November 27, 2014

PAKISTAN AND ITS DISCONTENTS

Pakistan is facing a serious crisis today and despite the proclivity of the nation’s elites to blame external forces, the wounds are largely self-inflicted. India is not the biggest danger Pakistan faces today. It is the extremist groups that the security establishment has nurtured over the years that have turned against the Pakistani state. The Pakistani army has yet to reconcile itself to the idea that Afghanistan should be something other than its strategic backyard, under the control of … [Read more...]

THE “INDEPENDENT SHI’A” OF LEBANON: WHAT WIKILEAKS TELLS US ABOUT AMERICAN EFFORTS TO FIND AN ALTERNATIVE TO HIZBALLAH

U.S. diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks have given a new insight into American policy in Lebanon, especially efforts to counter Hizballah. Hizballah’s willingness to use a combination of hard power through violence and coercion, combined with a softer touch via extensive patronage networks has given them unmatched control over the Shi’a community since the 2005 Cedar Revolution. Using these released cables, this study will focus on efforts, successes, and failures made by so-called … [Read more...]

ASSESSING THE SURGE IN IRAQ

This article discusses the 2006/2007 U.S. troop surge in Iraq. It examines to what extent the shift in strategy was responsible for the dramatic drop in violence as well as the implications for U.S. strategy in future conflicts. This article can be found in PDF version here.   INTRODUCTION   Adopted at the end of 2006--by far Iraq’s bloodiest year--the troop “surge” marked a major shift in the George W. Bush administration’s Iraq strategy. Indeed, the Iraq Body Count … [Read more...]

TURKEY’S SEPTEMBER 12, 2010, REFERENDUM

This article considers the reasons for and the overall impact of holding a national referendum in Turkey on September 12, 2010, for a series of constitutional amendments passed by the governing AKP (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi or Justice and Development Party). Although the measures were publically accepted with nearly 58 percent approval, the prospects for the drafting of a new constitution based on political consensus to replace the military-created 1982 document remain weak. While the … [Read more...]

NAVIGATING THE NEW MIDDLE EAST? THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS LOST AT SEA AND ON THE ROCKS

barry-rubin

This article surveys all aspects of U.S. Middle East policy under the Obama administration, critiques this strategy and premises, and suggests what U.S. policy should be. A previous version of this article was published in The Journal of International Security Affairs (Fall/Winter 2011).   The Obama administration has comprehensively lost its way on Middle East policy to an extent that poses tremendous dangers to the United States, Western interests, and the region as a whole. The … [Read more...]

A GEOPOLITICS OF CYPRUS

Due to its strategic location, Cyprus has been coveted by various external powers throughout its history. Today shipping routes for oil and competition for control of potential chokepoints make European powers, Turkey, and others very involved with that island country.   INTRODUCTION   Cyprus is located at the juncture of the world island (Eurasia) with Africa. It is on the sea lane of the great maritime highway connecting the Mediterranean Sea through two sea gates--the … [Read more...]

INDO-ISRAELI DEFENSE COOPERATION IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

This paper focuses on the current Indo-Israeli defense cooperation and its constraints. The article begins with a brief historical account of this relationship, followed by a discussion of its progression into the defense arena in the late 1990s under the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. Subsequently, it examines the magnitude of the more recent defense cooperation under a new Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Finally, this paper attempts to examine … [Read more...]