Thursday, December 20, 2018

It’s hard for me to characterize President Trump’s intention to quickly withdraw US forces from Syria other than as a retreat ceding ground to the Assad regime, Russia, Turkey, Iran, and its militias. Although the stated mission of the force has been to defeat ISIS and train Syrian and Kurdish forces to maintain stability in the region east of the Euphrates, it has done much more in that its presence has restored a degree of normalcy to the region that has been lacking since ISIS imposed its rule.

The decision has not gone down easily with Administration officials or with members of the Republican Party. The New York Times reported that “Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other senior national security officials have tried to dissuade Mr. Trump from a wholesale troop withdrawal, arguing that...

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

It is winter, and refugees in the Middle East face challenges ranging from access to heat, water, food, and shelter, to securing health and social services that enable them to survive. At this time of year, dozens of appeals for help come into my mail and email boxes from NGOs and others committed to sustaining some measure of dignity for the refugees and their host communities through providing essential services to support them and give their lives a sense of renewal and relief.

I have been fortunate to know several of these organizations first-hand through their work in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Jordan, and efforts elsewhere in Morocco, Yemen, and Tunisia. I am both heart-broken and heartened by their stories and their programs, and want to highlight the efforts of one such organiza...

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The American Task Force for Lebanon mourns the loss of President George H.W. Bush and remembers him for his vision and strength in foreign policy and leadership in global affairs. ATFL honors his memory.

In a letter to ATFL written in 1991, the President wrote: 

"I believe that our country has a special responsibility to lead in the world -- to encourage and guide, by word, deed, and example -- all those struggling to escape tyranny and oppression. Meeting that duty has sometimes required courage and sacrifice[...] Nevertheless, America is willing to do the hard work of freedom."

We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of President George H.W. Bush.

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