Ilan Berman
Ilan Berman
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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Watch Africa In Fight Against ISIL

February 25, 2015  •  USA Today

It's a truism of broadcast media that "If it bleeds, it leads." The field of counterterrorism functions much the same way, which is why in recent months the Islamic State terrorist group have become the overwhelming focus of Western law enforcement and intelligence. Yet an equally significant security challenge is incubating in Africa, where local conditions have sown the seeds for the next stage of global terror.

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A Global Popularity Contest

February 25, 2015  •  The National Interest

Is Russia making a global comeback in spite of Western sanctions and political pressure from the United States and Europe? On the surface, it certainly seems like it. Earlier this month, Russian president Vladimir Putin paid a very public two-day visit to Egypt, cementing the burgeoning strategic partnership he has diligently cultivated with the regime of Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. The lavish reception he received—complete with street placards bearing his likeness and wall-to-wall coverage in the Egyptian press—left no questions about Cairo's attitudes toward the Kremlin. New political forces on the Old Continent, like Greece's recently elected left-wing Syriza government, have likewise embraced an increasingly pro-Russian outlook. And the Russian leader apparently enjoys massive popularity in China, where his biography is a bestseller and his authoritarian political style is the subject of serious study. All of which led Foreign Policy magazine to dub Putin the "new model dictator," and the gold standard for autocrats everywhere. Perhaps he is. But look a bit closer, and you're liable to find that Russia's recent geopolitical advances are very much the exception rather than the norm. A year into the Kremlin's asymmetric campaign in Ukraine, its global image—and its alliances—is much the worse for wear.

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Ukraine: The West Has Promises To Keep

February 24, 2015  •  National Review Online

At a summit meeting in Minsk, Belarus, on February 12, Russia and Ukraine agreed anew to a cessation of hostilities in the year-old conflict between them. On hearing the news, Washington and other Western capitals let out a collective sigh of relief. But there was good reason from the start to be skeptical that the ceasefire would hold.

That's because the new ceasefire is strikingly similar to the one struck between Kyiv and Moscow back in September. That agreement was flouted by the Kremlin, which continued to prop up pro-Russia separatists operating in eastern Ukraine with troops and significant amounts of war matériel.

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Rhetoric Versus Reality On Ukraine

January 26, 2015  •  Forbes.com

To hear President Obama tell it, the West is winning in Ukraine. In his State of the Union Address last week, the President sounded downright triumphant in his description of the current situation in Eastern Europe. "We're upholding the principle that bigger nations can't bully the small—by opposing Russian aggression, supporting Ukraine's democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies," he insisted publicly. The real state of affairs, however, is markedly different. Now some eleven months old, the crisis in Ukraine is turning from a "frozen conflict" into a hot war, as Russia increasingly pushes the pace of hostilities despite having agreed to a ceasefire with Kyiv back in September.

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China's Newest Sphere Of Influence

January 23, 2015  •  Wall Street Journal Asia

You have to feel a bit sorry for the Obama administration. The White House in December announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba, including establishing a U.S. Embassy in Havana and formally revisiting Cuba's status as a state sponsor of terrorism. The move was a clear effort by Washington to distinguish itself in a new international theater. But that gambit was soon eclipsed by another: In a meeting that could herald a significant shift in the Western Hemisphere's balance of power, China hosted a high-profile summit earlier this month with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or Celac.

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Books by Ilan Berman

Cover of Implosion Cover of Winning the Long War Cover of Tehran Rising

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