“We have met the enemy and he is us.” Pogo’s Earth Day 1970 lament has never been more apt. In early August, two white male terrorists murdered 31 victims and inflicted devastating injuries on at least 53 others in separate attacks in El Paso and Dayton. These crimes used to be rare, and “lone wolf” made descriptive sense. Not anymore.
Thomas Lippman / Dana Stroul / Gerald Feierstein
The following is an edited transcript of the ninety-seventh in a series of Capitol Hill Conferences convened by the Middle East Policy Council. The meeting was held on July 19, 2019, in the Russell Senate Office Building with Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley moderating.
Chas W. Freeman, Jr.
We are still coming to understand the impact of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. I considered him a friend. No one deserves to die as he apparently did. The incident is in every respect repellent.
Government management of public funds plays a major role in a country’s development process. A well-managed financial system supports public-service quality and equity, enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of public programs and government work, and limits corruption. In addition, international donors (e.g., the IMF and World Bank) seek the best use of the financial and nonfinancial aid they provide to countries in need; thus, they support effective management of public funds. A budgeting system is considered a keystone for any public financial system.
The purpose of this analysis is to critically examine the relationship between the al-sahwa al-islamiyya (Islamic Awakening) movement and the Saudi state following the 2011 Arab uprisings. Typically referred to as the “Sahwa,” this organization is a hybrid of Wahhabi Islamic theology and the political ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. This research argues that the Sahwa and Sahwa-like or Sahwa-linked groups and individuals serve as one of the greatest legitimate threats to the Saudi government’s monopoly over the domestic political and religious spheres.
Since the 2015 ascension of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi state has displayed growing discontinuity with trends in its pursuit of national security. Over the past four years, the kingdom has shifted from being a source of comparative stability and continuity in the Persian Gulf security equation to a disposition that is disruptive to that system.
Envisioning a post-oil era leaves an ominous uncertainty hanging over the ruling elites in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), particularly in the oil-exporting countries. What is the proper strategy for a transition to a more reliable and sustainable economy? While the resource curse is widely regarded as having contributed to the underdevelopment of the region, recent studies demonstrate that oil wealth in and of itself provides a less compelling explanation for economic decline.
Iran’s political landscape witnessed a month-long series of public protests from the final days of 2017 until the end of January 2018. According to the interior minister, an unprecedented number of cities — more than 100 in total — bore witness to these protests.1 Although the ruling clergy managed to stabilize the situation, the protests have continued, albeit in a sporadic way, up until the present. While the chorus of voices seeking regime change has become louder, reform discourse is earning scant popularity in the political lexicon of the country.
Hamed Mousavi and Amin Naeni
Iran and Russia are cooperating on the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant as well as others. Iran is a major importer of Russian arms, including the S-300 missile system. Efforts to keep Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria have led to unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation between the two countries. They were also recently able to reach an agreement on rights to the Caspian Sea after many years of strife. Moreover, trade between the two has increased in the wake of Western sanctions.
Following the May 12, 2018, parliamentary elections in Iraq, the lists of two prominent militia heads have emerged victorious. The Saairoon Alliance came in first, with 54 of the 329 seats, while the Fatah Alliance took second, with 47.
Enver Torregroza Lara and Sebastián Cote Pabón
In 1992, with the so-called Basic Laws, Israel was defined as a “Jewish and democratic state.” But according to Dorit Beinisch,1 there is still no consensus among the Israeli secular (hiloni) and religious (dati) public as to what it means to be Jewish and democratic, and nobody knows how to balance the two.2 In fact, many have wondered to what extent the Jewish religion is compatible with the tenets of democracy.
With this comprehensive memoir of his extraordinary career, Bill Burns has done a great favor to all of us who have undertaken diplomatic service on behalf of the United States.
James Barr is acquiring an enviable reputation for an ability to pen narrative histories aimed at a popular audience that address the West’s involvement in shaping the politics of the Middle East during the 20th century.
"Political Islam" is a constantly changing force in global politics. It is the name frequently used to designate movements that explicitly call for application of Islamic principles in modern political life.
The problem with the concept of national security — a modern version of the notion of “raison d’état” — is that it is an invitation to lawlessness.
In Cairo, anthropologist Andrea Rugh overheard Egyptian friends talking in animated tones about a beloved advice column they awaited eagerly each week. The wildly popular column, published in Al-Ahram, a widely read, quasi-governmental newspaper, featured advice on a wide range of issues.