From Jon Alterman It would be nice to think that Israeli-Syrian negotiations represent a key strategic advance. While I wouldn’t rule out such an advance in the future, this all has the whiff of tactical advantage to me.
Archive for the 'Jon Alterman' Category
From Peter W. Rodman The idea of splitting Syria from Iran seems like a no-brainer. This is the most important strategic argument that is often made for trying to improve the U.S. relationship with Syria. The idea has been around for a long time, however—25 years or so, in fact, since the Syrian-Iranian alliance took […]
From Andrew Exum Imad Mughniyah is dead, killed in Damascus by a car bomb at the age of 45. Mughniyah was believed to have been Hezbollah’s chief of military operations, and his assassination marks the first time a major figure in the movement has been killed since secretary-general Abbas Musawi in 1992—an assassination which brought […]
From Jon Alterman The Bush administration has been mugged by reality. After vowing to transform the Middle East, the administration is submitting to it, resorting to the sort of process-driven incremental diplomacy that previous administrations had pursued and that this administration had disdained. Five years ago, there was a sense that things couldn’t get any […]
Charles Issawi (1916-2000) was a leading economic historian of the Middle East and an astute commentator on history, politics, and human nature. In 1956 he published an article on the foundations of democracy and their absence from the Middle East. Below, we reproduce a key passage from that article (in green, beneath Issawi’s photograph). In […]
From Hillel Fradkin Jon Alterman, in a piece for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (also here), addresses what he sees as a growing number of obituaries for political Islam. Alterman’s judgment about this trend is sober and reasonable: It is far too soon to tell. Although Alterman does not cite by name those […]