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June 25, 2019

Middle East and North Africa
The Real Reason Iran Has Been Provoking Trump

Iran wants to come back to the negotiating table—but first the regime needs a narrative of success.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani attends a meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan June 14, 2019.

June 21, 2019

Iran
Iran and Beyond: Interstate Conflict Grows More Palpable

As tensions between the United States and Iran increase, questions of conflict prevention and response loom large. 

An undated U.S. Air Force handout photo shows a RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft in mid-air.

June 19, 2019

Iran
Iran, the Strait of Hormuz, and Hard Power

I woke up this morning thinking I would write a blog explaining just how challenging it would be for Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz for a prolonged period of time. This is not to say that there c…

Explosions that damaged two tankers south of the Strait of Hormuz on June 13, 2019 come a month after four vessels were targeted in "sabotage attacks" off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

June 18, 2019

Iran
The Strait of Hormuz: A U.S.-Iran Maritime Flash Point

The narrow and congested Mideast waterway has become a site of escalating U.S.-Iran tensions. Conflict in the wake of tanker attacks there could jolt global oil supplies.

Iranian sailors pass oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz

June 14, 2019

Iran
Taking on Tehran

The Trump administration's pressure on Iran has created an opening for diplomacy.

Secretary Pompeo speaks on Iran

September 11, 2018

Niger
The Presence of Lethal U.S. Drones in Niger is Expanding

The CIA is expanding its presence at a recently established drone base at Dirkou, Niger, an oasis town in the Sahara that has a small airport.

Reaper-Drone-U.S.-MIlitary

August 14, 2018

United States
The Drone Revolution Shakes Up Tort Law 

The advent of drones has led to calls for new law to regulate the skies. One such proposal from the Uniform Law Commission is causing a stir in the United States. 

Drone flamethrower

December 5, 2012

United States
U.S. Drone Policy

Council on Foreign Relations 12/5/12 Academic Conference Call on U.S. Drone Policy with Micah Zenko

May 17, 2019

Iran
Escalating U.S.-Iran Tensions: What’s Next?

Neither Iran nor the United States likely wants war, but the possibility of a miscommunication is considerable, risking a dangerous escalation.

A blurry photo taken at night shows a military plane taking off from the deck of an American aircraft carrier as people watch.

May 14, 2019

Saudi Arabia
Oil Sabotage Might Seem Like Small Potatoes, But Underlying Geopolitical Problems Are Not

The United States keeps signaling that it has hard power. Most recently, the United States made known that it was deploying additional ships, the USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Arlington, to the Middle …

A damaged Andrea Victory ship is seen off the Port of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, May 13, 2019.