In Depth: Middle East and Africa

8 Dec 2016

Invest in Tunisia with a Free Trade Agreement

The Tunisian government is working hard to combat the threat of terrorism, and the United States should support the moderate Arab state by setting up a free trade agreement.
29 Apr 2013

Fractured Continent: The Turmoil and Promise of Latin America

Latin America is divided between leftist authoritarian states and market democracies. The US should reset priorities to support the democratic vision to integrate the region into a free trade area.
28 Feb 2013

What North Africa Wants to Hear from John Kerry

Western countries can help North Africa's long term democratic and economic prospects by trusting that region's citizens will hold their elected leaders accountable in future elections, and not play favorites in the near term.
29 Jul 2014

Terror and Politics in Tunisia

Tunisians are coming to terms with the homegrown terrorists who threaten their fragile democracy. Will this recognition prompt a much-needed national reconciliation process?
29 Dec 2015

Democracy's Retreats and Tentative Advances in 2015

2015 saw important, yet fragile, democratic gains around the world. But, as the West is now preoccupied with domestic challenges, the future of democratic reform will be determined by those on the frontlines.
30 Aug 2013

Getting Congo Right: Can the West Fix Past Failures?

After two decades of incoherent policies, millions have died in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Can a new Western-organized counterinsurgency force really bring resolution?
30 Jun 2016

Unholy Alliance: Kleptocratic Authoritarians and their Western Enablers

The kleptocratic authoritarians who steal from their citizens, thwart freedom, and endanger world order mustn't be welcomed by Western banks.
31 Dec 2014

Democracy: Four Reasons to Be Optimistic in 2015

2014 was a bleak year for the development of democracy around the world, but history has shown we are often blind to the democratic possibilities unfolding amidst the turmoil.
3 Jan 2012

Arab Spring or Islamist Winter?

Last year was not the first time Arabs called for change in the face of stubborn autocrats, but it was the first time their calls paid off—at least initially.
1 Jul 2010

Dire Straits: Taking on Somali Pirates

Pirates thrive on political instability and geographic mobility—and eastern Africa offers both in spades. An expert in the field, Martin N. Murphy explains why Somali piracy is a threat to the West, and what we need to do to stop it.
30 Dec 2012

Strange Bedfellows: China’s Middle Eastern Inroads

Who landed the billion-dollar bid for Algeria’s Grand Mosque project? An Algerian firm? A regional firm? No, a state-owned Chinese company. The deal is just one of China’s controversial Mideast ties.
1 Mar 2009

Zionism and Racism, Again: Durban II

U.S. participation in the United Nation’s Durban Review Conference on Racism, otherwise known as Durban II, would have been a fool’s errand.
28 Feb 2012

Battle for Bahrain: What One Uprising Meant for the Gulf States and Iran

Bahrain has become the Arab Spring’s “failed” revolution, but for the Sunni Gulf states and Shiite Iran, it has been part of a larger and ongoing battle for regional control.
3 Jan 2012

Arab Spring or Islamist Winter?

The end of authoritarian regimes is a positive development, but disillusionment has grown in the Middle East and the West as theocratic forces threaten to reverse the progress of last year's revolutions.
25 Mar 2011

The Middle Eastern Revolution’s Bloody Second Act

This year’s uprisings might prove only prologue to much more violent upheavals and reprisals.
3 Jan 2012

Arab Spring or Islamist Winter?

The number of genuinely liberal democracies to emerge soon in the Arab world is likely to be one or zero.
28 Jun 2013

Islamic Terror: Decentralized, Franchised, Global

As President Obama scales back on the War on Terror, al-Qaeda and its mutations have decentralized and spread, and by now are poised to strike in unexpected places.
1 Nov 2010

Letter from the Editor: November/December 2010

Given the region’s excess of tragic history and a weary cynicism ...

29 Apr 2013

The Game Changer: Syria, Iran, and Kurdish Independence

The shifting fortunes of Middle Eastern politics have delivered Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan and the country’s Kurds to the brink of a lasting settlement.
27 Jun 2012

Sudan on the Brink: A Khartoum Spring?

Sudan’s ruling party has survived war, internal division, and financial ruin. But it could soon face all of those again—along with student protests spurred by Arab Spring victories.
26 Apr 2012

Lines in the Sand: Assad Plays the Sectarian Card

Today’s major world conflicts—autocracy versus democracy; the West versus the China-Russia axis; Iran and its allies versus the US, Israel, and “moderate” Arab states—intersect and collide in Syria, where sectarianism’s ancient hatreds may well tip their outcomes.
1 Jan 2011

Too Big to Fail

to lead to failure. The consequences for Egypt—and the region—would simply ...

30 Aug 2013

Blue Gold: The Coming Water Wars

Forget global warming and peak oil—the looming wars of this century will be fought over water, that indispensable resource that democracies typically share but strongmen use as a weapon.
27 Aug 2014

As the World Turns: Will the West Prevail?

After the Cold War, some thought peace and new technology would turn the world into a global village. In reality, it’s full of failed states and emerging powers hostile to the West.
1 Jul 2011

The Police State Playbook: An Introduction

Dictators tend to be pretty unoriginal – maybe because they all use the same playbook.

1 Jun 2008

Dear Mr. President ...

You will no doubt have been advised against adopting any view that seems or seeks to attribute all events to one single cause. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the absolutely central and consistent role played, in so many of our difficulties, by the People’s Republic of China ...
16 Aug 2011

News Hole: The ICG's Deeply Flawed Syria Report

The International Crisis Group’s latest report on Syria relies almost exclusively on the testimony of Syrian regime figures and its Western apologists, dressed up as “independent” sources.
21 May 2012

Is Libya Long for This World?

the distinct Saharan region of Fezzan south of Tripolitania may be too sparsely ...

4 Dec 2012

Heading Back Into the Field

heading to the disputed Western Sahara region down the west coast of Africa, ...

10 Oct 2013

Libyan Prime Minister Kidnapped

the region was due for some bad news. Good news streaks don’t tend to last very ...

30 Mar 2014

Botching North Africa

The State Department is dragging its feet on supporting Morocco with technical assistance aimed at helping Western Sahara govern itself—risking its relationship with the North African ally.
6 Jun 2012

Lebanon Fights Itself (Again)

and the United States all have intrests at stake in that region. Africa North ...

29 Feb 2012


as they simmer and before they burn. I will watch new regions rise and flourish. ...

23 Feb 2012

The Saudis Want to Arm an Insurgency

in the region haven’t changed. Our biggest problem then as now is the Iranian- ...

26 Jan 2012

The Sectarian Monster

that way, both of which have coherent identities transcending sect, region ...

6 Apr 2011

The Arab Spring

of the United States in the region be as events unfold? Americans should side ...

28 Jan 2011

What Egypt Portends: Three Scenarios

in the region and in Egypt in particular, President Obama has begun to embrace ...

3 Jul 2013

Armed Forces Control Egypt

numerous. In most of the region, however, this isn't their moment. ...

22 Apr 2014

Egypt's Jewish Problem

introduce a breath of fresh air in the region, and especially on the question ...

27 Sep 2012

What a Real Alliance Looks Like

With 200 years of history behind it, the US-Moroccan alliance is not only likely to last, but provides a stable alternative to America's "frenemy" relationships with countries such as Egypt and Pakistan.
10 Dec 2014

Al Jazeera’s Scurrilous Attack on Morocco

and democracy considering they hail from regions where human rights and democracy ...

21 Jan 2011

Why Tunisia’s Revolution Must Have Been a Mirage

empires. In the MENA region, Algeria, Morocco , and Mauritania have ...

7 Mar 2012

How a Growing Gulf found Booming Africa

Science Monitor on how these two regions have "found" one ...

16 Nov 2006

Good Neighbors

to opt out of the destructive “narrative” that convulses the region and do ...

24 Feb 2011

Behind the Curve

movements that now have found explosive expression, casting the regional order ...

14 May 2013

Why the Syrian War Could Last Ten Years

showing areas of Assad control and rebel-held regions , you’ll see ...

30 Jun 2014

On the Desert's Edge

and also because from Morocco’s point of view the region has been liberated ...

17 Mar 2004

More Trouble for Spain?

the southern Spanish region of Andalucia, which is in Europe , it would ...

13 Mar 2012

Syria: The Refugee Crisis Within

Elizabeth Dickinson's blog In a sign of just how desperate the humanitarian situation in Syria has become, the UN High Commission for Refugees today appointed a regional coordinator to manage aid to the outflux ...

1 Feb 2012

Arab Spring or Islamist Winter?

with the European Union seventeen years ago, the first in the region ever to do so. ...