October 24, 2014

SUNNI OPPOSITION TO THE ISLAMIC STATE

Kata’ib al-Hamza fighters reported to be in Haditha.

PDF version available here Spearheaded by the Islamic State (IS), a renewed Sunni Arab insurgency in Iraq has wrestled control of most localities in the Anbar, Ninawa, Salah ad-Din and Kirkuk governorates away from the central government over the course of 2014. While the question of exactly who controls what is still a matter of debate, it has become clear that IS has asserted its own authority at the expense of other factions in the main cities and towns, including Mosul, Tikrit and … [Read more...]

TEN YEARS LATER: WHO WON THE IRAQ WAR, THE US OR CHINA?

Burning oilfield during Operation Desert Storm, Kuwait.

PDF version available here Many news sources have announced that the answer to the question of who won the Iraq war is simple:  the People’s Republic of China. Was China the real winner? If so, in what ways? This study analyzes the question of who won the Iraq War in broader terms, both in retrospect and looking forward. It separates myth from reality and takes a long, hard look at the war’s impact, both short- and long-term, on the economic and strategic interests of China and the … [Read more...]

THE SOUTH CAUCASUS: OBAMA’S FAILED RUSSIA “RESET” AND THE PUTIN DOCTRINE IN PRACTICE

"Restart Button" offered by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva, Switzerland March 6, 2009. [U.S. State Department photo]

PDF version available here Since 2009, under President Barack Obama, the U.S. has pursued a “Russian reset” policy, promising a fresh start to previously tense relations. Yet this policy has failed to improve American interests, particularly in the South Caucasus region, which is strategically important for both Israeli and U.S. policy towards the greater Middle East and the post-Soviet space. This article examines the priorities of both the Obama administration and President Vladimir … [Read more...]

THE NEW GLOBAL ANTISEMITISM: IMPLICATIONS FROM THE RECENT ADL-100 DATA

Antisemitic graffiti, New York, 2012.

PDF version available here At just the right moment in global history, the Anti-Defamation League[1] of the B’nai Brith organization[2] has released new data on antisemitism in over 100 countries.[3] This data is based on solid opinion surveys and for the first time includes large parts of the Muslim world, not only Western countries.[4] This article presents these data with rankings and maps and then examines some of the most important implications of these data, including possible … [Read more...]

POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT AND DEFENSE DIPLOMACY BETWEEN INDIA AND ISRAEL: POST-9/11 AND BEYOND

Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, 2003.

PDF version available here Judging from contemporary internal and external developments, India and Israel--currently strategic partners--are poised to grow into a partnership of strategic allies within the international arena in the near future. This article studies the relationship between India and Israel, focusing on politics and defense, from 9/11 to the present day. It gives a brief overview of the historical relationship between India and Israel, especially in the political and … [Read more...]

SYRIA’S SILENT WEAPONS

Components of a modern smallpox vaccination kit including the diluent, a vial of Dryvax vaccinia vaccine, and a bifurcated needle.

PDF version available here   The decommissioning of Syria’s vast chemical weapon arsenal has brought its weapons of mass destruction into the media spotlight. Far less attention has been paid to Syria’s admitted biological warfare program, one of the largest in the Middle East today. While Asad’s chemical weapons have been monitored for decades, biological weapons are silent weapons. There are no identifying heat signatures, no activities such as mixing precursor materials … [Read more...]

IN THE ARENA OF THE ZU’AMA – REVIEWING HIZBALLAHʼS ROLE IN LEBANON

Hizballah Anti-American and anti-Israeli propaganda  ("Exhibition of the Lebanese resistance") Baalbek, Lebanon.

PDF version available here   Hizballah is usually defined as an Iranian group whose origins are found within the Shi’a and Iranian traditions. In this paper, however, we examine the activity of Hizballah as a Lebanese za’im, namely, within the context of the Lebanese elite families (zu’ama). We explore various aspects of Lebanese zu’ama that also typify Hizballah. These aspects include the provision of social services to the people, and the use of surveillance measures … [Read more...]

FROM STATION Z TO JERUSALEM

Figure 1. On July 15, 1942, at his East Prussian headquarters near Rastenburg, Hitler meets the former Iraqi premier Rashid Ali al-Kailani, a member of the al-Qadiriyya brotherhood, which to-gether with seven similar Islamist organizations played a key role in Berlin’s Middle East policy from 1894 on. On May 15, 1942, al-Kailani promised Hitler in a secret letter “to fight the common enemy until final victory.”

PDF version available here Excerpted from Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East, by Barry Rubin & Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, published February 2014 by Yale University Press. Copyright © 2014 by Barry Rubin & Wolfgang G. Schwanitz. Reprinted by permission of Yale University Press.   FROM STATION Z TO JERUSALEM   It began as another normal summer day in June 1942 at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin, the place where SS trainees were taken to … [Read more...]

WHAT DOES THE ARAB NEWSPAPER THINK ABOUT ITSELF?

arab newspapers

PDF version available here Recent data appear to demonstrate the weakening of the Arab newspapers versus strengthening of the digital media. However, this weakening is less extensive than the corresponding erosion of Western newspapers in their own markets. This study examines the question of how Arab newspapers see themselves. A content and discourse analysis of articles in seven newspapers of different characteristics and distribution zones indicates an ambivalent attitude towards the … [Read more...]

PROCEEDING WITH CAUTION: THE CURRENT BALANCE OF FORCES IN THE SYRIAN CIVIL WAR AND ISRAELI CONCERNS

Israeli soldiers in an abandoned military outpost overlooking the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria on Tal Hazika near Alonei Habshan.

PDF version available here Aided by Hizballah and Iraqi Shi’a volunteers, the Asad regime scored significant gains in the civil war in Syria in the first months of 2014.  The regime has completed its re-conquest of the Qalamoun mountains and driven the rebels out of Homs. These gains constitute a consolidation by the Asad regime of its area of control in Syria, which runs from Damascus to the western coastal area, and now includes all the country’s provincial capitals with the … [Read more...]