My name is Kyle W. Orton. I work as a freelance researcher, writer, and editor. I can be found on Twitter here.
My work, on this blog and elsewhere, has mostly focused on the war in Syria, particularly the political dynamics, which has involved the activities of a number of outside states, Iran, Russia, and Turkey most obviously.
I have also focused on the terrorist groups that have either arisen or entered the Syrian theatre of war, both the Islamist groups like the Islamic State and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and the secular terrorists like the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). A lot of work has focused on the biographies and structure of the groups, as well as their ideology, intent, and practice.
I have written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, UnHerd, Newsweek, European Eye on Radicalization, NOW Lebanon, The International Business Times, The Independent, The New Arab, and a number of others. Media appearances can be found here.
Between March 2016 and January 2018, I worked as a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank.
I was a a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward between September 2015 and March 2016.
After a misbegotten degree in zoology (biology), I completed a social science Masters at Liverpool University that comprised elements of geopolitics, history, and practical skills in running a humanitarian program, the logical end-point of which would be work with a non-governmental organisation. My thesis involved working in Lebanon on the healthcare system for the Syrian refugees.
Having long been interested in the Arab world, and especially in ways that it might be reformed, I was very interested when the rebellions came to the region at the end of 2010, and followed the course of this “Arab Spring” from its inception. The carnage in Syria and its obvious importance of that for the whole region led to it becoming my primary focus.