Middle East & North Africa

1119 Items

President-Elect Joe Biden

AP/Susan Walsh

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

How Will Biden Intervene?

| Jan. 05, 2021

Broadly defined, intervention refers to actions that influence the domestic affairs of another sovereign state, and they can range from broadcasts, economic aid, and support for opposition parties to blockades, cyber attacks, drone strikes, and military invasion. Joseph Nye asks: Which ones will the U.S. president-elect favor?

President-elect Joe Biden and his climate envoy, John Kerry, at The Queen theater.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

What Does Success Look Like for a Climate Czar?

| Dec. 02, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden’s decision to create a new cabinet-level position for climate-related issues — and to choose so prominent a figure as former Secretary of State John Kerry to fill it — demonstrates Biden’s sincerity over putting climate at the very center of U.S. foreign policy. It is easy to understate the importance of this appointment, given the flurry of czars created by most new administrations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a video call with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Shoigu reported to Putin that the Defense Ministry plans to complete clinical tests of a coronavirus vaccine next month. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

AP Photo/Alexei Druzhinin

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Putin, Putinism, and the Domestic Determinants of Russian Foreign Policy

    Author:
  • Michael McFaul
| Fall 2020

Why did Russia’s relations with the West shift from cooperation a few decades ago to a new era of confrontation today? Tracing the causal influence of domestic determinants—individuals (President Vladimir Putin), ideas (Putinism), and institutions (autocracy)—reveals Putin’s significant influence in the making of Russian foreign policy.

a Syrian army tank firing during a battle against Islamic State militants in Deir el-Zour

SANA via AP, File

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

The Death and Life of Terrorist Networks

| Oct. 05, 2020

The authors explain why over recent decades, militant groups with the kind of vast international network of affiliates, allies, and supporters that ISIS has assembled have proved difficult to defeat. Alliances have helped ISIS expand and gain influence in good times and have relieved pressure by deflecting attention toward affiliates in bad times. 

Protesters kneel

AP/Patrick Semansky

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Revolutions Happen. This Might Be Ours.

| June 16, 2020

Stephen Walt writes that political institutions are not permanent phenomena: they are artificial human creations and only as enduring, adaptive, and effective as people make them. He hopes for a serious and sustained process of democratic change, one that respects the nobler features of the U.S. constitutional order yet addresses all the ways in which The United States has failed to live up to its own professed ideals. The alternative, he fears, will be something much more dangerous. 

A satellite view of Djibouti, showing the U.S. Navy’s Camp Lemonnier (bottom) and the People’s Liberation Army Support Base (top).

2020 Google Earth / Maxar Technologies, used with permission.

Paper

Cooperation, Competition, or Both? Options for U.S. Land Forces vis-à-vis Chinese Interests in Africa

| June 2020

This paper responds to a topic from the Army War College’s Key Strategic Issues List, 2018-2020: Evaluate the ramifications of China’s and/or Russia’s interests in Africa for U.S. land forces and suggest options, both to compete and to cooperate, to further U.S. interests.

While U.S. land forces may benefit from competition or cooperation with Chinese elements in Africa, I judge that they possess limited agency to compete or cooperate in the context of these definitions. Therefore, I will take a whole-of-government approach to furthering U.S. interests in Africa vis-à-vis China.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

State Dept. Investigator Fired by Trump Had Examined Weapons Sales to Saudis and Emiratis

| May 18, 2020

The State Department inspector general fired by President Trump on Friday was in the final stages of an investigation into whether the administration had unlawfully declared an “emergency” last year to allow the resumption of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their air war in Yemen.

A large refugee camp on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near the town of Atma, in Syria’s Idlib province, April 19, 2020.

AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed

Paper

Syria Redux: Preventing the Spread of Violent Extremism Through Weaponized Populations and Mobile Safehavens

| May 2020

The resurgence of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the next evolution of violent extremist ideology will undoubtedly flow from this region. Regional and global actors have protracted the conflict and stymied the peace process. This paper is not an exposé on the plight of Syrian refugees nor is a plea to rebuild Syria. Instead, this paper discusses the national security threat components of weaponized populations and mobile safe havens used by violent extremist organizations and offers policy recommendations to support a long-term strategy to reduce violence in the region, contain these new threats, and set conditions for reconciliation and peace.