Middle East and North Africa Publications

Iraq has Fragmented: Can it be Put Back Together?

Dec 02, 2015
U.S. policy in Iraq is based on the assumption that a more inclusive and democratic government in Baghdad can prevent the country from fragmenting. In reality, Iraq has already fragmented, with many centers of power controlling different regions. If the United States wants Iraq to reunite, it needs to promote negotiations among such power centers, not a stronger government in Baghdad.

One, Interconnected, Middle East Region

Dec 01, 2015
One key byproduct of the Arab Spring is the increased regionalization of political and security dynamics across the Middle East and North Africa region. As the five-year anniversary approaches, the region is awash in crosscutting and overlapping challenges from which no states are immune. Extremism is spreading, refugees proliferating, and interventionism transforming domestic conflicts into regional wars. As we gaze into the crystal ball and ponder what the next five years have in store, it will behoove us to think of the Middle East as one, interconnected system where the fates of its member states are intertwined and interdependent.

Learning from Sykes-Picot

Nov 19, 2015
The collapse of central authority in both Syria and Iraq, coupled with the rise of a growing number of non-state actors, has given rise to much speculation about the future of the Levant and the end of at least some of the states formed after World War I. The first of a long series of agreements that defined the post-Ottoman Levant was one reached by a British and a French diplomat, Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picot, in 1916. The “end of Sykes-Picot” has become the short hand for speculation about a possible reconfiguration of the states of the Levant.

Chapter 11 Update: Energy Security in the Mediterranean Region

Nov 16, 2015
This is an update to Chapter 11 of the book "Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition."

Safety and Security in Yemen: Main Challenges and Stakeholders

Nov 10, 2015
Ensuring safety and security is one of the most pressing challenges for Yemeni society. A number of different formal and informal stakeholders play significant roles in determining Yemen’s security situation. This paper provides an overview of the main reasons for and consequences of such persistent insecurity as well as analysis of how these stakeholders affect security conditions in Yemen.

Morocco’s Emerging Democracy: The 2015 Local and Regional Elections

Oct 28, 2015
Morocco’s latest elections were ground-breaking, because for the first time citizens were allowed to vote for local and regional representatives directly. The results of these regional and local council elections show Morocco as an emerging democracy. They also indicate people’s greater understanding of what elections mean and attest to a general renewal of trust in public matters.

MENA Women Quarterly Report (July-September 2015)

Oct 20, 2015
This edition of the MENA Women Quarterly Report covers women’s advances and setbacks in politics, economics, conflict situations, and human rights issues throughout the MENA region from July-September 2015 and includes a special feature on women’s mobility.

The Islamic State as Icarus: A Critical Assessment of An Untenable Threat

Oct 05, 2015
Few if any international security threats are consuming the world’s attention as much as the Islamic State terror group, or ISIS. What is the true nature of this threat, and particularly beyond its strongholds in Syria and Iraq? What threat does the group pose in neighboring countries and other key regions, and particularly South Asia?

Iran’s Nuclear Chess: After the Deal

Sep 08, 2015
"Iran's Nuclear Chess: After the Deal," the updated edition of the monograph "Iran's Nuclear Chess: Calculating America's Moves," by Robert Litwak, vice president for scholars and director of international security studies at the Wilson Center, addresses the nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and Iran and assesses its terms and prospective implementation, as well as the implications should the agreement not be implemented.

Al-Sisi’s Egypt: The Military Moves on the Economy

Aug 20, 2015
The al-Sisi regime has chosen a model of development based on the implementation of large, ambitious projects under military supervision. The projects, such as the broadening of the Suez Canal and the building of a new capital city, may fail economically, like many such projects did in the past. No matter the economic impact, al-Sisi’s approach is consolidating the political and economic position of the military and shifting the balance among the private sector, the old state sector controlled by the bureaucracy, and the military economy. The change will be long lasting.