iOS app Android app

Graham E. Fuller
GET UPDATES FROM Graham E. Fuller
Graham E. Fuller is a former senior CIA official, author of numerous books on the Muslim World; his latest book is “Breaking Faith: A novel of espionage and an American’s crisis of conscience in Pakistan.” (Amazon, Kindle) grahamefuller.com.

Entries by Graham E. Fuller

If Ever There Was a Case for Genuine Global Action in the Mideast, Destroying ISIS Is It

(17) Comments | Posted November 15, 2015 | 5:20 PM

ISIS, with its horrific attack on purely civilian targets in Paris, has established new realities about its nature, capabilities and intentions. The need for its elimination can now no longer be in doubt. It is not that Parisian lives are more important than others, but Paris changes the game.

ISIS...

Read Post

Here's What's Behind Erdoğan's New Airstrikes -- And Why They Could Backfire

(87) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 8:24 PM

Turkish policies towards the Middle East have been in wild oscillation over the past many weeks, even months. Ankara has now finally and begrudgingly initiated military action against ISIS in cooperation with the U.S. But it has also initiated air attacks against its former Kurdish negotiating...

Read Post

Can Turkey Survive Erdoğan?

(17) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 3:43 PM

On June 7, Turkey's democratic system will be deeply tested in a fateful parliamentary election. At stake is preservation of rule of law and liberal democracy against an increasingly authoritarian-minded president.

Bottom line: if President Erdoğan's AKP party is able to win big, the entire system of separation of powers...

Read Post

Why the Crisis in Yemen Could Tilt Mideast Power From Saudi Arabia Toward Iran, Turkey and Pakistan

(72) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 5:29 PM

Does anybody remember the old Cold War geopolitical concept of the "northern tier states?" They consisted of three countries -- Turkey, Iran and Pakistan (and sometimes Afghanistan) that lay along the southern border of the Soviet Union; they were perceived in the West as a potential bulwark against Soviet aggression...

Read Post

How to Decipher Yemen, Where the Enemy of Your Enemy Is Also Your Enemy

(36) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 5:23 PM

Yemen, like Afghanistan, has a long reputation as a quagmire for foreign invaders. Saudi Arabia could break its teeth there if the U.S. does not constrain it. Astonishingly, Yemeni events have now conspired to bring about the supposed intervention of some 10 regional powers in one of the most hyped...

Read Post

Cinq prévisions pour le Moyen-Orient en 2015

(6) Comments | Posted January 18, 2015 | 8:45 AM

Il serait imprudent de faire des prévisions à long terme sur le Moyen-Orient. Voici les miennes pour l'année qui s'annonce.

1. Daech perdra de sa puissance et de son influence

Je ne pense pas que Daech soit un Etat viable. Il n'a aucune cohérence idéologique, pas d'institutions politiques et sociales...

Read Post

Cinq prévisions pour le Moyen-Orient en 2015

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 10:56 AM

Il serait imprudent de faire des prévisions à long terme sur le Moyen-Orient. Voici les miennes pour l'année qui s'annonce.

1. Daech perdra de sa puissance et de son influence

Je ne pense pas que Daech soit un Etat viable. Il n'a aucune cohérence idéologique, pas d'institutions politiques...

Read Post

Five Middle East Predictions for 2015

(12) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 12:42 PM

Only a fool offers longer term predictions about the Middle East. I offer the following shorter term predictions about the Middle East for 2015.

1. ISIS will decline in power and influence.

I do not believe ISIS is viable as a state; it lacks any coherent and functional ideology, any...

Read Post

Embracing Assad Is a Better Strategy for the U.S. Than Supporting the Least Bad Jihadis

(50) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 8:05 PM

The Middle East today is in as big a mess as I've seen it in a lifetime. By most measures it still continues to worsen, as ever new enemies to the U.S. pop up onto the scene. It is attracting polarized youthful jihadis from both East and West ready to...

Read Post

Avenging James Foley: Tit for Tat Is Not a Solution

(32) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 1:24 PM

The ghastly killing of journalist James Foley -- more than merely savage -- was quite calculated to induce terror and to influence. And it did. Indeed, to discuss his death in a broader political context at this point may seem distasteful, clinical, and disrespectful to the dead and his family....

Read Post

Who's Afraid of the Caliphate?

(16) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 1:56 PM

The astonishing success of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in establishing a "state" across northwestern Iraq and northeastern Syria in the last weeks represents a strategic watershed in the advance of jihadi fighters and their radical ideology in controlling turf in the Middle East. In political terms,...

Read Post

Perché Washington dovebbe lasciare che l'Iraq risolva da solo i propri problemi

(3) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 8:04 AM

L'abilità sorprendente delle forze militari dell'ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) nel conquistare diverse città irachene la dice lunga più sulla debolezza sconcertante e sulle divisioni interne all'Iraq, che sul valore militare dell'ISIS. Tuttavia non siamo ancora davanti a un'apocalisse jihadista. L'ISIS come forza militare...

Read Post

Why America Should Let Iraq Resolve its Own Crisis

(31) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 5:59 PM

The astonishing ability of the militia forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to take over several Iraqi cities reveals more about the dismaying weakness and divisions within Iraq than it does about the military prowess of ISIS. Yet this is not some jihadi apocalypse. ISIS as...

Read Post

Why America Needs Good Spies Like the CIA's Robert Ames

(6) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 1:58 PM

I've just been sitting up all night reading "The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames," a fascinating biography by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Kai Bird. Ames was a remarkable CIA officer -- and a colleague -- who played a key personal role in U.S. intelligence and policymaking on...

Read Post

The Fall Of Falluja Reveals The Tragic Futility Of America's Strategy In The Middle East

(54) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 9:23 AM

Graham E. Fuller is a former senior CIA official, author of "A World Without Islam," a memoir "Three Truths and a Lie," and the forthcoming "Turkey and the Arab Spring."

When is a war "worth it?" It's a timeless question that still begs a decisive response.

The debacle of...

Read Post

Iran Marks a Watershed in the Middle East

(1) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 1:55 PM

Yes, it is tentative, temporary, and reversible, as the White House cautions us after unveiling its breakthrough understanding with Iran. The agreement could yet collapse as entrenched conservatives on both sides, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, condemn it. All these forces fear the ground is shifting beneath them--and it is....

Read Post

Has Obama (Inadvertently) Broken the Mold in U.S. Foreign Policy?

(120) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 10:23 AM

Is it possible that President Obama -- without articulating it, perhaps without even fully intending it -- may have strayed into the radical reforging of American foreign policy?

For the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union -- or even the end of World War II -- a...

Read Post

The Arab Revolution Is Beyond America's Control

(73) Comments | Posted February 7, 2011 | 5:21 PM

WASHINGTON -- It had to come. Where, when and how exactly one of many smoldering sparks in this agonized region might actually burst forth into the present conflagration was unknowable, but tension and anger was palpably rising over a long period.

Where all these uprisings across the region...

Read Post

Obama's Policies Making Situation Worse in Afghanistan and Pakistan

(55) Comments | Posted May 10, 2009 | 4:41 PM

For all the talk of "smart power," President Obama is pressing down the same path of failure in Pakistan marked out by George Bush. The realities suggest need for drastic revision of U.S. strategic thinking.

-- Military force will not win the day in either Afghanistan or Pakistan; crises...

Read Post