The Cipher Brief Daily Podcast

Get a daily rundown of the top security stories and previews of the exclusive content available on The Cipher Brief. The Promises and Perils of Syrian Kurdistan | Fritz Lodge, The Cipher Brief As the battle against ISIS continues in the east, the political leadership of Syrian Kurdistan – the Democratic Union Party (PYD) – is quietly building a miniature state in northern Syria, or “Rojava” in Kurdish, based on the unique ideology of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. Expert Commentary Rethinking the U.S. Alliance with Kurdish Fighters in Syria | James Jeffrey, Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Turkey The U.S. must rethink relations with its highly problematic but effective ally in the ISIS fight – the Syrian Kurdish PYD – but focus on equities with Turkey as well as the overall U.S. mission in the region, facing Russian-assisted Iranian expansion. Leftist Secularism Faces Uncertain Future in Kurdish Rojava | Amberin Zaman, Columnist, Al Monitor "It’s too early to pass judgment on how successful the PYD model has been. First of all, it’s operating in a vacuum, it’s a conflict situation so people are far more tolerant of everything that doesn’t work as long as they receive security and some basic services. For as long as we’re in a conflict situation, we have no ways of measuring the success or lack thereof of this model."