Benjamin Runkle

Benjamin Runkle


Benjamin Runkle, PhD, is a former Defense Department official, Director on the National Security Council, Professional Staff Member on the House Armed Services Committee, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is the author of “Wanted Dead or Alive: Manhunts from Geronimo to Bin Laden” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). 

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Simplifying U.S. Strategy Amidst The Middle East’s Maelstrom

by Benjamin Runklevia The Caravan
Thursday, September 22, 2016

Anybody who follows foreign affairs and social media has likely seen some version of a chart entitled “A Guide to the Middle East Relationships.” The graphic shows a hopelessly tangled web of arrows illustrating the often contradictory strategic associations in the region, i.e. the United States and Iran support opposing sides in the Syrian civil war while fighting on the same side in Iraq against the Islamic State (ISIS); Turkey opposes Bashar Assad’s regime yet attacks the Kurdish militias fighting his army; Saudi Arabia and Qatar both support Syria’s Sunni rebels yet hold diametrically opposing views on Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, et cetera.