Middle East & North Africa

1301 Items

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is surrounded by security people as he waves to cheering crowds just before he leaves Ben Gurion Airport for Jerusalem, Nov. 19, 1977.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Sadat and the Road to Jerusalem: Bold Gestures and Risk Acceptance in the Search for Peace

    Author:
  • Shahin Berenji
| Summer 2020

Recently declassified archival documents offer new insight into Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat’s decision to accelerate the peace process with Israel by visiting Jerusalem. The historical evidence provides strong support for a prospect-theory explanation of Sadat’s bold diplomatic initiative.

Screenshot from the BeAware Bahrain app launched by the Bahrain Information & eGovernment Authority.

Bahrain IGA

Analysis & Opinions - The Cipher Brief

Lessons From Bahrain’s Response to COVID-19

| June 17, 2020

If you’re looking for some all too rare good news from the Middle East these days, consider Bahrain’s exceptional incident response to COVID-19.  Having become well practiced in defending itself against Iran’s pernicious attacks, Bahrain was prepared for dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19, for which Iran was also responsible.

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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, listens to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during their meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Thursday, May 17, 2018.

Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Russia’s Scavenger Diplomacy Is in Full Effect in the Middle East

| May 08, 2020

While most of the world has been on lockdown from the novel coronavirus, the wars and political machinations of the Middle East have continued. Amid this turmoil, Russia has been making steady progress in what State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus described as its “malign engagement” in the region.

President Donald Trump, joined by from left, Gen. David Berger, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and Gen. Joseph M. Martin, pauses as he speaks to media during a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Paradoxes of Professionalism: Rethinking Civil-Military Relations in the United States

    Author:
  • Risa Brooks
| Spring 2020

The U.S. military’s prevailing norms of military professionalism are poorly suited to meet today’s civil-military challenges. They undermine the military’s nonpartisan and apolitical ethos, weaken civilian leaders' control of military activity, and undercut the country’s strategic effectiveness in armed conflict.

teaser image

Staff Spotlight: Julia Martin

| Spring 2020

To say that the Middle East Initiative (MEI) has shaped Julia Martin’s life would be an understatement. When she was a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School, Julia invited a friend to join her for an MEI film screening of The Band’s Visit. Amr accepted. Before long, they became husband and wife, and they are now raising three children together. 

Today, Julia serves as MEI’s Assistant Director, managing its programs, budgets, and strategic planning.