In 1978, Egypt and Cyprus clashed while terrorists held hostages in an airplane. The Cypriot government, under President Spyros Kyprianou, who personally handled the negotiations with Arab terrorists, faced an Egyptian crack antiterrorist group. Meanwhile, Egyptian troops attempted to free the hostages without the authorization of Kyprianou. The Egyptians, aiming for an Entebbe-style operation, met the determined Cypriot National Guard, who opened fire against them, killing 15 commandos and destroying their C-130H transport in a 50-minute battle at the Larnaca airport. The government of Cyprus was willing to show the world that they could defend their sovereignty, even at the cost of being viewed as negotiating with terrorists and defeating an anti-terrorist unit. British diplomats assessed the unfolding crisis hour-by-hour and provided a balanced account of the complex web of relations among Cyprus, Egypt, and the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
The Iran-Iraq War was one of the longest in the 21st century, as well as one of the most fruitless. A border dispute ballooned into one of the longest conventional wars of the twentieth century. This article is a study of the strategy and tactics that contributed to the war’s inability to accomplish the goals of either side. Three factors explaining the long duration will be discussed: military ineptitude, political and ideological motivations, and geopolitical influences.
This article surveys compulsory Arabic language curricula of the Egyptian education system. Extracts are presented and analyzed to show how these lessons are often infused with Islamic religious texts that emphasize Islam as the basis of all societal relations. All students, regardless of religion, are indoctrinated to uphold “obedience to God and His Prophet [Muhammad].” Lessons promote that leadership positions should be held by “believers” only; that any ruler who “disobeys God and His Prophet” can be himself disobeyed; and that the believers should take a firm position against those who “do not submit to the orders of God and His Prophet.” There is little mention of the constitution or laws. The article concludes that this government-endorsed curriculum is breeding intolerance and extremism among the new generations.
On March 24, 2009, the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, the U.S. Department of State’s International Information Programs in Washington D.C., and the Public Affairs Office at the U.S. Embassy in Israel jointly held an international videoconference seminar focusing on reform and democracy in the Gulf States.
Brief biographies of the participants can be found at the end of the article. This seminar is part of the GLORIA Center’s Experts Forum series.
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.
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.