Middle East & North Africa

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Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Does the U.S. Have the Wrong Middle East Strategy?

| Dec. 11, 2019

Events in the Middle East tend to have serious policy implications for the United States given the range of important U.S. economic, political, counterterrorism, and broader military interests in the region. Although there is a healthy debate to be had about where the Middle East might fit into a potential recalibration or rebalancing of U.S. global priorities, at this juncture I don’t believe it would be in U.S. interests to turn its back on the region’s crises and just hope for the best. 

A North Korean military parade (Stefan Krasowski via Flickr).

Stefan Krasowski via Flickr

Journal Article - Defense and Security Analysis

An Evolving State of Play? Exploring Competitive Advantages of State Assets in Proliferation Networks

| Jan. 17, 2019

Illicit procurement networks often target industry in developed economies to acquire materials and components of use in WMD and military programs. These procurement networks are ultimately directed by elements of the proliferating state and utilize state resources to undertake their activities: diplomats and missions, state intelligence networks, and state-connected logistical assets. These state assets have also been utilized to facilitate the export of WMD and military technologies in breach of sanctions. While used in most historic proliferation cases, their role has seen limited consideration in the scholarly literature. This article seeks to systematically contextualize state resources in proliferation networks, arguing that their use lies between state criminality and routine activity in support of national security. Considering the competitive advantages of these assets compared to similar resources available in the private sector, the article argues that nonproliferation efforts have caused states to change how they use these resources through an ongoing process of competitive adaptation.

Photo of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince bin Salman

(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

The Saudi Engine of Repression Continues to Run at Full Speed

| Jan. 10, 2019

One hundred days after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pressing ahead with anti-dissident campaigns and remains in regular contact with Saud al-Qahtani, the media adviser whom the CIA believes helped organize Khashoggi’s killing, according to U.S. and Saudi sources.

Mounted Israeli police disperse Ultra orthodox protesters

AP/Ariel Schalit

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

For the First Time, Israel Faces an Adversary Too Powerful to Be Defeated

| Jan. 09, 2019

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently outlined a draft version of a vision for Iran for the next fifty years. Chuck Freilich adopts a similar long-term approach for Israel by outlining foreign and defense objectives as well as national objectives in domestic affairs.

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets with his counterpart Turkish Army Gen. Yasar Güler, chief of the Turkish General Staff, at the Turkish General Staff building in Ankara, Turkey, Jan. 8, 2019.

Dominque A. Pineiro/ US Department of Defense

Analysis & Opinions - BBC News

Turkey and the US Clash Over Syria

| Jan. 08, 2019

Turkey and the US have been at loggerheads over Syria in the wake of President Trump's decision to pull US troops out of the country. The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that the US national security adviser, John Bolton, had made a serious mistake in suggesting the withdrawal was conditional on Ankara agreeing to security guarantees for US-backed Kurdish fighters.