Ilan Berman
Ilan Berman
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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Trump And Iran
What The Next Administration Can Do

November 16, 2016  •  Foreign Affairs

The United States' relationship with Iran tops the list of foreign policy issues that will confront President-elect Donald Trump when he takes office in January. Like many of the other Republican presidential candidates, Trump was an early and staunch opponent of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the controversial nuclear deal concluded last summer between six world powers and Iran. But Trump took up contradictory positions on the deal over the course of his campaign, at times promising to tear it up and at others suggesting he would simply amend it. As Trump readies his administration, he is likely to favor the latter course. For a host of reasons, it may be impractical for his administration to scuttle the agreement outright. Still, there is much that Washington can do with respect to Iran, especially by more rigorously enforcing the nuclear deal and constraining Iranian expansionism.

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Russia's Road To Economic Ruin

November 2, 2016  •  Forbes.com

You might not know it, but Russia is losing. The official narrative, promulgated by the Kremlin via its extensive propaganda machine, is that Russia is resurgent on the world stage, and that its status as a global power is increasingly unassailable. Over time, this take has become embraced in official Washington, to the point where it is now more or less conventional wisdom, at least on the presidential campaign trail. The economic indicators, however, suggest something very different. Russia may be making big moves on the world stage, but after two years of U.S. and European sanctions over Ukraine (as well as a sustained dip in the price of world oil), the county's fiscal forecast is bleak‚Äďand getting bleaker still. In fact, 2017 could turn out to be a disastrous year for Vladimir Putin's government, unless it fundamentally changes political course.

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Iran And China Get Cozy

October 28, 2016  •  Foreign Affairs

Scattered among the hundreds of kiosks that made up the massive China-Eurasia Expo held in the western Chinese city of Urumqi in late September were a handful of Iranian rug merchants plying their wares. They didn't seem to sell much, but they weren't worried. The merchants, like the Iranian government itself, were looking ahead - and there are plenty of opportunities these days, particularly in China. Inaugurated in 2011, the yearly Expo has become part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's much-touted "One Belt One Road" initiative. An outgrowth of the larger foreign policy expansion that accompanied Xi's ascent to power in 2013, One Belt One Road is an ambitious attempt to revive the ancient trading route known as the Silk Road through economic (and eventually political) partnership with countries to China's west. Iran is one of those nations.

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Iran And China Get Cozy

October 28, 2016  •  Foreign Affairs

Scattered among the hundreds of kiosks that made up the massive China-Eurasia Expo held in the western Chinese city of Urumqi in late September were a handful of Iranian rug merchants plying their wares. They didn't seem to sell much, but they weren't worried. The merchants, like the Iranian government itself, were looking ahead - and there are plenty of opportunities these days, particularly in China. Inaugurated in 2011, the yearly Expo has become part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's much-touted "One Belt One Road" initiative. An outgrowth of the larger foreign policy expansion that accompanied Xi's ascent to power in 2013, One Belt One Road is an ambitious attempt to revive the ancient trading route known as the Silk Road through economic (and eventually political) partnership with countries to China's west. Iran is one of those nations.

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Morocco's Liberal Challengers

October 5, 2016  •  Foreign Affairs

Ilyas El Omari is on the offensive. The bespectacled 49-year-old activist who heads Morocco's Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) has spent years honing PAM's political message and worldview. Now, with the Kingdom heading into what is shaping up to be a decisive general election on October 7, Omari senses a political opening. In recent months, the liberal PAM has steadily risen in prominence, emerging as the most significant sustained challenge to the prevailing conservative and religious status quo in Moroccan politics. Its success is all the more striking given its relative youth. The party was founded just over seven years ago, in February 2009. Its relatively sudden rise thus suggests that a major shift is underway in Moroccan politics.

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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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