Middle East & North Africa

605 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.

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 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.

Marine One, with President Donald Trump aboard, lifts off above a member of the U.S. Secret Service

AP/Patrick Semansky

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

An Abysmal Failure of Leadership

| May 07, 2020

During times of crisis, the most effective leaders are those who can build solidarity by educating the public about its own interests. Sadly, in the case of COVID-19, the leaders of the world's two largest economies have gone in the opposite direction, all but ensuring that the crisis will deepen.

In this photo taken on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, members of the Kurdish internal security forces stand on their vehicle in front of a giant poster showing portraits of fighters killed fighting against the Islamic State group, in Manbij, north Syria. Manbij, a mixed Arab and Kurdish town of nearly 400,000, was liberated from Islamic State militants in 2016 by the YPG fighters with backing from U.S-led coalition airstrikes. With Turkey's threats, the town has become the axle for U.S. policy in Syria, threate

(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Political Power of Proxies: Why Nonstate Actors Use Local Surrogates

| Spring 2020

Unlike state sponsors, which value proxies primarily for their military utility, nonstate sponsors use proxies mainly for their perceived political value. An analysis of three case studies—al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the People’s Protection Units in Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon—illustrates this argument.