Why are Sunni Arabs generating waves of terror and zeal for the caliph? I argue that it’s a reaction to a century of steady erosion of Ottoman-era Sunni dominance, especially in the zone between the Mediterranean shore and the Persian Gulf. It’s not a sudden collapse, it’s a long-term unwinding that has taken Jerusalem, Damascus, Beirut and Baghdad out of Sunni hands. The Shiites (and Jews), once last, are now first—and Arab Sunnis blame the West. (I also have something to say about the Sunni-mania in Israel.) Read the entire piece here, at Mosaic Magazine.
the sons of perdition rise again
Eli Lake reports: "Field of Flight," a new book Flynn co-wrote with historian Michael Ledeen, argues that America is up against a global alliance between radical jihadis and anti-American nation states like Russia, Cuba and North Korea. They say this war will last at least a generation. And they say it will require outside ground forces to go after al Qaeda and the Islamic State as well as a sustained information campaign to discredit the ideology of radical Islam. - Bloomberg View
FPI Policy Director David Adesnik reviews “Lawfare” by Orde Kittrie: Lawfare deserves a prominent place on bookshelves at the State Department and the Pentagon, as well as ministries of defense and foreign affairs across the globe. I suspect that it is already being read with great interest in places like Tehran and Beijing, which is all the more reason that American lawmakers and policymakers should absorb and apply its lessons as swiftly as possible. – The Weekly Standard
in hegemon's shadow
Thomas Hobbes (picture)
The relationship between established powers and emerging powers is one of the most important topics in world politics. Nevertheless, few studies have investigated how the leading state in the international system responds to rising powers in peripheral regions―actors that are not yet and might never become great powers but that are still increasing their strength, extending their influence, and trying to reorder their corner of the world. In the Hegemon's Shadow fills this gap. Evan Braden Montgomery draws on different strands of realist theory to develop a novel framework that explains why leading states have accommodated some rising regional powers but opposed others.
Montgomery examines the interaction between two factors: the type of local order that a leading state prefers and the type of local power shift that appears to be taking place. The first captures a leading state's main interest in a peripheral region and serves as the baseline for its evaluation of any changes in the status quo. Would the leading state like to see a balance of power rather than a preponderance of power, does it favor primacy over parity instead, or is it impartial between these alternatives? The second indicates how a local power shift is likely to unfold. In particular, which regional order is an emerging power trying to create and does a leading state expect it to succeed? Montgomery tests his arguments by analyzing Great Britain’s efforts to manage the rise of Egypt, the Confederacy, and Japan during the nineteenth century and the United States’ efforts to manage the emergence of India and Iraq during the twentieth century.
Amazon Book: In Hegemon's Shadow