Islamism and the International Order Working Group

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International SecurityBlank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Assad's Lethal Peace Deals

by Mohammed Alaa Ghanemvia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Ceasefires are often assumed to be a means to peace; but in Syria, the Assad regime has transformed them into a powerful weapon against civilians. This essay describes how Assad's forces have strategically deployed ceasefires to achieve two goals: (1) the starvation and displacement of urban areas, and (2) the massing of otherwise overstretched forces. Through a series of case studies, this essay also charts the evolution of Assad's ceasefires strategy, from the “local ceasefires” that took hold early in the conflict to the current “de-escalation zones.” The essay also highlights impacts on Iranian regional expansion and long-term population displacement and demographic re-engineering. 

EssaysBlank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Strategy, Grand Strategy, And The Enduring War On Terror

by Hal Brandsvia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The United States has now been fighting a global war on terror (GWOT) for nearly two decades, but the threat posed by extremist groups remains. This essay seeks to reconcile the strategic requirement of prosecuting an aggressive campaign against the most dangerous extremist groups with the grand strategic constraints that the United States currently faces. 

EssaysBlank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The United States In Northeastern Syria

by Fabrice Balanchevia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The presence of the United States in northeastern Syria after the defeat of the Islamic State is justified in the context of the confrontation with Iran and Russia in the Middle East. However, by relying primarily on the YPG (People's Protection Units), an outshoot of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), Washington creates an existential threat to Ankara and pushes Turkey into the arms of enemies of the United States. The inversion of local power to the benefit of the Kurds and the disastrous economic situation strikes the Arab populations, who are turning to Damascus. That calls into question all the calculations made by strategists who are not interested in the deep reality of the territory that must support their actions.

EssaysBlank Section (Placeholder)Featured

The Question Of American Strategy In The Indo-Pacific

by Michael R. Auslinvia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

For much of its history, America had little formal strategy for the Pacific. Only with the rise of China and the vital economic role of Asia can one envision a US grand strategy with the Indo-Pacific region at its core. Yet just when Asia has become central to US global strategy, Washington’s influence and power in the region have been significantly challenged. US policy makers must formulate an effective and comprehensive strategy toward Asia that preserves stability and protects American and allied interests while managing a growing strategic competition between Washington and Beijing and the threat of a nuclear-capable North Korea. 

Featured AnalysisAnalysis and Commentary

Bin Salman And The Promise (Or Peril) Of Reform

by Nadav Saminvia The Caravan
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A mass drugging is how one young Saudi man in Riyadh described to me Mohammad Bin Salman’s Vision 2030, eight months after its ostentatious launch in April 2016.  Smoke and mirrors, he meant.  Since then, the energetic and youthful Saudi crown prince has surprised his critics by upending a number of his country’s political, economic, and cultural norms.  But can he safely deliver more change to an already rapidly changing society?  How much tinkering can one do with a fragile polity before it cracks under the pressure?

Featured AnalysisAnalysis and Commentary

Saudi Arabia’s Reforms And The United States

by Bernard Haykelvia The Caravan
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The reign of King Salman of Saudi Arabia (since January 2015) represents a significant watershed in the history of the kingdom’s system of governance as well as in its domestic and foreign policies. These changes reflect the priorities of the king, who is an absolute monarch. The first, and most important, of these is the handing over of de facto rule to a prince of the younger generation: the king’s 32-year-old son and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (known in the West by his acronym MBS), who will become the reigning monarch upon his father’s passing.

Featured

Russell Berman: Hoover Scholar Talks About The Crisis In Syria – And How To Resolve It

interview with Russell A. Bermanvia Stanford News
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Hoover Institution fellow Russell Berman talks about the complexities of the Syrian conflict and how peace can be achieved.

Interviews

Samuel Tadros: Syria Transforms Into Much Worse

interview with Samuel Tadrosvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Hoover Institution fellow  Samuel Tadros discusses his Caravan article "The Descent Of Syria Into The Abyss."

Featured AnalysisAnalysis and Commentary

The Descent Of Syria Into The Abyss

by Samuel Tadrosvia The Caravan
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

“Greetings, softer than the breeze of Barada …. I send my tears, which will never dry, O Damascus.” The opening line of Ahmed Shawqi’s famous poem was written as news of the Syrian defeat by the French in 1920 reached Egypt. Less than two years earlier, Faisal I had entered Damascus and raised the flag of Arab nationalism. The jubilation was felt across the Levant. 

Featured AnalysisFeatured

The Syrian Rebellion And Its International Resonance

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

With all the optimism of the Arab Spring, the Syrian rebellion began with the belief that the people of Syria deserve better than the cruelty meted out by Assad family rule. That aspiration alone ought to be sufficient grounds to stand with the democratic forces pursuing self-determination. Yet the United States has been hesitating, a legacy of the Obama administration’s preference for tyranny in Tehran over freedom in Damascus. 

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The Caravan


Visit the Caravan, a periodic symposium on the contemporary dilemmas of the greater Middle East.

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The Working Group on Islamism and the International Order seeks to engage in the task of reversing Islamic radicalism through reforming and strengthening the legitimate role of the state across the entire Muslim world.

Efforts will draw on the intellectual resources of an array of scholars and practitioners from within the United States and abroad, to foster the pursuit of modernity, human flourishing, and the rule of law and reason in Islamic lands–developments that are critical to the very order of the international system. The working group is chaired by Hoover fellows Russell Berman and Charles Hill.

Visit The Caravan, a periodic symposium on the contemporary dilemmas of the greater Middle East.