Danielle Pletka, AEI

Danielle Pletka


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Past articles by Danielle:


WTH is going on in Iran? Is the US headed for war?

What the hell is going on in Iran? Fred Kagan joined the podcast to discuss current US-Iran tensions and recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. → Read More


The anti-Trump hysteria isn’t helping

There’s plenty to say about Trump’s Helsinki performance, none of it good. The man was made a catspaw by Putin, and that’s the least of it. Working together in Syria? Moral equivalence between Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Putin? It was dreadful, even disgraceful—but it wasn’t treason. And the immediate reaction from many establishment figures was too much. → Read More


How Trump should define success in Syria

There is a way forward in Syria, and Donald Trump has more than once had the courage to stand up to those inside and outside his administration who have urged retreat. Russia will not go to war over Syria. Iran is much more invested in Assad than Russia, and likely to put up a determined resistance if we are not serious and committed. But with a strategy which consolidates and strengthens… → Read More


Rex, we hardly knew ye. And that was enough.

Tillerson's stewardship of the State Department was a fiasco. Here's what Mike Pompeo should do to restore its lost credibility. → Read More


Game of Thobes: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has a lot of ideas, and many of them are good. But he is also naïve and young. → Read More


Tehran Stands Atop the Syria-Iran Alliance

If Assad is ever again to sit atop his nation, whole and entirely under his heel as it once was, it will be only because of outside forces. Russia’s role in controlling Syria’s leadership going forward may be at least partly in question. Iran’s role, however, is clear. Assad, or indeed any Alawite ruler that succeeds him, will serve solely at the pleasure of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). → Read More


President Trump’s Failing Leadership on Iran

If rolling back and diminishing Iranian power is the priority Mr. Trump insists it is, simply dumping the nuclear agreement in Congress’s lap may be the worst possible option. That would be politically easy, but it won’t get the job done. → Read More


Saudi Arabia: Out with MBN, in with MBS

Saudi King Salman today ousted his nephew and Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Nayef in favor of his son, the erstwhile Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. At the end of the day, however, nothing – not a new face in the palace in Riyadh, nor even a transformation of the Saudi approach to the world — will substitute for an American-led strategy in the region. → Read More


Donald Trump's new deal for the Middle East

Trump has enormous opportunities in the Middle East, and while there is little that can happen in Saudi Arabia (or Jerusalem or Rome) that will transform the man himself, there is much that can happen to transform a region that has bedeviled presidents for decades. → Read More


On foreign policy, Trump has become — gasp — a normal president

All we know now is what we see and don’t see. What we have seen from Trump in his early days as president is a man who is owning his burdens, one who wants to rebuild the deterrent power of the United States, one who is shocked by the horrors of war and one who is game to push back on enemies. All to the good. → Read More


Donald Trump's big test

What will Trump do? Will he stick with the tactical moves he embraced decisively in early April? Or will he move towards a clear strategy? Sooner or later, preferably sooner, the world will know. Until then, ISIS will keep fighting, Assad will keep using barrel bombs and chemical weapons, and Syrians will die. → Read More


What to do: Policy recommendations on the Middle East by AEI Scholars

AEI's Foreign and Defense Policy scholars weigh in on President Trump's decision to strike the Shayrat Airfield in Homs province, Syria. → Read More


5 questions every president should answer on Syria

Syria has been at the heart of much of the lingering turmoil of the Arab Spring. Fighting there has spilled over into Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel. Upwards of 250,000, and probably more like 300,000 people have died. ISIS drew its first breaths as currently constituted in Syria. None of this need have happened. → Read More


On the Paris terrorist attacks

Some cynics, political candidates among them, will ask why the Paris terrorist attacks are a call to action for the United States. It is a mindless response. The Paris attacks could well have been New York, and will be again one terrible day. The first step is to actually have a strategy, rather than a series of reactive tactics and incremental escalations that are nothing more than a lagging… → Read More