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  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is making steady progress on the ground in Raqqa, ISIS’ main stronghold in Syria. The alliance of militias recently announced that they retook 70% of the city from the terrorist group following a successful plan to divide the city into an eastern and western zone and storm the city from both sides. The SDF militants advancing from the eastern and western parts of the city linked up for the first time on August 11 prevent- ing ISIS from reaching the Euphrates River and keeping its fighters with civilians who remain besieged by both groups.
  • Topic: Democratization, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Some Middle Eastern states have recently shown signs of opening up to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Acting on their own and not under orders from their governments, ministerial delegations, MPs and representatives of trade unions visited Damascus. Moreover, political parties and grassroots groups called for a restoration of relations with the Syrian regime.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Security
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Three European states and Russia were hit by a flurry of six terrorist attacks over five consecutive days during this month of August. A primary driver of the attacks appears to be a desire to deal a series of strong blows to these states in response to the human and material losses suffered by ISIS in Iraq and Syria after it withdrew from Mosul City and retreated in Raqqa City. Similar attack patterns and targets as well as similar identities of the perpetrators of some attacks are what recent attacks appear to have in common. This indicates that the group is trying to adapt and de- velop its tactics, as revealed by investiga- tions into the August 17 Barcelona attack.
  • Topic: Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: March 8 parties – particularly Hezbollah – in support of the Iranian axis have sought rapprochement with Bashar al-Assad’s regime and they are trying to push the Lebanese state to establish direct political and economic relations with it. March 14 parties, particularly the Lebanese Forces which opposes Syria, objected because Hezbollah’s attempts aim to help the Syrian regime exit its regional and international isolation, to make it present again in Lebanon and enhance economic cooperation as a path to establish more comprehensive strategic relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Turkey and Iran appear to be bent on upgrading political and security coordination over regional developments of common and special interest. This was evidenced by Iranian Chief of Staff General Muhammad Bagheri’s three-day vis- it to Turkey on August 15, 2017. This visit indicates that a “convergence of necessity” is headlining relations between the two regional powers despite a number of pending issues between them.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey
  • Author: David F. Gordon, Divya P. Reddy, Elizabeth Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The dust is now settling on President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. This decision was a foreign policy mistake. It will make sustaining American credibility more difficult in other multilateral institutions and settings. It will exacerbate anti-American sentiment in Europe, making trans-Atlantic leadership collaboration more difficult well beyond climate policy. On climate, it threatens to undermine the balance achieved in Paris between the centralized and top-down approach favored by the Europeans and the more decentralized and market-friendly approach of the United States, which was supported by China. As a result, it also could lead to the creation of an uneven playing field for U.S. businesses.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Julia M. Santucci
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The Obama administration made efforts to advance gender equality around the world one of its core national security and foreign policy priorities, based on the premise that countries are more stable, secure, and prosperous when women enjoy the same rights as men, participate fully in their countries’ political systems and economies, and live free from violence. A growing body of research makes a compelling case about these links. Former Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell and former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon sum up much of the evidence in this Medium piece, noting that advancing gender equality around the world helps grow global gross domestic product, decreases hunger, strengthens the prospects for peace agreements to succeed, and counters violent extremism.1
  • Topic: International Relations, Gender Issues, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Laura Rosenberger
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: when I chose a career in foreign policy and national security, I never considered the fact that I was entering a historically male-dominated profession. In a purely abstract way I was keenly aware of the continued gender imbalance among decisionmakers who influence national security, but I never thought about my own gendered role in that field, or that anyone might see me as a woman in national security. I was simply a young, driven woman who entered the State Department in the good company of many other young, driven women.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Gender Issues, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Alexander Velez-Green
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The United States has long looked to Egypt as a key partner in the Middle East. Egypt’s adherence to the Camp David Accords is fundamental to Israeli security. Cairo has also been a key player in the Israeli–Palestinian peace process for many years. In addition, the Egyptian state has played an essential role in supporting the U.S. fight against global jihadism. Its provision of reliable access to the Suez Canal, Egyptian airspace, and intelligence sharing directly enables U.S. operations against al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) across the Middle East. That is not to mention the blood and treasure that Egypt itself has spent to defeat terrorist groups operating in the Sinai Peninsula and elsewhere.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Adam Klein, Madeline Christian, Matt Olsen, Tristan Campos
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is an important intelligence tool that will expire on December 31, 2017, unless Congress re-authorizes it. Here’s what it is, and how it works. First, a bit of background: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 requires the government to get a court order to intercept the electronic messages of a suspected spy or terrorist on U.S. soil. By contrast, overseas spying took place with no court oversight. That made sense for 20th century technology, because international communications rarely transited the United States. The internet made things far more complicated: now, foreigners’ communications often travel through the United States, or are stored on servers here. That produced an anomaly: FISA was forcing the government to apply Fourth Amendment safeguards when a foreign terrorist or spy’s internet messages passed through the U.S.—even though non-Americans overseas do not have Fourth Amendment rights. This overtaxed the Justice Department and made counterterrorism more difficult. To remedy this, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which included Section 702. Section 702 creates a middle ground between U.S.-based surveillance under FISA and overseas surveillance by the NSA.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus