From the Congressional Research Service, a report on Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response. The new Arab order: Power and violence in today’s Middle East. Iraq’s post-ISIS campaign of revenge: The corruption and cruelty of the state’s response to suspected jihadis and their families seem likely to lead to the resurgence of the terror group. Is major realignment taking place in the Middle East? Why Turkey is pivoting toward Iran and Russia. Syria’s last bastion of freedom: Amid the brutal civil war, a town fought off the regime and the fundamentalists and dared to hold an election — can its experiment in democracy survive? Muhammad Idrees Ahmad on how Assad made truth a casualty of war.

Christopher Rossi (Iowa): Game of Thrones: The Qatar Crisis and Forced Expulsions on the Arabian Peninsula. Beth Van Schaack (Stanford): Transitional Justice Pre-Transition: The International Community’s Efforts in Syria. The case for leaving Syria: With the military and various domestic programs facing budget cuts, the United States shouldn’t be throwing more money at the Middle East. Can a new president and prime minister solve Iraq’s broken politics? The next Arab uprising: Marwan Muasher on the collapse of authoritarianism in the Middle East. “Ideas cannot be killed with weapons”: Why the assassination of Raed Fares, Syria’s most prominent citizen journalist, matters.

Michael P. Scharf (Case Western): Striking a Grotian Moment: How the Syria Airstrikes Changed International Law Relating to Humanitarian Interventions. The Great Game in West Asia examines the strategic competition between Iran and Turkey for power and influence in the South Caucasus. What elections in Iran can teach us about voting in the United States. Are U.S. troops really leaving Syria? No one knows what’s happening with Trump’s Syria decision.

Tom Stern (UCL): Must We Choose between Real Nietzsche and Good Philosophy? A Streitschrift. In tiny Bhutan, known for its pursuit of happiness, democracy brings discontent. Facebook caps off 2018 with yet another massive privacy scandal. Amazon and Facebook reportedly had a secret data-sharing agreement, and it explains so much. The Green New Deal is good for the planet — and the Democratic Party: Democrats can no longer get away with offering milquetoast solutions. Where does the Democratic Left go from here? There is no one to cheer for in the potential battle between Jordan Peterson and Slavoj Zizek. Why were so many journalists murdered in 2018? Nevada becomes first state with majority female legislature.

Inside Venezuela’s YouTube prank economy: Luke Winkie on why some people are paying strangers on Fiverr $5 to slime themselves. Rebecca Traister on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the imagined threat of a woman who governs like a man. Elisabeth Eaves on a highly hackable US biodefense system. Here comes the 2020 election interference — it will be worse. New York already has thousands of Amazon workers — and some are unionizing to demand better conditions. The concept creep of “emotional labor”: The term has become a central part of an important conversation about the division of household work — but the sociologist who coined it says it’s being used incorrectly.