The full purpose of the underground complex remains unknown. Based on official Iranian accounts, the new tunnel complex is intended to house a new, large centrifuge assembly facility to replace the Iranian Centrifuge Assembly Center (ICAC) destroyed in an attack in July 2020. If this plant has the same size as the destroyed facility, it will be able to assemble about 8,000 IR-2m and IR-4 centrifuges per year. – Institute for Science and International Securit
Hal Brands writes: Australian officials told me they worry that it will be difficult to generate tons of new military capabilities in the next half-decade, so one way to strengthen deterrence is to make as clear as possible that Beijing will face a powerful democratic coalition if it attacks Taiwan. After all, it seems likely that Australia, like Washington and Tokyo, would find it hard to avoid such a fight. One critical question, in Canberra and elsewhere, is how explicitly to make this known in advance. Next up in this series: India. – Bloomberg
Summer 2022 Issue MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE
Russia’s Subtle Victory in the Middle East
Russia has deftly navigated the complex geopolitical environment of the Middle East and emerged as a real power broker.
Did China “Destroy” Globalization?
Derek Scissors | International Economy Magazine
China, with ongoing aid from sometimes naive foreign partners, is in the process of effectively destroying globalization.
James C. Capretta: Reforming US Health Policy
James Pethokoukis and James C. Capretta | Political Economy
We often hear that health care in the United States is expensive, but what does that mean exactly? How can policymakers reform our health care system with a market-based approach?
Britain’s Ill Wind
With her incapacity and utter lack of common sense, Liz Truss deepened the already-formidable problems of her country.
Ahmed Buhejji writes: The Gulf states have been more successful than Israel in diversifying their exposure to the three powers. Despite the normalization of relations through the Abraham Accords, Israel is not fully integrated with Gulf states and has a unique relationship with the United States. As a result, Israel perceives such dilemmas differently. – The National Interest
Food crisis looms over Tunisia
As food grows scarcer in Tunisia, more residents are growing upset at the government's inaction.
Escalation Management and Nuclear Employment in Russian Military Strategy, by Michael Kofman and Anya Loukianova Fink
Gordon Gray writes: Ultimately, there is only so much the United States can do. Friends of democracy should support their Tunisian counterparts, but it is of course up to Tunisians to choose their country’s future path. By the time the next presidential elections take place in 2024, it’s very possible that Tunisians will have tired of Saied. Their focus is on the economy. Saied’s blend of Ben Ali’s authoritarianism and Muammar Qaddafi’s political philosophy is unlikely to meet Tunisians’ pressing needs. – The National Interest
Russia’s Nuclear Doctrine, with Anya Loukianova Fink
Israel’s Lapid soars in polls but has no camp behind him
Recent polls show growing electoral support for Prime Minister Yair Lapid, even though parties within the center-left camp might chose to back his rival Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
Lapid’s coalition crumbles ahead of Israeli elections
Unlike opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister Yair Lapid has failed to unite his camp ahead of the November elections.
Hal Brands writes: China isn’t making this mistake. As Beijing’s propaganda outlets issue chilling threats about what will happen to its enemies if conflict occurs, its shipyards and factories are spitting out warships and munitions at an astounding rate. The arsenal of autocracy may soon be ready for war. Will the arsenal of democracy be up to the challenge? – Bloomberg
Tunisian opposition to boycott legislative elections
Political forces in Tunisia are divided over the upcoming legislative elections announced by President Kais Saied, with the country’s main opposition alliance announcing its boycott of the vote over the controversial measures Saied has taken since last year.
The Fed Needs A Rule
citing John B. Taylor via Newsweek
Inflation isn't going away anytime soon. Consumer prices rose 8.3% in August, higher than most analysts predicted. There are worrying signs price pressures are broadening: Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, reached 6.3%. Wages are rising too, but not fast enough to compensate for two years of eroding purchasing power. The data are clear: American families are hurting.
Private Accounts Are No Silver Bullet
Better ways exist to rein in the costs of entitlement programs.
Oktay Kucukdegirmenci writes: In the current rivalry between the United States and China, if New Delhi joins the U.S. vision for the Indo-Pacific, it will only become a strategic pawn of the United States. However, what is most beneficial for India is for New Delhi to remain neutral between the two states, acting as a counterweight to both. By working to maintain a regional equilibrium, India can assert its interests while capitalizing on its geostrategic birthright. – The National Interest
Nicholas Saidel writes: America’s diplomatic and military posture in the eastern Mediterranean must realign with new realities. The right balance of proactive statecraft and application of a more muscular deterrence strategy would restore calm to the eastern Mediterranean. Moreover, it would ensure that most littoral states of the eastern Mediterranean are well within the West’s orbit for the foreseeable future. – The National Interest
Kris Osborn writes: Force Design 2030 calls for a fast-moving expeditionary force equipped with anti-armor weapons and supported by ship-fired missiles, drones, and unmanned systems. In a conceptually similar manner to Ukraine’s land warfare tactics, the Marines envision a mix of longer-range weapons with “close-in” fight strategies and a significant increase in the use of unmanned systems. While in different domains, there are conceptual parallels related to the Ukraine effort that can be applied to future amphibious warfare operations. – The National Interest
Caleb Larson writes: Force Design 2030 also directs the Marine Corps to establish distributed logistics and resupply chains whenever possible, eschewing static—and vulnerable—ammunition dumps. Berger believes that adapting resupply to a maritime environment will give Marines the edge in a war in the Pacific. – The National Interest
A Transformative U.S. Strategy for Africa:
A Proposal for New Wine in a New Bottle
By Amelia Griffith, Strategy Bridge: “The socio-economic development and stability of African countries have long been linked to the promotion of U.S. national interests."
New MEQ Features Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak
News from the Middle East Forum
September 8, 2022
The Islamic State, HTS, And The U.S. Role In Syria
by Cole Bunzel via The CaravanIn August 2011, several months after the outbreak of the Syrian rebellion, President Barack Obama called on President Bashar al-Asad to leave.
In Syria, Pariahs Are Partners
by Michael Doran via The CaravanThe day after Russian President Vladimir Putin unleashed his forces on Ukraine, Ned Price, the State Department spokesman, launched a retaliatory barrage at Moscow—a barrage of adjectives.
Lessons in “religious pluralism and democratic institutions” were hallmarks of India’s independence movement, write Research Fellow Dinsha Mistree and Visiting Fellow Sumit Ganguly, when “India’s leaders advanced a progressive and modern vision for their new country, eschewing a national Hindu religion in favor of a secular identity.”
Three Secret Military Time Management Tips
By Jessica Evans, We Are the Mighty: "Time management isn’t just key to a successful career in the military. It’s critical to, well, just about everything."
Internecine Knife Fights Are Killing The U.S. Navy And American Maritime
By Craig Hooper, Forbes: "By all rights, this should be a golden age in maritime investment and in the formulation of modern American maritime policy."
Rethinking Deterrence: How and Why
By Keith B. Payne, National Institute for Public Policy: "Many folks now ask me about the emerging “trilateral deterrence” threat environment."
Lessons on Civil-Military Relations From the Benedict Arnold’s Infamous Treason,
a Case Study With Contemporary Applications
By Gerald Krieger, Small Wars Journal: “America's national security strategy is a military posture that contains political elements."
Syrian Tragedy, Turkish Error, American Failing
by Russell A. Berman via The CaravanSyria is the humanitarian catastrophe of the century. The Bashar al-Assad regime has been engaging in systematic attacks on its own population, not only to suppress a movement calling for democratization--the Syrian version of the Arab Spring--but to carry out an intentional program of demographic reengineering.
Why We Should Study War
by Victor Davis Hanson via PolicyEdMilitary history teaches us about honor, sacrifice, and the inevitability of conflict.
The Key To Understanding Putin's Game Of Thrones
by Thomas Weber via HaaretzA speech by the Russian leader in a Greek monastery in 2016 explains why Russia is at war today.
The Logic Behind Turkey’s Fifth Syrian Operation
by Richard Outzen via The CaravanIn the remainder of 2022 many Middle East watchers expect a major Turkish military operation in northern Syria, the fifth in seven years.
The First Energy War of the 21st Century
Mark Mills, National Review
Biden’s Iran Nuclear Deal Sets the Stage for a Real "Forever War"
Michael Rubin | Washington Examiner
Joe Biden may believe he is furthering diplomacy, but by convincing Tehran that it can act without consequence, he is setting the stage for a real “forever war” across the region.
The End of Two Illusions: Islam after the West by Hamid Dabashi
Oakland: University of California Press, 2022. 333 pp. $29.95.
Muslims and the Making of Modern Europe by Emily Greble
New York: Oxford University Press, 2021. 354 pp. $35.
The Ottoman World: A Cultural History Reader, 1450-1700 Edited by Hakan T. Karateke and Helga Anetshofer. Oakland: University of California Press, 2021. 379 pp. $150 ($39.95, paper).
The Politics of Persecution: Middle Eastern Christians in an Age of Empire by Mitri Raheb
Waco, Tex.: Baylor University Press, 2021. 207 pp. $24.99.
Revolutionary Life: The Everyday of the Arab Spring by Asef Bayat
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2021. 336 pp. $35.
Iaqi Cleric al-Sadr to Quit Politics. Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced Monday that he is withdrawing from politics and closing his offices over a political deadlock with his opponents. Al-Sadr’s supporters have been protesting in Baghdad’s government zone in support of his call to dissolve parliament to prevent his Iran-backed rivals from forming a new government. After his announcement, they stormed government headquarters, forcing a halt to cabinet sessions and sparking fears of further escalation. Al-Sadr has announced his withdrawal from politics before and then returned to political life, but current tensions may keep him permanently out.
Al Jazeera New York Times Reuters
Israeli Strikes Hit Syria Military Facility. Israeli airstrikes caused massive damage at a military facility in the city of Masyaf in western Syria on Thursday. Syrian and Russian state media reported the attack and satellite imagery confirmed damage from the strikes. Syrian opposition activists say the attack hit a missile depot used by Iran-backed fighters. War monitors say the attack killed one Syrian army captain but did not affect an underground facility used to develop missiles under the supervision of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. Al Jazeera Associated Press Reuters
US-Backed Syrian Kurds Move Against Islamic State. US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces launched an operation against Islamic State sleeper cells in the northeastern al-Hol detention camp. Violence in the camp, which holds refugees and families of suspected IS fighters, has killed at least 44 people in the last year. The UN says conditions at the camp are “catastrophic” and is urging for the creation of a “safe space” to protect women and children there. Reuters
Matan Tzuri writes: Most of the Gaza border community residents are satisfied with the outcome of last week’s IDF operation, and the south looks like its back to normal … for now. Some remedy for the broken soul. With post trauma, you can only learn to live with the pain, it may get less painful with time, but it will never stop hurting. – Ynet
Hadeel Oueis writes: The Abraham Accords were an excellent opportunity to break the political taboos once considered unbreakable in the Arab world. Still, it was not alone the reason for the new trend of opposing the Islamist groups in Gaza. […]It’s demonstrated in active ways when thousands of Lebanese and Iraqis protest the influence of the Iranian-backed militias, but achieving any tangible wins against Iran’s destructive influence in the region is beyond the capability of the Arab youth, and requires a US coherent plan and active engagement in the region, which doesn’t exist so far. – Jerusalem Post
Israel Victory Can Solve the Palestinian Issue
August 9, 2022
Azhar Al-Rubaie writes: Iraqi and international calls for calm and to bring the parties to the table to resolve the current crisis have not stopped the Sadrist demonstrations inside the Green Zone, now in their second week. Saleh Mohammed al-Iraqi has called for the demonstrations to continue, saying they are “very important for achieving the demands.” Meanwhile, the Iraqi people must continue to wait for the formation of the Iraqi government, after their interests have been continually obstructed by political deadlock and paralysis. – Washington Institute
Tunisia’s government and both its main labour and commerce unions agreed on Friday to start talks on Monday over economic reforms required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a rescue programme. – Reuters
Josh Rogin writes: Fabricating more semiconductors here at home is long overdue and will have many benefits. But it doesn’t get us far in dealing with the broader economic threat from Beijing. China’s predatory investing, unfair trade practices and technological expansion are increasing. The vital effort to protect our economic and national security from China’s aggression must continue, and both parties must join the fight. – Washington Post
Edward Lucas writes: This is no reason for complacency. China’s successes may be flimsy, but they still reflect gaps created by Western failure. The stuttering pace of EU enlargement in the Western Balkans, timidity in confronting the headstrong Hungarian leadership, failure to show solidarity with Lithuania over Taiwan, and the neglect of Chinese-language teaching in CEE universities were not the result of Chinese pressure. But they created conditions which the CCP could, and did, exploit. The Chinese leadership may be on the back foot now. But it thinks long term. And we, mostly, do not. – Center for European Policy Analysis
Daniel F. Runde writes: For its part, Pakistan should recommit to structural reform of the Pakistani economy, addressing longstanding issues of revenue collection and attractiveness for foreign investment. It can build on the “geoeconomics” initiative of the previous administration to make Pakistan live up to its considerable economic potential. The United States and Pakistan should repair, and restore our broken relationship, dispel misconceptions and take a long view seeking stronger ties based on economics and other non-security issues. – The Hill
Muqtada al-Sadr uses street pressure to set political conditions for his rivals
Influential Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr vowed that new elections would be held as his followers flocked to a mass prayer in the occupied parts of Baghdad’s Green Zone after 10 months of political deadlock.
Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities recently announced the discovery of the sarcophagus of Wahipra Merinit, who was the “commander of foreign soldiers” during the late 26th dynasty. The discovery is revealing never before known facts about the period when the Egyptian army began to rely on mercenary soldiers from the Greeks and the Mediterranean islands.
Iran's Satellite Program Is a Growing Threat by Seth J. Frantzman
The Jerusalem Post
July 25, 2022
Getting Ready for a Long War with China
July 30, 2022In his latest report, Hal Brands envisions the dynamics of a potential conflict with Communist China. Not only will that confrontation pose greater risks of conventional and nuclear escalation, he finds, but it is also unlikely to be short or geographically limited to flash points like the Taiwan Strait. With these challenges in mind, he proposes that American strategists must consider six crucial priorities: "endurance, resilience, coercion, termination, exploitation, and continuation."
Russian company begins construction at Egypt’s first nuclear power plant
Russia's state-owned atomic energy company, Rosatom, and the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy have begun work at the Dabaa nuclear power plant, Egypt’s first.
Fragments of Israeli rightwing parties gamble on merging ahead of elections
The broken Yamina party and the two-member Derech Eretz party are hoping that their merger will get them into the next Knesset.
Tehran, the Day After
What might happen in Iran if America or Israel bombed the nuclear sites?
The Next Salafi-Jihadi Wave: Capabilities, Resources, and Opportunity
| Emily Estelle | May 16, 2022.
Kris Osborn writes: An ability to make substantial improvements quickly through MOSA not only increases efficiency, speed of modernization, and lowers costs but also brings the critical advantage of lowering weight. Agility, speed and aerial performance are all key performance parameters impacted by weight, so optimizing operational functionality at lighter weights generates highly sought after advantages for engineers. – The National Interest
Salem Alketbi writes: The militias represent the main bulwark of a revolutionary regime that, despite more than three decades since the most remarkable event in modern Iranian history – the landing of Ayatollah Khomeini at Tehran airport on his return from exile in February 1979 – has failed to pacify and transition from revolution to state. Since then, the country has changed, its behavior upended. The problem with this model is that it creates illusions within itself that lead to disasters for itself and others, and our region is paying the price for this destructive ideology. – Jerusalem Post
Erwin van Veen and Hamidreza Azizi write: The combination of U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2018 and Iran playing for time in 2021-2022 at the cost of the socio-economic prospects of its own population is set to become a textbook example of how to undo two decades worth of negotiations and sanctions. It will produce the suboptimal outcomes of permanent regional tensions, a latently nuclear-capable Iran, and continued U.S. involvement in the region. There are no quick fixes to this emergent new reality. – The National Interest
Seth J, Frantzman writes: The attacks used rockets and are apparently carried out by pro-Iran militias. One of these militias has taken a name linked to Yazidis, the minority once targeted by ISIS and which is now targeted by Turkey. However, it is assumed the militia is actually a stand-in for pro-Iranian militias such as Kataib Hezbollah. Iranian-backed militias also target US forces in the Kurdistan region. This means Turkey’s operations have wider regional implications. Turkey’s leader is meeting with Iran and Russia this week and Turkey wants to launch a new operation in Syria. Turkey claims its new operation in Syria will also target “PKK terrorists.” – Jerusalem Post
Will new nuclear deal render Israel’s capabilities hollow?
Jacob Nagel and Mark Dubowitz — Israel Hayom
Returning to reality after the euphoria that existed during US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia, the belligerent announcements by senior Iranian officials and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, and the convening of the Russia-Turkey-Iran conference in Tehran, require a sober assessment of the situation and the construction of a plan to preserve and increase deterrence vis-à-vis Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as the continued communication with the USA to prevent any return to the dreadful nuclear agreement from 2015.
The 'Two-State Solution' to Destroy Israel by Khaled Abu Toameh
Israel Needs to Change Its Strategy Against Hamas
Reining In the Agencies
On the last day of its term, the Supreme Court stops the Environmental Protection Agency from making policy without express congressional authorization.
The executive versus the judiciary in Tunisia
While in practice no judiciary is totally independent and immune to the influence of executive or corporate power, Saied’s recent steps do indicate a significant change in the relationship between these branches.
China's development and strategic priorities have led to the most rapid military buildup the world has ever seen.
READ MORE ›
Natural law thinkers are not trapped in feudal medieval politics, and neither are Confucians slaves to a despotic past.
READ MORE ›
Pakistan’s political crisis and the imperatives of economic reform
Beyond short-term austerity measures, Pakistan’s current federal and provincial governments need to push forward essential reforms — including in agriculture, energy, and local governance — that are key to ensuring the country’s political and economic stability and long-term growth prospects.
The Era of Free-Lunch Economics Is Over
Reality intrudes on the fantasy of cost- and consequence-free deficit spending.
Temple Mount clashes threaten Israeli coalition
After losing his Knesset majority April 6 when legislator Idit Silman ditched the coalition, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is now confronted with the Ra’am party freezing its coalition membership over Temple Mount incidents.
Temple Mount violence puts Arab coalition party on the spot
With pictures of violence on Temple Mount flooding social media, the Islamic Ra’am party in the coalition had no other choice but to temporarily suspend its membership in the coalition.
Inflation storm worsens Turkey’s income distribution gap
Banks and big companies have benefited from Ankara’s controversial policy to keep interest rates low, while soaring inflation eats into the real income of the wage-earning masses.
A Brief History of Inflation
With rising prices comes economic instability, which may be on the horizon once again.
Ukraine war shows America could be outgunned without investing in energetics
Energetic materials — critical chemicals that help determine the range, size, and explosive power of missiles and rockets — are in dangerously short supply for American interests, write Nadia Schadlow and Brady Helwig of the Hudson Institute.
WORLD POLITICS REVIEW
The absence of an off-ramp
China’s Air-Launched ‘Carrier Killer’ Missile
By Thomas Newdick, 1945: “China’s mysterious air-launched anti-ship ballistic missile just made its latest appearance.”
The New Nuclear Age
By Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr., Foreign Affairs: “How China’s Growing Nuclear Arsenal Threatens Deterrence”
Africa and Global Society:
Marginality, Conditionality and Conjecture
By Will Turner, Strategy Bridge: “Political and strategic approaches to Africa have recently been parceled into bins based on interests: Great Power Competition, China and the Belt and Road Initiative, Russia and Wagner, and Violent Extremist Organizations, to name a few."
Coup generals bring back party of Sudan's ousted dictator
Members of deposed dictator Omar al-Bashir's party have been appointed to high state positions and reinstated throughout the government.
Russia is trying to increase its influence in the Sahel region, trying to exploit the anti-France sentiment that is developing in the area. After consolidating its relations with the government in Mali, Russia is now wooing the new power in Burkina Faso. Following the recent coup that took place on January 24, 2022, several supporters of Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba, the country’s interim president, have already called for strengthening the cooperation with Russia and breaking the country’s partnership with France. – Middle East Media Research Institute
Sanctioning Deterrence Failure
By Seth Cropsey, RealClearDefense: “The Economization of American Grand Strategy.”
“Algeria rings in the old: Civil society under assault”
Algeria’s opposition after the Hirak: Limitations and divisions
The gradual fading out of protests in 2020 amid the surge of the pandemic was the result of both the system’s political maneuvers and the opposition’s own organizational and political weaknesses.
If New Looks could kill: Russia’s military capability in 2022
The deployment of Russian troops and equipment to areas close to Ukraine has led to much attention on Russia’s armed forces and alarm over Moscow’s intentions towards Ukraine.
READ MORE READ MORE
An introduction to Russia's military modernisation
The 2020 edition of the IISS Strategic Dossier Russia’s Military Modernisation examines the nature and scope of the development of Moscow’s armed forces and military capabilities.
comprehensive guide to Russia's war against Ukraine.
What Russia’s New Reality Means for Turkey by Selim Koru
A Dysfunctional Peace: How Libya’s Fault Lines Were Redrawn by Jalel Harchaoui
Great-Power Competition Comes for Latin America by Adam Isacson
In search of a US-Indo-Pacific economic policy
Claude Barfield | East Asia Forum
Amir Tibon writes: In the long run, Israel’s relationship with the United States faces a problem larger than any specific disagreement with Biden: the declining relevance of the Middle East. The region is slipping in priority for Washington and seen as a distraction from more urgent problems, from competing with China to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. – Foreign Affairs
To Win, or Not to Win, That Is the Only Question by Alex Nachumson
January 3, 2022
Time for PM Bennett and his cabinet to ratify, publish a national security strategy
The inherent political and economic complexities involved in crafting a defense doctrine in the coalition governance structure in Israel prevent the prime minister from simply committing such principles to paper, but it is imperative this mission is accomplished.
Jacob Nagel | Senior Fellow
Biden’s Build Back Better bill could decimate the childcare landscape
Frederick M. Hess | Education Week
Many families rely on faith-based childcare centers — but those providers are in peril under the Build Back Better bill's current language.
Get used to Putin’s power plays — at least until 2024
Leon Aron | The Hill
Vladimir Putin’s main audience is internal. His brinkmanship is directly linked to what is described in Russia as “Problem 24” — namely, the fulfillment of Putin’s paramount goal to become president for life in 2024, when, at 72, he will start yet another six-year term.
While Massing Troops Against Ukraine,
Putin Threatens the U.S. National Command Authority
By Mark B. Schneider, RealClearDefense: “As noted Russian journalist Pavel Felgenhauer pointed out in November 2021, “President Vladimir Putin declared that if the West deploys missiles to Ukraine that could reach Moscow ‘in five to ten minutes,’ Russia is ready to counter by deploying a ‘new naval hypersonic missile, which may reach [Western] decision-makers in 5 minutes, flying at Mach 9 speed.'”
Modern Russian Statecraft:
Neither New nor Hybrid
By Philip Wasielewski, Small Wars Journal: "The current national security elites of the Russian Federation, most having a background in the security services, are inheritors of a Soviet tradition of coercive statecraft and in many cases former practitioners of its darker aspects."
Crisis Stability as a Priority in U.S.-China Relations
By Heather Williams, the interpreter: “Arms control with China will look very different from arms control with Russia."
Understanding Drone Typology
By Zachary Kallenborn, Modern War Institute: “In May 2021, during its conflict with Hamas, the Israel Defense Forces became the first military to use a drone swarm in combat.”
We’re Not in Kissinger’s Middle East Anymore by Abe Silberstein
Mobile Nuclear Power Reactors Won’t Solve the Army’s Energy Problems by Jake Hecl
No end in sight for civilian-military crisis in Sudan
The head of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, called for the dissolution of the government, further escalating the tension with his civilian partners in governance.
Tunisia’s political crisis forewarns economic collapse
Economists are sounding the alarm about a possible economic collapse in Tunisia, urging for reforms to revive the economy that had been suffering since 2011 amid political instability.
Defense policy experts Bradley Bowman, Bryan Clark, Mackenzie Eaglen, and Thomas Spoehr recently outlined their recommendations in War on the Rocks
Sudan Protests for Military Coup. Thousands rallied at the presidential palace in Khartoum on Saturday calling for the military to initiate a coup and overthrow the civilian government. The protests come as the military demands reforms to the coalition government which civilian leaders view as a power grab in the wake of a thwarted September coup attributed to forces still loyal to ousted President Omar al-Bashir. BBC Reuters
Ethiopian Airstrikes Hit Tigray. Ethiopia’s military has allegedly hit the Tigray capital region of Mekele with airstrikes, killing three people according to media reports citing local eye witnesses. The new offensive comes amid pressure from the US and the EU to stem the violence. Associated Press Al Jazeera
Ezgi Yazici writes: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s failure to work effectively with the United States and its NATO allies undermines his position with Russia and enables Putin to take advantage of Turkey’s strategic vulnerabilities. Ankara’s balancing act between the United States and Russia depends on maintaining Turkey’s strategic importance and relevance for both states, leverage that Erdogan may be losing. – Institute for the Study of War
Michael Rubin writes: The lira, Turkey’s currency, is in free fall. A decade ago, it traded at 1.83 to the US dollar. Five years ago, it hovered around three to the dollar. Last week it surpassed nine to the dollar and, on Friday, it closed at 9.27. That the Turkish lira could drop an order of magnitude might sound farfetched, but it is not for a simple reason: Turkey’s foreign reserves are missing. – 19fortyfive
Munqith Dagher writes: However, the Iraqi state’s current military capabilities are supported by the Atabat and the Sadrist militias, and these combined forces may be enough to prevent the losing factions from aggravating tensions. Even with what seems to be a reduced willingness of Iran to support its followers in Iraq and escalate the security threats there, the government and international community alike should remain vigilant to these possibilities to prevent the alternative of being caught off-guard. – Washington Institute
Jennifer Cafarella and Caroline Rose write: The United States needs a more calibrated withdrawal plan in Iraq. Retaining U.S. advisors is necessary as a counterweight to Iran but is not sufficient to achieve sustainable security and governance conditions. The United States will continue to face pressure in Iraq from Iran’s proxies, who remain committed to escalating until all U.S. forces withdraw. Retreat in Iraq is fueling instability, not mitigating it. The United States must reorient on a long-term mission to stabilize Iraq based on its needs rather than continue a misguided acquiescence to Iran. – The National Interest
Zahid Shahab Ahmed and Dalbir Ahlawat write: While multilateral forums face challenges due to the existing geopolitical dynamics between India and Pakistan in the SAARC and India and China in the SCO, New Delhi and Islamabad stand to gain by bilaterally engaging on the issue of Afghanistan. Instead of turning their neighbor into a liability, they can turn Afghanistan into an asset through constructive engagement aimed at stability in the region. – The National Interest
How Does North Korea Evade Sanctions?
The Chinese-Russian Relationship and Its Risks to U.S. Interests
What Drives U.S. Adversaries to Use Military Forces Abroad?
Lessons from Afghanistan
China and Pakistan See Eye to Eye on the Taliban—Almost
Russia hasn't cleared Turkish attack on strategic Syrian town
Ankara has yet to secure a go-ahead from Moscow for an anticipated assault on the Syrian town of Tell Rifaat, which is controlled by Kurdish groups.
Drone sale to Ethiopia could jeopardize Turkey-Egypt dialogue
Turkey risks derailing normalization talks with Egypt by selling armed drones to Ethiopia, in addition to coming under international fire should Ethiopia use the drones in the conflict in Tigray.
Burak Bekdil: European "Pushback Is a Must" if Turkey Unleashes Afghan Migrants
by Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar
The Evolving Geography of the U.S. Defense Industrial Base by Doug Berenson
In The Atlantic, Sally Satel analyzes a new study that challenges this belief. Without dismissing the seriousness of right-wing authoritarianism, Satel argues that few studies engage with left-wing authoritarianism because of a monolithic academic culture. "This political imbalance makes truth-seeking harder," she concludes, which is bad for both science and American politics.
AEI scholars also question the reigning conventional wisdom in foreign policy. Hal Brands and Michael Beckley challenge the notion that the primary source of friction between China and the United States is "the replacement of one hegemon by another" — that is, China's rise and America's decline. They attribute the tense relations between the two countries instead to a "peaking power trap" and point to historical examples to suggest that China's decline is actually what could cause the trap to spring shut.
Ali Alfoneh on the "Strategic Lessons" Guiding Iran's Behavior
Analysis: The Islamic State’s expansion into Congo’s Ituri Province
U.S. Treasury sanctions al Qaeda facilitators in Turkey
Turkey's political realities clash with Erdogan’s 2023 dreams
To win the next election, Erdogan must change the election laws but also find more popular political allies. His AKP party's current coalition with the ultra-nationalists is becoming a liability for his goal of re-election in 2023.
For Peace, Abbas's Long-standing Rejectionism Has to Be Defeated by Gregg Roman
The Jerusalem Post
October 3, 2021
Tunisians rally in support of president
Thousands of Tunisians took to the streets on Sunday in support of President Kais Saied, whose critics accuse him of staging a coup. Around 8,000 people gathered in the capital, while others rallied in the cities of Sfax, Sidi Bouzid, Gafsa and Monastir. The crowds appeared to have outnumbered those who gathered last week to protest against Saied, who announced in September that he will rule by decree for two months. Saied suspended parliament in July and dismissed the prime minister and a number of Cabinet officials in response to sweeping protests against the government’s failure to address the coronavirus pandemic and mounting debt. On Sunday, a Tunisian member of parliament and television presenter were arrested after criticizing Saied and calling him a traitor.
Who Is Directing American Policy? by Lawrence Kadish
Iran Mullahs Closer Than Ever to Obtaining Nuclear Weapons by Majid Rafizadeh
It’s Time for Biden to Leave a Bad Deal in the Past
Richard Goldberg — National Review
When Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei selected Ebrahim Raisi to be the next president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Khamenei was sending Washington a message akin to Nikita Khrushchev’s infamous 1956 pronouncement: “We will bury you.” But don’t tell that to the unflappable advocates of appeasement in Washington who insist it is always the right time for rapprochement with Iran. Read more
Israel's Bennett, Due in Washington, Likely To Be Met With More Recalcitrance Than Ever on Iran
By CAROLINE GLICK, Special to the Sun | August 20, 2021
Israel’s Bennett striving for new center-right electorate
As new prime minister in a government composed of the right, center and left, Naftali Bennett strives to create for himself a new political base.
From Maximum Pressure to Maximum Deference
Biden’s appeasement of Iran has let the regime become more brazen
Pakistan’s Pyrrhic Victory in Afghanistan with Daniel Markey
Enabling the Fifth Column and the Relevancy of Unconventional Warfare
By Mark Grdovic, Small Wars Journal: “Although the concept of enabling resistance movements as a supporting effort to a broader military campaign is centuries old, the concept did not formally appear in U.S. military doctrine as Unconventional Warfare until 1955.”
How Iran is outplaying the CIA in Iraqi Kurdistan
Michael Rubin | 19fortyfive.com
Turkey and the West: Drifting Further Apartby Burak Bekdil
What Went Wrong in Afghanistan?
By Danielle Pletka, Stephen Walt, Eliot A. Cohen, Husain Haqqani, Richard Haass, Rina Amiri, Elliot Ackerman, Rory Stewart & Carter Malkasian, The Wall Street Journal: “As America’s longest war draws to an end, sharp disagreements remain about its aims, direction and success.”
Pakistan’s Pyrrhic Victory in Afghanistan
By Husain Haqqani, Foreign Affairs: “Islamabad will come to regret aiding the taliban’s resurgence.”
Does the Belt and Road Have a Future in Taliban-Ruled Afghanistan?
By Sebastien Goulard, The Diplomat: “The Taliban will welcome the hard infrastructure elements of the BRI. The “soft” components are a different story."
A Strategy for Avoiding Two-Front War
By A. Wess Mitchell, The National Interest: “The greatest risk facing the twenty-first-century United States, short of an outright nuclear attack, is a two-front war involving its strongest military rivals, China and Russia. Such a conflict would entail a scale of national effort and risk unseen in generations, effectively pitting America against the resources of nearly half of the Eurasian landmass.”
Egypt pledges support to Somalia, eyeing Horn of Africa influence
Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Roble held talks in Cairo with senior Egyptian officials at a time when Egypt is attempting to expand its influence in the Horn of Africa.
Syrian jihadis hail Taliban ‘conquest’ despite their own effort to rebrand
The Taliban's rapid takeover of Afghanistan was widely welcomed by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which offered sweets in the streets of Idlib.
Tunisians decry coup, while president's supporters claim 'second revolution'
On the streets of Tunis, rumors and anticipation of July 25 demonstrations have been circulating for weeks.
Israel concerned over possible new Russian policy on Syria
Israel is perplexed over the recent statement by Russian Rear Adm. Vadim Kulit concerning the interception in Syria of alleged Israeli missiles.
Iran’s Tricky Balancing Act in Afghanistan by Candace Rondeaux, Amir Toumaj, and Arif Ammar
The American Revolution, Naval Power, and the 21st Century by BJ Armstrong
The Defense Futures Simulator from War on the Rocks, American Enterprise Institute, and Center for Strategic & International Studies
Strategic Outpost’s Sixth Annual Summer Vacation Reading List by David Barno and Nora Bensahel
The Problem with Biden’s Democracy Agenda by Robert Manning and Mathew Burrows
Pentagon Chief Calls for New Regional Order in Indo-Pacific
By Mike Yeo, Defense News: “The U.S. defense secretary has called on allies in the Indo-Pacific to force a new regional order, during his first visit to the area since taking up his post under the Biden administration.”
China Increasing Its ICBM Silos by a Factor of Ten
By Thomas Newdick, The War Zone: “A new ICBM silo field taking shape in the northwest of the country is the second to be identified in only a month.
The Pentagon Needs More Than Ships and Planes to Deter China
By Editorial Board, Bloomberg: "U.S. forces in the Indo-Pacific region need to be more resilient, flexible and effective."
A U.S. Defense Budget That Makes China Smile
By Mackenzie Eaglen, 1945: ““More tooth, less tail” is a common refrain from defense leaders in search of more combat power as budgets have flatlined. No matter the topline, it seems defense continues to get less for more. Except when it comes to civilians.”
By Jonathan Beall, Strategy Bridge: “. . . the key to understanding the move from peace to war must include an army’s “cognitive and mental flexibility” in that transition, which means this process is not simply a matter of material readiness, although it is not neglected.”
China’s military budget much bigger than what it reveals’
Cleo Paskal – The Sunday Guardia
The Middle East should be afraid of Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi
Alireza Nader and Saeed Ghasseminejad — Al Arabiya
Iran’s newly elected president, Ebrahim Raisi, is known for his brutal and fanatical devotion to the Islamic Republic, a history that it would serve Middle Eastern nations well to remember in future foreign policy dealings with the country. Raisi’s selection by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei as president is meant to facilitate a smooth succession and instill fear in Iranians yearning to break free from the theocracy. Read more
The Coming Sanctions Battle Over Iran’s New President
Behnam Ben Taleblu — The National Interest
Men of the cloth are no strangers to the levers of power in Iran, especially the office of the presidency. Ebrahim Raisi, the sixty-year-old mid-ranking cleric who is now president-elect, or better put, president-select, will be the first in the history of the Islamic Republic to make the lateral move from the judiciary, which he led since 2019, to the presidency. He will also be the first Iranian president under U.S. sanctions. Read more
Middle East Diplomacy with Elliott Abrams
Tikvah's incoming chairman, Elliott Abrams, joined JNS's Jonathan Tobin to discuss the past failed efforts at a two-state solution as well as diplomacy, democracy, and the future of American Jewry. Listen Here (48 min.).
3) Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer on the Ultra-Orthodox and the IDF
Almost every Jewish community in Israel serves in the IDF, except one: the haredim. On this week's podcast, Tikvah's Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer explores the background behind his community's reluctance to serve in the Israeli army and brings us inside the debate currently unfolding within Israel's Orthodox communities about the fulfillment of civic obligation and moral duty. Listen Here (39 min.).
The War at Home: The Need for Internal Security Sector Reform in Iraqi Kurdistan
The forces and agencies of Kurdistan’s Ministry of Interior and the Kurdistan Region Security Council, collectively referred to the Kurdistan Region Interior Forces, are now the region’s main security actors, but their role as instruments of partisan rivalry and enforcers of public loyalty to the political bureaus threatens the Kurdistan Region’s stability. This report makes the case that coalition security sector reform efforts should be refocused on them. Although Peshmerga reform is necessary to improve the Kurdistan Region’s ability to combat external threats, it is equally, if not more important to start the same reform within these internal forces and agencies to achieve durable stability.
The Pakistan Factor in China’s Afghanistan Policy: Emerging Regional Faultlines amid US Withdrawal
To date, China has largely relied on Pakistan to conduct its Afghan policy. Not much bothered about the future political role of the Taliban, China fears the prospect of instability in Afghanistan after the U.S. exit. Beijing’s primary concern in a post-U.S. Afghanistan, which is likely to be run by a regime dominated by the Taliban, is that Uyghur separatists and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement might find a safe haven in the country. Although all regional countries support the idea of an inclusive political resolution to the Afghan conflict, neither China nor any other country has any appetite to lead a regional intervention to stabilize it. China has therefore responded to the announcement of the American exit from Afghanistan with a sense of disquiet.
On Wars and Changing Threats
By Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, July 9, 2021
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Israeli society must recognize the intensity of the new threats that surround it and critically assess the conventional wisdom that the era of big threats has passed and Israel need no longer be a "mobilized nation."
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Biden's Afghanistan: The Fog of Retreat
Editorial of The New York Sun | July 9, 2021
Israel's Victory for Democracy
Editorial of The New York Sun | June 13, 2021
The first thing that needs to be said in respect of Israel's decision to bring in Naftali Bennett as prime minister is that it marks a victory for the democracy of the Jewish state. That's not because it brought an end, at least for now, to the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party, which lost by the narrowest of margins -- a single vote in a 60 to 59 vote tally in a 120 Knesset. Indeed, on many issues there might be little change.
China and Iran: Join Up the Dots
The whole is much more than the sum of the parts by Gwythian Prins
Yemen, Syria and Iran’s capabilities: A look at Israel’s strategic view of key proxy conflicts in the MidEast
Egypt Is Beginning to Reassert Regional Leadership by Seth J. Frantzman
June 7, 2021
by Samuel Tadros via The Caravan
As a young man, Egypt’s legendary playwright, Tawfiq Al Hakim had worked as an assistant to the Attorney General in the Egyptian countryside. There he would witness firsthand the dismal state of the country’s fellahin and the grave injustices Egypt’s rural population lived under. The experience would leave a profound impact on the young author and would shape his views of Egypt’s ills and the necessity for social change that became evident in his literary works.
Saudi Human Rights
by Karen Elliott House via The Caravan
If the Biden Administration lives up to its campaign promises and early governing pronouncements, human rights will play a larger role in its foreign policy than in that of the Trump Administration. This isn’t necessarily good news.
Iranian Regime, Houthis Celebrate Biden Administration's Policy
by Majid Rafizadeh
No kingmaker – and no king following Israel’s latest election
With virtually all of the vote in and results unlikely to change, it is clear: Not only will there be no kingmaker in Israel's latest election, there will probably be no king.
MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE JOURNAL Winter 2020/2021 Issue
Why We Should Be Worried About Russia and China Working So Closely
After the Alaska meeting between the U.S. and China, Russian officials quickly moved to boost China.
Top Biden Economic Policy Adviser Linked to Kashmiri Extremists by J.M. Phelps
March 5, 2021
Sounds Strategic: The IISS Podcast
To mark the publication of The Military Balance 2021, Meia Nouwens is joined by Fenella McGerty, Senior Fellow for Defence Economics, and Henry Boyd, Research Fellow for Defence and Military Analysis, to discuss recent developments in defence policy, military capability and defence economics.
Rafael Bardaji on Why Europe "Will Remain Hostile to Israel" by Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar
March 14, 2021
Negotiating with the Taliban is not the path to peace or securing American national security interests, writes Frederick Kagan. READ MORE