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.
The two coordinated Islamic State (IS) attacks on the Iranian Parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini are not only the first IS attacks in Iran, but also the first terror attacks of this kind in the country. These attacks are the realization of threats articulated by IS in late March to strike Iran. This […]
An optimist’s guide to a war-torn country divided by sectarianism. Seventeen-year-old Khalid shuffled into the room, his baggy brown pants pulled up to his ankles. Three months ago the Iraqi army liberated his town from the Islamic State. Then Shia militias allied with Baghdad showed up. When they did, “I ran away from them and […]