April 18, 2015

Invitation: Rubin Center Launch & Symposium: “Regime Collapse and Sectarian War: Where Is the Middle East Headed?”

The late Prof. Barry Rubin

Dear Readers,   We are pleased to announce the renaming of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center in memory of the center’s founder, the late Prof. Barry Rubin.     You are cordially invited to:       The Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs   Official Launch & Symposium “Regime Collapse and Sectarian War: Where Is the Middle East Headed?"   Click here to see the full … [Read more...]

THE ISLAMIC STATE VS. THE KURDISH YPG IN NORTHERN-CENTRAL SYRIA: AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT

YPG Kurds returning fire against ISIS

Following is an excerpt from an account of a reporting trip undertaken by the author to the Kobani enclave in northern Syria and to the Syria-Turkey border area in May 2014.  During the course of this trip, the author interviewed both YPG and IS fighters and visited frontline areas in which the two forces faced each other. The excerpt is part of a book project on the sectarian war in the northern Levant and in Iraq. ISIS was already by this stage acquiring a reputation that set it apart from … [Read more...]

THE PKK AND THE GUERRILLA TRADITION OF TURKEY’S KURDS

Protesters in Taksim Square, Turkey, hold Abdullah Ocalan posters, June 7, 2013.

Since 1984, the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish authorities intermittently and with varying success. This article studies how this rural-type insurgency was staged, placing it within the context of a tradition of resistance to Turkish rule among Turkey’s Kurds. It highlights the development of a consistent guerrilla tradition among Turkey’s Kurds in the early twentieth century as well as how and why the party deviated from this … [Read more...]

ISIS CALIPHATE MEETS CHINA’S SILK ROAD ECONOMIC BELT

Map 1: ISIS Caliphate in Five Years’ Time

This report examines the clashing ambitions between ISIS and China. With ISIS’s declaration of a caliphate that encompasses China's Muslim Xinjiang, Chinese strategists will now consider how ISIS’s Eastward pivot will impact China’s own Westward march to create a Silk Road Economic Belt across Eurasia. While the Western U.S.-led coalition continues to be hamstrung by a lack of ground forces, the coveted "boots on the ground" could eventually come from the East--as China asserts its … [Read more...]

THE PARTICIPATION OF NORTH CAUCASIAN JIHADISTS IN THE SYRIAN CIVIL WAR AND ITS SECURITY IMPLICATIONS

Scene of trolleybus bombing in Volgograd, Russia, December 30, 2013, just weeks before the commencement of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

 This article examines the participation of North Caucasian fighters in the Syrian Civil War, including their motivations for joining the conflict, activities and recruitment, and their ties with jihadi networks. It also discusses the international and security implications, for Russia in particular, and the role of certain Gulf states as financers. It concludes that North Caucasians not only participate in combat but also contribute to recruitment efforts by drawing in volunteers from … [Read more...]

Keep Hamas Isolated or Wreck Any Hope of Peace

barry-rubin

Perhaps it is true that peace can only be made with enemies, but this is only true regarding those who no longer want to be enemies. This does not apply in the case of Hamas. In fact, the stronger Hamas becomes--empowered by well-meaning but no less destructive bystanders--the further away will be any chance for peace in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. These points should not be so difficult to understand. Yet a large part of the problem is that when this particular issue becomes the topic … [Read more...]