October 25, 2014

DEALING WITH AZERBAIJAN: THE POLICIES OF TURKEY AND IRAN TOWARD THE KARABAKH WAR (1991-1994)

This article explores the policies of Turkey and Iran toward the Armenian-Azerbaijani war over Nagorno-Karabakh during the 1991-1994 period. It identifies Azerbaijan as a key nation in the region, one rich in oil and natural gas and with which both the Turks and Persians historically shared language, culture, and religion. As the cornerstone of the post-Soviet policies of both regional powers in the South Caucasus, Azerbaijan was crucial for Ankara and Tehran as they sought to safeguard their … [Read more...]

TURKEY’S 2011 ELECTIONS: AN EMERGING DOMINANT PARTY SYSTEM?

This article analyzes Turkey’s June 12, 2011, general elections, focusing on the three parties and the predominantly pro-Kurdish independents. Although the incumbent Justice and Development Party won by a sizeable majority, it gained fewer seats in comparison to its 2002 and 2007 electoral performances. The Republican People’s Party maintained its position as the main opposition party, with noticeable increases in its voting shares both regionally and locally. The pro-nationalist Nationalist … [Read more...]

THE STATUS QUO WITH SYRIA IS BEST FOR ISRAEL

The widely accepted “land for peace” paradigm for peace with Syria entails great military risks and may invite aggression against Israel, while the potential political dividends of a peace treaty are limited. Moreover, the status quo, based on a defensible border, is both sustainable and preferable to any alternative. Even without taking into consideration current political volatility in the region, retaining the Golan Heights is more important than a peace treaty. Therefore, Israel should … [Read more...]

REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION IN EGYPT

barry-rubin

For Westerners, Egypt's revolution is seen as a wonderful development, a victory for democracy. Yet the enemies of America and the West view it is a defeat for the United States and the West, and as a step forward for anti-democratic revolutionary Islamism. It is possible that both sides could be right. Egypt may be both a democracy and no longer an ally of America or a source of regional stability. This might mean happiness for the Egyptians and problems for Western interests. Yet the success … [Read more...]

THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION BEFORE AND AFTER THE OUTBREAK OF THE 2011 UPRISING

jonathan-spyer

One of the most notable aspects of the revolt against the Asad regime in Syria has been the proliferation of opposition movements and the various attempts to join them into a single unified opposition movement. This article will observe the state of the opposition prior to the uprising, note the key new alignments in the opposition, and critically assess the attempts at unification.   INTRODUCTION   The uprising against the Asad dictatorship of 2011 was predicted by few … [Read more...]

FOOD AND THE ARAB SPRING

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been experiencing deteriorating parameters for both food production and consumption for some time. Agricultural output is constrained by limited water resources, diminishing arable land, and poor public policy. Consumption is driven by high population growth and subsidies that encourage waste. The region is food insecure, both on the level of the individual consumer (high rates of poverty) and on a national level (reliance on imports). Rising food … [Read more...]

SAUDI ARABIA FACES A CHANGING MIDDLE EAST

The calls for democracy during the “Arab Spring” presented the Saudi Arabian regime with serious challenges. Traditional allies such as the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt fell by the wayside leaving Riyadh practically alone as defender of an authoritarian government. The flames of protest grew closer as both Yemen and Bahrain experienced major unrest. An embryonic Saudi protest movement was snuffed out by a combination of threats and massive financial aid. The kingdom remains stable, since its … [Read more...]