Analysis & Commentary

21st January 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

The Obama administration is ‘trying to kick the can down the road’ in Syria

Tony Badran

The US and Russia want to begin negotiations over Syria's future next week in Geneva as originally planned, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a press conference on Wednesday after meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Zurich.

20th January 2016 - Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

Syrian, Iraqi Tribes Snub Fightback Against Jihadists

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Islamic State group has been losing large swaths of territory to Western-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters and the Iraqi military supported by Shi'ite militias, but a key ingredient in the fightback against jihadists is missing — local tribes are not turning en masse against Islamic...

20th January 2016 - The Long War Journal

The Islamic State’s Obsession with al Qaeda and the Taliban

Thomas Joscelyn

The newly released 13th issue of the Islamic State’s English-language Dabiq magazine begins with an article praising the Dec. 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.

19th January 2016 - The Daily Beast

The CIA’s Syria Program and the Perils of Proxies

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Almost every aspect of the Obama administration’s policy toward Syria has been scrutinized, lambasted or praised in recent months, but one of the most significant facets, the CIA’s covert aid program to Syrian rebels, has largely slipped below the radar.

18th January 2016 - The Long War Journal

US citizen pleads guilty to supporting al Qaeda-allied group in Syria

Thomas Joscelyn

On Jan. 15, the Department of Justice announced that Amin al Baroudi, a naturalized US citizen from Syria, pleaded guilty to violating the US government’s sanctions against Syria.

14th January 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

The US is considering a new plan for Syria — and the Kurds ‘will not be happy about it’

Merve Tahiroglu

The Pentagon is weighing a new request from Turkey to train and equip Arab rebels battling government forces in northern Syria, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

14th January 2016 - The Long War Journal

Al Qaeda releases 3 new messages from Ayman al Zawahiri

Thomas Joscelyn

Al Qaeda’s propaganda arm, As Sahab, has released three new messages from Ayman al Zawahiri. Two audio messages and a 7-page statement from the al Qaeda emir have been disseminated online in the past day.

14th January 2016 - The Long War Journal

Islamic State launches suicide assault in Indonesia’s capital

Bill Roggio

The Islamic State claimed credit for a suicide assault in the capital of Jakarta that killed two people. Indonesian officials said the Islamic State fighters are fighters linked to a cell that is based in Syria.

14th January 2016 - The Cipher Brief

How ISIS Makes Money: Oil Sales

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The Islamic State, popularly known as ISIS, is in many ways an innovative economic actor. But its method of bringing oil to market has been anything but cutting-edge. ISIS took advantage of a black market that had been sharpened long ago, when Saddam Hussein’s regime looked for ways to...

13th January 2016 - Quoted by Jonah Bennett - The Daily Caller

Expert: ‘History Won’t Look Kindly’ On Obama’s Foreign Policy, For 3 Crystal Clear Reasons

John Hannah

President Barack Obama’s foreign policy legacy is in danger of being viewed as an unmitigated disaster by future observers, John Hannah, senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote in an op-ed Tuesday.

12th January 2016 - Foreign Policy

Obama’s Failed Command

John Hannah

However hard President Barack Obama tries on Tuesday night to convince the American people that his seven years of wartime leadership have left the country safer and stronger, I’d venture to guess that history is not going to look particularly kindly on his tenure as America’s...

11th January 2016 - The Huffington Post

In Dangerous Gamble, the Obama Administration Is Abandoning Decades-Old Mideast Alliances

Tony Badran

In response to the crisis in relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, following the latter's assault on the Saudi consulate and embassy in Iran, the Obama administration has taken to the media to unleash a furious rebuke.

11th January 2016 - i24 News

Morning Edition

Benjamin Weinthal

FDD fellow Benjamin Weinthal comments on the refugee crisis in Europe.

11th January 2016 - FDD Press Release

New Report by FDD Details Iran’s Military Assistance to the Assad Regime

As parties under the auspices of the United Nations prepare for a new rounds of talks on Syria, a new report published by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) explores the deepening and disturbing relationship between Iran and the Assad regime and provides policy recommendations...

9th January 2016 - C-SPAN

Washington Journal

John Hannah

FDD senior counselor John Hannah talked about U.S. policy toward Iran and North Korea.

9th January 2016 - Quoted by Steven Lee Myers and Nicholas Kulish - The New York Times

‘Broken System’ Allows ISIS to Profit From Looted Antiquities

Acting on a tip, the police raided four homes in eastern Bulgaria, looking for contraband that regularly traverses this country on the way to markets in Western Europe and America. In one rusting shed behind an apartment block here, they found a cache of looted antiquities: 19 classical...

7th January 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

This Was the Moment Obama Decided Not to Intervene in Syria

Tony Badran

US President Barack Obama decided to delay launchign airstrikes against the Syrian government in 2013 during a walk in the White House garden with his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, according to an in-depth profile of McDonough from Politico Magine's Glenn Thrush.

7th January 2016 - Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

Killing the Terror Group That Won’t Die: Islamic State

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

There is growing concern among the ranks of U.S. officials that it could take more than one war to ultimately defeat and destroy the Islamic State terror group.

7th January 2016 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Aykan Erdemir

FDD nonresident senior fellow Aykan Erdemir discusses Turkey, Erdogan, and Syria.

6th January 2016 - FOX Business

Cavuto: Coast to Coast

John Hannah

FDD senior counselor John Hannah discusses an alleged ISIS weapons lab and the importance of its control of territory.


Ali Alfoneh

Senior Fellow

Tony Badran

Research Fellow, Levant

Mark Dubowitz

Executive Director

Aykan Erdemir

Senior Fellow


Yaya J. Fanusie

Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance - Director of Analysis

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