News

By David L. Phillips
Thursday, April 14, 2022

Iranian Kurds support a federal, democratic republic for Iran, to advance reforms and catalyze Iran’s integration into the international community. However, US officials refuse to even meet with Iranian Kurdish leaders. They fear that their support for minorities would provoke the regime and undermine efforts to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Obama-era nuclear accord that released frozen assets in exchange for a verifiable suspension of Iran’s nuclear enrichment activities.

By David L. Phillips
Thursday, April 7, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky deplored “genocide” while visiting Bucha, whose streets were littered with dead civilians. While Joe Biden refers to Vladimir Putin as a “war criminal”, he does not describe Russia’s killing of civilians as “genocide.” No matter the label, Putin has targeted civilians and violated the Geneva Conventions. Russia’s actions require a stronger accountability mechanism, punishing the perpetrator and deterring comparable crimes in the future. 
By Nada A. Fadul & David L. Phillips
Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Competition during the Cold War gave countries a stark choice. Join reform movements or align with authoritarian kleptocratic governments. Today, Sudan is a new frontline for Great Power competition. Russia backed the military coup of October 25, 2021, that killed scores of peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators. Alternatively, the US supports the forces of freedom and change. Other African countries are gauging events in Sudan to determine whether they will align with US-backed reforms or the Russian-inspired military dictatorship.

By David L. Phillips
Friday, February 18, 2022

Vladimir Putin maintains that Russian forces are withdrawing from the frontline with Ukraine. He made similar claims of withdrawing Russian troops from Syria, which were also untrue. As NATO calibrates its response to Russia’s aggression, Western leaders must judge Putin by what he does – not what he says.

By David L. Phillips
Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Vladimir Putin is fomenting a crisis in Ukraine to undermine Euro-Atlantic institutions and drive a wedge between the US and its allies. Germany is the crucial link. Historical, cultural, and economic relations with Russia make the new German coalition government, led by Olaf Scholz of the Social Democratic Party, especially vulnerable to Russia’s influence.

German policy towards Russia is shaped by history. World War II still influences the worldview of many Germans. Pacifism is engrained at the core of German identity.