The Israel Air Force (IAF) has a rich history of employing unmanned aerial vehicles in battle with excellent results, and is set to expand significantly its drone operations in the coming decades, as the increasing sophistication of these vehicles makes them suitable for a rapidly expanding set of roles. In the future, the IAF’s drone force could alter Israel’s strategic landscape, reinforcing both its nuclear and conventional deterrence, as well as making it less dependent on American military assistance.
The Netherlands is a fascinating test case of how Middle Eastern factors–immigration, foreign policy issues–affect European politics. These questions have become highly partisan ones, with the left side and right side of the spectrum often having diametrically opposite standpoints. The 2010 election brought to power a government that is friendly toward Israel and has pledged to reduce immigration.
In 2001, as a reaction to the September 11 terror attacks, the United States led an international campaign to capture those members of al-Qa’ida responsible for the attacks. A second objective focused on rebuilding Afghanistan so that after decades of conflict, its people would have a better future. However, despite a huge commitment by the international community, Afghanistan remains highly unstable and volatile. This article explores the reasons the international effort in Afghanistan has failed to deliver peace, security, and stability.
Since the end of the Cold War, a new strategic landscape has appeared in the Middle East. No longer dominated by a U.S.-Soviet rivalry, this new landscape is dominated by U.S.-Iranian confrontation. In this struggle, the United States’ most important Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, plays a key role. As the Obama administration policies allow Iran to run out the clock on getting a nuclear weapon, it would appear from its recent policy moves that it believes Riyadh is primarily concerned with the Arab-Israeli conflict. While this is a concern in Saudi Arabia, it is far and away not the primary one. Indeed, there is no doubt that in its foreign policy Riyadh is much more worried about Iran’s rise as a key regional actor.
This article argues that Turkey’s improved relations with the Gulf states in recent years reflect Ankara’s refusal to allow Washington to use its territory to invade Iraq in 2003, Turkey’s promotion of regional trade, and the decline of traditional Cold War security alliances in the Middle East. Ankara and Gulf states have increasingly seen each as viable alternatives to their traditional strategic partners–the European Union for Turkey and the United States for Gulf governments. Nonetheless, one should not overstate the importance of this alliance: Turkey and the Gulf disagree about Iran’s nuclear program and other regional issues.
Yemen is among the world’s most corrupt and least developed nations, factors that explain a long running war in the north and an exploding independence movement in the south. Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Salih deals with legitimate dissent by jailing journalists, shooting protesters, and bombing civilians on a scale that reaches the level of war crimes. Salih has long been an al-Qa’ida enabler, but the December 25, 2009 Christmas Day terror attack brought new urgency to U.S.-Yemeni relations. However, the United States risks becoming a party to violent repression, as well as enhancing the support system of one of the world’s most ambitious al-Qa’ida affiliates.