October 24, 2014

THE RELIGIOUS OPPOSITION IN ALGERIA

This article provides an analytical discussion on the religious opposition in Algeria, exploring the conditions and conflict-prone effects of the movement. Through historical analysis, the study reveals that the Islamist opposition in Algeria is to some extent value-driven, but it is mostly a reaction to undesirable local conditions, especially economic distress, widespread poverty, and unjust distribution of national wealth. Thus, the article suggests that positive actions be taken to deal with … [Read more...]

ISRAEL AND THE WIKILEAKS CABLES

jonathan-spyer

The U.S. diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks include a considerable number of communications by American diplomats stationed in Israel, and an even larger number dealing with Middle Eastern issues of direct relevance and interest to Jerusalem.  In a few cases, the revelations are of genuine and deep significance, offering a real addition to the understanding of the political and strategic processes in Israel and the broader Middle East.  This article considers the cables directly focusing … [Read more...]

THE COMING CRISIS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

barry-rubin

  The gap between dominant Western perceptions of the Middle East and the region's reality is dangerously wide. While the "Arab Spring" is celebrated as an advance for moderation and democracy, in fact the advance is going to revolutionary Islamists. Developments in Turkey and Egypt especially threaten to plunge the Middle East back into an era of conflict, instability, and the worst threats to Western interests in decades. There are several things very much predictable about the … [Read more...]

WHY SYRIA’S REGIME IS LIKELY TO SURVIVE

Examining the differences between the uprising in Syria and those in Tunisia and Egypt offers important clues as to why Syria's regime is likely to survive. The Tunisian and Egyptian armies refused to kill demonstrators and even supported the revolution. Syria’s Alawi-led forces, on the other hand, do not hesitate to kill, as the Tadmur and Hama massacres show. The Syrian regime has been skillful at exploiting the conflict with Israel and the patience of Western powers with the dictatorship. … [Read more...]

HAS OUTREACH TO THE MUSLIM WORLD BY THE OBAMA ADMINSTRATION HAD AN IMPACT ON MUSLIM ATTITUDES TOWARD TERRORISTS AND TERRORISM?

Prominent U.S. officials have claimed that only dwindling numbers of isolated extremists support terrorists engaged in violent attacks against Americans. Survey research on Muslim publics’ attitudes reveals a different picture, one that undermines this interpretation.  Evidence from key Arab states and some other important Muslim states (Pakistan, Nigeria) is reviewed.  Markedly hostile views toward the security interests of the United States and its allies are shown to exist, despite … [Read more...]

THE SOUTH CAUCASUS REPUBLICS AND RUSSIA’S GROWING INFLUENCE: BALANCING ON A TIGHTROPE

Located at the crossroads of Russia, the rest of Europe, and the Middle East, the South Caucasus republics’ political and economic security has depended on the balancing of relations with both their regional neighbors and with the major powers.  Matters of territorial integrity, historical memory, ethnic brethren residing in foreign countries, and trade routes have all become important factors in the development of foreign policy.  This paper will examine the relations between the South … [Read more...]

MOROCCAN ISLAMISTS: BETWEEN INTEGRATION, CONFRONTATION, AND ORDINARY MUSLIMS

Two distinct politico-religious movements emerged in Morocco in the 1960s and 1980s. The first was a radical movement, which was confronted by the government thus forcing it to break up, change, and adapt. The second was characterized by its confrontational and inflexible stance vis-à-vis the status quo. Thus, while the former became integrated at the expense of its early radical glamour, the latter remained adamant in refusing to become integrated in the political system. Despite the … [Read more...]

THE WIKILEAKS CABLES ON TURKEY: 20/20 TUNNEL VISION

The Wikileaks cables on Turkey reveal a surprising paradox. U.S. diplomats present themselves as highly-informed, perspicacious observers of Turkey with more insight than one would expect into the Islamist complexes and prejudices of Turkey's governing AKP, the role of the Gulen movement in Turkey, the political talent and personality of Prime Minister Erdogan, his increasing isolation from competent advisors, and the central problems that characterize AKP governance: lack of technocratic skill, … [Read more...]