Efraim Halevy, former Director of Mossad and one of Israel’s most preeminent strategic thinkers, provides his perspective on how sweeping changes throughout the region may be altering the security scenario for Israel and its allies.
U.S. policy toward the Maghreb countries is presently driven above all by security concerns. Although three of the four countries—Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya—have experienced considerable political change since 2011 and Algeria is on the verge of a succession crisis with potentially significant consequences, the United States is not deeply involved in these transitions. Exhausted and disappointed by failed nation-building efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States seems to be moving toward the opposite extreme, neglecting political transformations to focus on security. Unless the countries restore or maintain political stability, however, counterterrorism efforts cannot succeed
The alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador has increased the fear of more attacks on American soil and raised questions about what could be gained from such a bold provocation. Wilson Center experts provide broader context to this bizarre and disturbing news.
"In Syria, there are no good options, American credibility is at stake, and the pressures to act are considerable in the face of great uncertainties," writes Aaron David Miller in Salon.com.
"On the second anniversary of the Arab uprisings, millions across the Middle East still have dreams of makeovers. But revolutionary fairy tales have devolved into the reality of running countries that are still without fully functioning governments or basic laws. Providing fundamental public services, much less addressing economic woes that sparked the uprisings, is still a very long way off," writes DIstinguished Scholar Robin Wright.
"While the Burmese may have been impressed with events in Tahrir Square last year, Egypt should be looking to Myanmar’s example now. Egyptians are due to head to the polls this weekend but democratic change seems increasingly elusive. Myanmar, meanwhile, has moved further and faster toward real political reform," writes Jane Harman in Politico.
Public Policy Scholar Michael Adler interviewed IAEA Chief Yukiya Amano and reports in Breaking Defense that Iran’s recent slow down on its nuclear program could signal a readiness to create favorable conditions for a deal with the U.S.