Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

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Fikra Forum

Fikra Forum

خلق الحوار. التأثير على السياسة.

Generating Dialogue. Impacting Policy.

What Washington—and Iran—Should Take Away from the Warsaw Conference

Dennis Ross

During panels at the “Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East,” participants addressed Iran’s efforts to destabilize the region and exploit conflicts, whether by smuggling arms into Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, using Shia militias to coerce governments, providing missiles to Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis, encouraging terrorism and subversion, deploying missiles on bases in Syria and western Iraq, or developing factories to build precision guidance capabilities for thousands of rockets in Lebanon and Syria.

Fikra Forum

After Withdrawal, Soft Power and a Safe-Zone Can Still Help U.S. Interests in Syria

John Saleh

Given the short-term military and long-term soft power options available to the United States, the military withdrawal from Syria does not need to mean a complete U.S. disengagement from the war-torn country. Through limited presence on the ground, the declaration of a safe zone, and soft power efforts to promote economic, social, and educational recovery, the United States can continue promoting its objectives in Syria.

Russia’s Search for Strategic Partnerships in North Africa: Balancing Algeria and Morocco

Mohammed Issam Laaroussi

There has recently been a great deal of controversy surrounding the question of what role Russia will play in North Africa, especially after the apparent success of the Russian strategy in managing the Syrian conflict. This relative military and diplomatic success has opened the way for Russia to rethink its role in the regional balance of power and rekindle its interest in North Africa as part of a broader effort to extend Moscow’s influence in the African continent.

Fikra Forum

Local Partnerships are Key to Confronting Iran in Iraq

Firas Elias

A continuing discomfort among many Iraqis with the idea of increased Iranian political control, along with the United States’ likely continuing military presence in Iraq, makes the country a highly likely site for more direct conflict between the United States and Iran.