Turkey’s Invasion of Afrin: Erdogan’s Newest Betrayal of NATO

After the 2016 attempted coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has simultaneously tightened his control over the country while moving it away from its NATO allies. Turkey has blamed the United States for supporting or even orchestrating the coup after US Central Command’s General Votel stated his concern over Erdogan’s silencing of dissidents, while others have claimed that Erdogan may have staged the coup himself in order to justify his attempts at obtaining more power. Since the coup at...
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100 Years Since Balfour: A History of the Balfour Declaration From 1917 to 2017

November 2nd marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which established the British government’s formal support for the Zionist movement and the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The motives behind this declaration varied, from a genuine support for the Zionist movement to a hope that such a declaration would increase support for the Allies of World War One in countries with a significant Jewish population (namely the United States and post-tsarist Russia). The text itse...
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Syrian Kurds After ISIS

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have liberated Raqqa from the Islamic State, replacing dead bodies that hung from railings with yellow and green flags and marking the end of ISIS’s control over its self-proclaimed capital. This allows the SDF and their parent group, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) to nearly complete their unification of a region of northern Syria they refer to as Rojava, which the PYD declared autonomous in 2016. While the liberation of Raqqa represents a triump...
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The Votes Heard Round The World

From Scotland to Crimea, self-determination has attracted much attention as independence movements across the globe have made big leaps towards self-rule. Though these movements, grounded in historical, ethnic and political disputes, have long existed, we have seen a resurgence of late in various regions’ pushes for independence. Recent votes in Catalonia and Kurdistan have captured the world’s attention and are likely to have far-reaching consequences for independence movements worldwide. &n...
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ISIS and Women

Although it seems that the sun is setting on ISIS’ power as a terrorist group and quasi-state, recent findings suggest there has been a resurgence in recruitment, particularly of women. While initially, ISIS was highly reticent of female recruits, even going so far as to discourage them from joining, the need to build the caliphate and even manage women in captured areas has annulled this standard. According to a Times article, the existing social-media framework used to recruit male foreign fi...
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The Syrian Crisis

“Do not forget Aleppo!” These were the words shouted by an assassin as he gunned down the Russian ambassador to Turkey this past December. The words that accompanied the shocking murder were striking reminder to the Western world to not overlook the suffering occurring in the then-besieged Syrian city. Indeed, what was once an economic, cultural and historical hub of Syria has now been reduced to a city best known for the humanitarian crisis that has existed within it for nearly five yea...
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