Ilan Berman
Ilan Berman
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Beijing's Terrifying Repression Campaigns

September 24, 2020  •  Newsweek

China is fast transforming into the global epicenter of totalitarian terror. Over the past several years, the world has watched in growing horror as news has trickled out about the massive campaign of repression being waged by the Chinese government in its western province of Xinjiang. That offensive—aimed at the region's Uighur Muslim minority—includes the mass internment and "reeducation" of millions, forced sterilization of Uighur women, large-scale slave labor and other policies intended to fundamentally disrupt social and cultural order in the province, and to subjugate it fully to the will of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). What is overlooked all too often, however, is that the atrocities being visited upon Xinjiang are not unique. Nor are they an isolated incident brought about by extenuating circumstances. They are, rather, part of a larger political strategy—one that is being ruthlessly implemented at home by the CCP and has profound implications for the rest of the world.

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The Waning Power Of The Palestinian Cause

September 22, 2020  •  Al-Hurra Digital

In December of 2016, the Brookings Institution's prestigious annual gathering, known as the Saban Forum, showcased John Kerry as its featured speaker. The outgoing Secretary of State used the occasion to outline his views on prospects for Middle East peace – and the centrality of the Palestinians to that endeavor. "There will be no advance and separate peace with the Arab world without the Palestinian process and Palestinian peace," Kerry told his audience. "Everybody needs to understand that. That is a hard reality."   Fast forward three-and-a-half years, and the man who once served as America's top diplomat has been proven profoundly wrong. Last week's signing of the Abraham Accords, as the unfolding peace and normalization deals between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain have come to be known, marks a massive shift in the politics of the Middle East. It is also a stunning repudiation of the traditional thinking about the region that has long been embraced by Kerry and far too many others.

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Nineteen Years On, We Face A Resilient Islamist Threat

September 14, 2020  •  The Hill

Last week marked the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon that ushered in what has come to be known as the "global war on terror." The occasion provides an opportune moment to take stock of the prevailing trends in America's longstanding struggle against Islamic extremism. Unfortunately, the news is anything but encouraging.

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Moscow And Beijing Want To Arm The Ayatollahs

September 3, 2020  •  Al-Hurra Digital

A new battle is brewing over Iran. Last month, the Trump administration formally appealed to the United Nations to extend the international arms embargo on Iran, which is set to expire in mid-October. That ban, contained in UN Security Council Resolution 2231, is designed to prevent Iran from acquiring new deliveries of sophisticated conventional weaponry. The Administration had worked diligently in recent months to build international support for such a step, and managed to garner some support (including from the Gulf Cooperation Council). But the measure met with strong opposition at the UN, most notably from Russia and China, and ultimately failed to pass.

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ISIS Is Using The COVID Distraction To Rearm And Regroup

August 28, 2020  •  USA Today

Is the Islamic State still a threat? That question has percolated in policy circles ever since the United States and coalition allies succeeded in dismantling the physical caliphate of the world's most notorious terrorist group in Iraq and Syria in the spring of 2019. To be sure, U.S. officials have been quick to contextualize their victory, depicting it simply as the end of the territorial stage of the group. Yet there has been an undeniable sense over the past year that we have turned the page on the "war on terror," freeing us up to focus on other priorities, like strategic competition with China.  Yet in war, the adversary also gets a vote, and recent months have seen new signs of life from the terror organization. This resurgence, showcased in a growing number of attacks by ISIS-affiliated elements in Iraq and disruptive activities in areas of Syria nominally under regime control, have raised considerable worries in Washington. They have also indicated that ISIS, though diminished, is still viable — and dangerous.

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Books by Ilan Berman

Cover of Iran's Deadly Ambition Cover of Implosion Cover of Winning the Long War Cover of Tehran Rising

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