Matthew RJ Brodsky
Matthew RJ Brodsky
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Why the Middle East Needs the Qatar Crisis

June 17, 2017  •  The National Interest

When a crisis arises, it is only natural to call for calm. In most cases it is a laudable reflex, especially when one is not the cause of the consternation. In the case of the recent Gulf crisis with Qatar, President Trump, the majority of the Arab world, and even most of his detractors, appear to share the same goal, which is to bring Qatar into the wider regional alliance that is aligned against Iran and Sunni extremists. The visions diverge over the strategy to do so.

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Erdoğan's Poor Choice of Traveling Companions

June 15, 2017  •  The Jerusalem Post

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been experiencing life the hard way in recent years, and if his recent White House meeting is any indication, he hasn't learned many lessons. After years of rolling diplomatic snake eyes at the Middle East craps table, the only state Turkey can boast of warmer relations with is Qatar, which has come increasingly under U.S. scrutiny for its material support of the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups such as the al-Qaida-affiliated al-Nusra Front, Hamas and others. President Trump turned the page on Obama's Middle East policies in his recent visit to the region. The question remains, can he do the same with the American-Turkish relationship?

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The Normal Person's Guide To The Qatari Cold War

June 14, 2017  •  The Federalist

That escalated quickly. In a region where inter-Arab politics is frequently described as a zero-sum game, Qatar suddenly finds itself on the outside looking in. Recent analysis has tended to overfocus on the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, but a closer look reveals that the camel has suffered from chronic illness for years. It was only a matter of time before its health became critical.

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America's Political Gamble in Syria May Not Pay Off

June 11, 2017  •  The National Interest

A concurrent strategy to degrade ISIS and Iran is the right goal to avoid strengthening one at the expense of the other. That requires juggling many compartmentalized relationships and partnerships—and managing a long list of trade-offs in pursuit of those objectives. Despite the tactical sense it makes to partner with the YPG for military operations in Raqqa, it poses longer-term strategic issues for the United States. President Trump will need to keep score diligently, and constantly reassess how the short-term military tactics are contributing to America's long-term political objectives in the Middle East.

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The Qatar Conundrum

June 7, 2017  •  The Hill

While it's tempting in Washington to blame the latest crisis on what could be Russian hacking of Middle East Twitter accounts, it will make little difference in the region. What's new is that the lukewarm war of words has finally escalated into a full-blown Arab Cold War. It appears for now that Qatar has managed to accidentally unify the Arab world in a way rarely seen in the Middle East — in a region where unity and alliances seldom last. A rush to reestablish the status quo would not only waste an excellent opportunity to change the behavior of a duplicitous regional actor but it would send a mixed message to America's allies who appear to be doing precisely what the president asked of them.

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