Syria

A participant holds a banner with photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in front of the presidential palace during a demonstration on Dec. 21, 2018.

Defenders of Human Rights Are Making a Comeback

With larger powers in retreat, small countries and civil society groups have stepped up—and they have won some significant victories.

Turkish-backed Syrian opposition fighters gather behind a sandbagged barricade northwest of Manbij in northern Syria on Jan. 15. (Nazeer al-Khatib/ AFP/Getty Images)

Trump Is Making the Mess in Syria Even Messier

He inherited the conflict. It’s up to him to resolve it responsibly.

National Security Advisor John Bolton listens to remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump as he announces military action against Syria for an apparent gas attack on its civilians, at the White House on April 13, 2018. (Mike Theiler - Pool/Getty Images)

American Troops Die in Syria as Trump Team Squabbles

U.S. Syria policy is dogged by infighting and confusion.

Druze men at the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights flash the V for victory sign as they look out across the southwestern Syrian province of Quneitra on July 7, 2018. (Jalaa Marey/AFP/Getty Images)

The Golan Heights Should Stay Israeli Forever

At least one of Israel’s occupations will be permanent, whether anyone else likes it or not.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the funeral ceremony for Turkish soldier Musa Ozalkan on Jan. 23, 2018 at Ahmet Hamdi Akseki Mosque in Ankara.

Don’t Blame Everything on Erdogan

The Turkish government doesn’t have a soft spot for the Islamic State, and Ankara stands to lose more than anyone if the terrorist group makes a comeback.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo waits to board a helicopter at the Baghdad International Airport during his visit to Iraq on Jan. 9 in the Iraqi capital. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Mike Pompeo Is Flying Solo in the Middle East

The Trump administration still lacks key ambassadors and senior diplomats to help tackle its biggest foreign-policy challenges.

Syria Civil Defence volunteers attempt to put out a fire in rebel-held Idlib province on Feb. 7, 2018 (Amer Alhamwe/AFP/Getty Images)

The Problem With America’s Syria Policy Isn’t Trump. It’s Syria.

There’s a reason the current president’s approach to the war-torn country is as confused as Obama’s was. Syria is a no-win situation.

U.S. Marines fire mortars in support of anti-Islamic State operations in Syria on Sept. 10, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Gabino Perez)

While Trump Sows Confusion, It’s Business as Usual for U.S. Troops in Syria

Despite the rhetoric in Washington, the United States continues to conduct air and artillery strikes—and has not yet sent troops home.

Potential U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Webb, pictured here in his first year as a U.S. senator, takes questions during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 18, 2007. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Why Jim Webb Might Be Trump’s Ideal Secretary of Defense

His many controversial comments often align with the president’s views.

Zain (Zain Al Rafeea), right, cares for Rahil’s son, Yonas (Boluwatife Treasure Bankole), after 
Rahil is detained in Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum. (Fares Sokhon/Sony Pictures Classics)

Broke in Beirut

In Capernaum, Nadine Labaki finds a new way for film to deal with poverty.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton at the White House in Washington, DC, on Oct. 11, 2018. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

The Blob Is Lying About Trump’s Sudden Syria Withdrawal

The president's shift in policy has been portrayed as a surprise—but America's foreign-policy machinery was quietly tasked with preparing for it months ago.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks alongside Defense Secretary James Mattis during a cabinet meeting at the White House on Dec. 6, 2017. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump’s 2019 Vision: Let Others Fight Our Battles

The U.S. president says Afghanistan is Pakistan and Russia’s business and calls Syria nothing but “sand and death.”

A member of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces takes down a tattered Islamic State flag in Tabqa, Syria, in April 2017. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

The New Face of Terrorism in 2019

Forget the Middle East—it’s time to prepare for attacks from the former Soviet Union.

Members of a Turkey-backed Syrian militia near the Northern Syrian city of Manbij, on Dec. 30. (Anas Alkharboutli/Picture Alliance/ Getty Images)

The United States Can’t Rely on Turkey to Defeat ISIS

Erdogan wants to confront the Kurds, not the Islamic State. Outsourcing the battle to Ankara will endanger America.

Fireworks explode following an inauguration celebration for President-elect Donald Trump at the Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

My Top 10 Foreign-Policy Wish List for 2019

Peace in Yemen, rapprochement with Russia, and other hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters train in a camp in the Aleppo countryside, northern Syria, on Dec. 16, 2018. (Aref Tammawi/AFP/Getty Images)

Turkey Is Lying About Fighting ISIS

Erdogan promises to finish America's fight against the Islamic State, but it's the Kurds that he's out to destroy.

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters train in a camp in the Aleppo countryside, northern Syria, on Dec. 16. (Aref Tammawi/AFP/Getty Images)

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2019

As U.S. leadership fades, authoritarian leaders are competing to see how much they can get away with.

A woman looks for items to salvage amid the wreckage of a street in Yarmouk, in Damascus, Syria, on Oct. 9. (Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images)

‘We Can’t Save Syrians Anymore, But We Can Save the Truth’

An ambitious oral history project will determine how the war in Syria is remembered.

Chinese soldiers ride on armored missile carriers as they pass in front of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City during a military parade on Sept. 3, 2015, in Beijing. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Goodbye War on Terror, Hello China and Russia

Five Reads: The best Foreign Policy stories of 2018 on defense and security.

French President Emmanuel Macron at Vahdettin Mansion in Istanbul, on Oct. 27. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

France’s Existential Loneliness in Syria

Emmanuel Macron’s responsibilities in the Middle East’s biggest war are about to grow beyond his ability to fulfill them.

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