Jonathan Schanzer
Jonathan Schanzer
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

The Sunni-Shi'ite Proxy War Heats Up

March 2016  •  Defense Dossier

Beneath the recent ferment of a highly volatile Middle East lies the region's deepest geopolitical fault line: the decades-long rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. This modern-day contest, rooted in centuries of sectarian enmity, has been best described as the "new Middle East cold war." The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 made that competition a defining feature of the region's geopolitics. It has since been spurred on by the so-called "Arab Spring" and the ensuing civil wars in Yemen and Syria. And as unrest has spread, both sides have supported their sectarian allies, elevating previously local conflicts to zero-sum grudge matches in a series of increasingly dangerous proxy wars.

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After Abbas, Le Déluge in the Palestinian Authority

Spring 2016  •  inFocus Quarterly

Palestinian leaders in the West Bank refer to the wave of terror currently gripping Israel as a haba sha'abiya, or a "popular outburst." The imagery suggests that the terror wave is widespread yet temporary, violent but not catastrophic. It's a way for Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, to acknowledge current public sentiment while avoiding terms likeintifada, which connotes a long-term campaign with his complicity.

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Turkey Has Been Reckless, Repressive and Unreliable

March 29, 2016  •  New York Times

When then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last visited Washington in 2013, he received the full "valued ally" treatment, including an appearance with President Obama in the White House Rose Garden.

Not this time. Now president, Erdogan will insteadmeet with Vice President Biden this week, which is the diplomatic equivalent of a handshake after a romantic date.

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Dollarizing the Ayatollahs

March 28, 2016  •  Wall Street Journal

The bruising battle between the president and Congress surrounding the Iran nuclear deal is over. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, despite its many troubling flaws, is already being implemented. Yet now another nasty battle is brewing.

Even as Washington prepared to release an estimated $100 billion in restricted Iranian oil assets and paved the way for Tehran to regain access to the Swift network (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication)—allowing it to transfer funds across the global electronic banking system—the Obama administration vowed that the Islamic Republic would never get the ultimate prize: access to the U.S. financial system or dollar transactions.

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The Iran Deal's Bigger Loser

March 21, 2016  •  Foreign Affairs

The decision to fork over $100 billion in sanctions relief to Iran as part of last summer's nuclear deal could be the worst thing that's happened to the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah in years.

Of course, Hezbollah publicly embraced the news. Iran provides an estimated $100–$200 million to the group each year. And now, with sanctions relief rolling in, even more Iranian cash might find its way to Hezbollah's stronghold in the Beqaa Valley, where it can turn into new weapons, training programs, and other materiel.

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Books by Jonathan Schanzer

Cover of State of Failure Cover of Facebook Fatwa Cover of Palestinian Pulse Cover of Hamas vs. Fatah Cover of Al-Qaeda's Armies

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