August 29, 2014

THE MAIN KURDISH POLITICAL PARTIES IN IRAN, IRAQ, SYRIA, AND TURKEY: A RESEARCH GUIDE

The Kurdish flag.

Kurdistan is divided, and the Kurdish people are not united geographically. They are split among numerous political parties and institutions in several different countries. Various early attempts to build Kurdish national movements after 1918 failed. Modern Kurdish parties began to emerge after World War II.  In the post-Cold War era, Kurdish movements have gained momentum politically, economically, socially, as well as at the regional and international levels. The current period may well be a … [Read more...]

THE POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE-GENERAL COMMAND (PFLP-GC) AND THE SYRIAN CIVIL WAR

PFLP-GC Jihad Jibril Brigade

As the Asad regime’s most loyal Palestinian proxy, the PFLP-GC’s role in the conflict in Syria is of great importance. Currently, the group’s interests center on countering Syrian rebel forces in Syria and their allies in Lebanon. In this role, the PFLP-GC has suffered a number of significant losses, and for the first time in its existence is being pressed in all areas it operates. This article will focus on the Syrian Civil War’s effects on the PFLP-GC and what the future may hold for … [Read more...]

CYPRUS, A RUSSIAN FOOTHOLD IN THE CHANGING EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

Cypriot Offshore Gas Fields

Russian interests in the Eastern Mediterranean have been highlighted both by the country’s diplomatic and naval activity related to the Syrian crisis as well as by its stance on economic and energy issues in Cyprus. During the 2000s, Moscow’s influence on the island has steadily increased, making Cyprus a new Russian foothold in the Eastern Mediterranean. While Moscow’s ties with Nicosia have served Russia’s Mediterranean energy interests, they have also revived tensions with Turkey. In … [Read more...]

THE ARAB SPRING: IMPLICATIONS FOR CHINESE POLICY

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (L), Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdesslem (C), and Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi (R) attend press conference after closing ceremony of Fifth Ministerial Conference of the 
China-Arab Cooperation Forum in Hammamet, Tunisia, May 31, 2012.  (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

The Arab Spring has created new centers of instability in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA). China now finds itself forced to alter attitudes and tactics and seek new opportunities.  This article evaluates current Chinese foreign policy in the Middle East and the benefits and challenges to China's policy by examining how recent events affected Beijing in four areas: economy and trade, social stability, welfare of Chinese citizens, and strategic rivalry with the United States. Click for PDF … [Read more...]

REVOLUTIONARY SALAFI ISLAMISTS IN EGYPT: AN ANALYSIS AND GUIDE

A microbus sponsored by the al-Nour Party offers voters free rides to polling stations during 2011/2012 Egyptian parliamentary elections.

While the ruling Muslim Brotherhood has received a great deal of attention in Egypt, the varied Salafi groups have been far less studied. At times allies and at times rivals of the Brotherhood, the Salafists are widely varied. Whether the two groups can cooperate will determine the future of Islamist rule in Egypt. The Salafists pull the Brotherhood to take stronger action more immediately and may have faith in the larger organization or consider it to have betrayed the revolution. Moreover, the … [Read more...]

BLIND TO TERROR: THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’S DISASTROUS MUSLIM OUTREACH EFFORTS AND THE IMPACT ON U.S. MIDDLE EAST POLICY

Obama meets with members of his national security team to discuss developments in the Boston Marathon bombings investigation, in the Situation Room of the White House on April 19, 2013. Pictured, from left, are: FBI Director Robert Mueller; Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Attorney General Eric Holder; Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken; and Vice President Joe Biden.

    Why has the U.S. government called certain Islamic groups supporters of terror in federal court, and then turned around and called these same organizations “moderates” and embraced them as outreach partners? In a number of cases from the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations, the leaders of these organizations (some of whom are now in federal prison) were under active investigation at the same time they were meeting with senior U.S. leaders at the White House and the … [Read more...]