Among the many recent changes reshaping the Middle East’s political topography, one of the most striking has come not from masses of protesters chanting in the streets or from armed rebels fighting for change, but from suit-and-tie diplomats and politicians flexing their muscles in an effort to prove to various audiences just how strong they and their country are. That is how the decades-old alliance between Israel and Turkey, one of the defining features of what now seems a bygone era in the Middle East, is collapsing: in a muddle of acrimony and recrimination. The growing friction has been exacerbated […]
Middle East & North Africa Archive
Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series on the impact of Sept. 11 on U.S. foreign policy. Part I examines the militarization of U.S. foreign policy following Sept. 11. Part II will examine ways to reverse this trend. On Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in the single deadliest terrorist attack in American history — the work, not of a foreign army, but of al-Qaida, a nonstate actor. The U.S. wasted little time in responding. The Taliban government in Afghanistan that had provided safe haven for the terrorist group was quickly deposed by a combination […]
As Somalia struggles with a devastating famine, Need to Know (PBS) takes a rare look inside Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, a city struggling from decades of civil war, Islamist militants, famine and piracy, to learn more about how the nation came to be in the state it’s in today.
Iran’s offer this week to allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors “full supervision” of its nuclear activities appeared, initially at least, to represent a softening of what for the past two years has been the country’s obstructionist posture toward the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency. However, according to James M. Acton, a senior associate with the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the offer was actually made as part of a strategy designed to prevent the IAEA from issuing a resolution condemning Iran’s failure to address questions about potentially militarized aspects of its nuclear program. “The fundamental […]
With Twitter revolutions, state-sponsored hacking and the Stuxnet virus driving rapid change in the cyber-age battlefield, this World Politics Review special report examines the state of cyber power through articles published in the past year. Below are links to each article in this special report, which subscribers can read in full. Not a subscriber? Purchase this document for Kindle or as a PDF from Scribd. Or subscribe now. Cyber Power and Conflict Power in the 21st CenturyBy Joseph S. Nye, Jr.March 22, 2011 Evolutions in Asymmetric CyberpowerBy Chris C. Demchak April 19, 2011 Re-Categorizing Cyber ConflictBy Eric Sterner July 8, […]
In two recently leaked voice recordings, former Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Isik Kosaner is heard commenting about the ongoing “Sledgehammer” case, in which several Turkish military officers have been accused of plotting a coup. On the tapes, Kosaner also bluntly questions the effectiveness of the Turkish armed forces in their fight against the separatist Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan (PKK), labeled as a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and the U.S. Critics of the military’s traditionally strong role in Turkish politics immediately highlighted the news, speculating on Kosaner’s integrity and mental health, the military’s alleged hidden political agenda […]
Ending a months-long dispute over oil payments, Iran has now resumed oil shipments to India, with Turkey stepping in as a key facilitator to resolve the impasse. Turkey’s Halkbank is currently routing Indian oil payments to Iran that had been blocked by U.S. sanctions; according to reports, more than 80 percent of the $5 billion in accumulated arrears have been cleared. The tripartite arrangement, which comes amid regional tensions over Syria’s future, indicates that India and its overall energy interests are emerging as a key variable in the strategic calculus of Middle Eastern capitals. Previously characterized mainly by drift, the […]
Fresh from the battle to take Tripoli, fighters from Libya’s opposition have set up camp on the outskirts of Bani Walid. The town is a stronghold of former leader Muammar Gadhafi, and the hunt is on to find him.
Riots, like those that wracked the U.K. last month, tend to be portrayed as either righteous rebellions of the oppressed or mere criminality. The truth is that riots are propelled by a complex mixture of political motivations and the enjoyment by everyday people of the power to loot and otherwise transgress without punishment. The spectacle of British police losing the tactical advantage to swarms of electronically networked rioters amid general government paralysis does not bode well for a future in which economic austerity collides with raw public anger. Politics is about power, and containment of the crowd is a core […]