The contours of a future Middle East emerge
Events are moving fast in the Middle East. The hoped-for rapprochement between Russia and the U.S. that could bring an end to the war in Syria appears to have collapsed. Growing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia could spark a war at any moment. But the most explosive issue for this region of minorities is the prospect of independence for Iraqi Kurdistan.
Erdogan’s ‘new Turkey’ resembles an old stereotype
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now unleashed, having consolidated full power over Turkey’s ruling party, parliament and the judiciary. After sweeping away the remnants of democracy and the Kemalist state, he has reached the point of no return. Which raises a simple question: what happened to the “new Turkey” – the assertive, prosperous Islamic powerhouse – that he promised?
America edges back into the Middle East
The United States is cautiously reengaging in the Middle East. To deal with an explosive situation that threatens world peace, President Donald Trump must first tackle the legacy of the Obama years, which left Russia and Iran well entrenched in some of the region's Arab countries. Forcing them out may not be possible, but the U.S. could restore some equilibrium.
Northern Syria after Turkish intervention
Turkey’s decision to intervene in Syria has demolished U.S. plans to press home the ground war against Daesh. Ankara must now decide whether to respect an American-sponsored cease-fire or venture deeper into Syria to break up the emerging Kurdish autonomous zone. If they choose the latter course, as seems likely, the Turks could find themselves in a military quagmire.
Haze around Turkey and the Kurds
Following the failed coup, Turkey is becoming a stronger player. Now that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has leverage and has eliminated much of the Gulen movement’s influence, there is an opportunity for his administration and the Kurds to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement to ease tensions.
Failed coup transforms Turkey’s geopolitics
Turkey’s geopolitical outlook has changed drastically in the aftermath of the failed coup there this summer. The military has been deprived of many experienced officers and has lost Turkish society’s trust. Domestic sectarian tensions are heating up. Internationally, certainties about Turkey’s alliances have suddenly become doubtful: Ankara’s burgeoning partnership with Moscow is straining ties with NATO.
Daesh war status report: July 2016
Daesh has suffered an unbroken series of military defeats in recent months – in Syria, Iraq and Libya. But with every victory on the battlefield, strains among its opponents have grown, giving the “caliphate” an opening to exploit. Daesh’s most effective weapon remains terrorist attacks on Europe, which can be expected to increase.
Iraq: between democracy and failed state
Iraqi democracy has been more or less written off by the West. Combating its political gridlock, sectarianism and corruption will be harder than defeating Daesh. The best way Baghdad can start solving these problems is to strike a deal to retake Mosul.
Erdoganism: a practical guide
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has purged his government and stripped parliament of immunity, bringing him closer to the dream of one-man rule. But a close inspection shows plenty of cracks in the country’s supposedly monolithic new doctrine.
Turkey: an awkward partner
As Turkey’s unstable internal politics have lurched toward repression, its foreign policy appears to have lost direction. The escalating war with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has pushed resolution of the Kurdish question into the distant future, while terrorist strikes and a conflict with Russia have dragged Ankara deeper into the Syrian quagmire. Meanwhile, the suppression of voices critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has raised doubts about just how far the rule of law applies. Where is Turkey headed? This question is being asked in Brussels, Berlin and Washington. Since 2011, Turkish politics have been unpredictable.The answer matters because Turkey has a key role to play in any effort to resolve the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. In Western capitals, it is expected that Ankara will take a clear stance in the fight against Daesh, also known as Islamic State.