October 30, 2014

UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES IN THE SERVICE OF THE ISRAEL AIR FORCE:

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), often referred to colloquially as drones, can claim a lineage that dates back to the dawn of air warfare. Though quite rare in comparison to the enormous numbers of manned aircraft involved in the first and second world wars, UAVs participated in both conflicts, especially the latter, mainly as attack vehicles armed with high-explosive warheads. Not until the Vietnam War, however, did drones really find a defined niche on the battlefield, when the United States … [Read more...]

THE NETHERLANDS, THE MIDDLE EAST, AND THE 2010 PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS

barry-rubin

INTRODUCTION   The Netherlands is about to provide Europe with an important experiment: Can a center-right government manage  an overblown welfare state, nationally suicidal multiculturalism, and virtually open-door immigration policies in a way that can maintain popular support and solve problems? After months of negotiations failed to bring about a coalition government across the spectrum, a new government has finally been formed. The partners are the People's Party for Freedom and … [Read more...]

IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR PEACEBUILDING IN AFGHANISTAN?

Peace, security, and stability continue to evade Afghanistan despite the presence of over 100,000 foreign troops and a burgeoning Afghan national army and police force.[1] In addition, even though the country has received billions in aid and assistance, its social, economic, and political systems remain in a dire state,[2] with Afghans themselves showing little faith in the reconstruction efforts.[3]The U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, supported by the international community,[4] had … [Read more...]

SAUDI ARABIA AND THE NEW STRATEGIC LANDSCAPE

  INTRODUCTION  Two decades after the end of the Cold War, a new strategic landscape has ap­peared in the Middle East. No longer dominated by a U.S.-Soviet rivalry, this new landscape is dominated by U.S.-Iranian confrontation. In this struggle, the United States’ most important Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, plays a key role. As the Obama administration policies allow Iran to run out the clock on getting a nuclear weapon, it would appear from its recent policy moves that it … [Read more...]

TURKEY AND THE GULF STATES IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

  FROM FOES TO FRIENDSHIP  In October 1927 Turkish President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk delivered a historic speech in which he explained why Turks had to abandon the Ottoman Empire and embrace his new state. Ataturk pointed out the high cost and futility of seeking an empire extending beyond Turkish-populated lands: “Do you know,” he asked, “how many sons of Anatolia have perished in the scorching sands of Yemen?”  In future, Ataturk promised, Turks would no … [Read more...]

COMPARATIVE COUNTERINSURGENCY IN YEMEN

The government of Yemen is engaged in three counter-insurgency campaigns. Southern secessionists, northern rebels, and al-Qa’ida are each challenging the state. The calls for independence, revolt, or jihad arose as the state came to exist as the equivalent of a privatized mafia, but only al-Qa’ida in Yemen (AQIY) presents a transnational threat. The lethal jihadi attack on Fort Hood in November 2009 and the December 2009 attempted bombing of an airliner over Detroit were linked to … [Read more...]

THE NETANYAHU GOVERMENT AT ITS HALFWAY POINT: KEEPING THINGS QUIET?

jonathan-spyer

From 1996-2000, Benjamin Netanyahu served as prime minister of Israel. He was re-elected to the post in 2009.  His second period of incumbency is taking place during a time of severe foreign policy challenges for the Jewish state.  Building an effective response to these challenges is at the center of the agenda that Netanyahu has set himself.The key challenge put forth by Netanyahu is the threat of the Iranian nuclear program.  However, the perceived gravity of the Iranian … [Read more...]