Turkey’s Pyrrhic Victory in Syria

| October 22, 2019

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is wrong to think a cross-border military operation into Syria will solve an ethnic conflict that dates back to the early nineteenth century. The recent history of violence between Turkey and the Kurds together with demographic considerations explain why a military campaign is unlikely to resolve the conflict.

Crafting a Regional Policy to Contain Erdoğan

| April 23, 2019

Turkey poses a long-term threat to the security of the Middle East. Containing Neo-Ottomanism requires a defensive policy that integrates Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and the Kurds into a regional alliance.

The Messages Behind the Iranian Missile Strike in Iraqi Kurdistan

| November 20, 2018

A missile strike on September 8 in Iraqi Kurdistan conducted by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran killed 18, including the father of this author, and injured another 40. Though Tehran claims the strike was retaliation for an attack on a military post that had been claimed by an armed Kurdish group, the threat posed by the Iranian Kurds to the Islamist regime is not sufficient to justify such a violent attack. The strike was likely a message intended not only for the Iranian Kurds, but for the Saudis, the Americans, and the Israelis as well.

Turkey’s Syrian Battleground

| March 21, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been the main beneficiary of a newfound feeling of glory among Turkey’s increasingly nationalistic masses. The main loser is the YGP, which has sought to consolidate control over Kurdish areas of Syria in the hopes of forging an autonomous state. But in the Syrian war theater, alliances are fragile and complex. Russia has given Turkey a limited free hand in its engagement in northern Syria, mainly in order to deepen Turkish-US and Turkish-NATO divisions. But Russia is not Turkey’s strategic ally.

Conflicting Interests: Tehran and the National Aspirations of the Iraqi Kurds

| December 14, 2017

The national aspirations of the Kurdish minority in Iraq pose a challenge to the four countries that have a large Kurdish population. It is not by chance that the decision to hold a referendum provoked furious reactions among the leaders of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. According to the received wisdom, the success of Iraq’s Kurdish minority in realizing its national self-determination will serve as a catalyst for separatist tendencies among the Iranian Kurds.

The US Betrayal of Kurdistan Is a Warning Sign for Israel

Israel would be unwise to rush into a peace agreement with the Palestinians based on the urging of the “moderate Sunni axis” with which it currently shares common cause against Iran. The Kurdish experience, as well as the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, prove that Israel cannot depend on fair-weather allies to protect its own security.

The Kurdish and Catalan Referenda

| November 16, 2017

There are lessons to be drawn from the differences and similarities between the Kurdish and Catalan referenda. Each defeat can lead to a better future for all stakeholders.

Kurdish Battle Positions Kurds as US Ally Against Iran

| October 27, 2017

There may be a silver, if risky, lining for Kurdish nationalists in their devastating loss of Kirkuk and other cities on the periphery of their semi-autonomous region as they lick their wounds and vent anger over the deep-seated internal divisions that facilitated the Iranian-backed Iraqi blitzkrieg. Mounting popular anger coupled with US Congressional fury could position the Kurds as a key player in potential US efforts to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq and counter the Islamic Republic as part of President Donald J. Trump’s tougher approach towards Tehran.

An Eye for an Eye: Iran Promises to Partition Saudi Arabia If Iraq Is Partitioned

| October 6, 2017

Iran is now openly threatening to dismember Saudi Arabia for its support for Kurdish independence and secession from Iraq. This ratcheting up of tensions has implications not only for those two countries but for the region and the world at large. Israel would do well to remember that the Middle East is growing ever more volatile, and the US should sharpen its resolve to contain Iran.

Iran and the Kurdish Challenge

| September 30, 2017

The national aspirations of the Kurdish minority in Iraq pose considerable challenges to all four countries that contain large Kurdish populations. It is not surprising that the decision to hold a referendum on Kurdish independence sparked angry reactions among the leaders of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria. However, Tehran’s staunch opposition does not stem solely from fear that the referendum’s passage will kindle separatist tendencies among the Kurds of Iran. The Iranians have other geopolitical and geostrategic concerns that can be affected should Kurdistan become independent.