Category Archives: Syria

IRAN ISRAEL LEBANON LEVANT MIDDLE EAST PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA STRATEGIC AFFAIRS OF WEST ASIA SYRIA UNITED STATES

The Underpublicized Maneuvers of the GCC States

by Ehsan Ahrari on August 16, 2015, No Comments

Leave it to two Israeli writers to make a point, which is mostly missed inside the United States, regarding the diplomatic adroitness and political savviness of the States of the Persian/Arabian Gulf. When Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came to the United States last March and tried to embellish the mutuality of interests between the Gulf States and Israel toward the then impending US-Iran nuclear deal, everyone thought that a political nexus between Israel and the Gulf States was in the process of sprouting. (more…)
BISHARA ASSAD COUNTERTERRORISM IRAN IRAQ ISLAM JIHADISTS KING ABDULLAH OF JORDAN KING ABDULLAH OF SAUDI ARABIA LEBANON LEVANT MIDDLE EAST SHIA CRSCENT STRATEGIC AFFAIRS OF WEST ASIA SYRIA THE ISLAMIC STATE/ISIS/ISIL UNCATEGORIZED UNITED STATES USAMA BIN LADEN

Heading Toward Failure: A Coalition of the “Reluctantly Willing”

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 17, 2014, No Comments

As the Obama administration is busy forming a coalition to fight-eradicate the Islamic State (IS) or (ISIS/ISIL), the evolving coalition that gathered last week in Paris was a far cry from the one put together by George H. W. Bush in 1991 to fight and expel Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait.  Today's participants of the coalition of the "reluctantly willing" are probably thinking, but not voicing, that defeating the IS will be a difficult, if not impossible, challenge for a variety of reasons. (more…)
ARAB AWAKENING BISHARA ASSAD COUNTERTERRORISM IRAQ JIHADISTS LEVANT MIDDLE EAST SYRIA UNITED STATES

Bin Laden’s Avatar: Get Real ODNI!

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 11, 2014, 1 Comment

The US government's intelligence services are either getting too imaginative or simply too paranoid about the "revival" of Usama Bin Laden, who, they know, is dead.  Now they are imagining him coming back to life as a "virtual" Bin Laden or as a new "avatar" of Jihadism.  In this ostensible flight of imagination, the American intelligence "experts on Islam appear eager to show their sheer ignorance and stupidity about the religion itself.  Consider the following statement from the study that was commission by no less than the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the highest intelligence agency of the United States.  It states:   Imagine that jihadist supporters create a detailed avatar of Usama bin Laden and use his many voice recordings to animate the avatar for up-close virtual reality experiences that could be used to preach, convert, recruit, and propagate dogma to the media. The Bin Laden avatar could preach and issue new fatwas for hundreds of years
AFGHANISTAN BISHARA ASSAD CHINA COUNTERTERRORISM DRONE ATTACKS ON PAKISTAN GREAT POWER RELATIONS HAQQANI TERROR NETWORK HILLARY CLINTON HU JINTAO INFORMATION REVOLUTION INFORMATION WAR IRAN ISLAM ISLAMIC REVOLUTION OF IRAN ISRAEL JIHADISTS KING ABDULLAH OF JORDAN KING ABDULLAH OF SAUDI ARABIA LEBANON MUAMMAR QADDAFI PAKISTAN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SHIA CRSCENT SOUTH ASIA STRATEGIC AFFAIRS OF SOUTH ASIA STRATEGIC AFFAIRS OF WEST ASIA SYRIA TAHRIR SQUARE TIANENMAN SQUARE UNITED STATES US GLOBAL LEADERSHIP US-CHINA NAVAL COMPETITIONCHINA'S AIRCRAFT CARRIER USAMA BIN LADEN

The Synonymity Between Dispensability and Decline

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 22, 2013, No Comments

In his second inaugural address in January 1997, President Bill Clinton stated, "America stands alone as the world's indispensable nation."[1]  Since then, that phrase has been used on a regular basis.  America, as an indispensable nation, underscores its dominance in resolving conflicts of all portions since the end of World War II.    It has been a major enabler of global economic stability and prosperity of Western Europe and Japan, and, most important of all, it contained the former Soviet Union–playing a crucial role in bringing about its eventual implosion.  (more…)
ARAB-IRAN RIVALRY BISHARA ASSAD EGYPT GOLAN HEIGHTS HOSNI MUBARAK IRAN ISRAEL JIHADISTS KING ABDULLAH OF JORDAN LEBANON LEVANT MEGA CHAOS MIDDLE EAST PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA RISING POWER SHIA CRSCENT SYRIA UNCATEGORIZED

Is Obama’s Strategic Dilemma in Syria a Symptom of the Arrival of a Post-Superpower Era?

by Ehsan Ahrari on May 18, 2013, No Comments

The government of Bishara al-Assad, while predicted to have fallen many months ago, is hanging on, and is causing an agonizing dilemma on the part of the United States and Israel.  Both of them want to see the end of Assad's regime; however, neither of them wants to see Assad replaced by a nexus of Islamists and pro-AQ Jihadists in that country.  The sustained hesitation of the United States regarding Syria made John Kampfner of the Guardian wonder whether this is the first conflict of "the post-superpower era."  My sense is that Kampfner is not far off the mark, especially since the PRC is reported to be demonstrating a heightened interest in playing some role in the PLO-Israeli conflict. (more…)
IRAN IRAQ ISLAM ISLAMIC REVOLUTION OF IRAN ISRAEL LEBANON LEVANT PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SYRIA

The Evolving Pretext to the Next War

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 2, 2012, No Comments

The U.S. invasion of Iraq was the outcome of the then rising militarism of the administration of George W. Bush.  Some would argue that it might also have been a natural reaction to the fact that American territory was attacked on September 11, 2001.  But the invasion of Iraq itself had a spurious pretext: to deprive Saddam Hussein of his non-existent arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  The exploitation of the U.S. intelligence community to support the claims by the Bush White House has permanently damaged the credibility of the American intelligence community worldwide.  Other "rationales" for waging a war is always an option. The next major war, or at least military action, involving the United States seems to be Iran, the last "rejectionist state" of the Cold War years.  What might be different about the next war is that the states of the Persian Gulf are likely to be playing a major supportive role, if not militarily, then certainly by providing political and financ
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What About a ‘Drone War’ as a Regime Change Strategy in Syria?

by Ehsan Ahrari on August 27, 2011, 2 Comments

As much as I oppose America's intervention in the Arab world, it might not be a bad strategy to use American drones to attack Syrian troops who are massacring the unarmed civilian protestors in that country.  Such a strategy will also complement President Barack Obama's strategy of "leading from behind." (more…)
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The Aging Revolutionaries Must Make Room for the New Ones

by Ehsan Ahrari on August 11, 2011, 1 Comment

Every revolution brings to the global limelight new ideas, and a new corps of leaders, who, by becoming successful in carrying out that revolution, prove to the world that the ideas and the regimes that they replaced were anachronistic and irrelevant.  The Arab awakening is one such revolutionary movement.  It is focused on ousting the aging (and not so aging) dictators and establishing democracy.  In the process, it is proving, among other things, that Hezbollah of Lebanon – a revolutionary movement of the 1980s – has become anachronistic. (more…)
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The Arab Awakening and the Forces of Reaction

by Ehsan Ahrari on July 11, 2011, No Comments

David Gardner, in a thoughtful column in the Financial Times, writes that under old Arab order "despotism and Islamism fed on each other." Going through the mental tapes covering the confrontation between Islamism and despotism in a "fast overview" mode, that observation is an extremely valid one.  At the same time, when one observes that even in places where the Arab awakening has toppled two dictators–Zein el-Abideen Bin Ali and Hosni Mubarak–the status quo forces are still hovering around looking for ways to bring back the old order perhaps under new wrappers.  If they were to succeed, that will be the greatest tragedy that struck the Arab world in modern times. (more…)