October 25, 2018

Before the Age of Prejudice:

A Muslim Woman's National Security Work with Three American Presidents

​Ambassador Tahir-Kheli's memoir offers a fascinating insider's perspective from one who happens to be a Muslim woman on U.S. foreign policy-making during three Republican presidential administrations. Ambassador Tahir-Kheli's life story is a testament to the promise and delivery of the American dream in another era and is a must-read for scholars and policy makers.

Introduction by Vali Nasr
Dean, Jo...

It can be difficult to recall, in chronological order, the social and political developments in Iraq since the government’s success in pushing back Daesh, quelling Kurdish secession and consolidating its security and military forces.

Iraq’s recent parliamentary election was comprehensively won by the popular cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, who immediately met Prime Minister Haider Abadi to form a government after years of war, internal turmoil, insurgency and calls for Kurdish independence as well as mou...

October 17, 2017

The Conflict Management program and the Middle East Institute hosted a discussion with political experts on Iraq’s future prospects amid the decline of ISIS.

Joseph Pennington of the US Department of State opened the floor by offering remarks on the current and expected challenges facing Iraq. After a brief account of Iraq since ISIS claimed its caliphate, Pennington shared thoughts on Iraq’s progress in fighting the militant group, such as the successful Iraqi-led battle of Mosul, and highligh...

November 16, 2015

Originally posted in Dr. Kadhim's blog, at here.

The longstanding United States foreign policy in the Middle East has been focused on a few basic principles: (1) ensuring Israel’s security, (2) supporting the stability of key friendly regimes, (2) protecting the flow of Gulf oil into the world market, and (4) combating terrorism (used to be the containment of Communism before the Soviet collapse).  The current U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East is showing all symptoms of long term failure....

January 26, 2015

This is a repost from

“I am a very old man, and I have lived through almost the entire century,” wrote Isaiah Berlin in his 1994 essay, “A Message to the 21st Century.”[1] The 85-year old British political philosopher looked back at the carnage of the previous decades, and forward to the promise of a new millennium. The crimes of Genghis Khan “pale into insignificance next to the Russian Revolution and its aftermath: the oppression, torture, murder that can be laid at the doors of L...

Executive summary of a speech given in a seminar at the House of Commons, London

20 November 2014.

*Emirhan Yorulmazlar

Whether the advent of ISIS is inevitable or reactionary is a question preoccupying policy elites in major political capitals. Despite an inherent determinism, this question does rightly reflect the need to sort out the root causes of the current chaos in the Middle East. 

It also alludes to the inappropriate choices that have been made by the international community and have contri...

November 18, 2014

Hosted by Dominic Tierney, Fellow, SAIS Foreign Policy Institute and Associate Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College

In 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor with little idea how a war against the United States could ultimately be won. Indeed, throughout history, statesmen have often plunged countries into war without thinking through the outcome. Leaders focus on the initial rounds—capturing the hill— rather than achieving strategic success. In recent years, the United States has...

November 11, 2014

Dr. Abbas Kadhim provides a dynamic discussion on the implications of the war on ISIS, the challenges and opportunities Prime Minister al-Abadi faces moving forward, and their effect on U.S. foreign policy.

In his first press conference, Iraqi Prime Minister-Designate Haider Al-Abadi laid out his agenda and the challenges ahead of him as he strives to form a government to succeed the outgoing administration of Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.  He seems to be well aware of the mammoth task he is facing, but determined to take on the most difficult obstacles.  So far, he has many reasons to be confident: wide domestic and international support, the backing of Iraq’s highest religious authorities, and t...

This article has been re-posted from the Huffington Post.

Before the security collapse in Mosul, the conventional wisdom among Iraq experts was that Iraq had two options to guarantee security when faced with challenges above the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF): the United States and Iran. Following this thinking, many of the critics of President Obama's reluctant show of support for Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki government argued that the slow U.S. response will force Al-Maliki to res...

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The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
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