This article discusses the 2006/2007 U.S. troop surge in Iraq. It examines to what extent the shift in strategy was responsible for the dramatic drop in violence as well as the implications for U.S. strategy in future conflicts. This article can be found in PDF version here. INTRODUCTION Adopted at the end of […]
This article surveys all aspects of U.S. Middle East policy under the Obama administration, critiques this strategy and premises, and suggests what U.S. policy should be. A previous version of this article was published in The Journal of International Security Affairs (Fall/Winter 2011). The Obama administration has comprehensively lost its way on Middle East policy […]
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been experiencing deteriorating parameters for both food production and consumption for some time. Agricultural output is constrained by limited water resources, diminishing arable land, and poor public policy. Consumption is driven by high population growth and subsidies that encourage waste. The region is food insecure, both on […]
There is a small detail at the end of Obama’s big Middle East speech that everyone has overlooked up until now but which shows how inept this administration is at understanding the Israel-Palestinian issue and why it continually makes Israel mistrustful. In doing his balancing act on Israeli and Palestinian fears and hostility, he says […]
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.