Publications

Iraq Situation Report: March 15 - 21, 2016

March 21, 2016 - Patrick Martin

Supporters of Sadrist Trend leader Muqtada al-Sadr began a large sit-in in front of the entrance to the Green Zone on March 18. 

Ukraine Crisis Update: March 18, 2016

March 18, 2016 - Hugo Spaulding

Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely attempting to leverage his gains in the Syrian Civil War to expand Russia’s freedom of action in eastern Ukraine. Russia and the separatists began to escalate operations in eastern Ukraine in mid-February, directly coinciding with the implementation of the Syrian cessation of hostilities agreement on February 27 and subsequent drawdown of Russian forces.

Russia Security Update: March 3-17, 2016

March 17, 2016 - Hugo Spaulding

President Vladimir Putin presented Russia’s active military campaign in Syria as complete with the announced withdrawal of the “main part” of the Russian air group beginning March 15. The reported withdrawal of roughly 15 Russian bombers and close-support aircraft, however, represents a drawdown rather than Russia’s extrication from the Syrian Civil War, the intended message behind Putin’s announcement. The withdrawal of idle strike aircraft from Syria does not inhibit the continuation of Russia’s air campaign, which had already been reduced following the February start of the U.S.

Syrian Armed Opposition Powerbrokers

March 17, 2016 - Jennifer Cafarella

International negotiations to reach a political settlement in Syria have resumed, although serious challenges remain to reaching a political settlement. The talks follow two weeks of a “cessation of hostilities” in which the Russian air campaign in Syria decreased notably, though it did not entirely cease. Putin announced that he would withdraw some airframes from Syria on March 15, incentivizing both Assad and the opposition to engage in Geneva.

Syrian Armed Opposition Powerbrokers

March 17, 2016 - Genevieve Casagrande

International negotiations to reach a political settlement in Syria have resumed, although serious challenges remain to reaching a political settlement. The talks follow two weeks of a “cessation of hostilities” in which the Russian air campaign in Syria decreased notably, though it did not entirely cease. Putin announced that he would withdraw some airframes from Syria on March 15, incentivizing both Assad and the opposition to engage in Geneva.

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: February 29 - March 15, 2016

March 17, 2016 - Genevieve Casagrande
Russia reportedly withdrew approximately fifteen of its airframes from the Bassel al Assad International Airport in Latakia Province from March 15 - 16, following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a drawdown on March 14.

Iraq Situation Report: March 8 - 14, 2016

March 14, 2016 - Patrick Martin

ISIS reportedly withdrew its forces from Hit District, west of Ramadi, ISIS’s rst reported withdrawal from a major urban center in Iraq. Between March 8 and March 14, security forces west of Ramadi have made rapid progress in recapturing villages from ISIS and are reportedly less than seven miles from Hit District’s southern perimeter.

New report series--U.S. Grand Strategy: Destroying ISIS and al Qaeda

March 14, 2016 - John Lawrence

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute conducted an intensive multi-week planning exercise to frame, design, and evaluate potential courses of action that the United States could pursue to destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) and al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria.

Why ISIS is So Successful

March 11, 2016 - Harleen Gambhir

ISIS’s messaging is incredibly effective, largely due to its strategic emphasis on hybridized digital warfare. The organization fully coordinates its military and messaging campaigns with the support of a robust media bureaucracy.

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: February 27 - March 7, 2016

March 10, 2016 - Genevieve Casagrande
Russian airstrikes continue to target mainstream elements of the Syrian armed opposition, despite the ongoing cessation of hostilities agreement.

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