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The Case for 'Coercive Restraint' in U.S. Relations with Ukraine, the Philippines, and Israel

A strategy of Integrated Deterrence against geopolitical competitors would be more effective if combined with coercive restraint vis-a-vis allies and partners.
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Alarmed that the Biden administration has overcommitted America abroad, a growing number of prominent scholars are calling for a fundamental reconceptualization of U.S. foreign policy in favour of a policy of restraint.1See, for instance: Stephen M. Walt, “Envisioning a U.S. Foreign Policy of Restraint,” DAWN, November 11, 2023,; Emma Ashford, “Strategies of Restraint: Remaking America’s Broken Foreign Policy,” Foreign Affairs, February 23, 2023,; Rajan Menon, “U.S. Foreign Policy Restraint—What It Is, What It’s Not,” The National Interest, August 9, 2021,; Justin Logan, “Restoring Realism and Restraint in U.S. Foreign Policy,” Cato Handbook For Policymakers, 2022, Seeing the administration’s involvement in localized conflicts as moral hazards and strategic vulnerabilities, these “restrainers” argue for Washington to adopt a narrower view of U.S. national security—one that prioritizes U.S. territorial defense, sovereignty, and citizen safety over military adventurism, great power politics, and the ongoing pursuit of a “global rules-based order”.2Stephen Wertheim, “Why America Can’t Have It All: Washington Must Choose Between Primacy and Prioritizing,” Foreign Affairs, February 27, 2024,,this%20site%20to%20function%20properly.; Barry Posen, Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press, 2014) Eager to prevent strategic overextension, restrainers advocate for a more limited U.S. presence overseas, particularly in areas without direct implications for U.S. national security.3Aaron David Miller Richard Sokolsky, “Biden Must Craft a Foreign Policy for a World the U.S. Doesn’t Rule,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, November 19, 2020,

In particular, restraint-minded scholars argue U.S. interests would be better served if the Biden administration moderated its foreign policy goals, reduced America’s global footprint, and reassessed its security relations.4Stimson Center, “Reimagining US Grand Strategy &Bull; Stimson Center,” July 11, 2023, Far from arguing for isolationism (as their critics would suggest), the restrainer camp instead calls for meaningful, principled U.S. engagement predicated on U.S. national interests and commensurate with U.S. resources. While part of a long intellectual tradition going back to George Kennan, restraint scholarship experienced a revival in the wake of America’s endless wars in the Middle East. More recently, the U.S. involvement in the Ukraine War, its intervention in the South China Sea, and its unconditional support for Israel has strengthened the case for restraint.

The restrainers’ key argument is that the more the U.S. becomes embroiled in conflicts overseas, the more its national security and national interests suffer.5Christopher A. Preble, The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009). As such, U.S. security guarantees to its allies and partners constitute a critical area of strategic vulnerability. This is particularly salient today as the Biden administration extends “unwavering”, “ironclad”, and “rock-solid” support to states like Ukraine, the Philippines, and Israel. Rather than work to mitigate, end, or prevent hostilities, restrainers argue that U.S. unconditional support prolongs, encourages, or even facilitates conflict.6Blaise Malley, “How Biden’s ‘A-team’ Squandered Its Foreign Policy Opportunity,” Responsible Statecraft, March 19, 2024, Not only can the resulting instability undermine America’s strategic position, but the potential for conflict entanglement presents a clear and present danger to U.S. national interests, up to and including the potential for a great power war with China, Russia, or Iran instigated by provocative actions of Washington’s smaller regional allies.

An Institute for Peace & Diplomacy monograph, Toward a Phenomenology of the U.S. Alliance System, presents the clearest realist and interest-based theory of the case for how U.S. security relations, as it is practiced, could harm U.S. interests and contribute to regional and global instability.7Arta Moeini, David Polansky, and Coleman Hopkins, Toward a Phenomenology of the U.S. Alliance System: Boon or a Scourge on America’s National Interest, Institute for Peace and Diplomacy, September 16, 2022, From within the realist camp, Arta Moeini et al. warn against the rise of “trojan allies” within the U.S. global alliance system, a phenomenon that has accelerated and worsened during unipolarity. The authors argue that given the unconditionality of U.S. support for its regional bulwarks, the stronger power’s interests tend to become subservient to the weaker state’s localized ambitions and the latter’s provocative actions could entangle their great power patron in untenable conflicts abroad. While this may seem counterintuitive, the authors demonstrate how U.S. policymakers’ overvaluation of (existing) alliance relations as a permanent condition and function of American identity and global leadership results in strategic vulnerability as Washington eventually loses its ability to manage its client states’ actions and activities. While Moeini et al. are somewhat pessimistic Washington can change course–seeing an inherent path-dependency in U.S. alliance relations–, this author seeks to build on their scholarship by presenting a conceptual and policy framework for risk mitigation that will keep U.S. allies accountable and responsive to American interests. 

Washington can, and should, condition its security assistance to compel its allies and partners as a means of moderating their foreign policy behavior to prevent conflict.

Indeed, assuming U.S. security relations are worth preserving—which this author argues is the case—a new policy direction for alliance management is clearly needed: one that limits U.S. exposure to strategic entanglement while maintaining some degree of support. This article seeks to fill this conceptual gap through the development of a “coercive restraint” approach; a foreign policy innovation predicated on the idea that Washington can, and should, condition its security assistance to compel its allies and partners as a means of moderating their foreign policy behavior to prevent conflict. More specifically, a coercive restraint approach holds that the U.S. should use its role as a security provider to force its security partners to prioritize conflict avoidance, de-escalation, and negotiation in their foreign affairs. U.S. administrations could also use a coercive restraint approach to insist U.S. security partners develop realistic strategies, avoid unlimited conflict, and prioritize defensive over offensive measures. Implemented correctly, a coercive restraint approach could enhance America’s strategic posture by demonstrating Washington’s commitment to global stability while increasing its deterrence ability.

The essay is divided into three parts, each aimed at highlighting how a coercive restraint approach could help turn U.S. security relations and foreign policy into an instrument of moderation while strengthening U.S. national security and defense. First, the article provides an overview of restraint scholarship and places the coercive restraint concept within the broader literature. Second, the article applies the coercive restraint model to the Biden administration’s current approach to security relations with Ukraine, the Philippines, and Israel: three of America’s most consequential contemporary security partnerships. Third, the article considers the impact of a coercive restraint approach on U.S. deterrence. The article concludes by discussing the broader strategic implications of a coercive restraint strategy for U.S. foreign and defense policy.

The Need for Restraint: A Critical Reading of U.S. Foreign and Security Policy

The history of the U.S. as a security provider, as told by Washington, is one rooted in American leadership, military power, and democratic values, particularly in the face of creeping authoritarianism and illiberalism from states like Russia and China. Senior policymakers regularly advance a narrative of U.S. foreign policy that frames the country as a reluctant warrior, fighting only when necessary and always with the best of intentions. For many older Americans, in particular, there is a tendency to reference the U.S. intervention in the Second World War as the prototype of the country’s security engagement abroad. For this portion of the population, the U.S. role as a security provider started at D-Day and continues largely unchanged today.8U.S. Department of Defense, “Chairman: Alliance Building Is a Lesson of Normandy Invasion,” n.d.,

Central to this narrative is the understanding of U.S. foreign policy and security assistance as the primary sources of global stability throughout the Cold War and into the modern era. For proponents of this view, the U.S.-led security architecture—including its alliance relations, its security assistance, its security guarantees, and its weapons trade—was (and remains) the primary source of global stability in the post-war era. Not only did U.S. security guarantees to states as diverse as Israel and Japan enable their respective economic development, but also such arrangements helped the U.S. preserve regional and global order and prevent revisionist states, such as China, from military adventurism. The U.S. nuclear umbrella provided its allies and partners with extended deterrence, thereby disincentivizing them from developing their own nuclear military capacity and stemming global nuclear proliferation. Absent such security guarantees, the argument goes, the world would be a decidedly more dangerous place—one where regional powers like China, Iran, and Russia would expand their influence through force and develop rival power centers to the Western-led rules-based order.

In parallel, U.S. security guarantees served American security interests by allowing it to establish a global network of military bases and installations. With major military bases in Germany and Turkey, forward operating bases in Djibouti, cooperative security locations in Guam and Kosovo, naval stations and airfields in Bahrain and Japan, joint military facilities in the UK, and strategic missile bases in Greenland, the U.S. has leveraged its role as the global security provider to become the only true global military superpower; one that can fight and win two major wars in two separate regions simultaneously, the former “two major regional contingencies” (2MRC) doctrine.9Daniel Goure, “The Measure of a Superpower: A Two Major Regional Contingency Military for the 21st Century | the Heritage Foundation,” The Heritage Foundation, n.d., With a network of allies, many of which are working directly together under U.S. leadership, Washington has also maximized its force through partnership in ways that its only ‘near peer’ competitor, China, cannot match. Whatever the U.S. might spend as a security provider, it more than gains through its partnerships.

There is a logic and a selective historical record that supports this worldview of the American foreign policy record. One can argue, for instance, that U.S. security assistance has contributed to global stability, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, which analysts have long considered “ripe for rivalry.”10Aaron Friedberg, “Ripe for Rivalry: Prospects for Peace in a Multipolar Asia,” International Security, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Winter 1993-1994), pp. 5-33. U.S. collective security agreements have also enabled economies in Asia and Europe, in particular, to focus on economic development instead of national defense, which has been a critical part of post-war reconstruction for states such as China, Germany, and Japan. U.S. military superiority has facilitated U.S. economic integration in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, while the U.S. Navy has played a critical role in maintaining maritime security and global maritime-based commerce. Critically, U.S.-extended deterrence has also empowered small and middle powers to protect their domestic sovereignty from external actors, especially revisionist regional powers, whether on the Korean Peninsula or in Eastern Europe.

American involvement in all these contingencies led to a deterioration in America's strategic posture and global reputation that continues to undermine its security interests in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East today.

Restraint-minded scholars offer a more critical reading of U.S. security assistance abroad, however, starting with a litany of instances where U.S. intervention, whether through direct or indirect involvement, either resulted in large-scale war (Vietnam 1955-1975; Iraq 2003-2011; Afghanistan 2001-2021), domestic instability (Libya 2011; Syria 2011-present; Yemen 2011-present), or human rights abuses (Nicaragua 1981-1990; El Salvador 1979-1992).11John J. Mearsheimer, The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018). Neither is it possible to argue that any of these specific instances actually enhanced U.S. national security abroad; indeed, American involvement in all these contingencies led to a deterioration in America’s strategic posture and global reputation that continues to undermine its security interests in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East today.12Alexander Main, “Out of the Ashes of Economic War,” NACLA Report on the Americas 52, no. 1 (January 2, 2020): 33–40; Earl Anthony Wayne, “Two Years After the Fall of Kabul, the US Still has Important Work to Do,” Wilson Center, August 31, 2023,;

Restraint scholarship also questions whether U.S. security assistance has led to a lasting peace as opposed to a precarious asymmetrical balance in state relations that has every potential of tumbling into conflict.13Christopher Phillips, Battleground: 10 Conflicts that Explain the New Middle East, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2024); Benjamin H. Friedman and A. Trevor Thrall, US Grand Strategy in the 21st Century (New York: Routledge, 2018). Whereas proponents of U.S. foreign policy activism argue Washington’s security guarantees are proof it is committed to a rules-based global order, restrainers would argue its support for minor states as bulwarks against rival great and middle powers and checks on their ambitions has led to an imbalance in the international system where negotiated outcomes are less likely and ongoing tensions over territories remain unaddressed.14Edward N. Luttwak, “Give War a Chance,” Foreign Affairs, March 26, 2024, This is a cynical view of the international system, to be certain, but one firmly rooted in the reality of power dynamics and agency, whereby great powers have an outsized ability to influence state dynamics, particularly at the regional level.15Barry Buzan, Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2009). When the U.S. decides to support a small or middle power in opposition to a larger power, particularly a regional great power, it does so against what otherwise might be a natural balance of power.

Restrainers argue that U.S. policymakers seem to understand these unintended consequences only to the extent that they justify further U.S. security assistance to maintain them. If U.S. security assistance results in a precarious regional and/or global balance of power, for instance, Washington acts as if the only proper course of action is doubling down on such assistance and an expansion of the U.S. security network to include additional “like-minded” states.16Peter Martin, Courtney McBride, and Cindy Wang, “Allies Fear US Is Overextended as Global Conflicts Spread,” Bloomberg, October 27, 2023, Rather than allow for a redistribution of the existing balance of power between states, U.S. policymakers argue the need to use any means necessary to fortify it further.17Alexander Ward, “Jake Sullivan’s Revolution: Globalization and free markets had time to prove themselves. Now, a new “Bidenism” is emerging,” Politico, February 2, 2024,

Restraint scholarship argues that Washington’s proclivity to throw good resources after bad is profoundly destabilizing.18Shaun Narine, “Whether It’s Trump or Biden as President, U.S. Foreign Policy Endangers the World,” The Conversation, Rather than contributing to a more equitable, inclusive, and representative global order, the U.S. rush to expand security assistance has instead built a profoundly unequal system; one where U.S. allies and partners are free to pursue revisionist practices while U.S. adversaries and competitors are delegitimized and dismissed as secondary international actors.19Oliver Stuenkel, “Israel-Hamas War: Global South Sees Double Standard in West’s Response to Gaza and Ukraine,” Foreign Policy, November 29, 2023, Neither does U.S. security assistance necessarily lead to a more just international system, primarily because Washington is inconsistent in its application of global rules and norms. While the Biden administration justifies its support for Ukraine on its respect for international law, support for national self-determination, and opposition to aggressor states, for example, it concurrently overlooks Israel’s use of excessive force in Gaza, up to and including activities the international community, the United Nations, and International Court of Justice worry constitute genocide.20Atlantic Council experts, “Experts React: What the International Court of Justice Said (and Didn’t Say) in the Genocide Case Against Israel,” Atlantic Council, January 28, 2024, These inconsistencies in U.S. security assistance expose Washington to charges of hypocrisy and undermine its global leadership and self-perception as an impartial security provider.21Agnès Callamard, “Gaza and the End of the Rules-Based Order: What the Israel-Hamas War Means for the Future of Human Rights and International Law,” Foreign Affairs, February 27, 2024,

The risk of entanglement is particularly pronounced with weaker allies that may be incentivized to escalate conflict, to increase threat perceptions, or to reject a negotiated end to hostilities in order to ensure the U.S. remains engaged and to lessen the risk of potential abandonment.

Restrainers also argue that Washington’s security assistance can, and does, increase the risk of entanglement. One finds clear precedent for this in Bosnia and Kosovo, Korea, Libya, Taiwan, and Vietnam, where U.S. allied behavior precipitated U.S. military intervention to varying degrees.22Miranda Priebe et al., “Do Alliances and Partnerships Entangle the United States in Conflict?,” RAND, November 22, 2021,; Michael Beckley, “The Myth of Entangling Alliances: Reassessing the Security Risks of U.S. Defense Pacts,” International Security 39, no. 4 (January 1, 2015). The risk of entanglement is particularly pronounced with weaker allies that may be incentivized to escalate conflict, to increase threat perceptions, or to reject a negotiated end to hostilities in order to ensure the U.S. remains engaged and to lessen the risk of potential abandonment.23John Glaser, “Despite Fear‐​Mongering, U.S. Is Not Beset by Grave Threats: Politicians love to exaggerate threats because it makes them look tough and strong” Cato Institute, June 13, 2017, The Biden administration’s unconditional support of its allies and partners has particularly raised concerns among the restrainers, primarily as the administration seems intent on supporting states like Ukraine, the Philippines, and Israel regardless of their actions and irrespective of the potential impact these actions might have on U.S. strategy.24Jon Hoffman, “For America, Israel Is a Liability, Not an Asset,” Foreign Policy, March 29, 2024, Rather than seeking to moderate its security partners’ policies to reduce the risk of entanglement and/or entrapment, President Joe Biden seems willing to gamble U.S. security on its allies’ behavior.

Toward a Policy of Coercive Restraint

The administration could mitigate these vulnerabilities and strengthen America’s strategic posture through a coercive restraint policy, a framework for alliance management that could serve as the corollary to the “integrated deterrence” concept. Introduced in the 2022 National Defense Strategy, integrated deterrence describes a holistic approach to crisis management where the state uses its comprehensive national power to deter aggression by adversary states.25David Vergun, “Official Says Integrated Deterrence Key to National Defense Strategy,” Department of Defense, December 6, 2022, Using economic, political, military, and legal means, Washington employs an integrated deterrence approach to compel and/or coerce its adversaries to change their behavior, thereby preventing conflict escalation.26Kathleen McInnis, “‘Integrated Deterrence’ Is Not So Bad,” CSIS, October 27, 2022, A doctrinal innovation U.S. strategists developed to address the perceived shortcoming of extended and/or nuclear deterrence, integrated deterrence seeks to prevent conflict below the threshold of total war. Integrated deterrence is, by definition, situational and adaptable, whereby its precise structure changes depending on specific conflict conditions. As such, it is a more effective deterrence strategy for a multipolar world where conventional, localized conflicts are more prevalent and nuclear deterrence less effective.27Melanie W. Sisson, “There Is a Lot to Like in the 2022 National Defense Strategy,” Brookings, November 18, 2022,   

While integrated deterrence represents an important evolution in U.S. strategy, its exclusive focus on U.S. adversaries necessarily limits its utility. When considering how the U.S. can modernize its approach to security relations, deterrence is only one half of the strategic equation; the other half is how Washington can work with allies and partners to manage conflict escalation. Just as integrated deterrence can prevent competitors from pursuing conflict, so can coercive restraint ensure U.S. allies and partners refrain from undertaking actions that destabilize the security order in their regions, undermine U.S. national security interests, and/or entangle the U.S. in localized conflicts abroad that are peripheral to its interests and not of its own making.

Just as integrated deterrence can prevent competitors from pursuing conflict, so can coercive restraint ensure U.S. allies and partners refrain from undertaking actions that destabilize the security order in their regions.

As with integrated deterrence, coercive restraint rests on the premise that each U.S. security relationship is unique and that a single-model approach to alliance management is untenable. Just as the U.S. must develop a tailored course of action for its adversaries, so must it formulate coercive restraint plans for its partners that take their perspectives, actions, and behaviors into account. More importantly, coercive restraint approaches must reflect U.S. national security interests and ensure it maintains total control over how and when it becomes involved in conflict. Central to any coercive restraint plan is the assertion that conflict entanglement is not in the U.S. national security interest and that conflict avoidance takes precedence over the partner state’s strategic priorities, whether or not they are legally justifiable. Rather than pledging ‘unwavering’, ‘rock solid’, or ‘ironclad’ support, the U.S. should make it clear that it expects its allies and partners to avoid conflict, negotiate for peace, and end hostilities as a condition of its ongoing assistance.

Just as integrated deterrence seeks to prevent and/or change an adversary’s behavior through the threat of force, coercive restraint should seek to compel U.S. allies and partners to avoid conflict escalation and to pursue negotiated outcomes where possible through the threat of withholding benefits. Rather than engaging in “blank check” support for its security partners, the U.S. should make it clear that security provisions are conditional on their good behavior. Washington should further insist on oversight of its partner state’s strategy as a condition of its security assistance to ensure it does not become a party to an unlimited conflict or war. Should the recipient state comply with the U.S. requirement for moderation and restraint, then security support should be ‘ironclad’. Should it reject U.S. efforts to impose restraints on its actions and strategies, Washington should reduce or discontinue support.

Critics of a coercive restraint policy will argue that it is analogous to abandonment. This is categorically false, as the concept ensures U.S. support as long as the recipient state adheres to conditions. Others might argue coercive restraint is too transactional, that it is antithetical to U.S. values and the country’s role as a liberal hegemon. This is a more accurate critique of the concept, albeit one that romanticizes the history of U.S. security relations, fails to account for the changing nature of global order, and ignores the limitations the U.S. faces as the self-designated global security provider. U.S. security support has always been transactional, rising powers now can fight and win against the U.S. at the regional level, and the U.S. lacks the capacity to effectively intervene in multiple conflicts at the same time.28On the transactional nature of US security relations, see: Odd Arne Westad, The Cold War: A World History, (New York: Basic Books, 2017); Kelly A. Grieco and Jennifer Kavanagh, “America Can’t Surpass China’s Power in Asia: But It Can Still Prevent Chinese Hegemony,” Foreign Affairs, January 16, 2024,; James Di Pane, “U.S. Military Forces Cannot Fight on 2 Fronts,” The Heritage Foundation, March 29, 2022, Furthermore, the U.S. lacks the domestic political will to provide unlimited security assistance with the American public consistently risk-averse and resisting involvement in a direct conflict overseas.29Janakee Chavda, “About Half of Republicans Now Say the U.S. Is Providing Too Much Aid to Ukraine,” Pew Research Center, April 14, 2024,; William Walldorf, “The U.S. Public Has Never Been More Anti-War. Biden Isn’t Taking Note,” TIME, January 31, 2024, Taking these structural realities into account, a more pragmatic policy of coercive restraint is arguably the only way the U.S. can continue to act as a global security provider without overextending itself through conflict interventions it has neither the capacity nor the will to see through. A policy of coercive restraint would also strengthen U.S. deterrence, primarily by reducing the potential for misunderstanding and increasing U.S. credibility. We will examine this interplay in more detail below.

The primary obstacle to a coercive restraint approach is ideational—a not insignificant consideration, given that the administration’s current foreign policy approach is premised on the core belief that American leadership is a global public good.

The Biden administration could operationalize a coercive restraint approach with three of its most salient contemporary security partners—Ukraine, the Philippines, and Israel—with little effort. Indeed, as security assistance conditionality is central to the coercive restraint approach, its implication would necessarily lead to a reduction in resource allocation. The primary obstacle to a coercive restraint approach is ideational—a not insignificant consideration, given that the administration’s current foreign policy approach is premised on the core belief that American leadership is a global public good and that U.S. support for its allies and partners is a cornerstone of such leadership. Despite this notable impediment, U.S. national security could be significantly enhanced if the Biden team and future administrations used a coercive restraint approach to compel Kyiv, Manila, and Jerusalem to pursue more realistic strategic aims, engage in defensive rather than offensive operations, prioritize peace and stability over confrontation, and adhere to international humanitarian law in their operations and tactics.


Since Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the Ukrainian armed forces have fought bravely and tirelessly. Foreign observers estimate that more than 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died since the conflict began while the country’s infrastructure and cultural heritage have been largely decimated.30Ian Kuijt “Analysis: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Has Caused a Staggering Amount of Cultural Destruction,” PBS NewsHour, February 25, 2024, The Ukrainian people have suffered greatly, experiencing near-daily Russian attacks, rising levels of poverty, and food insecurity. An estimated 14 million Ukrainians have been displaced by violence and an estimated 19,000 Ukrainian children have been kidnapped and taken to Russia.31Leila Fadel, “Ukrainian Children, Abducted by Russia and Then Returned, Are Speaking Out,” NPR, February 5, 2024, These grim statistics aside, it is impossible to quantify the human suffering experienced in Ukraine as a result of the war, just as it is the sacrifices regular Ukrainians have made for their country’s security.

To support Ukraine, the Biden administration has provided more than $46 billion in security assistance to Kyiv for training, equipment, weapons, and logistics support and nearly $30 billion in humanitarian and financial assistance.32Christina L. Arabia and Cory Welt, “U.S. Security Assistance to Ukraine,” Congressional Research Service, February 15, 2024, In April 2024, the U.S. Congress passed an additional $60 billion in assistance. Among the material support Washington has provided are infantry arms and equipment, artillery, air defense systems, air-to-ground missiles, manned aircraft, explosive, combat, and surveillance drones, tanks and armored carriers, coastal defense and ground support vehicles, and radar, communications, and satellite services. Exclusive of the additional $60 billion in aid, security and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since 2022 amounts to 0.32 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), making it the largest recipient of American financial support in the post-World War II era.33Jonathan Masters, “How Much Aid Has the U.S. Sent Ukraine? Here Are Six Charts.,” Council on Foreign Relations, February 23, 2024, Whether measured in terms of weapons systems, intelligence, communications, or strategy development, the global consensus is that Ukraine could not have withstood Russian aggression, up to and including the defense of Ukrainian territory, without U.S. security support. In advocating for additional aid to continue its fight against Russia, Ukrainian leadership clearly understands its critical importance to its war efforts.34Emily Rauhala et al., “In Munich, Zelensky Urges U.S. and Other Allies Not to Abandon Ukraine,” Washington Post, February 18, 2024,

Yet despite its soldiers’ bravery and sacrifice, and irrespective of U.S. support, there is a strong likelihood that Ukraine cannot achieve its strategic aims and that its current position will worsen over time.35Keith Gessen, “Can Ukraine Still Win?,” The New Yorker, February 15, 2024, Structurally, Ukraine lacks the manpower and weaponry to defeat Russian forces and retake its lost territories, particularly if the fight becomes a battle of attrition that outlasts Western states’ support.36Anatol Lieven, “Ukraine Can’t Win the War,” TIME, February 24, 2024, Neither does Ukraine have the underlying economic means to counter Russia’s manufacturing and production capacities, which Moscow has increased substantially since the start of the war. As war is as much a matter of resources as it is of willpower, Ukraine will find it harder and harder to find a course of action that results in anything better than a stalemate.37Edward N. Luttwak, “Our Twenty-First Century Eighteenth-Century War,” Hoover Institution, September 21, 2022, Neither will it have the capacity to respond directly should Russia introduce battlefield nuclear weapons into its arsenal, which it may yet do in response to a significant tactical loss.38THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, “Putin Warns Russia Ready to Use Nuclear Weapons if Threatened | AP News,” AP News, March 13, 2024, While it might not lose, there is little possibility that Ukraine can win. This unfortunate reality holds true irrespective of Western military aid, even as it provides Kyiv with short-to-medium term-military advantages.39Patricia Zengerle and Humeyra Pamuk, “US aid will boost Ukraine, but doubts remain over 2025 supplies,” Reuters, April 22, 2024,

Notably, none of these factors have influenced Zelenskyy’s stated strategy, which—despite clear setbacks on the battlefield and poor long-term prospects—continues to identify complete recovery of Ukrainian territory, including Crimea, as its end goal.40Joshua Posaner et al., “Ukraine’s War Strategy: Survive 2024 to Win in 2025,” POLITICO, February 25, 2024, Indeed, rather than tempering Ukrainian operations proportionate to the country’s losses or its future vulnerabilities, Zelenskyy has directed the Ukrainian armed forces to increase offensive operations against Russia, including the use of unmanned aerial systems to strike against Russian oil and gas infrastructure deep inside Russian territory.41Maria Varenikova, “Drones Strike Deep in Russia, as Ukraine Extends Its Weapons Range,” New York Times, April 2, 2024, Instead of seeking opportunities to de-escalate the conflict, Zelenskyy is escalating with the stated goal of forcing more direct Western involvement.42David Ignatius, “Zelensky: ‘We Are Trying to Find Some Way Not to Retreat,’” Washington Post, March 30, 2024,

Kyiv’s incentives align around escalation, particularly if its alternative is Western state abandonment... By continuing to provide it with unconditional aid and support, Washington has effectively become entangled in the Ukraine war and lost its ability to fully direct the degree and circumstances of its involvement.

These conditions result in a toxic brew of risk for the United States and, indeed, European stability and security. The more desperate Kyiv becomes in the pursuit of what would be a Pyrrhic victory, the more it will rely on escalatory tactics to force American and European involvement. The less Western support it receives to pursue its overly ambitious strategic aims, the more likely it becomes that Ukraine will seek to provoke Moscow directly, much as it did in March and April 2024 by launching attacks deep into Russian territory. Far from moderating its behavior to avoid a wider conflict, Kyiv’s incentives align around escalation, particularly if its alternative is Western state abandonment. Ukrainian leadership, including Zelenskyy, have said as much, indeed have pledged to expand their provocative attacks directly against Russia if Western aid is not forthcoming.43David Ignatius, “Zelensky: ‘We Are Trying to Find Some Way Not to Retreat,’” Washington Post, March 30, 2024,; Peter Dickinson, “Ukraine’s Allies Divided Over Drone Campaign Targeting Russian Refineries,” Atlantic Council, April 3, 2024, By continuing to provide it with unconditional aid and support, Washington has effectively become entangled in the Ukraine war and lost its ability to fully direct the degree and circumstances of its involvement.

It is decidedly in the U.S. national security interest, therefore, to undertake a policy of coercive restraint toward Ukraine. Specifically, Washington should leverage its military aid to compel Ukraine to moderate its strategic aims, restrain from escalatory attacks, prioritize defensive operations, and identify opportunities for a negotiated peace. While Zelenskyy would likely resist such attempts to dictate Ukraine’s strategy and operations, the U.S. administration should nevertheless condition aid on his compliance. Ukraine is, of course, free to pursue whatever course of action its leaders decide appropriate. The United States, however, is not obligated to provide it with support.

In terms of strategy, the U.S. should condition its military assistance on Kyiv’s identifying achievable and sustainable aims. At the time of writing, Zelenskyy defines Ukrainian victory in absolutist terms, meaning the complete recovery of lost Ukrainian territory, including Crimea. While the Biden administration reportedly does not believe Ukraine can recover its lost territory, its stated policy is to allow Ukrainians to make Ukrainian policy.44Karen DeYoung et al., “U.S. War Plans For Ukraine Don’t Foresee Retaking Lost Territory,” Washington Post, February 8, 2024, This discrepancy in U.S. policy toward Ukraine is striking, particularly as it commits U.S. support to a strategy defense officials believe is unattainable. Rather than enable Ukraine in its quixotic pursuit of total victory, Biden should insist Zelenskyy moderate his strategy to achievable aims, ensuring that the U.S. does not become complicit in an indeterminate conflict.

Central to any Ukrainian strategy should be Kyiv’s prioritization of de-escalation over escalation and defense over offense. While Ukraine understandably wants to punish Russian aggression and expand the war to Russian-held territories, further conflict conflagration is decidedly not in the U.S. national interest and Biden should insist Kyiv refrain from offensive actions that could provoke Moscow. While Ukraine may resist these restrictions, Washington should insist that its assistance remain defensive in nature to avoid further U.S. entanglement in the war.

Relatedly, the U.S. administration should predicate its assistance on Ukraine’s involvement in negotiations and dialogue with Russia to end the war. While Ukraine had the opportunity to end the conflict through diplomatic means in the early stages of the conflict, it has thus far resisted them with the understanding it would rely on U.S. aid to pursue its strategic aims on the battlefield.45Samuel Charap and Sergey Radchenko, “The Talks That Could Have Ended the War in Ukraine: A Hidden History of Diplomacy That Came up Short—but Holds Lessons for Future Negotiations,” Foreign Affairs, April 26, 2024, This application of U.S. security assistance is profoundly distorting as it undermines conflict prevention efforts, prolongs the conflict at significant human cost, and enables Kyiv’s strategic adventurism. Rather than allowing Ukraine to use U.S. aid as a means to resist a negotiated outcome, the Biden administration should insist that Zelenskyy agree to peace negotiations at the first opportunity.

A U.S. policy of coercive restraint designed to compel Ukraine to clarify its strategic goals and to prioritize negotiation over an unlimited conflict could strengthen Kyiv’s long-term strategic posture.

Counterintuitively, a U.S. policy of coercive restraint designed to compel Ukraine to clarify its strategic goals and to prioritize negotiation over an unlimited conflict could strengthen Kyiv’s long-term strategic posture. Rather than engaging in a prolonged conflict that will further decimate its population, undermine its economy, destroy its infrastructure, and strain international support for its cause, Ukraine should instead focus on marshaling its resources early to achieve an optimal position from which it can negotiate. This would necessitate a strategy predicated on defense that Kyiv could translate into diplomatic leverage rather than the open-ended, prolonged conflict of attrition in which it is now engaged. Prioritizing a limited campaign would also ensure that Ukraine maintains U.S. and European public support, which becomes harder to do the longer the fighting continues.46Craig Kafura and Dina Smeltz, “Americans Continue to Support Military and Economic Aid to Ukraine,” Chicago Council on Global Affairs, February 28, 2024,,2022%2C%2079%20percent%20supported%20it; Joshua Posaner and Giovanna Coi, “Most Europeans Think Ukraine Will Lose the War, According to Survey,” POLITICO, February 21, 2024, 

The coercive restraint policy in Ukraine comes with some hard realities. Instead of operating under the assumption that the U.S. will “stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes” to “push Russia out of every inch” of the country, Washington would necessarily have to accept the tacit loss of Ukrainian territory.47U.S. Department of Defense, “U.S. Committed to Stand With Ukraine ‘For as Long as It Takes,’” n.d.,,two%20years%20ago%20this%20Saturday; Tom Bowman, “Ukraine Appears to Have Started Its Next Big Move Against Russia,” NPR, May 25, 2023,,refusing%20to%20even%20consider%20peace%20talks%20with
While Ukraine can certainly continue to pursue whatever strategy it chooses, President Biden or the next president should make it clear the U.S. will not provide open-ended military assistance for policies that undermine its interests or support an unlimited conflict. Should Ukraine reject U.S. conditionality, the administration should wind down its support.  


Since taking office in 2022, President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. has directed a series of operations and policies designed to challenge Chinese maritime activities and to fortify Philippine interests and assets in the South China Sea. Marcos has used the Philippine Navy and Coast Guard to push back against Chinese incursions into the Philippines’ internal waters and territorial seas, including in disputed areas around the Spratly Islands and Second Thomas Shoal. In parallel, Marcos has expanded the scope of the U.S.-Philippine alliance and deepened his country’s security ties with Australia and Japan, including on joint patrols and training.48Aaron-Matthew Lariosa, “U.S., Japanese and Australian Warships Join Philippine Forces in South China Sea Patrol,” US Naval Institute, April 7, 2024, As defensive measures, Marcos’s actions are laudable as they provide a moderate means to balance Chinese assertiveness in the maritime realm.

Critically, however, Marcos has also undertaken policies that provoke China and undermine regional stability.49Neil Jerome Morales, Karen Lema and Liz Lee, “China says relations with Philippines at ‘crossroads’ amid maritime incidents,” Reuters, March 25, 2024,,at%20the%20Second%20Thomas%20Shoal. In 2023, for instance, Marcos announced that he could double the number of U.S. bases in the Philippines, including three with proximity to Taiwan—a move that Beijing denounced as overtly provocative. Concurrently, Macros ordered the Philippines’ Armed Forces to revise the country’s military strategy to prioritize external (maritime) security and to undertake countermeasures against China in the South China Sea.50Staff Writer, “Philippines’ Marcos Vows Response to China’s ‘attacks,’” Nikkei Asia, March 28, 2024, Marcos also dramatically increased defense spending under the Re-Horizon 3 plan, pledging $35 billion over ten years to acquire multi-role fighters, frigates, missiles, and radars for use in maritime operations.51Joe Saballa, “Philippines OKs $35B ‘Re-Horizon 3’ Military Modernization Plan,” The Defense Post, January 30, 2024, Contextually, these policies and initiatives mark a significant escalation in South China Sea security and contribute to a breakdown of the regional security order; one that previous Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte studiously avoided through diplomatic engagement with Beijing.52Yukio Tajima, “China Claims South China Sea Deal With Philippines’ Duterte,” Nikkei Asia, April 19, 2024,

Notably, Marcos has not confined his provocations of China to the South China Sea but has extended them to include Taiwan. In addition to expanding the U.S. access to Philippines territory that Marcos claims could be used in Taiwan’s defense, he has also proposed that the next U.S.-Philippines joint Balikatan exercise take place on Mavulis Island: the Philippines’ northernmost island, just 88 miles from Taiwan. Marcos has also sought to demonstrate Philippine diplomatic support to Taiwan by publicly congratulating Lai Ching-te on winning the Taiwan presidential election. While casual observers might dismiss the overture as a minor incident, most expert analysts widely interpreted it as antagonistic toward Beijing.53Richard Heydarian, “Marcos’ Embrace of Taiwan’s Lai Was More Than a Friendly Gesture,” Nikkei Asia, January 21, 2024, Of course, China views Marcos’ posturing toward Taiwan as purely provocative and as evidence that the Philippines is seeking to escalate conflict with Beijing to invoke its defense treaty with the U.S.54See, for instance: Wang Bing (王冰), “美日在菲律宾海演习 梁永春:盟友只是美国谋求自身地缘政治私利的工具 (U.S. and Japan conduct drills in Philippine Sea Liang Yongchun: Allies are just tools for the U.S. to pursue its own geopolitical interests),” Central Broadcasting Military (央广军事), February 7, 2024,

Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, for instance, have expressed concerns that Manila is pursuing more confrontational tactics, disregarding regional organizations like ASEAN, ignoring opportunities for de-escalation and negotiation, and dismissing China’s strategic perspectives as inconsequential.

China is not the only regional state that sees Marcos’s behavior as problematic and destabilizing. Southeast Asian states including Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, for instance, have expressed concerns that Manila is pursuing more confrontational tactics, disregarding regional organizations like ASEAN, ignoring opportunities for de-escalation and negotiation, and dismissing China’s strategic perspectives as inconsequential because it believes it has American’s security guarantee.55Richard Heydarian, “Marcos’ Courting of U.S. Support Is Unsettling His ASEAN Neighbors,” Nikkei Asia, December 1, 2023,; Michael Vatikiotis, “ASEAN Is Quietly Coming Apart at the Seams,” Nikkei Asia, August 28, 2023, Australia, similarly, has distanced itself from Marcos’ rhetoric and approach toward China out of concern it could damage Canberra’s security posture in Southeast Asia and undermine its relations with Beijing.56Kathleen Magramo, “Why Australia keeps an arm’s length from South China Sea tensions, even as it draws closer with the Philippines,” CNN, March 4, 2024, Indeed, analysts from across the Asia-Pacific are increasingly critical of Manila’s militarized approach toward China and progressively more vocal in their calls for Marcos to de-escalate through diplomacy and dialogue.57Jeoffrey Maitem and Jeoffrey Maitem, “South China Sea: Philippines Urged to Prioritise Diplomacy Even as Navy Prepares for ‘Worst-case Scenario,’” South China Morning Post, April 1, 2024,

For Washington, Manila’s behavior raises the potential, even likelihood, of strategic entanglement, up to and including direct military conflict with China. Notably, by guaranteeing the Philippines’ security, Washington has essentially outsourced its national security decision-making to a client state with fundamentally different incentives and security perspectives than its own. Whereas conflict avoidance with China is clearly in the U.S. national interest, Philippine leadership and the public prefer a more confrontational approach, even at the risk of war. According to March 2024 public polling in the Philippines, more than 70 percent of adults surveyed wanted Marcos to use more assertive military action against China in the South China Sea and 80 percent were supportive of fighting a war with China over the Philippines’ maritime territories.58Micah McCartney, “US Ally Population Favors ‘Military Action’ to Resist China,” Newsweek, February 1, 2024,; Micah McCartney, “Nearly 8 in 10 in Philippines Would Fight Over China-Claimed Territory,” Newsweek, March 13, 2024,,independent%20consulting%20firm%20OCTA%20Research. As President Marcos has publicly stated he could invoke the U.S.-Philippine defense treaty in the event that even one Filipino serviceperson was killed in conflict with a foreign state (China), it appears the potential for U.S. entanglement in a Philippine-Chinese conflict is a matter of when rather than if.59Cliff Harvey Venzon and Ditas B Lopez, “Marcos Says a Death May Trigger US Pact as China Tensions Rise,” Bloomberg, April 14, 2024,

A coercive restraint approach is the most direct means Washington has to prevent conflict escalation between the Philippines and China, primarily as it can compel Manila to moderate its behavior. First and foremost, the Biden administration should condition U.S. security support for Manila with the insistence that it work to de-escalate tensions with Beijing. Rather than encourage Marcos’ foreign policy adventurism, President Biden should insist that Manila prioritize negotiation, dialogue, and crisis de-escalation measures in all its dealings with China and that it work with regional institutions like ASEAN to strengthen multilateral efforts to reduce risk.

Biden should insist that Manila prioritize negotiation, dialogue, and crisis de-escalation measures in all its dealings with China and that it work with regional institutions like ASEAN to strengthen multilateral efforts to reduce risk.

Further, the Biden administration should restrict its defense commitment only to instances of unprovoked aggression, not to conflict scenarios Manila precipitates. Biden should further predicate U.S. security guarantees with the condition that Manila remain committed to the strategic status quo where possible, even where it has not fully realized its national interests. As a corollary to this point, the administration should clarify security assistance is not a means for Manila to pursue a more assertive foreign policy, but rather a pledge to protect it in the event of an unprovoked attack. Should the Philippines ignore these parameters and pursue voluntary action that, while legal, is also provocative, the Biden administration should transparently and predictably withdraw U.S. security support and/or limit the security guarantee.


Following Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to wipe Hamas “off the face of the earth”; a vague strategic objective that has led to an open-ended, unlimited conflict in Gaza resulting in more than 33,000 Palestinian casualties, of which 70 percent were women and children.60Times of Israel, “Pentagon head says over 25,000 women, kids killed in Gaza, inflating Hamas claim,” Times of Israel, February 29, 2024, While IDF leadership contends it takes every measure to lessen civilian casualties, the majority of non-western states, international humanitarian organizations, international human rights groups, and the United Nations reject this proposition and insist that the Netanyahu administration is undertaking a campaign of collective punishment against the Palestinian people, including the use of food as a weapon of war.61Al Jazeera, “Israel Has Brought ‘Relentless Death and Destruction’ to Gaza: UN Chief,” Al Jazeera, April 5, 2024,,Israel%20has%20brought%20’relentless%20death%20and%20destruction’%20to%20Gaza:,aid%20access%20to%20the%20enclave.&text=Israel’s%20military%20campaign%20in%20Gaza,punishment%20of%20the%20Palestinian%20people.%E2%80%9D; As of May 2024, two senior Biden officials—Samantha Power of the USAID and Cindy McCain of the World Food Program—have acknowledged the IDF’s operations have resulted in famine in Gaza.62Noah Lanard “Samantha Power Confirms Famine Is Likely Underway in Parts of Gaza,” Mother Jones, April 11, 2024, The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has found there is plausible evidence the IDF has engaged in genocide against the Palestinian people.63Fatima Al-Kassab, “A Top U.N. Court Says Gaza Genocide Is ‘plausible’ but Does Not Order Cease-fire,” NPR, January 26, 2024,

In parallel to its Gaza operations, the IDF has expanded its extraterritorial attacks against Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian military leadership, including the attack against the consulate section of Iran’s embassy complex in Damascus that killed three senior Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) generals and precipitated an Iranian response.64Farnaz Fassihi, “3 Top Iranian Commanders Are Reported Killed in Israeli Strike in Syria,” New York Times, April 1, 2024,; Emanuel Fabian, “2 Hezbollah commanders killed in IDF strikes as attack drones injure 3 in north,” Times of Israel, April 16, 2024, Analysts are concerned that Netanyahu is seeking to instigate a region-wide conflict that would necessitate direct U.S. involvement, distract from the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and enable him to remain in power despite growing calls across the Israeli public for leadership change.65Mairav Zonszein, “Israel-Iran: How War Helps Netanyahu,” Foreign Policy, April 17, 2024,; Marwan Bishara, “Netanyahu Is Drawing the US Into War With Iran,” Al Jazeera, October 9, 2023, Far from pursuing policies that could lead to a ceasefire or other negotiated outcomes, Netanyahu and his coalition government are clearly intent on escalating the Gaza conflict to a regional war as a matter of political survival and strategic advantage.66Times of Israel, “Gallant speaks to US counterpart about establishing strategic alliance against Iran,” Times of Israel, April 14, 2024,     

Throughout the IDF’s Gaza operations, President Biden has pursued a policy of “rock solid and unwavering” support for Israel. Operationally, the Biden administration moved U.S. military troops into the Middle East, undertook naval patrols into the Red Sea and Mediterranean, conducted missile strikes against militants in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, and sent Special Operations forces to ensure Israel’s national security and to support the IDF campaign in Gaza.67U.S. Department of Defense, “U.S. Military Continues Focus on Supporting Israel, Ukraine,” n.d.,; Jordan Freiman, “How The U.S. Has Increased Its Military Presence in the Middle East Amid Israel-Hamas War,” CBS News, November 7, 2023,; Eric Schmitt, “American Commandos Are in Israel Helping to Locate Hostages, Pentagon Says,” New York Times. October 31, 2023, Tactically, the U.S. provided the IDF with critical means to pursue the fight against Hamas, including emergency weapons, intelligence, and $26 billion in military aid.68Tyler McBrien, “U.S. Intelligence Sharing With Israel Deserves the Same Scrutiny as Arms Transfers,” Lawfare, December 14, 2023,; Times of Israel, “Court orders Netherlands to stop F-35 parts delivery to Israel over war on Hamas,” Times of Israel, February 15, 2024, Diplomatically, the White House vetoed UN resolutions calling for ceasefires, prevented official global censure of Jerusalem’s actions, and opposed South African-led charges of genocide in the ICJ.69Marlise Simons, “U.S. Defends Israel’s Occupation of the West Bank at Top U.N. Court,” New York Times, February 21, 2024,; United Nations, “Security Council Again Fails to Adopt Resolution Demanding Immediate Humanitarian Ceasefire in Gaza on Account of Veto by United States,” United Nation, February 20, 2024, Aside from its global support, the Biden administration has continued its overall support in opposition to the U.S. public, which is increasingly critical of Israel’s military approach and the IDF’s apparent disregard for Palestinian civilian casualties.70Ellen Knickmeyer and Linley Sanders, “Israel-Hamas War: Half of US Adults Say Israel Has Gone Too Far, Poll Shows | AP News,” AP News, February 2, 2024,

American support for Israel has resulted in serious risk and reputational costs... deterioration in non-Western support for the U.S.’ positions is a strategic liability, both weakening Global South states’ support for key U.S. strategic priorities like support for Ukraine and strengthening support for U.S. adversaries.

American support for Israel has resulted in serious risk and reputational costs for the U.S. in the Middle East and internationally, in particular in the Global South countries. Most immediately, the Biden administration’s efforts to advance “regional peace and prosperity”, to “de-escalate regional conflicts”, to support the region’s “rules-based order”, and to structure a more “integrated” Middle East are in tatters, undermined by Washington’s perceived complicity in Israel’s Gaza offensive.71United States Government, “NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY,” White House, 2022,; Paul Adrian Raymond, “Will Unconditional US Support for Israel Harm Its Ties With the Arab World?,” Al Jazeera, October 27, 2023, Biden’s seeming indifference to civilian casualties in Gaza, his administration’s persistent use of its veto on the UN Security Council to insulate Israel from international censure, and his literal embrace of Prime Minister Netanyahu, in particular, have led to further anti-American sentiments across the Arab world, including in extra-regional Muslim majority states such as Indonesia and Malaysia.72Dalya Al Masri, “U.S. ‘losing A Tremendous Amount of Credibility in The Arab World,’ ex-Egyptian Minister Says,” CNBC, December 6, 2023, Among Global South states, criticism of American foreign policy as hypocritical, self-serving, and even racist have grown exponentially, undermining support for U.S. engagement in key strategic regions like Africa, Asia, and Latin America.73Howard W. French, “Biden’s Unquestioning Support for Israel Could Hurt U.S. Interests in the Global South,” Foreign Policy, October 20, 2023,; H.A. Hellyer, “The West Is Losing the Global South Over Gaza,” TIME, November 3, 2023, This deterioration in non-Western support for the U.S.’ positions is a strategic liability, both weakening Global South states’ support for key U.S. strategic priorities like support for Ukraine and strengthening support for U.S. adversaries.74Howard W. French, “Biden’s Unquestioning Support for Israel Could Hurt U.S. Interests in the Global South,” Foreign Policy, October 20, 2023,; Oliver Stuenkel, “Israel-Hamas War: Global South Sees Double Standard in West’s Response to Gaza and Ukraine,” Foreign Policy, November 29, 2023, China, Russia, and Iran, in particular, have used their opposition to U.S. support for Israel and support for Palestinian independence to highlight Western hypocrisy and to deepen their legitimacy across the Global South.75

Christina Lu, “China Leverages Israel-Hamas War to Boost Global South Ties,” Foreign Policy, February 5, 2024,;

Mathias Hammer, “What Russia Hopes to Gain From the Israel-Hamas Conflict,” TIME, October 30, 2023, Suzanne Maloney, “Iran is positioning itself to benefit from the Israel-Gaza conflict,” Financial Times, October 17, 2023,

So do Israel’s ongoing extraterritorial targeting of Hamas and Iranian leadership, including IRGC generals, raise the potential for U.S. entanglement in regional conflicts. In April 2024, for instance, Israeli forces killed seven people at an Iranian consulate in Damascus; an attack the IDF carried out using American-made F-35s. Tehran responded by firing more than 200 missiles, drones, and rockets at Israel; an action that necessitated U.S. intervention to defend Israeli airspace.76Aresu Eqbali, “Iran Says It Warned Allies 72 Hours Before Attack on Israel,” Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2024, Further, the U.S. Navy’s ongoing operations in the Red Sea also bring American soldiers and sailors into direct conflict with the Houthis, including nearly daily exchanges of fire.77Jonathan Lehrfeld, “Navy Destroyer Gravely Takes Out Houthi Drones, Missile in the Red Sea,” Navy Times, April 4, 2024, U.S. soldiers across the Middle East have also come under direct attack because regional actors see them as proxies for the IDF. These ongoing operations are among the most immediate threats U.S. military forces face at present and, as such, constitute the most immediate risk for U.S. involvement in regional conflict.

Therefore, one would be hard-pressed to find a more salient example than U.S. support for Israel of how unconditional American security support—whether in the form of weapons, financial aid, or diplomatic backing—results in negative strategic outcomes. Not only does the U.S. enable Israel to undertake what much of the global community collectively views as war crimes in Gaza, but it also raises the potential for U.S. conflict entanglement in a region from which Washington has spent decades trying to extract its forces. Concurrently, nowhere might one find a more immediate opportunity for the U.S. to impose a policy of coercive restraint than in its relations with Israel, which ranks among the top recipients of U.S. aid on an annual basis. For all the support it provides, Washington should be able to compel Israel to change its behavior through aid conditionality.

Nowhere might one find a more immediate opportunity for the U.S. to impose a policy of coercive restraint than in its relations with Israel, which ranks among the top recipients of U.S. aid on an annual basis... Washington should be able to compel Israel to change its behavior through aid conditionality.

In April 2024, the Biden administration took the first step in what could be a policy of coercive restraint toward Israel, following the IDF’s killing of seven aid workers from the charity World Central Kitchen. After months of policy complacency, President Biden directly threatened to condition U.S. assistance to Israel if it continued blocking food and humanitarian aid into Gaza.78Nick Schifrin and Zeba Warsi, “Biden Warns Israel to Protect Civilians, Aid Workers in Gaza or Risk Losing U.S. Support,” PBS NewsHour, April 5, 2024, The administration further pledged to restrict weapons and ammunition exports to Israel following its invasion of Rafah City; an operation President Biden has long identified as a red line for American support.

Following Iran’s retaliatory strike against Israel, however, Biden also approved an additional $26 billion in aid and once again pledged his “ironclad” support for Israel, despite reports that the Netanyahu administration continues to limit aid to Gaza where famine is now prevalent.79Marie Brockling, “Aid Into Gaza Increased After Israel Killed 7 Workers, but Groups Say They’re Not Celebrating,” NBC News, April 24, 2024, He similarly reiterated his commitment to Israel’s defense—“even when we disagree”—during a speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on May 7, the very day the IDF moved into Rafah.80White House, “Remarks by President Biden at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance Ceremony,” The White House, May 8, 2024, Indeed, less than two weeks after threatening to withhold military aid in response to Israel’s invasion of Rafah, the Biden administration notified the U.S. Congress that it would provide $1 billion in new arms to Israel.81Nancy A. Youssef and Jared Malsin, “Biden Moves Forward on $1 Billion in New Arms for Israel,” Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2024, While Biden clearly understands the linkage between U.S. assistance and influence, it is far from certain whether he is willing to employ it fully to compel Israel to moderate its strategy, operations, or tactics.  

Considering the implications for U.S. national security, however, it is nevertheless useful to consider how the Biden administration might use a coercive restraint approach to change Israel’s behavior in Gaza. Initially, Biden could limit U.S. military assistance to defensive weapons such as missile defense, which is critical for Israel’s domestic security, to compel the IDF to reduce civilian casualties. Biden could, and should, limit any offensive weapons—including artillery, tank shells, and bunker-buster bombs—until the IDF articulates and demonstrates clear changes to its rules of engagement that result in few civilian deaths. Biden could also withhold all or some of the new $26 billion in aid if the Netanyahu administration undertakes an offensive action in Rafah; an operation the administration has repeatedly and publicly opposed. Indeed, Biden could condition any aid provision on Israel’s assurance it will not invade Rafah, thereby preventing rather than punishing the operation. Additionally, the Biden administration should condition U.S. aid to Israel on its immediate cessation of settler violence in the West Bank and on its sustainable and transparent ramp-up of aid provision to the Palestinians in Gaza.82Human Rights Watch, “West Bank: Israel Responsible for Rising Settler Violence,” Human Rights Watch, April 22, 2024, Far from a radical proposal, a coercive restraint approach including these conditions would be compliant with U.S. domestic law which forbids the provision of weapons to any state involved in potential war crimes, or the blocking of humanitarian aid; laws the Biden administration is currently violating.83Ben Samuels, “Democrats Warn Biden: Israel Not in Compliance With U.S. Law as Recipients of Military Aid,” Haaretz.Com, March 23, 2024,

Coercive Restraint and Implications for Deterrence

A potential criticism of a coercive restraint approach is that it would undermine U.S. integrated deterrence; such concerns are, however, ill-founded. Rather than decreasing U.S. deterrence capability, coercive restraint could help address existing shortcomings in the country’s current deterrence posture. Specifically, a coercive restraint policy could strengthen U.S. deterrence across seven areas: ensuring sufficient capacity, creating a credible threat, showing commitment, establishing clear communications, demonstrating rationality, managing perceptions, and establishing proportionality. 

Notably, the Biden administration’s expansive foreign involvement has raised concerns among allies that it is overextended.84Peter Martin, Courtney McBride, and Cindy Wang, “Allies Fear US Is Overextended as Global Conflicts Spread,” Bloomberg, October 27, 2023, The U.S.’ clear struggle to assist Ukraine and Israel simultaneously, in particular, has worried its security partners and emboldened its rivals, particularly China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.85Michael Lee, “Biden Foreign Policy Strategy Opens the Door to China, Other Adversaries, Experts Say,” Fox News, May 22, 2023, Even U.S. policymakers are uncertain about the country’s continued ability to act as a global security provider, seeing it as “ill-prepared” to meet its immediate strategic challenges.86Madelyn R. Creedon et al., AMERICA’S STRATEGIC POSTURE, The Final Report of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, 2023,, pg. vii. Central to all these perceptions is the belief the U.S. lacks the capacity, commitment, and credibility to maintain prolonged overseas operations, particularly in more than one theater and against more than one adversary. Such uncertainty erodes the U.S. ability to deter potential conflict; a core component of its role as a global security provider.

Rather than provide blank cheque security guarantees—which are meaningless in their expansiveness—the U.S. would instead condition its involvement around more restrained parameters, thereby reducing its capacity requirements, increasing its credibility, and reestablishing its commitment.

Introducing a policy of coercive restraint to its security relations would enable Washington to regain credibility as it would reduce the potential for American intervention in a potential conflict. Rather than provide blank cheque security guarantees—which are meaningless in their expansiveness—the U.S. would instead condition its involvement around more restrained parameters, thereby reducing its capacity requirements, increasing its credibility, and reestablishing its commitment. Indeed, as the U.S. lacks the conventional means to manage each and every security challenge its allies and partners might face, a coercive restraint approach predicated on more limited engagement and targeted support is critical.

Coercive restraint can also enable clearer, more proactive communication between the U.S. and its allies, particularly around commitments, conditions, and expectations. Rather than allowing its security partners to determine when, why, and how U.S. security support manifests, Washington can instead clearly delineate its support and dictate the terms under which it will enact such support. Clearer communication also has the added strategic effect of demonstrating U.S. strategic rationality to potential adversary states, including behaviors and circumstances that could trigger a security response. Clearer communication and rationality both enhance U.S. deterrence capability as they help inform allies’ and adversaries’ perceptions while reducing the risk of misperception. Under a policy of coercive restraint, for instance, security partners will understand U.S. support is dependent on their acting with restraint, avoiding escalation where possible, and negotiating peaceful outcomes to potential and/or ongoing crises. Similarly, coercive restraint will lower the risk of misperception between the U.S. and potential aggressor states, as the U.S. position on conflict avoidance as its preferred course of action would be clear. As misperceptions between states are a regular source of conflict, the strategic clarity that comes from a coercive restraint approach has a net positive effect on raising U.S. deterrence capability.87Robert Jervis, Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017).

Lastly, coercive restraint can establish proportionality in U.S. security support, actions, and responses through its commitment to moderation and de-escalation, as well as its aversion to overextension and overcommitment. Rather than committing the U.S. to “unlimited” support of its security partner, coercive restraint would ensure assistance is commensurate with the crisis at hand. And rather than exposing the U.S. to concerns of overextension, coercive restraint would ensure that its security commitments remain moderate, manageable, and credible. These measures would further strengthen U.S. deterrence capabilities.  

Conclusion: Coercive Restraint as a Strategic Asset

Coercive restraint, in its most basic form, represents a paradigm shift in the application of American power by leveraging its security commitments. Rather than enabling its security partners to pursue ambitious agendas, a coercive restraint approach instead employs U.S. security assistance to impose policies of moderation and priorities of de-escalation on its client states. Concurrently, adopting a coercive restraint framework would strengthen the U.S. strategic posture and restore U.S. credibility, thereby raising its overall deterrence capability and reinforcing its role as a global security provider.

Notably, a coercive restraint strategy is not a strategy of appeasement, as some critics will undoubtedly suggest. Indeed, coercive restraint has been a central component of U.S. foreign policy since the country’s founding and has long been treated as an expression of American strength rather than an indication of American weakness. In 1956, for instance, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower compelled Britain, France, and Israel to withdraw their military forces from Egypt and to seek a peace settlement to the Suez Canal crisis, thereby avoiding a conflagration in the Middle East. Eisenhower also used a coercive restraint approach to prevent conflict escalation in the First and Second Taiwan Strait crisis, pressuring Chiang Kai-shek not to retaliate against the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) provocations and undertaking peace negotiations with the Soviet Union and China to de-escalate tensions. In 1973, President Nixon used pressure to restrain Israel during the Yom Kippur War, preventing it from completely destroying the Egyptian Third Army, which enabled a subsequent ceasefire agreement involving Arab states.88John Scherer, “Soviet and American Behavior During the Yom Kippur War,” World Affairs, Vol. 141, No. 1 (1978), pp. 3-23. More recently, various U.S. administrations have restrained South Korea from responding to North Korean provocations with escalatory action, most notably after the 2010 Cheonan Sinking and Yeonpyeong Island Shelling.89Joseph Bermudez, “The Yeonpyeong Island Incident,” 38 North, January 13, 2011,

The Biden administration’s unwillingness to employ coercive restraint on Ukraine, the Philippines, and/or Israel is clearly an ongoing source of instability for America abroad, one that has the potential to entangle the United States in great power conflicts at the regional and global levels.

While hardly a full accounting of coercive restraint-type approaches in U.S. foreign and security policy, these important instances demonstrate how past U.S. presidents have successfully used America’s role as a global security provider to curtail foreign state adventurism, promote peaceful resolutions, ensure regional stability, and prevent U.S. entrapment in localized conflicts. Had American leadership forgone this important tool in its security relations, it is almost certain that each of the above conflicts would have expanded and necessitated U.S. military intervention, up to and including potential nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union. This remains the case today, as the Biden administration’s unwillingness to employ coercive restraint on Ukraine, the Philippines, and/or Israel is clearly an ongoing source of instability for America abroad, one that has the potential to entangle the United States in great power conflicts at the regional and global levels.

One can argue, therefore, that the Biden administration’s rejection of restraint in its security relations is not an expression of American power, but rather the unfortunate product of a U.S. policy that is increasingly out of touch with global dynamics, specifically with respect to a multipolar global system where the United States is no longer the predominant power. Rather than re-envisioning American policy to reflect the strategic realities of a global system with multiple, often competing, power centers and actors, the Biden administration has instead pursued a policy of unconditional U.S. security support to bolster the U.S. alliance network out of concern that anything less would be a mark of American weakness.

This is a mistaken and misguided way to approach U.S. foreign security assistance. Rather than indicating indecisiveness or an unwillingness to defend American interests abroad, a coercive restraint approach demonstrates America’s commitment to global stability and peace, and its ongoing commitment to intervene in unavoidable crises. A coercive restraint strategy does not signal a retreat of American leadership on the global stage; rather, it stems from a recognition that American power undergirds the international order and contributes to stability and balanced relations between states. Whatever Washington stands to lose from implementing a coercive restraint approach, it will gain in legitimacy across the states and regions where its reputation is now clearly diminished. Across the Global South, states are increasingly critical of the Biden administration’s unequal application of American power, up to the point where they now identify China as their strategic partner of choice.90Sharon Seah et al., “The State of Southeast Asia: 2024 Survey Report,” survey report, by ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, ASEAN Studies Centre (ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, April 2, 2024), Pg. 5 A policy of coercive restraint would help restore the view worldwide that the United State is a responsible stakeholder in the existing international order, not a hypocritical actor.

Continued pursuit of a policy predicated on unconditional support for allies will not only embolden them to act in irresponsible and dangerous ways, but also further erode global trust in the United States.

Notably, the adoption of a coercive restraint approach in its security relations would better position the Biden administration to accomplish one of its most ambitious strategic goals: the preservation of the rules-based order. Only by demonstrating its commitment to restraint over aggression, to negotiation over conflict, and to accommodation over confrontation can the United States reclaim its position as the champion of the current global order. Continued pursuit of a policy predicated on unconditional support for allies will not only embolden them to act in irresponsible and dangerous ways, but also further erode global trust in the United States.

Jeffrey Reeves
Jeffrey Reeves
Dr. Jeffrey Reeves is a Senior Washington Fellow at the Institute for Peace & Diplomacy and an Associate Professor of national security at the Naval War College, Naval Postgraduate School.
Panel 4: Pathways to Manage Non-Proliferation in the Middle East (4:30 PM - 5:45 PM ET)

The Western powers have failed to effectively manage the increasing threat of proliferation in the Middle East. While the international community is concerned with Iran’s nuclear program, Saudi Arabia has moved forward with developing its own nuclear program, and independent studies show that Israel has longed possessed dozens of nuclear warheads. The former is a member of the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), while the latter has refused to sign the international agreement. 

On Middle East policy, the Biden campaign had staunchly criticized the Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal and it has begun re-engaging Iran on the nuclear dossier since assuming office in January 2021. However, serious obstacles remain for responsible actors in expanding non-proliferation efforts toward a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. 

This panel will discuss how Western powers and multilateral institutions, such as the IAEA, can play a more effective role in managing non-proliferation efforts in the Middle East.  


Peggy Mason: Canada’s former Ambassador to the UN for Disarmament

Mark Fitzpatrick: Associate Fellow & Former Executive Director, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)

Ali Vaez: Iran Project Director, International Crisis Group

Negar Mortazavi: Journalist and Political Analyst, Host of Iran Podcast

David Albright: Founder and President of the Institute for Science and International Security


Closing (5:45 PM – 6:00 PM ET)

Panel 3: Trade and Business Diplomacy in the Middle East (3:00 PM - 4:15 PM ET)

What is the current economic landscape in the Middle East? While global foreign direct investment is expected to fall drastically in the post-COVID era, the World Bank reported a 5% contraction in the economic output of the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries in 2020 due to the pandemic. While oil prices are expected to rebound with normalization in demand, political instability, regional and geopolitical tensions, domestic corruption, and a volatile regulatory and legal environment all threaten economic recovery in the Middle East. What is the prospect for economic growth and development in the region post-pandemic, and how could MENA nations promote sustainable growth and regional trade moving forward?

At the same time, Middle Eastern diaspora communities have become financially successful and can help promote trade between North America and the region. In this respect, the diaspora can become vital intermediaries for advancing U.S. and Canada’s business interests abroad. Promoting business diplomacy can both benefit the MENA region and be an effective and positive way to advance engagement and achieve foreign policy goals of the North Atlantic.

This panel will investigate the trade and investment opportunities in the Middle East, discuss how facilitating economic engagement with the region can benefit Canadian and American national interests, and explore relevant policy prescriptions.


Hon. Sergio Marchi: Canada’s Former Minister of International Trade

Scott Jolliffe: Chairperson, Canada Arab Business Council

Esfandyar Batmanghelidj: Founder and Publisher of Bourse & Bazaar

Nizar Ghanem: Director of Research and Co-founder at Triangle

Nicki Siamaki: Researcher at Control Risks

Panel 2: Arms Race and Terrorism in the Middle East (12:00 PM - 1:15 PM ET)

The Middle East continues to grapple with violence and instability, particularly in Yemen, Syria and Iraq. Fueled by government incompetence and foreign interventions, terrorist insurgencies have imposed severe humanitarian and economic costs on the region. Meanwhile, regional actors have engaged in an unprecedented pursuit of arms accumulation. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have imported billions of both Western and Russian-made weapons and funded militant groups across the region, intending to contain their regional adversaries, particularly Iran. Tehran has also provided sophisticated weaponry to various militia groups across the region to strengthen its geopolitical position against Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Israel. 

On the other hand, with international terrorist networks and intense regional rivalry in the Middle East, it is impractical to discuss peace and security without addressing terrorism and the arms race in the region. This panel will primarily discuss the implications of the ongoing arms race in the region and the role of Western powers and multilateral organizations in facilitating trust-building security arrangements among regional stakeholders to limit the proliferation of arms across the Middle East.



Luciano Zaccara: Assistant Professor, Qatar University

Dania Thafer: Executive Director, Gulf International Forum

Kayhan Barzegar: Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Science and Research Branch of Azad University

Barbara Slavin: Director of Iran Initiative, Atlantic Council

Sanam Shantyaei: Senior Journalist at France24 & host of Middle East Matters

Panel 1: Future of Diplomacy and Engagement in the Middle East (10:30 AM-11:45 AM ET)

The emerging regional order in West Asia will have wide-ranging implications for global security. The Biden administration has begun re-engaging Iran on the nuclear dossier, an initiative staunchly opposed by Israel, while also taking a harder line on Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen. Meanwhile, key regional actors, including Qatar, Iraq, and Oman, have engaged in backchannel efforts to bring Iran and Saudi Arabia to the negotiating table. From a broader geopolitical perspective, with the need to secure its energy imports, China is also expected to increase its footprint in the region and influence the mentioned challenges. 

In this evolving landscape, Western powers will be compelled to redefine their strategic priorities and adjust their policies with the new realities in the region. In this panel, we will discuss how the West, including the United States and its allies, can utilize multilateral diplomacy with its adversaries to prevent military escalation in the region. Most importantly, the panel will discuss if a multilateral security dialogue in the Persian Gulf region, proposed by some regional actors, can help reduce tensions among regional foes and produce sustainable peace and development for the region. 


Abdullah Baabood: Academic Researcher and Former Director of the Centre for Gulf Studies, Qatar University

Trita Parsi: Executive Vice-President, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

Ebtesam Al-Ketbi: President, Emirates Policy Centre​

Jon Allen: Canada’s Former Ambassador to Israel

Elizabeth Hagedorn: Washington correspondent for Al-Monitor

Panel 4: Humanitarian Diplomacy: An Underused Foreign Policy Tool in the Middle East (4:30 PM - 5:30 PM ET)

Military interventions, political and economic instabilities, and civil unrest in the Middle East have led to a global refugee crisis with an increasing wave of refugees and asylum seekers to Europe and Canada. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has, in myriad ways, exacerbated and contributed to the ongoing security threats and destabilization of the region.

While these challenges pose serious risks to Canadian security, Ottawa will also have the opportunity to limit such risks and prevent a spillover effect vis-à-vis effective humanitarian initiatives in the region. In this panel, we will primarily investigate Canada’s Middle East Strategy’s degree of success in providing humanitarian aid to the region. Secondly, the panel will discuss what programs and initiatives Canada can introduce to further build on the renewed strategy. and more specifically, how Canada can utilize its policy instruments to more effectively deal with the increasing influx of refugees from the Middle East. 



Erica Di Ruggiero: Director of Centre for Global Health, University of Toronto

Reyhana Patel: Head of Communications & Government Relations, Islamic Relief Canada

Amir Barmaki: Former Head of UN OCHA in Iran

Catherine Gribbin: Senior Legal Advisor for International and Humanitarian Law, Canadian Red Cross

Panel 3: A Review of Canada’s Middle East Engagement and Defense Strategy (3:00 PM - 4:15 PM ET)

In 2016, Canada launched an ambitious five-year “Middle East Engagement Strategy” (2016-2021), committing to investing CA$3.5 billion over five years to help establish the necessary conditions for security and stability, alleviate human suffering and enable stabilization programs in the region. In the latest development, during the meeting of the Global Coalition against ISIS, Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau announced more than $43.6 million in Peace and Stabilization Operations Program funding for 11 projects in Syria and Iraq.

With Canada’s Middle East Engagement Strategy expiring this year, it is time to examine and evaluate this massive investment in the Middle East region in the past five years. More importantly, the panel will discuss a principled and strategic roadmap for the future of Canada’s short-term and long-term engagement in the Middle East.


Ferry de Kerckhove: Canada’s Former Ambassador to Egypt

Dennis Horak: Canada’s Former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Chris Kilford: Former Canadian Defence Attaché in Turkey, member of the national board of the Canadian International Council (CIC)

David Dewitt: University Professor Emeritus, York University

Panel 2: The Great Power Competition in the Middle East (12:00 PM - 1:15 PM ET)

While the United States continues to pull back from certain regional conflicts, reflected by the Biden administration’s decision to halt American backing for Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen and the expected withdrawal from Afghanistan, US troops continue to be stationed across the region. Meanwhile, Russia and China have significantly maintained and even expanded their regional activities. On one hand, the Kremlin has maintained its military presence in Syria, and on the other hand, China has signed an unprecedented 25-year strategic agreement with Iran.

As the global power structure continues to shift, it is essential to analyze the future of the US regional presence under the Biden administration, explore the emerging global rivalry with Russia and China, and at last, investigate the implications of such competition for peace and security in the Middle East.


Dmitri Trenin: Director of Carnegie Moscow Center

Joost R. Hiltermann: Director of MENA Programme, International Crisis Group

Roxane Farmanfarmaian: Affiliated Lecturer in International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa, University of Cambridge

Andrew A. Michta: Dean of the College of International and Security Studies at Marshall Center

Kelley Vlahos: Senior Advisor, Quincy Institute

Panel 1: A New Middle East Security Architecture in the Making (10:30 AM -11:45 AM ET)

The security architecture of the Middle East has undergone rapid transformations in an exceptionally short period. Notable developments include the United States gradual withdrawal from the region, rapprochement between Israel and some GCC states through the Abraham Accords and the rise of Chinese and Russian regional engagement.

With these new trends in the Middle East, it is timely to investigate the security implications of the Biden administration’s Middle East policy. In this respect, we will discuss the Biden team’s new approach vis-à-vis Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. The panel will also discuss the role of other major powers, including China and Russia in shaping this new security environment in the region, and how the Biden administration will respond to these powers’ increasing regional presence.



Sanam Vakil: Deputy Director of MENA Programme at Chatham House

Denise Natali: Acting Director, Institute for National Strategic Studies & Director of the Center for Strategic Research, National Defense University

Hassan Ahmadian: Professor of the Middle East and North Africa Studies, University of Tehran

Abdulaziz Sagar: Chairman, Gulf Research Center

Andrew Parasiliti: President, Al-Monitor