from The Great Debate:

Why oil collapse is forcing Saudi Arabia to cut back on its checkbook diplomacy

March 16, 2016

Yemeni soldiers trained in Saudi Arabia, hold their weapons as they wear uniforms provided by the Gulf states in Marib, Yemen October 15, 2015. Marib is a city that is heavily armed even by the standards of Yemen, where the ready availability of weapons helped start civil war and is now preventing anyone coming out on top. Yemenis often say there are three guns for every person, a boast that has become an urgent concern in a country where the United Nations says the humanitarian situation is "critical". Picture taken October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Angus McDowall - RTS4ZMB

Yemeni soldiers trained in Saudi Arabia, hold their weapons as they wear uniforms provided by the Gulf states in Marib, Yemen October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Angus McDowall

from The Great Debate:

Russia drops the mic: Syria pullout comes at perfect moment

March 15, 2016

Russian Su-34 bombers, Su-27 fighters and MiG-29 fighters fly in formation above Red Square during the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015. Russia marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe on Saturday with a military parade, showcasing new military hardware at a time when relations with the West have hit lows not seen since the Cold War. REUTERS/Host Photo Agency/RIA Novosti ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTX1C7WP

Russian Su-34 bombers, Su-27 fighters and MiG-29 fighters fly in formation above Red Square during the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015. REUTERS/Host Photo Agency/RIA Novosti

from The Great Debate:

Why — and how — Russia won in Syria

March 15, 2016

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 14, 2016.  REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS.      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX294ZD

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin

from The Great Debate:

Why the Syrian war will define the decade

March 3, 2016

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate in this August 11, 2014 file photo. The Islamic State, which had declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, prompted tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians to flee for their lives during their push to within a 30-minute drive of the Kurdish regional capital Arbil.    REUTERS/Rodi Said/Files  (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE IS PART OF PACKAGE '30 YEARS OF REUTERS PICTURES' TO FIND ALL 56 IMAGES SEARCH '30 YEARS'

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate, August 11, 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said

from The Great Debate:

The cheap, brutally effective medieval tactic shaping the Syrian civil war

February 10, 2016

A Syrian girl waits to depart Madaya with her family, whose members say they have received permission from the Syrian government to leave the besieged town, after an aid convoy entered Madaya, Syria January 11, 2016. An aid convoy entered a besieged Syrian town on Monday where thousands have been trapped without supplies for months and people are reported to have died of starvation. Trucks carrying food and medical supplies reached Madaya near the Lebanese border and began to distribute aid as part of an agreement between warring sides, the United Nations and the Red Cross said. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki - RTX21WMZ

A Syrian girl waits to depart Madaya with her family, whose members say they have received permission from the Syrian government to leave the besieged town, after an aid convoy entered Madaya, Syria January 11, 2016.  REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

from The Great Debate:

When it comes to Vladimir Putin and Islamic State, trust but verify

November 18, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin smiles during a session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi, Russia, October 22, 2015. Putin said on Thursday he had asked his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad how he would view an armed opposition force that was genuinely ready to combat Islamic State militants. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. - RTS5OQ8

Russian President Vladimir Putin smiles during a session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi, Russia, October 22, 2015. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

from The Great Debate:

No one is coming to rescue Islamic State’s capital

November 9, 2015

Militant Islamist fighters waving flags, travel in vehicles as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. The fighters held the parade to celebrate their declaration of an Islamic "caliphate" after the group captured territory in neighbouring Iraq, a monitoring service said. The Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot previously known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), posted pictures online on Sunday of people waving black flags from cars and holding guns in the air, the SITE monitoring service said. Picture taken June 30, 2014.  REUTERS/Stringer (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTR3WKTZ

Militant Islamist fighters waving flags take part in a military parade in Syria's northern Raqqa province, June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

from The Great Debate:

What a Russian ‘win’ in Syria would look like

October 28, 2015

Russian President Putin shakes hands with Syrian President Assad during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, October 20, 2015. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

from The Great Debate:

Syria’s one hope may be as dim as Bosnia’s once was

October 6, 2015

Damaged buildings in Jobar, a suburb of Damascus, Syria

Damaged buildings in Jobar, a suburb of Damascus, Syria, July 6, 2015. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

from The Great Debate:

Vladimir Putin’s secret weapon for a Syrian end game? Diplomacy.

October 5, 2015

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, President Putin and French President Hollande sit together at the start of a summit on Ukraine at the Elysee Palace in Paris

Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov (L), Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) and French President Francois Hollande at a summit on Ukraine at the Elysee Palace in Paris, October 2, 2015. REUTERS/Etienne Laurent/Pool