Ilan Berman
Ilan Berman
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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The Iranian-Israeli Conflict Goes Online

May 26, 2020  •  Al-Hurra Digital

A different kind of conflict is taking shape in the Middle East. Unlike the long-running Syrian civil war, this one is not a pitched power struggle between an entrenched secular dictatorship and assorted Islamist forces. Nor is it a brutal political tug-of-war between rival militias, the way post-Muammar Gadhafi Libya has become. Rather, it is a further intensification of the ongoing shadow war between Israel and its regional nemesis, Iran – one that has now begun playing out in cyberspace.

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The Next Challenge To U.S.-Israeli Ties: China

May 21, 2020  •  National Institute for Public Policy Information Series no. 459

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Israel on his first foreign visit since the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic. The whirlwind one-day trip served as an opportunity for America's chief diplomat to interface with Israel's incoming "national unity" government, discuss Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's controversial plans to annex parts of the West Bank and Jordan River Valley, and press for progress on President Trump's "deal of the century" on Israeli-Palestinian peace. But the Secretary's visit was intended for another purpose as well: to put Israel's government on notice that it needed to rethink its growing political, economic and strategic ties to the People's Republic of China (PRC).

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U.S.-China Competition Will Change The Middle East

May 11, 2020  •  Al-Hurra Digital

Call it the new "China consensus." For the better part of the past two decades, policymakers in Washington have been engaged in a heated debate over how best to handle the People's Republic of China (PRC). Although hardly unanimous, the prevailing view – most famously articulated by then-Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick back in 2005 – has long been that it is possible to transform the PRC into a "responsible stakeholder" through deeper economic and political engagement. Over the past decade-and-a-half, that conviction paved the way for successive U.S. administrations to champion China's membership in assorted multilateral institutions, knock down barriers to expanded trade, and seek to broaden political contacts with Beijing. By contrast, the Trump administration has had a more skeptical view of China from the start.

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How Iran Is Helping Venezuela Stay Afloat, For Now

May 5, 2020  •  Washington Times

What is Iran up to in Latin America? Even as it grapples with a massive domestic health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Iran's clerical regime appears to be working overtime to prop up its most significant strategic partner in the Western Hemisphere. A new expose by Bloomberg has outlined how the cash-strapped regime of Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro is now sending tons of gold to the Islamic Republic. Mahan Air, the dedicated airline of Iran's feared clerical army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, is said to have ferried the equivalent of half-a-billion dollars in gold bars from Caracas to Tehran in the last week of April alone.

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How Morocco Is Managing The Pandemic

April 24, 2020  •  Al-Hurra Digital

So far, at least, Africa has not been hit nearly as hard by the coronavirus pandemic as have Europe, Asia or North America. Yet at least one part of the continent, North Africa, is already showing signs of serious infection, owing in large part to its proximity to Europe, where the disease has run rampant. As of April 22nd, the five countries of the region cumulatively made up more than 40 percent of the approximately 25,000 cases that have been catalogued so far on the continent by the African Union. Of these, the Kingdom of Morocco has been particularly hard hit. It currently ranks second only to Egypt in the number of active North African COVID-19 cases, and by itself represents more than 13 percent of all infections on the continent. Yet the Moroccan government has nonetheless managed to parlay its fight against the coronavirus into a source of national unity – and, increasingly, into one of regional prestige as well.

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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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