Monthly Archives: September 2015

Dueling Podiums: Shoot-out at the UN Corral

Obama and Putin face off at the opening of the 70th UN General Assembly The speeches of Putin and Obama before the 70th convening of the UNGA were rich in implications. This remains the case though Putin’s comments in his … Continue reading

Posted in ISIS, Obama, Russia, Syria, UNGA70 | 7 Comments

Carrots and Sticks : Israel Badly Plays a Russian Bid

This is the second part of a two-part article on the way in which Russia’s new presence in Syria has forced Israel to reassess its own regional role. In the first part I wrote on the new Israeli-Russian relations as manifest during … Continue reading

Posted in Israel, Russia, Syria | 7 Comments

Don’t Get Me Wrong: (McCain’s Hidden Consolation)

A previous post may have given a false impression. Last week, General Austin appeared before McCain’s committee and said that in a year of operation the 500 million dollar Pentagon train-and-equip Syrian rebel program had managed to put only “four … Continue reading

Posted in ISIS, Syria, US Middle East Policy | 9 Comments

Only a Tee-Shirt? Netanyahu Returns From Moscow Empty-Handed

Israel, which for decades has managed to portray itself as victim rather than victorious, is in a very similar position to the more official anti-ISIS coalition members, including Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the US. All of these countries … Continue reading

Posted in Israel, Russia, Syria | 4 Comments

The Syria Coalition Crumbles: America and Allies Make Way for Russia

The ambivalent “anti-ISIS” coalition, with its proxies and allies, is deconstructing as they hoped Syria would. To briefly reiterate: following the Russian buildup of forces in Syria, we have seen the US soften its stance about Assad and Syria’s future. These are baby steps … Continue reading

Posted in ISIS, Russia, Syria, Turkey, US Middle East Policy | 2 Comments

Putin to the US: Put Up or Shut Up — Kerry Blinks

In my first two posts, I’ve touched on the global dimensions of the conflicts raging in Syria. In the last days, the State Department has been weighing Russia’s proposals to engage in a joint effort against ISIS, in effect to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Does McCain’s Bluster Hide a Plan? (Perhaps a Plan Pre-empted)

“I’ve been a member of the committee for nearly 30 years and I’ve never heard testimony like this. Never!” said Sen. John McCain, the chairman of. the Senate Armed Services Committee. Testifying before the committee on Thursday Sept 17, Gen. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Allies Throwing Elbows: The US-led Coalition’s Ambivalent War on ISIS

Turkey’s agreement to join with the US-led coalition to create an “ISIS-free buffer zone” in northern Syria, and to offer the US its use of Incirlik airbase in the effort, is widely understood to have gained Turkey official US support for … Continue reading

Posted in Kurds, Turkey, US Middle East Policy | 14 Comments