Alex Fine, JHU: As the world continues to combat extremism from the likes of ISIS and Boko Haram in locales ranging from Beirut to Brussels, one may be forgiven for not hearing of the Battle of Tipo-Tipo currently raging on Basilan Island in the Philippines. Last Sunday, 18 Filipino soldiers were killed in a day-long […]Read more "Not Just a Mediterranean Problem"
Ashby Henningsen, UMBC: In recent weeks, European leaders have come under intense scrutiny due to a plan that would send many Middle Eastern refugees back to Turkey. On April 4, the first phase of the deportation policy began when boats destined for Turkey left the ports of Greece carrying refugees . Policymakers in the European […]Read more "What Refugee Deportations from Europe Say about the Need for Strategic Vision"
Matthew Petti, JHU: The roadmap to peace is now littered with detours. The international ceasefire agreement on Syria, which took effect in February, seems to have broken down completely. For a brief moment it seemed that a political solution to the war was in the works, but hopes of that have all but been dashed. […]Read more "Ceasefire in Syria: A Post-Mortem Report"
Giana Dawod, JHU: Moscow’s decision earlier last week to end its combat mission in Syria fell on the grim 5th anniversary of the country’s conflict. What began as political protest spiraled into a civil war, sparking the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in decades, and spawning a new global terrorist threat. Starting as peaceful anti-government demonstrations, […]Read more "How Western World Involvement Intensified the Crisis in Syria"
Matthew Petti, JHU: Even for a region as complex as the Middle East, Lebanese politics are notoriously hard to understand. Lebanon is a “confessional” republic where positions are allotted to and political parties are affiliated with religious sects. Consequently, it is sometimes difficult to follow the various factions and alliances of the country’s multiparty system. […]Read more "Missing the Forest for the Cedars: How the Saudi-Iranian Proxy War is Affecting Lebanon"
Muhammad Hudhud, JHU: Earlier this month, the United States conducted one of the largest air strikes in its 13-year (and counting) involvement in Somalia. The Pentagon noted that both drones and manned aircraft were used to target an Al-Shabaab training camp in Raso, in the southern half of the coastal country. While the training camp […]Read more "Transparency, Hostility, and Obama: Drone Warfare in Somalia and Beyond"
Ashby Henningsen, UMBC: Over the past several months, the refugee crisis stemming from the Middle East has reached unprecedented proportions. Europe and Turkey have been among those areas most affected by the overwhelming numbers of displaced persons, causing their leaders and citizens alike to struggle in determining the best response. However, this past week, European […]Read more "The E.U.-Turkey Refugee Deal: More Harm than Good?"
Ashby Henningsen, UMBC: Few armed conflicts occur within a vacuum in terms of their repercussions; when tensions between states or movements erupt, the political and strategic impacts often extend far beyond the borders of the countries immediately engaged. Few conflicts of the new millennium have demonstrated this as dramatically as the Syrian Civil War. Besides […]Read more "Geopolitics and the Invisible Battlefield of the Syrian War"
George Gulino, JHU: ISIS, or rather Daesh, has come back into focus as a chief international security threat since the attacks in Paris on November 13th. Almost simultaneous suicide bombings/hostage killings at the soccer stadium Stade de France, the Bataclan concert hall and a few bars and restaurants claimed the lives of 130 and injured […]Read more "The Situation in Syria is Worse than Ever, and Worse Than You Thought"
Muhammad Hudhud, JHU: May those who died be at peace, and may their families and friends find solace and rest in the Grace of God. What seemed like one of the worst tragedies in Makkah was followed by one of the deadliest in about a quarter-century. Just days before the annual Hajj, one of the […]Read more "Hajj 2015: Reflections on the Mina Stampede"