward with a plan to dig a canal on their border to turn Qatar into an island.
As the Islamic State continues to hemorrhage territory in Syria, Iran is extending its influence throughout the country as it works to establish a contiguous land corridor or “bridge” stretching from Tehran to Damascus and on to Beirut.
Editor’s Note: As the Islamic State's territorial control shrinks and its prestige declines, many volunteers will try to find their way home—perhaps to conduct terrorist attacks there on the group's behalf. Colin Clarke of the RAND Corporation argues that one of the most productive ways to identify and disrupt returning fighters is to focus on the criminal underworld. Many foreign fighters began as criminals, and many might turn to crime on their return.