The Great Debate

New steps to bring U.S. hostages home, offer families help

By David Rohde
June 29, 2015
U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while announcing a change in U.S. policy in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington

President Barack Obama pauses while announcing a change in U.S. policy on kidnappings in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, June 24, 2015.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Deprived of ‘checkbook diplomacy’ in Yemen and Syria, Saudi Arabia flounders

By David Hartwell
June 26, 2015
Houthi militant sits amidst debris from the Yemeni Football Association building, which was damaged in a Saudi-led air strike, in Sanaa

A Houthi militant sits amidst debris from the Yemeni Football Association building, which was damaged in a Saudi-led air strike, in Sanaa May 31, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

How will the war against Islamic State end?

June 19, 2015
Displaced Sunni people fleeing the violence in Ramadi, cross a bridge on the outskirts of Baghdad

Displaced Sunni people fleeing the violence in Ramadi, cross a bridge on the outskirts of Baghdad, May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

While Syria burns next door, Lebanon’s fabric is fraying

By Mohamad Bazzi
June 11, 2015
Lebanon's Hezbollah members carry Hezbollah flags during the funeral of their fellow fighter Adnan Siblini, who was killed while fighting against insurgents in the Qalamoun region, in al-Ghaziyeh village, southern Lebanon

Lebanon’s Hezbollah members carry Hezbollah flags during the funeral of their fellow fighter Adnan Siblini, who was killed while fighting against insurgents in the Qalamoun region, in al-Ghaziyeh village, southern Lebanon May 26, 2015. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

When Palmyra rivaled the Roman Empire

By Mike Duncan
May 25, 2015
Tourists take pictures at the ancient Palmyra theater in the historical city of Palmyra

Tourists take pictures at the ancient theater in the historical city of Palmyra, April 18, 2008. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

The issue that could bring Iran and Saudi Arabia to the negotiating table

By Mark Fitzpatrick and Jacqueline Shire
May 15, 2015
Obama hosts working session of six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council at Camp David in Maryland

President Barack Obama hosts a working session of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council at Camp David in Maryland, May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

How an Iran nuclear deal means cheaper oil and why Tehran is OK with that

By Jan H. Kalicki
May 12, 2015
Facilities at phases 2-3 of the South Pars gas field are illuminated at night in Assaluyeh on Iran's Persian Gulf coast

Facilities at phases 2-3 of the South Pars gas field, owned jointly by Iran and Qatar, are illuminated at night in Assaluyeh on Iran’s Persian Gulf coast, May 27, 2006. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

There will be no winners in Syria’s war, but there can be an end

By Noah Bonsey
May 5, 2015
Free Syrian Army fighter covers his ears as his fellow fighter fires weapon during clashes with forces loyal to President Assad in old city of Aleppo

A Free Syrian Army fighter covers his ears as his fellow fighter fires a weapon during clashes with forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo, April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Hosam Katan

The world looks like it’s getting worse. Here’s why it’s not.

By John Stackhouse
April 28, 2015
Members of the Southern Resistance Committees man a tank during clashes with Houthi fighters in Yemen's southern city of Aden

Members of the Southern Resistance Committees man a tank during clashes with Houthi fighters in Yemen’s southern city of Aden, April 23, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

A strategy for defeating Islamic State from an unlikely source

By Jack Goldstone
March 11, 2015
Shi'ite fighters fire a rocket during clashes with Islamic State militants in Salahuddin province

Shi’ite fighters fire a rocket during clashes with Islamic State militants in Salahuddin province, March 1, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Al-Hussain