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Paper

The Implications of the Syrian War For New Regional Orders

| Sep. 12, 2018

This paper argues that the impact of the eight-year war in Syria will reverberate across the region for years to come, and explores, in particular, four noteworthy legacies. First, it examines the series of interventions in Syria by regional and foreign powers (including Russia, Turkey, Iran, the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) that reconfigured the role of such powers across the region. Second, it reveals the emergence of two opposing alliances in the region, each comprising Arab states, regional Arab and non-Arab powers, global powers and local nonstate actors. These or similar alliances may well reappear in other Middle Eastern conflicts. Third, it analyses the striking number and variety of foreign forces that either directly fought in Syria or indirectly supported warring factions. Since 2012, these forces have included at least twenty states and major non-state players, alongside hundreds of smaller tribal, Islamist and secular rebel and pro-Assad groups. Finally, the paper suggests that the international community’s weak response to the untold war crimes on both sides, and its apparent de facto acceptance of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s incumbency, portend continuing regional authoritarian and violent political systems for the foreseeable future.

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters at their combat position in a military base in Batnaya outside of Mosul, Iraq, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016.

AP Photo/Hadi Mizban

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

What Iraq's Kurdish Peshmerga Believe

| August 25, 2017

"Legally, the KRG continues to operate as a federal unit of the Iraqi national government, but a September 25 referendum for independence could set the Kurds on a trajectory toward sovereignty, something Iraqi Kurds overwhelmingly wanted in an unofficial referendum held in 2005. Both the upcoming referendum and issues of territorial control are already being hotly contested. Peshmerga views of the post-ISIS regional order—and the extent to which these views are unified—are therefore key to Iraq’s political future."

A Russian military medic inspects a patient near the village of Maarzaf, 15 kilometers northwest of Hama, in Syria, Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

News

Podcast: Humanitarian Negotiations Series: Negotiation with Non-State Armed Groups at the Frontlines

Dec. 21, 2016

A podcast from the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action produced from a Middle East Initiative event on humanitarian negotiations with non-state armed groups featuring Professor Claude Bruderlein; Ashley Jackson; Stig Jarle Hansen; and Abdi Ismail Isse.

Natalie Jaresko at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Benn Craig

News

Natalie Jaresko dicusses her time as Finance Minister of Ukraine with Harvard's Future of Diplomacy Project

| Dec. 21, 2016

Natalie Jaresko (MPP ’89), former Finance Minister of Ukraine, returned to Harvard on October 31st, 2016 to take part in the Future of Diplomacy Project’s international speaker series. In a public seminar moderated by Faculty Director Nicholas Burns, Jaresko, who currently serves as chairwoman of the Aspen Institute Kyiv, reflected on her time in office from 2014 to 2016. In her two years in office, the Ukrainian government  had to contend with the Russian annexation of Crimea, a national debt crisis, widespread governmental corruption, and political instability.

Tawakkol Karman, Future of Diplomacy Project Fisher Family Fellow, speaks on human rights at Harvard University

Benn Craig

News

Tawakkol Karman Speaks on Human Rights

| Dec. 19, 2016

Tawakkol Karman, Yemeni activist and recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, served as a Fisher Family Fellow with Harvard’s Future of Diplomacy Project. An outspoken and passionate advocate for human rights, she was critical of the inaction of international institutions and developed nations in response to rights violations in the Middle East.

News

Inside the Middle East Q&A: Tawakkol Karman on Women’s Voice in the Arab Spring and Yemen’s Future

December 14, 2016

Excerpt from a November 14 installment of the “Inside the Middle East" Q&A Series, with Tawakkol Karman, Yemeni Activist and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, on women's role in Yemen's 2011 Revolution (of which she was a leading voice) and her hopes for the future of Yemen amidst the mixed results of the Arab Spring.