Iraq

Iraqi fighters of the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Units) stand next to a wall bearing the Islamic State (IS) flag as they enter the city of al-Qaim, in Iraq's western Anbar province near the Syrian border on Nov. 3.  (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

The Caliphate Is Destroyed, But the Islamic State Lives On

Why the United States can’t be complacent about undermining the remnants of the terrorist group.

Then-Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G-20 opening ceremony in Hangzhou, China on Sep. 4, 2016. (Nicolas Asfouri/Pool/Getty Images)

Tehran Is Winning the War for Control of the Middle East

And there’s no indication that, despite Mohammed bin Salman’s bold moves, Saudi Arabia stands a chance of turning the tide.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the State Department on November 20, 2017. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rex Tillerson Is Underrated

A revisionist assessment of the Trump administration’s beleaguered Secretary of State.

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Wikimedia Commons)

Babylon Revisited: Melancholy Thoughts After a Short Trip to Washington, D.C.

As a young reporter in political Washington in the late 1980s, I noticed that there was a type of person who thrived in the driven, transactional environment of the capital.

The insignia of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) on a member's uniform in al-Karamah, Syria on May 10. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

The Kurdish Explosion Is Unleashing Demons

The United States needs to put a stop to this flashpoint before it’s too late.

A U.S. Marine stands guard Apr. 14, 1993 from his position on an armored personnel carrier at a check-point in Mogadishu. (Eric Cabanis/AFP/GettyImages)

Edgar on Strategy (Part IX): To what end? The frequently missing ‘why’ of strategy

Policymakers must articulate the “why” informing a strategy and periodically revaluate whether it is achievable and what ought to come next.

A Syrian man holds the Iranian flag as a convoy carrying aid provided by Iran arrives in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor on Sept. 20. (Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images)

Does Trump Realize That His New Iran Strategy Could Suffer a Fatal Blow in Syria?

Without a plan for countering Iranian and Russian interests in Eastern Syria, the administration could find itself in a very bad place in the Middle East.

Iraqi security forces launch a rocket toward Kurdish Peshmerga positions near Fishkhabour. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

Why the Fight for Fishkhabour Is So Important for Iraqi Kurds

A month after its independence referendum, Iraqi Kurdistan is seeing its economic future threatened.

Investigators work around the wreckage of a Home Depot pickup truck that was used in a terror attack on Oct. 31 in New York City. The driver pledged loyalty to the Islamic State. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

The Islamic State’s Foreign Fighters Are Coming Home

And Western countries need a plan to defuse the threat they pose.

Iraqi fighters tear down a sign painted with the colors of the Kurdish flag in northern Iraq on Oct. 20. (Marwan Ibrahim/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraqi Kurdistan Was Never Ready for Statehood

The war against the Islamic State concealed the Kurds' political and economic weaknesses. The loss of Kirkuk has made them impossible to ignore.

A military band conductor rehearses ahead a ceremony to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Aug. 1. (Andy Wong/AFP/Getty Images)

Washington Has a Bad Case of China ADHD

China is the biggest threat to the U.S.-led global order. But America keeps getting distracted.

Portrait of John F. Kennedy; Portrait of Ho Chi Minh (White House Press Office; Wikimedia Commons)

Edgar on Strategy (Part VII): When evaluating strategies, go beyond good and evil, and keep the narrative in mind

Our propensity to see the world in terms of good and evil might be described as a shared, though ill-defined, moral conviction so strong that it blinds leaders to the complex motives, interests, and perspectives of other actors.

Saudi King Salman, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attend a meeting of the Saudi Arabia-Iraq Coordination Council in Riyadh on Oct. 22. (Alex Brandon/AFP/Getty Images)

Tillerson Notches Rare Diplomatic Win With Saudis and Iraq

After decades of tension and years of U.S. prodding, Riyadh and Baghdad are mending fences.

A member of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) removes an Islamic State flag in the Syrian town of Tabqa on April 30. (DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

What the End of ISIS Means

Five questions to help understand what exactly America’s latest Middle Eastern war has, and hasn’t, accomplished.

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Global Thinkers 2015 Issue Cover