Topic:

US

A Strategic View of the Turkish Campaign Against the Kurds

In light of recent regional events in general and the Turkish invasion of Syria in particular, Israel needs to reconsider the underlying strategic rationale not only of its covert activities in the neighboring countries but also its more overt conduct. Otherwise it could find itself, in case of war with the northern axis (Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria), winning battles but having trouble ending the campaign with a strategic achievement.

Implications of the US Withdrawal from Syria

| October 30, 2019

The withdrawal of US forces from the Kurdish areas of northern Syria will help strengthen Iran’s standing in the country, make Russia the leading power in the region, and possibly lead to the resurgence of ISIS terror. All these outcomes will have far-reaching policy implications for the Middle East’s pro-Western actors and for the war on jihadist terror.

The Purge of John Bolton

| October 29, 2019

In Syria, President Trump, like Obama before him, seems oblivious to the reality that when the US withdraws, its enemies advance and fill the vacuum. Ousted NSA John Bolton has said that America is constraining its range of action through foolhardy entanglements with international institutions and naive bilateral agreements that promise too much to America’s enemies in exchange for too little. He maintains, correctly, that Americans support leaders who are not appeasers but defenders of American values, vital national interests, and human rights.

Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities Puts US Commitments to the Test

| September 20, 2019

Neither Saudi Arabia nor the US is rushing to retaliate for a brazen, allegedly Iranian attack that severely damaged two of the kingdom’s key oil facilities. That is not to say that Saudi Arabia and/or the US will not retaliate in what could prove to be a game changer in the geopolitics of the Middle East.

North Korea at a Nuclear Crossroads

North Korea has found itself at a nuclear crossroads more than once, but the Trump-Pompeo-Bolton triumvirate significantly alters the current dynamic. The primary external forces acting on Pyongyang’s nuclear decision-making are China, Iran, and the US. The Americans could well prove effective against an aggressively antagonistic Iran.

The Bahrain Conference: Nothing New Under the Sun

“Peace to Prosperity” is certainly an ambitious title for the Bahrain Conference, which offers an “out of the box” plan to handle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The US vision essentially turns the “refugees” from liabilities into assets, thereby taking the refugee issue off the table. This concept has an historic precedent: the resettlement initiative presented by UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold on June 15, 1959.  Both plans received the same response from Palestinians: angry dismissal.

The Trade War Is Just the Start of a US-China Cold War

| June 16, 2019

Many observers view the current confrontation on trade between China and the US as temporary. However, the two countries have opposed geopolitical imperatives that make it highly unlikely that a long-term solution will be found. The US will have to consider how to contain China, which is a far more formidable competitor than the Soviet Union ever was. The US will need much more than a Cold War-style “containment” strategy to counter Chinese ambitions. 

Iran and North Korea Highlight Pitfalls of Trump’s “Maximum Pressure” Strategy

| March 24, 2019

President Donald Trump’s hitherto failed “maximum pressure” approach to Iran, as well as, for that matter, North Korea, begs the question what his true objectives are and what options he will be left with should the policy ultimately fail.

DEBATE: Can China and the US Peacefully Coexist?

| March 14, 2019

DEBATE: In his account of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides wrote, “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” Harvard scholar Graham Allison subsequently applied the term “Thucydides Trap” to describe Sino-American relations. Following a meeting with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping said: “There is no such thing as the so-called Thucydides Trap in the world. But should major countries time and again make the mistakes of strategic miscalculation, they might create such traps for themselves.” BESA poses the question: Can China and the US peacefully coexist?

US-Chinese Competition over the Haifa Port

| January 23, 2019

However economically insignificant it may be for both China and the US, the Haifa port could become a critical battleground in a new Cold War between the two superpowers.