Opposition fighters in rebel held eastern Libya say they are preparing to launch another major offensive against Muammar Gaddafi.
Middle East & North Africa Archive
Israel-Cyprus Maritime Border Deal Fuels Mediterranean Energy Tensions
The announcement this week that Israel’s cabinet approved a new maritime demarcation agreement with Cyprus may pave the way for Israel to start tapping prized offshore oil and gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean. But it also exacerbates an already tense geopolitical standoff between Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Cyprus surrounding the energy reserves, which, though relatively small compared to those in the Persian Gulf, are estimated to be worth billions. “You’ve got all the ingredients for a problem,” says James M. Dorsey, a World Politics Review contributor and senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute. […]
The American embassy in Baghdad — already the world’s largest — has been expanding as the U.S. transitions from a military to a civilian-led mission in Iraq. On Sunday, the United States opened on a consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil.
Since the 1980s, the Kurdish separatist group Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan (PKK), labeled as a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States, has been one of the main threats to Turkey’s domestic security. The PKK lost momentum after the group’s leader, Abdullah Ocalan, was captured in 1999. But since 2003, the turmoil resulting from military operations in Iraq has facilitated the creation of a new safe haven for PKK bases in the Qandil mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan. In the past few years, clashes between Turkish security forces and PKK militants have been interrupted only by sporadic and […]
Nearly five months after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime, thousands of Egyptians converged on Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday to urge the nation’s new military rulers to speed up democratic reforms.
The announcement this week of a Somali terror suspect’s transfer to U.S. federal court came just after reports of the U.S. drone war’s expansion into Somalia. Both developments highlight the growing U.S. counterterrorism interest in Somalia and raise questions about how it might be expected to impact the country’s 20-year-old civil war. “American strategy in Somalia has not always matched up with the reality on the ground, and at the moment the reality is shifting very quickly there,” says David Axe, an independent correspondent and World Politics Review contributor who has reported from Somalia. A leading concern for the U.S. […]
Several soldiers from Yemen’s elite Republican Guard, meant to be the most loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, say they have defected to the opposition.
A stalemate has set in between President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress over the president’s authority to initiate and continue combat operations against Libya. This should surprise no one. The limits on the president’s constitutional authority to wage war are as uncertain today as they were when the Constitution was ratified. Complicating this uncertainty is that pesky law passed by Congress in 1973 over President Richard Nixon’s veto: the War Powers Resolution (WPR). Enacted in response to the widespread belief that it had become far too easy for a president to commit the nation to war, the WPR sought […]
Robert Gates could boast a remarkable public service career when he retired from the Pentagon on July 1. In addition to his other contributions, Gates was the only defense secretary to have overseen two different wars serving under two presidents of two different parties. His solid if low-key Republican credentials and reputation as a prudent hawk helped depoliticize national security issues during and well beyond the presidential transition from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. These qualities also helped Obama avoid the kinds of problems experienced by President Bill Clinton, the previous Democratic president whose clashes with senior military officers […]
In the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima disaster, many in the West have begun to question the wisdom of extending the lives of existing nuclear power plants as well as building new ones. But rising powers in Asia and developing countries in the Middle East have shown little desire to turn away from plans to develop nuclear energy. In this Special Report, World Politics Review examines the shifting nuclear landscape through articles published over the past 16 months. Below are links to each article in this special report, which subscribers can read in full. Subscribers can also download a .pdf version […]
Amateur video shows Syrian protesters coming under attack by what appears to be plainclothes security forces. And while the Syrian army continues its tank-led assault in the region, the situation along the border with Turkey remains calm after Syrian troops shot dead 11 villagers.
Israel’s proposal for a special naval court to confiscate ships may be an attempt to deter future pro-Palestinian flotillas from bringing aid to Gaza. But it prompted a fresh round of debate over how far Israel can go with its naval blockade before breaching international law. According to U.S. Navy Commander James Kraska, a professor of International Law at the Naval War College in Rhode Island and a contributor to World Politics Review, the answer is pretty far. “Under the law of blockade, nations can seize vessels that fail to ‘heave to’ in order to allow for the belligerent right […]
At a recent meeting in Beijing, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie agreed to increase bilateral defense cooperation. In an email interview, Yitzhak Shichor, a professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Haifa, discussed China-Israel relations. WPR: What is the recent history of Israel-China relations? Yitzhak Shichor: Sino-Israeli relations in the first decade of the 21st century reflect what I call “mutual disillusionment.” Earlier Chinese expectations that Israel would become a major source of advanced military and security technologies for China have failed. Similarly, Israeli expectations that China would become a […]