The Obama administration faces an enormous number of challenges in the Middle East each of which has its separate roots and requirements. Yet throughout these conflicts runs a single theme: the battle between an Iran-led coalition and other states, along with the overlapping battles of Islamists versus nationalists, and sometimes of Sunni versus Shi’a. This article is a brief analysis of these issues and the options possessed by the administration in dealing with them.
Archives for June 2009
In the March 2009 Turkish local elections, the opposition Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and Democratic Society Party (DTP) did better but not as well as they had hoped. The incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) was content to finish first but disappointed by reduced support. Government losses were concentrated in the developed west–hard-hit by the global economic crisis–and the east and southeast–where continuing violence breeds discontent.
When Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas visited President Barack Obama in Washington, he squandered a great opportunity while, at the same time, giving Obama a tremendous opportunity…
This article traces the history of Israeli-Lebanese relations. Key episodes in the Israeli involvement in Lebanon are outlined. The article also examines the process whereby the Palestinian movement became a player in internal Lebanese affairs and the effect this had on Lebanon’s internal situation and eventually on the Israel-Lebanon context. Also discussed are the Litani operation of 1978, the 1982 war, subsequent Israeli involvement in southern Lebanon, and the 2006 war. The article concludes with observations regarding key elements and likely future direction of relations between Israel and Lebanon.