With diplomacy failing and a battlefield stalemate in Libya, the United States must act to protect Libyan civilians from humanitarian disaster.
The disparate militias on the Tripoli front line are only nominally loyal to the weak central government, though it’s paying some of them well to fight. If and when Haftar is defeated, a new contest for power could erupt among the victors.
As protesters continue to call for civilian rule, the army has a number of options available, from withdrawing from politics to cracking down.
At a workshop in Bahrain last week, Jared Kushner gave a slick presentation of the economic portion of the White House’s new peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians. But beneath the glossy packaging were the same failed ideas.
By leading a new diplomatic effort to end the conflict and begin reconstruction, Trump could both extricate the U.S. from the conflict and help stabilize the region.
Riyadh has far more to lose than Washington from escalation with Tehran. A policy of incremental Saudi engagement offers the kingdom a way out of the crisis.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost the Istanbul mayoral election again. But when he meets with world leaders in Osaka, Erdogan will have even bigger challenges.
The messages Trump is sending make negotiations with Tehran less and less likely and increase the chance of another ruinous war of choice in the Middle East.
The landslide victory of Ekrem Imamoglu in the Istanbul elections constitutes a threat to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hegemony.
The most obvious reason for the delayed release of Trump’s promised Middle East peace plan is Israel’s unsettled electoral politics. But Palestinian opposition and Arab apathy also limit its prospects.
When and if Tehran is ready to talk, the differences between Trump and Khamenei present further obstacles.
The Trump administration has conveyed no clear or realistic goals that would be served by the use of military force against Iran.
Internet shutdowns are not new, but they have become increasingly popular instruments among dictators and autocrats who want to control their citizenry and preempt political threats.
Washington must get tough on violations of the UN arms embargo and hold Libya’s warring sides accountable for their conduct; it must also pursue a more inclusive governance framework for Libya’s future—one that does not include Haftar.
The Trump administration needs to stop taking Israel and Saudi advice on Iran and instead look to its own needs and interests.
There is one thing that the war avoiders and the warmongers should be able to agree on: the need to prevent an accidental or unintended conflict between the United States and Iran.
On his first visit overseas as U.S. president, Trump pledged to improve security and relations with the Middle East. But that is not what has actually happened.
Unless the United States redirects its approach in Syria, civilian stabilization programs will not achieve their stated objective: the “enduring defeat” of the Islamic State.
Coercive diplomacy—when both elements of the approach are carefully synchronized—can deliver. On the other hand, coercion without diplomacy can lead to huge blunders.
As the most powerful external actor involved in the conflict, Washington’s signals matter. Trump’s call appears to rest on a mistaken but well-trodden narrative, advanced by Haftar’s forces, his Arab backers, and his western sympathizers.