Subscribe to FDD

Analysis & Commentary

13th April 2018 – Foreign Policy

Why Is Trump Going Soft on Hezbollah?

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Why Is Trump Going Soft on Hezbollah?

On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence is set to meet with regional leaders at the Summit of the Americas, where he should tell those assembled that it is time to launch a coordinated campaign against Hezbollah’s illicit empire in Latin America. (The Vice-President is stepping in for President Donald Trump, who abruptly cancelled his Latin America trip to oversee the U.S. response to Syria’s latest chemical attack outrage). But first, the White House has to show that it is prepared to take the lead by designating Hezbollah, a political and militant organization based in Lebanon, as a Transnational Criminal Organization under U.S. law. more...

13th April 2018 – Fortune Magazine

Commentary: How Trump Can Neutralize Assad in Syria

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Commentary: How Trump Can Neutralize Assad in Syria

Ali-Akbar Velayati, a foreign affairs advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader, met with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad on Thursday, just one day after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened military action against Damascus for its latest chemical attacks. The timing of the meeting attests to the resoluteness of Iranian support to Assad, which has only intensified over the past seven years of the Syrian Civil War. As the U.S. contemplates an appropriate military response, it must not miss an opportunity to contest Iran in the most important theater to it in the Middle East. more...

9th April 2018 – Politico

How Putin’s Folly Could Lead to a Middle East War

Jonathan Schanzer

How Putin’s Folly Could Lead to a Middle East War

Donald Trump needs to stop prevaricating over Syria and take advantage of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Syria failures. more...

9th April 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

Assad Chemical Attack Shows Failure of U.S. Deterrence

David Adesnik

Assad Chemical Attack Shows Failure of U.S. Deterrence

Precisely a year and a day after the U.S. punished the Syrian regime with missile strikes for its use of chemical weapons, Damascus launched a new round of chemical attacks that killed at least 40 civilians in the besieged city of Douma east of the capital. Although last year’s punitive strikes deterred Assad for several months, he began probing U.S. resolve earlier this year with a series of chlorine attacks that prompted no response, thus exposing the inconsistency of American deterrence. more...

9th April 2018 – New York Post

What to do about Syria — and its chief accomplice, Iran

Richard Goldberg

What to do about Syria — and its chief accomplice, Iran

Within hours of learning that Bashar al-Assad launched another horrific chemical-weapons attack on his own people, President Trump tweeted there’d be a “big price to pay.” He should follow his instincts by holding Assad accountable, increasing his leverage over Vladimir Putin and breaking Iran’s strategic foothold in Syria. more...

15th April 2018 – The Washington Post

Turkey’s president is holding Americans hostage. Why aren’t we doing anything about it?

Aykan Erdemir, Eric S. Edelman

Turkey’s president is holding Americans hostage. Why aren’t we doing anything about it?

On April 16, an American pastor unjustly detained in a Turkish prison for 18 months will finally get to defend himself in court. Andrew Brunson, a Presbyterian minister from North Carolina, faces up to seven years of pretrial detention under Turkey’s draconian state of emergency. more...

19th April 2018 – FDD's CSIF Policy Brief

U.S., UK Act to Block Chinese Technology Threat

Annie Fixler , Trevor Logan

U.S., UK Act to Block Chinese Technology Threat

This week, the U.S. and UK governments took steps to combat key national security threats posed by two Chinese telecommunications companies. On Monday, the U.S. Commerce Department banned all U.S. sales to ZTE, a Chinese telecommunications company that violated export controls. more...

8th April 2018 – The Weekly Standard

Assad’s Horror, and Those Who Enable It

Thomas Joscelyn

Assad’s Horror, and Those Who Enable It

Horrific images from the aftermath of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria are once again circulating online. The scene of this gassing is the eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus. Both the location and the timing of this apparent war crime are symbolically important. And while the immediate focus will be on Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his willingness to gas his own people, any long-term solution will require understanding the role of the rogue states that enable and support him. more...

12th April 2018 – The National Interest

What Comes after Airstrikes on Syria?

David Adesnik

What Comes after Airstrikes on Syria?

Via Twitter, where his candor is often remarkable, President Donald Trump has already warned that missiles “will be coming.” If so, one hopes that the president and his advisers also have a clear strategy for what to do after the missiles slam into their targets. A sustained barrage might inflict substantial damage on Assad’s air force, such as the Mi-8 Hip helicopters apparently responsible for the chlorine attacks last Saturday. The United States and its allies should deprive Assad of his air force, yet it would be hard to call this justice for a war criminal with so much blood on his hands. more...

2nd April 2018 – Foreign Policy

Trump Can’t Afford to Forget About Iraq

John Hannah

Trump Can’t Afford to Forget About Iraq

In January, with an eye toward national elections on May 12, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stunned many observers when he agreed to a political alliance with a group representing the country’s most hard-line Shiite militias — some of them designated by the United States for terrorism, all of them loyal instruments of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). more...