Middle East & North Africa

643 Items

The Panama-flagged, Japanese owned oil tanker Kokuka Courageous, that the U.S. Navy says was damaged by a limpet mine, is anchored off Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, during a trip organized by the Navy for journalists, Wednesday, June 19, 2019.

AP Photo/Fay Abuelgasim

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

The Last Time a ‘Tanker War’ Broke Out in the Persian Gulf, It Lasted for Years

| June 14, 2019

As tensions mounted between the United States and Iran, European nations pressed for a calm response, fearing that any escalation could disrupt trade through the region’s vital Strait of Hormuz, which carries up to a third of global crude oil exports traded via ships. If the strait is blocked or trade there is disrupted by conflict, analysts predict oil prices would surge.

Iranian parliamentarians dressing in IRGC uniforms to demonstrate solidarity  following the Trump administration's terrorist designation of the organization.

IRNA

Analysis & Opinions

The Iran–U.S. Escalation: Causes and Prospects

| June 09, 2019

Despite the continuing debate in Tehran, the principle of “no negotiation under pressure” with the United States remains a consensual principle among all members of the current regime. The Supreme Leader has expressed this position by stating that the negotiations with the Trump administration are “double poison”. While Iran’s regional enemies are pushing for confrontation, the international community remains supportive of Tehran’s political position, as long as it stays committed to the nuclear deal. Existing indicators do not point at any willingness for confrontation from either side – at least at the moment. And although some regional actors have attempted to pacify the tension, the prospects for a truce remain unlikely within the current context.

Crew member looks at a taxing F/A-18 fighter jet on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier

AP Photo/Jon Gambrell

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Trump’s Twists on Confronting Iran Confound Allies in Europe

| June 07, 2019

President Trump and his aides have sent a dizzying, seemingly conflicting set of messages to Iran in recent weeks, ordering more troops to the Middle East and a carrier to the Arabian Sea as military threats even while declaring that Washington is seeking new negotiations, not war.

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Journal Article - Journal of Conflict Resolution

Sovereignty Rupture as a Central Concept in Quantitative Measures of Civil War

| May 27, 2019

Empirical studies of the causes or consequences of civil war often use measures that do not correspond to theory and results are sensitive to small changes in the coding of civil wars. Civil war is an instance of “sovereignty rupture” and is inherently a polity-level phenomenon, but that understanding of civil war is not reflected in data in which civil war is coded as a dyadic conflict—the state fighting a domestic challenger. We demonstrate the consequences of conceptual ambiguity about which conflicts to code as civil war and when to code the start and end of a civil war. Using a new data set of civil wars from 1945 to 2016 that is consistent with the concept of sovereignty rupture, we replicate several studies and find that their results are often overturned or weakened when we use our data. We advocate for greater deliberateness in data selection in civil war studies, focusing on the fit between the question of interest and the concept of civil war that is underlying a given data set.