Middle East

When did Obama abandon the Syrian opposition? And why did he never let his UN Ambassador know it?

For all the talk of an Obama-doctrine giving way to a Pro-Russian Trump policy, the shift back to realism already occured during the Syrian conflict.

January 22, 2017
January 22, 2017
Written by 
Daniel Berman

Old Statesman Merely Fade Away: Ali Akbar Rafsanjani 1934-2017

The dominant figure in Iran following Khomeini's death in 1989, Rafsanjani tried to build a political order on personality rather than ideology or policy and found himself adrift and distrusted by all sides.

January 10, 2017
January 19, 2017
Written by 
Daniel Berman

In defense of the choice of David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel and Trump's new policy

It needs to be accepted that the Peace Process in Israel is currently comotose and will remain so until it is recognized that any settlement will have to be on Israel's terms or the result of military force.

December 20, 2016
December 20, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

Syrian Endgame

The events in Aleppo are tragic, but they are also the inevitible result of a policy based on moral outrage rather than strategic calculation, or even an effort to limit human suffering.

December 14, 2016
December 14, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

The Slow, extended death throws of America's Syria policy

The death of another Syrian rebel "leader" highlights the extent to which Western policy towards Syria increasingly running on sheer inertia with not clear objectives or end goals.

December 26, 2015
July 2, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

Russian intervention just highlights how the West still lacks a Syria Policy

The confused reaction to the clash between Moscow and Ankara is a testement to how the West's goals in Syria have become so confused that contradictory policies are being pursued simultanously.

October 8, 2015
July 2, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

The Amazing Shrinking Palestinian National Issue

The recent Israeli elections are a testement to the degree to which the Palestinian issue has become an afterthought even for Israelis. And that is worrysome for Israel's relations with Europe.

March 22, 2015
July 2, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

Free Gaza? What on Earth Does That Even Mean?

Poltical activism against Israeli actions in Gaza has begun to mirror those actions, falling into a pattern of almost pro forma, generic demands that bear little resemblence to the reality of the conflict.

July 30, 2014
June 30, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

War, Democracy, and Gaza: Lashing Out is not a Strategy

The Israeli campaign in Gaza serves no strategic or political purpose and is being carried out, much like Hamas' own rocket attacks, in service to sheer inertia.

July 27, 2014
June 30, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

The Futility of the Israeli-Palestinian "Peace Process"

It is apparent that as often as politicians speak of the Middle East "Peace Process" no such process exists, or can exist until every party recognizes the truism that settlements must reflect the facts on the ground

July 21, 2014
June 30, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

Iran and America are not on the same side in Iraq

Despite both sharing an enmity with ISIS, the US and Iran have very different goals in Iraq, and the methods being used are often in direct conflict.

June 17, 2014
July 16, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

Enough about Sykes-Picot Already!

It has become a cliche to blame the international borders imposed by European powers for the problems of the Middle East. The Syrian/Iraqi border actually represents divisions thousands of years old.

June 15, 2014
July 4, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

Will Politicking in Tehran Make for a Difficult 2014 in American-Iranian Relations?

With politicking already begining for Iran's 2016 elections, will Iranian-American talks fall victim to the need of politicians in both nations to grandstand.

March 23, 2014
July 13, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

Syria, Congress, and Obama: The changing partisan contours of American foreign policy

The debate over intervention in Syria marks a watershed in US politics. For the first time since the Iraq War, Barack Obama has clearly positioned the Democrats as the interventionist, pro-war party in American politics

September 13, 2013
July 1, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

A strike called denial: The costs of intervention in Syria

Intervention in Syria is something that the entire Western elite insist is neccisary, but at the same time are determined to do everything in their power to avoid.

August 31, 2013
July 1, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

The diplomatic revolution of July 2013 and the future of the Middle East

The overthorw of Mohamad Morsi in Egypt marks a revolutionary change in the balance of power in the Middle East, and shifts the environment decidly against Syria's rebels and their outside backers.

July 24, 2013
July 1, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

The education of Ali Khamenei: a political biography of Iran’s Supreme Leader

Ali Khamenei may be widely considered the most powerful man in Iran, but when he was selected as Faqih(Supreme Leader) in 1989 he was cipher, widely considered a figurehead. How did he become what he is today?

June 6, 2013
July 1, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

Khamenei’s game: understanding the supreme leader’s role in Iran’s politics

The office of Faqih, or Surpreme Leader to the Western media, is simultanousnly the most important and least understood in the Iranian system. It is Supreme not in the Stalin sense, but rather in that of Japan's Emperor.

May 23, 2013
July 1, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman

A preview of Iran’s 2013 presidential election: candidates, mullahs and unknowns

An overview of the contenders to suceed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

May 20, 2013
July 1, 2016
Written by 
Daniel Berman