Elliott Abrams testified before the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. He gave his assessment of the security side of the U.S.-Egypt aid relationship and suggested that the United States should reconsider its security and economic assistance to Egypt.
The candidacy of Ebrahim Raisi dooms Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s chances of winning a second term in next month’s elections, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Raisi, a protégé of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has long been groomed to become the Islamic Republic’s next supreme leader.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will be visiting Washington soon and will call for a renewed commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state. But both opinion polls, and actions by the Palestinian Authority glorifying terrorism and terrorists, suggest that Palestinian political culture is oriented to violence and revanchism, not to peace. Elliott Abrams argues that a change in Palestinian political culture is a necessary precondition for real peace.
Should Congress cut aid to the Palestinian Authority unless it ceases payments to terrorists and their families? In the new issue of National Review magazine, Elliott Abrams argues that Congress should pass the Taylor Force Act, cut the aid, and try to force a change in Palestinian political culture.
While numerous questions remain as to how the Syrian conflict will end, all sides agree that talks should continue in Geneva. “The Geneva process is exhausting and frequently has felt futile,” writes Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, “…but it still exists and offers a framework to end these wars.”
Authors: Stephen D. Biddle, Julia Macdonald, and Ryan Baker Journal of Strategic Studies
Stephen Biddle, Julia McDonald, and Ryan Baker argue that training, equipping, and advising partner militaries is an increasingly popular alternative to large U.S. ground force deployments in places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and many other places where the United States has real but limited interests at stake. Yet SFA has often yielded disappointing results in actual practice. The authors explain this pattern as the result of systematic interest misalignment between the United States and the partners it must work with in these kinds of missions—and argue that these problems are only partly remediable. The authors present ways to do better at the margin, but also argue that underlying interest misalignment will limit this tool's likely utility in the future, and that U.S. decision makers must take this into account when deciding when, where, and how to use it.
Iran has restricted its nuclear program and given international inspectors unprecedented access, but it has not seen the economy recovery expected in the aftermath of the agreement with international powers.
Far from decisive, Trump’s decision to fire cruise missiles against a single air base in Syria was reminiscent of the kind of low-risk cruise missile attacks that Republicans have mocked in the past for their symbolic, ineffectual nature. While it is a good thing Trump did act, it is hard to know what larger lessons about U.S. policy in the world or in Syria itself one can draw from this decision. The Trump doctrine appears to be: The United States reserves the right to use force whenever the president is upset by something he sees on TV.
Authors: Reuel Gerecht and Ray Takeyh Washington Post
The United States can cripple the Iranian regime if it doesn’t compromise the battle on the ground for fear of compromising arms control, argue Reuel Gerecht and CFR’s Ray Takeyh. America should fight Iran’s proxy militias in the regions, support popular movements against the Islamic Republic, and make human rights a priority for its Iran policy.
Ahead of the Donald Trump-Xi Jinping summit this week at Mar-a-Lago, Taiwan is understandably anxious. Trump’s ascendance to the American presidency has injected uncertainty into the U.S. approach to China and Taiwan — an element of foreign policy that is traditionally carefully calibrated to avoid upsetting the precarious cross-strait arrangement.
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