In Depth: Religion and Middle East

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.
19 Jun 2013

Syria’s Endgame: Prospects Dim, Options Narrow

The revolution to remove Assad has metastasized into a grotesque sectarian war among the Sunni majority, the ruling Alawite minority, and a host of other uncertain players.
15 Apr 2013

Aid Syrian Rebels after Assad Falls

Syria’s Nusra Front and al-Qaeda in Iraq have merged, making it likely that US and EU aid to anti-Assad rebels will inadvertently strengthen Sunni terror groups in the Syrian–al-Qaeda civil war to come.
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.
30 Apr 2012

Editor’s Introduction

region whose soil has been salted by hatred. Although new hot spots appear ...

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.
27 Feb 2013

Erdogan’s Grand Vision: Rise and Decline

Prime Minister Erdogan’s aspirations to restore Turkey’s national glory and to unify the Islamic world have been unhinged by rebellion in Syria and the region’s ferocious rivalries and inflexible dogma.
20 Sep 2012

Guilt and the 'Innocence of Muslims'

An ignorant soft-core porn filmmaker, a devious Egyptian Copt and Saudi sheikh, and a handful of radical Muslims ignite "rage" across the Middle East.
1 Jan 2011

How Democracy Shouldn't Work

How long can it last? In a region where it took despots to keep ethnic ...

21 Jun 2012

Editor’s Introduction

who has defined his country as the indispensable nation for the region ...

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 2011

Leaked: What the Mideast Really Thinks of Iran

Thanks to WikiLeaks, it’s now abundantly clear that most Arab leaders want the US to end Iran’s nuclear program. So why do our realist-progressive pundits still think the threat is exaggerated?
8 Nov 2011

After the Fall: What’s Next for Assad and Syria?

As the brutal Syrian president clings to his aging regime, a number of possibilities lie in store for the country.
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.
1 Jan 2011

Menace à trois: Alliances with Iran and Turkey? Please.

In Reset, former New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer argues for shaking up our traditional ties in the Mideast—and getting more friendly with Turkey and Iran. James Kirchick explains why it shouldn't happen—and never would, anyway.
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.
1 May 2011

Lost in the Levant: Lebanon Reappraised

In The Ghosts of Martyrs Square, Beirut Daily Star editor Michael Young offers a timely and beautifully written accounting of Lebanon's struggle for stability amid political and religious diversity and extremism.
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 Sep 2011

Ten Years Later

“The attacks of September 11, 2001, impelled America to declare war against terrorism. Its unforeseen consequence may be a historic leap in the global spread of democracy and human rights.”
26 Apr 2012

Israel and Iran: The Grounds for an Israeli Attack

Given Washington’s current reluctance to use military action against Iran’s nuclear program, Western leaders should at least grant that Israeli action is justifiable.
16 Aug 2013

Why the Brotherhood Failed

After alienating allies and clumsily targeting enemies, the Muslim Brotherhood met its demise after just a year in office, as did Washington’s already weakened influence in Cairo.
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.
28 Jun 2013

Editor’s Introduction

on the region’s shifting fortunes and opinions as well as the hesitancy ...

30 Dec 2012

Iran in the Balkans: A History and a Forecast

Iran’s largest diplomatic contingent in Europe resides in tiny Sarajevo. And the Islamist presence—including terror cells and training camps—continues to threaten the region, and the West.
30 Aug 2013

Misreading Iran’s Elections: Iranian Infighting and American Narcissism

President Rouhani might appear relatively reform-minded, but after three decades of disappointments by other Iranian “reformers,” outsiders should know better than to be optimistic.
27 Jun 2012

The Country That Is the World: Syria’s Clashing Communities

Given Syria’s widespread poverty and illiteracy, life and politics there are often determined by deeply rooted and divisive religious, sectarian, and ethnic allegiances—and the fear they inspire.
8 Nov 2011

A Nuclear Iran Could Upend the World

This week's IAEA report has stripped Iran's nuclear program of its civilian disguise.
1 Jul 2011

The Police State Playbook: An Introduction

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

Persons of Interest: Britain Learns from Ex-Islamists

Two former extremists prove just how much the UK learns from its reformed enemies (and why the US should do the same).

28 Feb 2010

Kurdish Official: Unwavering Support for Christians in Face of Targeted Terrorism

Kurdistan Regional Government. OFFICIAL STATEMENT. 07:00 PM EST

Kurdish Official: KRG Applauds US House Vote to Protect Religious Minorities in Iraq

Kurdistan Regional Government. OFFICIAL STATEMENT. 07:00 PM EST
26 Jan 2011

Comment of the Day

or the advance of human rights in the region or lack of advance, or the fight ...

6 Feb 2013

Women on the Front Lines in the Middle East

Women in combat is a hot topic for the US military right now. But women and girls in Arab and Muslim societies are waging a different kind of warfare. And the stakes are high.
13 Aug 2011

Assad Shells Alawite Stronghold

Michael J. Totten's blog Bashar al-Assad’s navy is shelling the Mediterranean city of Latakia , the “capital” of Syria’s Alawite region . Unlike in the other “Arab spring” countries, the anti-regime demonstrations ...

14 Aug 2013


of the region's succession of reigning powers. But mostly it's been bad. ...

10 Nov 2011

Let Tehran Sweat a Little

it could have a serious impact in the region and it could have a serious impact on U.S. forces in the region.” That’s true, of course, but making ...

5 Sep 2012

The World According to Syrian Kurdistan

The state of Syria's Kurdish minority has been largely ignored by the Western media—but their stake in the outcome of the country is no less dire than those of other warring factions.
28 Nov 2009

The Dubai Effect

calls “the Dubai effect” is a key part of it. “People in the region who ...

6 Jun 2012

Lebanon Fights Itself (Again)

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

26 Jan 2012

The Sectarian Monster

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

19 Jun 2013

Syria's Fight to the Death

power in the region than before,” Shehadi says, “but you’re going to lose ...

15 Apr 2013

Aid Syrian Rebels after Assad Falls

Syria’s Nusra Front and al-Qaeda in Iraq have merged, making it likely that US and EU aid to anti-Assad rebels will inadvertently strengthen Sunni terror groups in the Syrian–al-Qaeda civil war to come.
19 May 2013

How to Become a Dictator

Bashar al-Assad has kept an iron grip on power, like his father Hafez, by perpetuating his mythic profile as Syria's indispensable ruler, without whom the country would undoubtedly descend into the abyss of sectarian war and ethnic cleansing.
28 Jan 2010

Threatening Israel Isn’t Enough Anymore

amassing power for themselves in the region by saying, Hey, we’re not after ...

17 Nov 2012

Arabian Labyrinth

of them marry outside their tribe, let alone region. But the highest wall ...

3 Jul 2013

Armed Forces Control Egypt

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

7 Feb 2013

Shooting at the Neighbors

as the Syrian civil war sends shock waves through the region. My pal Darius ...

2 Jun 2009

Advice for Barack Obama from Lebanon

everyone in the region – and especially Iran, America’s archenemy ...