Vol XXVI, No. 1, Spring 2019
Philip H. Gordon, Michael Doran, Jon B. Alterman
PHILIP H. GORDON, Mary and David Boies Senior Fellow, U.S. Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations; Senior Adviser, Albright Stonebridge Group; Former White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf Region
Since the early 1970s, Iran has sought to develop strong missile capabilities. In recent years, Tehran's arsenal has evolved to become the largest and most diverse in the Middle East, though not the most lethal or longest-range. Israel and Saudi Arabia have also developed formidable capabilities. Iran's program, however, has attracted more political and academic controversies.
The Iranian protest wave in the summer of 2018 and the ongoing sporadic strikes have been persistent reminders of the importance of regime protection. Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979, Iran has not been free of societal upheavals although they never posed a serious threat to the regime's survival. That they did not can be explained by the opposition's shortcomings and, more convincingly, the unhesitating and brutal crackdown of the regime's security forces. Still, not all parts of Iran's coercive apparatus are equally devoted to the imams' conservative rule.
In December 2017, countrywide protests broke out in Iran in response to almost four decades of a brutal dictatorship that had presided over a deteriorating economy and an increasingly corrupt establishment. "Death to the Islamic Republic," "Death to [Supreme Leader] Khamenei," and "Death to [President] Rohani" were among the slogans that highlighted the crisis of legitimacy the regime is facing for its neglect of the people's misery.
In 2018, after the suppression of the Green Movement following the disputed presidential election of 2009, Iran witnessed another wave of uprisings. Despite temporarily disrupting the life of the state, Iran's 2018 protests were not successful in undermining the Islamic Republic. In the absence of any foreseeable fundamental change, observers of Iran agree on two premises regarding the future. First, reform from above and among the political elites is the safest, most stable way for the Islamic Republic to make the transition into a more normal and democratic regime.
There are 14 UN peace operations underway around the world, employing almost 100,000 soldiers, policemen and civilians at an annual cost of nearly $7 billion. Since it began its first peacekeeping efforts in 1948, the UN has launched over 70 such missions. Peacekeeping, and the wars it is supposed to help end, have evolved over that time. The earliest efforts concerned wars between countries over territory and were operations with straightforward goals. As peacekeeping became applied to civil wars, the objectives became complex and much more difficult.
In March 2015, an assault in Tunis on the Bardo Museum by the Okba Ibn Nafaa Jihadi Brigade, affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), led to the murder of 24 foreign tourists. In June of the same year, the city of Sousse was assaulted by ISIS, an attack in which 39 foreign tourists were killed. Worse, in March 2016, ISIS launched another strike, this time to take control of the border city of Ben Guerdane, known for its hostility to the central government in Tunis.
From Syria's independence in 1946 until the 1998 bilateral crisis, Turkish-Syrian relations were characterized by hostility and mistrust. Not least in their uncooperative border interactions. In the 1950s, Turkey was concerned about the illegal transfer of goods across its Syrian border. In the 1980s and 1990s, preventing PKK (Kurdish Workers' Party) activities became Turkish policy makers' top security priority. Ankara even went so far as to plant landmines along the Syrian border.
In 1943, on the eve of Lebanon's independence, the Maronite president, Bishara al-Khuri, and the Sunni prime minister, Riad al-Sulh, formulated the National Pact, which aimed to regulate political life and bridge the different aspirations of the Lebanese communities. The Pact stipulated that power would be shared on a communal basis. Another aspect of the Pact concerned Lebanese foreign policy. Here, too, the Pact attempted to mediate between the aspirations of the Christians and those of the Muslims.
In the spring and early summer of 2018, Israeli forces shot or gassed more than 16,000 people. The ferocity of this response to the massing of Palestinians near the barrier surrounding the Gaza Strip is striking but not astonishing. It reflects a fundamental truth and springs from a deep fear. The truth is that the essential aspiration of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century architects of the Zionist movement was to ensure that somewhere in the world — and that place came to be Palestine — there would be a majority of Jews.
"Pushing the jungle back from the garden is a never-ending task. … Liberalism, prosperity, stability are constantly being undermined or eroded by enduring forces of habit and history and by enduring elements of human nature."
The Arab Gulf monarchies have complex relations with many states. The authors in this edited volume examine the policies that have been pursued toward them by 10 external powers: the United States, Russia, Great Britain, France, Brazil, Turkey, India, China, South Korea and Japan.
This book exemplifies a common genre: the celebratory account of the life and career of a capable and successful individual — in this instance Abdulaziz Al-Zamil — who has occupied important positions in both the public and private sectors.
In modern Turkish and Kurdish studies in the last two decades, there has been a wide selection of research on topics such as Turkish secularism and nationalism, Turkish political Islam and conservatism, Kurdish insurgency and political violence, the Turkish Left and Kurdish nationalism, and Turki
It is an established fact that prolonged and severely stressful situations can affect the personalities of most individuals.
In the contested and controversial historical issue known as "the Armenian Question," the 1909 communal upheaval in Adana stands between the breakdown of order in the eastern Anatolian provinces in the 1890s and the catastrophe that overwhelmed the civilian population of the Ottoman Empire during