Middle East and North Africa

Questioning Our Assumptions: Survivorship Bias and Predictions of Arab Gulf Stability

It is never a bad idea to question your assumptions. We are years removed from the maelstrom of instability in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that left some regimes in tatters, but the aftershocks are still being felt. One prediction (nay, assumption) to come out of the “Arab Spring” was that the Arab monarchies—the regimes that survived the destabilizing unrest intact—was their ability to manage coalitions of disparate constituencies, which provided these countries with a degree of stability absent in the collapsed regimes. 

International Religious Freedom Report for 2017

On May 29, the U.S. State Department released its annual report on international religious freedom. It provided a detailed overview of religious freedom and noted violations and abuses committed by governments, individuals and extremist groups. "Religious freedom was vital to America’s beginning. Defending it is critical to our future," Secretary of State Pompeo said at the release.

Arab Youth Survey 2018

More than half of young Arabs (58 percent) think ISIS and its ideology will be fully defeated, according to the Arab Youth Survey 2018. Some 78 percent of youths think ISIS has become weaker over the past year, and confidence in their government's ability to deal with ISIS was at 68 percent -- up 10 percent from 2017.

'America Alone' on the Iran Nuclear Deal?

Does President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal mean "America first" or "America alone"? What will be the immediate and long range implications?  Robert Litwak, Senior Vice President and Director of International Security Studies at the Wilson Center, provides analysis in this edition of TRENDING.

North Africa's Jihadis

By Alex Thurston
 

In the following interview, Alex Thurston, a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, discusses jihadism in North Africa.

Syria and the Outside Powers: What They Want and Can They Have It?

The Syrian civil war is many overlapping conflicts, including the competition and cooperation among outside powers vying to protect their interests, often at the expense of Syria’s sovereignty. What are Russian, Iranian, Turkish, Israeli, and American objectives in Syria, and can they achieve them? Four analysts of Syria and the region addressed the issue of outside powers and the future of the country.

Selected Quotes

 

Aaron David Miller

US CENTCOM's Posture in the Region

On March 13, General Joseph Votel briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee on the status of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) partnerships in the Gulf, Levant and fight against ISIS. Votel testified that that the Counter-ISIS Campaign is on track to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

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