The Great Debate

Time for a new Sykes-Picot Agreement to fix the Middle East

March 6, 2016
Militant Islamist fighters take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. Militant Islamist fighters held a parade in Syria's northern Raqqa province 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.  REUTERS/Stringer (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTR3WJ9Q

Militant Islamist fighters take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

One sure way to bring down Iran’s pragmatists? An ‘attaboy’ from the U.S.

February 25, 2016
An Iranian woman gestures as she attends a reformist campaign for upcoming parliamentary election, in Tehran February 18, 2016. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

An Iranian woman gestures as she attends a reformist campaign for upcoming parliamentary election, in Tehran, February 18, 2016. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA

Podcast: Surprising changes underway for Israel’s military

February 5, 2016
PARTICIPANTS: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Noga Tarnopolsky

Israel’s defense forces are widely regarded to be among the world’s elite. Their training methods are copied by other militaries, actions taken by their soldiers and pilots are legendary. The Raid on Entebbe, the Six Day War, the 1981 air strike that took out a nuclear reactor under construction in Iraq.

Is it time for the United States to dump Saudi Arabia?

February 3, 2016
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (C) to attend a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting at King Salman Regional Air Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin/Pool - RTX23NE0

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (C) to attend a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting at King Salman Regional Air Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 23, 2016. REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin

Podcast: Why the Iran-Saudi showdown is a gift to ISIS

January 28, 2016
PARTICIPANTS: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Murtaza Hussain

Saudi Arabia executes a cleric who is a member of the Saudi Shi’ite minority. Iran’s government, which sees itself as the leader of the Shi’ite world, doesn’t work very hard to stop an attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran that follows the execution. Saudi Arabia closes its embassy and tensions between the two nations, which had been growing for years, hit a new high.

China threatens sanctions against U.S. companies: Is this the future?

January 26, 2016
Shipping containers are seen piled up at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province December 10, 2013. China's leaders began mapping out their economic and reform plans for 2014 behind closed doors on Tuesday, and would have drawn confidence from data showing the economy has sustained momentum from a mid-year pick-up into the final quarter. Picture taken December 10, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily (CHINA - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS) CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA

Shipping containers piled up at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province December 10, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily

Vladimir Putin is the closest thing to a friend Israel has ever had in Moscow

January 14, 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, September 21, 2015. Netanyahu said his visit to Moscow on Monday was aimed at preventing clashes between Russian and Israeli military forces in the Middle East. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Pool ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. - RTS24WH

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia, September 21, 2015. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Pool

Saudi Arabia and Iran are playing a winner-take-all game

January 7, 2016
Shi'ites protest against the execution of Shi'ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, during a demonstration in Baghdad January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily  - RTX219P8

Shi’ites protest against the execution of Shi’ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, during a demonstration in Baghdad January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily

How the Saudi king benefits from a cleric’s execution

January 6, 2016
Members of the Shi'ite ulema council hold a sign for Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr who was executed along with others in Saudi Arabia, during a protest demonstration in Karachi, Pakistan, January 2, 2016. The sign reads in Urdu, "Protest, Protest, Protest, we condemn the martyring of Ayatullah Shaikh Baqar al-Nimr and other Muslims, and demand human rights organisations take notice of the inhuman incident and bring fact-finding to the public". REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro  - RTX20S7T

Members of the Shi’ite ulema council hold a sign for Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr who was executed along with others in Saudi Arabia, during a protest demonstration in Karachi, Pakistan, January 2, 2016.  REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

Will the U.S. fall for Saudi Arabia’s deliberate provocation in killing of Shi’ite cleric?

January 4, 2016
Protesters holding pictures of Shi'ite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr are pushed back by Iranian riot police during a demonstration against the execution of Nimr in Saudi Arabia, outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Tehran January, 3, 2016. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY.       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX20VG3

Protesters holding pictures of Shi’ite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr are pushed back by Iranian riot police outside the Saudi  Embassy in Tehran, January, 3, 2016. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA