The Danger of Failed States Surrounding Israel

Middle East Illustration

Four months into the war in Gaza and the cafés in Tel Aviv are full. It’s nearly impossible to find a spot in trendy restaurants on weekends. Yet no one should be mistaken. Israel is not back to normal.  A radio or television plays in the background of nearly every café and shop, and when […]

COP28 – A Missed Opportunity for Regional Climate Resilience

Photo credit: Jakub Porzycki via Reuters Connect.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP28 held in Dubai in December was going to be the largest summit in history, with over one hundred thousand participants expected. But that is not how it transpired. The turnout was significant, yet regional events negatively influenced attendance. About eighty-five thousand participants and leaders arrived according to […]

Iran’s “Controlled Insurgency” against the US in Syria and Iraq

US soldiers in eastern Syria, 2019. Photo credit: ABACA via Reuters Connect.

In the immediate aftermath of Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7th and during Israel’s counter-offensive into Gaza, Iranian proxy militias in Iraq and Syria have escalated attacks on US positions in both countries. Fully 60 such attacks have taken place against US forces since October 7. 56 American personnel have suffered injuries in these attacks […]

China’s Influence in the Middle East and the Strategic Considerations Underlying it

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The difficulty in comparing America’s and China’s influence in the Middle East is that the two operate on entirely different planes. [Note: The Chinese use the term Western Asia, rather than the Middle East, to refer to a region that includes the Levant, Iraq, the Gulf, Turkey and Iran.] Despite China’s impressive naval construction program, China […]

Four Decades of Talks with Arab Diplomats

Jeremy Issacharoff. Photo credit: DPA / Picture Alliance via Reuters Connect / Michael Kappeler

Three months after I came to live in Jerusalem, in November 1977, I joined my fellow Israelis standing on the side of the road to welcome President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. I had decided to immigrate to Israel from Britain in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Four years later, watching the […]

The United States, Iran, and the Lessons of the Last War

Flags of the United States and Iran side by side and a missile with nuclear symbol in the middle of the two national symbols, illustration

Generals, the old adage goes, are prone to fighting the last war.  Political leaders and the people they represent typically prefer to avoid armed conflict. They have heeded what they have believed to be the lessons of the most recent conflict in which they have been engaged, seeking, in effect, to avoid the last war. […]

Lessons We Should Have Learned from Vietnam

Members of Company "D", Second Batallion, Third Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade, in Long Binh, Vietnam on October 6, 1969. Photo credit: DPA / Picture Alliance via Reuters Connect

With recent experiences of Iraq and Afghanistan in mind, three former US ambassadors look back at their earlier careers as infantry officers in Vietnam and offer the following lessons.

When Nation Building Works

Reconstructing the Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the old city of Mosul, Iraq. Photo credit: Credit: REUTERS

Nation building is a US policy for transforming post-conflict countries, a policy discredited among a broad swath of Washington because of Iraq and Afghanistan. But I question this consensus and recommend rehabilitating the policy in time to help reconstruct postwar Ukraine. >> Diplomatic Dispatches: Read more from Robert Silverman Didn’t the US role in postwar Japan […]