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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Trump administration’s moves might be just saber-rattling, but they could easily propel the United States toward a military confrontation with Iran.
The Trump administration made the choice last May to withdraw from a flawed but still highly functional arms control agreement. A year on, it has not developed an alternative to replace it or turn back Iran’s influence in the region.
The Trump Administration’s “deal of the century” will bury the two-state solution.
Stuck in the present and with no viable perspective for positive change, Iranian citizens feel powerless.
Neither leader appears to want escalating conflict—yet that’s precisely where things seem to be headed.
It has been a rather long learning curve for New Delhi to separate presumed transcendental religious solidarity and the logic of national self-interest in engaging the Middle East.