The electoral battle is finally over, leaving shock and awe in its wake. It is too soon to make specific predictions, but some of the president-elect's early appointments of hardline insiders give one pause. Perhaps a seasoned diplomat will win the State Department post, but the individuals mentioned so far include some with little experience in international affairs.
Chas W. Freeman, Jr., James Zogby, Ilan Goldenberg, Gerald F. Hyman
The following is a transcript of the eighty-sixth in a series of Capitol Hill conferences convened by the Middle East Policy Council. The meeting was held at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2016, with Richard J. Schmierer, chairman of the board of directors of the Middle East Policy Council moderating, and Thomas R. Mattair, executive director of the Middle East Policy Council, serving as discussant. The video can be accessed at www.mepc.org.
Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Souza
September 30, 2016, marked the first anniversary of Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to involve his nation militarily in the Syrian conflict on the side of Moscow's longtime ally, the Assad regime. According to initial Russian Defense Ministry statements and Putin himself, the mission had the primary objective of joining the U.S.-led coalition in fighting ISIS.
The occupation of the Iraqi city of Mosul by the Islamic State (IS)1 has become an issue of global importance. The liberation of the city is seen as a symbol for defeating IS in Iraq, and there is international pressure to achieve this. Both the Obama administration and the prime minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, have been pushing for the liberation of Mosul for political reasons.2 There is the perception that Obama would like to end his term on a high, and victory over IS in Iraq would provide just that, at least temporarily.
One of the most puzzling developments since the watershed event of 9/11 and the onset of the U.S.-led Global War on Terror (GWOT) is the expansion of the jihadi movement in the Arab world. This has taken place despite serious efforts to prevent it from happening. Massive investments in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency by a U.S.-led international coalition, in cooperation with regional partners, have included the entire spectrum of instruments available in the state toolbox.
Sally Khalifa Isaac
In analyzing European policies and instruments towards the southern Mediterranean area, previous academic and policy-oriented writings have mostly highlighted the security-democracy dilemma in European Union (EU) foreign policy.
The terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, but also recent attacks in Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and Iraq, show once more that we are confronted with threats that are global. …We have to build together a safer environment. …This is precisely the purpose of the current review of the ENP.
The signing of the UN-brokered Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) in December 2015 and the subsequent establishment in March 2016 of a Government of National Accord (GNA), led by technocrat Fayez al-Sarraj, have raised hopes. Perhaps a two-year conflict that has divided the country between two rival parliaments and governments, each allied with armed actors, will finally be brought to an end and Libya's stalled transition resumed.
Michael M. Gunter
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — Turkey's current president (elected 2014) and former prime minister (2003-14) — in his first decade in power, won three parliamentary elections by ever-larger shares of the popular vote because he had helped to build Turkey into a burgeoning economic powerhouse and a moderate Islamic democracy.
M. Hakan Yavuz and Rasim Koç
When the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, it encountered major resistance from state institutions, especially the secularist military, due to its Islamist roots and anti-secular rhetoric. In an effort to counter the military and control state institutions, then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appointed followers of Fethullah Gülen to key government positions. This administrative support from the Gülen movement enabled the AKP to govern the country and closely monitor the military with the help of the police force.
They have a combined annual cost of $700 million, have been around for decades, are staffed by 14,000 soldiers and civilians and today do not seem to be accomplishing much of anything. What are they? The four peacekeeping operations (PKOs) in and around Israel. Put another way, why do all four of these operations continue to exist if there is currently so little peace to keep?
Noam Chomsky is an encyclopedic scholar who tirelessly researches the political and economic facts of our world and then, just as tirelessly, lays them out for the educated public in books, articles and public talks.
The Pandora's box of the Arab Spring has spawned political unrest, ethnic hatred and sectarian violence in the Arab world. Syria, specifically, has become a core point of focus due to its unique sociopolitical and religious history.
During Richard Nixon's visit to China in 1972, Premier Zhou Enlai famously declined to answer a question about the historical impact of the French Revolution, protesting that it was still too early to draw firm conclusions.
"For the moment, ISIS is ascendant.
Mohannad Sabry's book is a comprehensive analysis that substantially illuminates the sociopolitical conditions and developments in the Sinai Peninsula, an area which, until February 2011, suffered from an almost absolute media blackout.