The October 2017 clashes between Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the disputed territories of the Kurdistan Region led to the loss of territories previously controlled by the Kurdish Peshmerga, including the city of Kirkuk and Sinjar. This article will discuss the various factions of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) as well as the internal dispute between the PUK and KDP. It will also identify possible scenarios for each disputed area. Last, the wider conflict between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Region will be addressed. The intertwining of these various political, diplomatic, and military conflicts has brought severe impediments to the Kurdistan Region after the Kurdish independence referendum process. The article concludes that a federal solution with a strong judicial arrangement is the optimal scenario.
In 1400 AH (1979/80 CE), a new Muslim apocalyptic millennial movement began and has since gained great momentum. Caliphaters are defined by their millennial goal–world conquest–and the apocalyptic timetable–in this generation; they operate on two major registers: kinetic war (jihad) and cognitive war (da’wa). The movement expanded greatly at the turn of the Western millennium (2000 CE), with the Western news media’s coverage of the “second intifada” (opening round of jihadi war on Western democracies), the U.S. response to September 11. These empowered da’wa campaigns designed to pressure Western infidels into the posture of dhimmi.
This article demonstrates “circuitous but intended outcomes”–or the desirable consequences accurately anticipated and predicted by the actors involved at the moment the act is carried out–in the case of the October 1973 Yom Kippur War between Israel and Egypt. This case provides a strong illustration of how an actor who wages war can circuitously achieve political goals despite suffering military defeat on the battleground. Egypt’s President Anwar al-Sadat astonishingly predicted the indirect results of the war he initiated. Sadat forecast that Egypt needed a spark–“crossing the canal and capturing just ten centimeters of Sinai”–which would trigger the involvement of much more powerful forces, such as the superpowers–and the United States in particular–leading them to successfully compel Israel to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt’s desired goal.
At the core of the power struggle among states key to Middle Eastern stability and global balance is the question of who controls whose natural gas flow via whose territories. The United States, Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iran are analyzed in this context to present how changing alliances have disrupted the regional balance in the Syria conflict. Given the stable hostility between the United States and Russia as well as the steady friendship between Russia and Syria, Turkey’s alliances and enmities are central in the formation of balances. Competition or disagreement between the United States and Russia over Kurdish independence in Syria could lead to a protracted conflict for years to come in the Middle East.
Honor violence is commonplace in parts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and female genital circumcision (FGC) is often the first violence experienced by many females there. The consequences of this dangerous procedure have led some countries to enact laws prohibiting the practice. While the FGC originated in Egypt and is still common in the country, there has also been recorded opposition toward the procedure for nearly a century. This article will explore the history of FGC within Egypt, both as a tradition and as a legislative initiative.
Click here for PDF version Iraqi Shi’i leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s July 2017 visit to Saudi Arabia is evidence of a paradigmatic shift in Saudi policy. Aware that the Shi’a comprise the majority in Iraq, the kingdom appears to be abandoning its previous sectarian stance and is reaching out to the Shi’a population there. The Saudis […]