Israel Never Stopped Being at War by Rafael Bardaji
October 9, 2023
It’s the hidden hand of Khamenei’s regime in Iran that set the Middle East ablaze — and will trigger all-out war.
The Savage Nihilism of ‘Free Palestine’
It’s time for us to reckon with the hopelessness at the heart of Arab and Western ‘liberationist’ ideology
BY HUSSEIN ABOUBAKR MANSOUR
In Israel, the Death of an Illusion
Was the Jewish state lulled into slumber by a false sense of normality?
/ Read here
“First We Fight, Then We Investigate”
Israel scrambles to focus on the immediate crisis, but questions about how Hamas pulled off its unprecedented assault won’t wait forever.
/ Read here
How Hamas finally exposed the mainstream media’s apologia
/ Read here
A Cause Or A Nation? Implications Of Iran’s Opening To Saudi Arabia
by Russell A. Berman via The Caravan
Saudi Arabia and Israel: Three Angles
Full normalization with Saudi Arabia at this time is farther than it appears– and Israel must be careful that in trying to reach normalization, it does not yield on essential security interests.
The State of al Qaeda and ISIS in 2023
Katherine Zimmerman and Nathan Vincent | Critical Threats Project
The Salafi-jihadi threat persists across Africa and the Middle East and into Asia. Groups affiliated with al Qaeda and the Islamic State are engaged in local conflicts and have sought ways to gain strength on the ground within popular insurgencies.
Daniel Pipes: The Same Old Middle East
Seth J. Frantzman writes: Iran’s playground of the western side of the Euphrates is a key strategic corridor for Tehran. Reports in Syrian media alleging Israeli airstrikes have not been reported in major Iranian media. Tehran appears to be downplaying the incidents. But this does not mean Iran is not focused on this region. The recent reports at al-Jarida on Monday illustrated that Iran is hoping to create a stratagem in Syria and any interruption of those plans and Iran’s entrenchment upsets Tehran’s plans. – Jerusalem Post
Five Pillars Of Boeing’s Strategy For Staying Ahead In National-Security Space
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: “. . . if you think the Boeing story is only about “things with wings,” guess again."
The Sahel’s Mercenary Economy
Prove It Before You Use It: Nuclear Retaliation Under Uncertainty
Pakistan may have postponed an anti-Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) operation to focus on suppressing protests in early May. The removal of counterterrorism pressure on the TTP may permit the group to conduct attacks against sensitive targets in Islamabad, where the government is holding meetings to discuss the protest crisis. READ MORE >>
China’s push for trade in yuan has downsides for Gulf states
CENTCOM commander visits Israel, observes multifront war exercise
Egypt’s mounting debt raises doubts amid stalled reforms and inflows
Israel raises interest rates to highest level since 2006
Iran tests ballistic missile with 1250-mile range, capable of hitting Israel
How Erdogan’s reelection will shift Turkey's foreign policy goals
Turkey Elections: Currency fears grow ahead of presidential runoff
Russia’s Tatneft makes new oil discovery in Libya
Egypt’s economy braces for new hit from Sudan conflict
Sudan war complicates Russia's port plans, strains Wagner ties in Libya
Israel-Middle East trade soars, spurred by Abraham Accords and energy
Petrochemicals take center stage in Gulf’s new oil playbook
Will Telecom Egypt stake sale help country achieve IMF reforms?
Israel's Netanyahu willing to pay 'heavy price' for normalization with Saudi Arabia
Erdogan vs. Kilicdaroglu: What to expect in Turkey's first ever election runoff
Egypt’s tourism sector continues to lure private investors despite economic difficulties
here Palestine 1936: The Great Revolt and the Roots of the Middle East Conflict
with Oren Kessler
Itamar Marcus on Rejectionism in Palestinian Children's Education
by Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar
May 22, 2023
Drought threatens Morocco's bread basket economy: World Bank
Telecom Egypt sale foreshadows Cairo's uncertain privatization path
With Saudi Aramco's $50 billion deal, Turkey seeks less dependency on West
NAGEL AT FDD
IRAN IS PUSHING ISRAEL TOWARD A MULTI-THEATER CONFLAGRATION
FDD, ISRAEL NEW SECURITY ENVIRONMENT
Why China's yuan is unlikely to see boost from Saudi entry to BRICS
Israel's defense chief: Iran has enough uranium for five nuclear bombs
Sudan war threatens regional and global alliances
Iran’s Multifront Strategy Against Israel
Multi-front war with Iran proxies irks Israel despite deterrence
Al-Monitor/Premise poll: Turkey’s election in dead heat, Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu tied at 45%
Turkey's 3.5 million expats vote in high numbers, as HDP endorses Kilicdaroglu
Saudi-led OPEC turns deaf ears on oil cuts amid global slowdown
Turkey election pledges foretell bigger budget deficit
Iran-India meeting in Tehran focuses on de-dollarization, averting sanctions
Should the US worry about China's expanding influence in the Gulf?
Iran's IRGC seizes second oil tanker in Gulf waters in six days, says US Navy
Saudi Aramco profit drops 19% on lower oil prices
Islamic State women use children as 'sex tools,' Syrian Kurdish officials say
Hal Brands, Peter Feaver, and William Inboden identify and “stress test” 17 key assumptions of this new consensus.
The Sudanese army said the RSF had tried to attack its troops after witnesses reported heavy gunfire in multiple parts of the country. Read More...
Jonathan Spyer writes: If Israel continues to avoid escalation to war, it may eventually find that its deterrence erodes to the point that it can no longer guarantee Israelis normal lives. The desire for normalcy pursued at too high a cost ends up forfeiting the very thing it seeks. Israel should as a matter of urgency pursue the goal of restoring the eroded balance of terror that had largely held since 2006—even if this entails hitting the senior and junior members of the Iran-led regional axis. – Wall Street Journal
Chuck Freilich writes: And now, we face a possible perfect storm, one which Israel’s intelligence agencies have been warning about for months, of a multi-front war. One need not be unusually creative to imagine the glee with which Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas must be viewing the disarray and self-inflicted processes of destruction underway in Israel. – Haaretz
Andrew Tabler writes: If there is not progress, the Arab countries normalising with al-Assad and engaging in reconstruction will almost certainly be hit with Treasury designations and other sanctions violations. Unless there are major changes in the way al-Assad rules and does business, including his tolerance of Iranian militias and assets on Syrian soil and Captagon production facilities, this will be yet another exercise of throwing good Arab money after bad to recoup their steady losses against Iran in the Levant. – Al Majalla
Seth J. Frantzman writes: However, today the Syrian regime is not in the same spot that it was back in 2015 or 2016. The regime is now seeking to retake more parts of the country. Syria is working with Russia and in talks with Iran and Turkey. Those talks continue to falter regarding Turkey’s withdrawal from northern Syria. However, the overall trend is clear. The regime wants to portray itself as in charge of the country. At the same time, the regime enables instability through the kinds of incidents like the rocket fire on Saturday night and Sunday morning. – Jerusalem Post
Seth J. Frantzman writes: Hezbollah doesn’t appear deterred, since it controls the area from which rockets were fired. In addition, Hamas leaders openly fly into Beirut and meet with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and plotted the attacks this past week during Passover. […]It’s also not clear if those who backed the deal and said it would include security will revisit this question and pressure Lebanon regarding its hosting of extremist groups. – Jerusalem Post
Salem Alketbi writes: Additionally, the evidence shows that the region is going through rapid transformations, making it challenging to rule out any possibilities. However, everything still hinges on Israel’s conduct and decisions, which must factor in these significant changes and act in a manner that advances its interests with Arab and Gulf states, particularly concerning de-escalating the situation with the Palestinians. – Jerusalem Post
Neville Teller writes: Saudi leaders no doubt believe that restoring diplomatic relations is a useful political ploy, but surely appreciate that the deal is superficial and cannot begin to touch the real problems that the Iranian regime poses to the Saudi kingdom and the rest of the world. The Sunni Arab world recognized some time ago who its main enemy was. The Abraham Accords are one outcome. Saudi Arabia is widely perceived as on the brink of joining the association. Would its new reconciliation with Iran withstand the shock? – Jerusalem Post
Is China playing long game against dollar in Middle East?
Hemingway’s law of motion says change comes gradually, then suddenly.
Tunisia's problems grow worse while Kais Saied avoids public
When President Kais Saied reappeared recently after a two-week absence, he addressed a country whose political, economic and immigration woes grow steadily more intractable.
Egypt’s privatization plans stall despite growing buzz
Only a fraction of the targeted sales to Gulf investors have materialized over the last year, largely due to a general lack of agreement and volatility of the Egyptian economy
Pakistan tilts back to the West in multipolar era Read article
The New Middle East Rules of the Rules-Based Order by Hussein Aboubakr Mansour
March 23, 2023
Why global energy giants are increasing their presence in the Middle East and North Africa
Global energy companies have all made the strategic assumption that they will be able to invest in exploration and production in the Middle East for several decades to come.
Todd Bensman on Muslim Migrants on the U.S. Terror List Infiltrating the Southern U.S. Border by Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar
March 20, 2023
Can France Escape Its Pension Overhang?
For all the bombast from protestors, Macron’s reforms are just the latest round of tinkering to preserve a fundamentally dysfunctional system.
Israel Must Send a Message to Its Enemies as China Enters the Middle East by Nave Dromi
The Jerusalem Post
FORCEFUL PERSUASION, COERCION, AND INVASION
China's Three Roads to Controlling Taiwan
According to Dan Blumenthal and Frederick W. Kagan,
China has three roads to victory over Taiwan, and the US must act urgently to obstruct all of them.
AEI ON JIHAD SEE FULL UPDATE
Karolina Hird, Riley Bailey, Angela Howard, George Barros, Nicole Wolkov, Layne Philipson, and Frederick W. Kagan write: The Russian Federal State Security Service (FSB) appears to be trying to penetrate the Russian defense industrial base (DIB) in a way that is reminiscent of the KGB’s involvement with the Soviet military and industrial base. Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that he received a press question exposing a plot spearheaded by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev to undermine and “neutralize” the Wagner Group. – Institute for the Study of War
Silicon Valley’s Lesson: How To Change Banking To Prevent Crises And Bailouts
by John H. Cochrane via The Hill
Pentagon Publishes New ‘Joint Concept for Competing’
By Mark Pomerleau, DefenseScoop: “The Joint Staff recently published a new concept outlining how forces must compete with adversaries on a daily basis below the threshold of war.
Submarines Will Reign in a War with China
By Mike Sweeney, Proceedings: “The aircraft carrier, whatever realistic scenario or action is drawn . . . will be exposed to a wider range of threats than the submarine must face."
The Iraqi Security Forces’ (ISF) inability to defeat ISIS in the northern Baghdad Belts could allow ISIS to attack Baghdad itself. An ISIS attack against Baghdad would be a propaganda boon for the group, while possibly triggering sectarian violence and ISF command changes that could improve the group’s position. READ MORE >>
Jama’at Nusrat al Islam wa al Muslimeen (JNIM) is likely consolidating control over rural areas of southeastern Burkina Faso. The group is likely using these expanded havens to increase activity in neighboring regions of Burkina Faso and the littoral states. READ MORE >>
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) conducted its most deadly attack in Karachi in southeastern Pakistan since 2016, indicating an expansion of TTP attack zones and an increase in TTP capabilities in Karachi. READ MORE >>
SEE FULL UPDATE
“Mapping Terrorism in the West Bank,” by Joe Truzman
US-China Economic Relations
Derek Scissors and James Pethokoukis
Challenges To Israel’s Democracy
by Arye Carmon via The Hill
The deep rift over the ruling coalition’s malicious effort to undermine the foundations of democracy in Israel offers an exceptional opportunity to highlight some of the basic concepts of Israeli democracy, its vulnerability and the dangers to its very existence.
Fixing the Debt-Ceiling Crisis . . . via Gold
Paul H. Kupiec and Alex J. Pollock | ZeroHedge
Amir Taheri on Iran's Counter-Revolution by Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar
February 17, 2023
Why Israelis Voted for Right-Wing Parties by Bassam Tawil
West looks away as Tunisia’s Saeid 'dismantles' democracy
Along with expanding his presidential powers, President Kais Saied has nearly picked apart Tunisia's once-fledgling democracy; Western countries have barely responded.
After Oil-for-Security: A Blueprint for Resetting US-Saudi Security Relations
For the Saudis, external protection is the largest core concern in their relationship with Washington. Therefore, a fuller understanding of that concern and importantly, how it could be addressed, serves U.S. objectives. While there is a consensus among U.S. and Saudi officials and observers on the need to further upgrade the two countries’ defense relations, there is no serious discussion of how this could be achieved on a more strategic level. It’s time for Washington and Riyadh to reconfigure their security ties in accordance with new U.S. geopolitical priorities and new Saudi defense requirements.
2022's Biggest Hits at DanielPipes.org by Daniel Pipes
The 10 Most Widely Read Middle East Forum Articles of 2022
News from the Middle East Forum
The Risks of Nuclear Proliferation in Asia, with Cristopher Preble, Zack Cooper, and Melanie Marlowe
Ninety years ago today, Wilhelm Röpke confronted an audience in Frankfurt am Main about where Hitler was leading Germany.
READ MORE ›
In Turkey, questions about country's preparedness after massive earthquake
Only 0.5% of spending from the central government budget last year went to programs related to urban improvements and disaster management in quake-prone Turkey.
Israel’s Constitutional Counterrevolution
by Peter Berkowitz via Real Clear PoliticsIn the 1990s, then-Israeli Supreme Court President Aharon Barak led a constitutional revolution, arrogating to the judiciary virtually unchecked power to rule on an expansive array of public issues. Today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new coalition government is advancing proposals that promise to undo Barak’s constitutional revolution.
Israeli society facing flare-up over Netanyahu’s judicial shakeup
The two camps supporting the Netanyahu government’s judicial shake-up and those opposing it have resorted to aggressive words and threats.
Egypt’s non-oil sector suffering under high inflation: Report
Egypt is experiencing rising inflation and the depreciation of its currency, but the country’s stock exchange is doing well and the IMF recently agreed to a massive aid package.
Congress Has Been Crystal Clear What Kind of Amphibious Fleet It Wants.
Is the Pentagon Listening?
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: “Rumor has it that in the runup to release of the president’s fiscal 2024 budget request, the Department of the Navy is not faring well. It will not be allowed to request funding sufficient to maintain readiness while growing the fleet."
Physical and Mental Combat Readiness
By Gustavo Arguello, Small Wars Journal: “The Army needs mentally and physically prepared Soldiers to meet operational environment demands across all war domains."
Can China Build a World-Class Military Using Artificial Intelligence?
By Koichiro Takagi, The War Zone: “Xi Jinping, at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on October 16, stated that China will more quickly elevate the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to a world-class military."
Is the U.S. Over-Militarizing Its China Strategy?
By Harlan Ullman, Atlantic Council: “. . . few have questioned whether or not such an assault by China was feasible, what military capability would be needed for both the assault and subsequent occupation, what other options China has regarding assimilating Taiwan, and how such an operation might be prevented."
Clipping the wings of Iran and its militias
Seth Frantzman on Drones and the Transformation of Warfare by Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar
January 30, 2023
Russia Exiled Them. Big Mistake.
Leon Aron | Politico
When it comes to regime change, domestic regime opponents and exiles have an important relationship. Leon Aron notes that this dynamic will influence whatever happens in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ill-conceived invasion of Ukraine. Putin’s war has weakened him, yet opposition leaders inside Russia cannot do much to disseminate subversive revolutionary thoughts. Rather, millions of Russians visit the sites of self-exiled critical journalists and the US-funded Radio Liberty. Emerging from these writings, videos, and news reports is a vision of a post-Putin, post-authoritarian, democratic Russia. That, ultimately, is why Russia’s political exiles deserve the West’s admiration and help. Learn more here. >>
Biden’s Escalation in Ukraine Is About Diplomacy, Not Victory
Hal Brands | Bloomberg Opinion
The war in Ukraine is reaching a new phase, and US strategy is undergoing an important shift. Hal Brands notes that fears of a long war of attrition are causing the US to update its strategy in three ways. First, the war is better defining American war aims. Second, the US and its allies are sending Ukraine more sophisticated weapons. Third, President Joe Biden may not envision Ukraine liberating Crimea by force, but he has reportedly become supportive of strikes against Russian targets there. There is a unifying logic behind these decisions. The US does not want the war to drag on forever, so Biden aims to help Ukraine dial up the pressure on Russian forces and perhaps shift the lines further in Ukraine's favor. Continue here. >>
The New Budget: Still Not India’s Turn
Derek Scissors | AEIdeas
Another Indian government budget, another set of predictions that it is India’s turn to shine. Derek Scissors explains that nothing in India’s current policies or performance suggests anything like durably fast growth leading to national prosperity. Instead, the Indian economy will muddle along with partial success marred by unwillingness to reform. The new budget itself belies optimism. As with labor mobilization, agricultural productivity, and infrastructure boosts, India’s fiscal “glide path” is stuck. With Chinese economic weakness on display in 2022 and the world slowing in 2023, India hype may intensify, and India will outperform. However, it is not on course to reach lofty long-term goals, chiefly because its politicians have long lacked the nerve for needed change. Learn more here. >>
Dogfight Football: Germany and the Art of Strategy
Kori Schake | 49security
Military officials often mistake planning for strategy. Kori Schake explains that to make a good strategy, the German government must clearly identify its goals and not just narrow the scope of its tools to money. Repairing the military apparatuses that successive German governments have allowed to atrophy will be one crucial part of a German national security strategy. Another will be explaining how Germany will achieve energy independence while meeting its climate goals. Germany cannot remain a European leader without substantively contributing to the new demands posed by Europe’s current security crisis. Berlin needs to put ideas forward for how to restabilize Europe and deal with the political and human consequences of Russia’s depredations. Learn more here. >>
Surface Navy Brass Holding ‘Sustainment Summits’ To Fix Ship Maintenance Issues
By Justin Katz, Breaking Defense: “RADM Fred Pyle said the service is "absolutely not" where it needs to be on ship cannibalization rates."
U.S. Worried About Iranian Military Presence in the Americas
By Margarita Arredondas, Atalayar: “Lula da Silva's government allows two Iranian warships to dock in Rio de Janeiro port."
The Marine Corps’ Light Amphibious Warship Seems To Be Faltering.
Here Is a Novel Solution.
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: "When the Pentagon revised its defense strategy to focus on China in 2018, no military service moved faster than the Marine Corps to begin making changes."
Does Artificial Intelligence Change the Nature of War?
By Baptiste Alloui-Cros, Military Strategy Magazine: "In his book, ‘Men against Fire’, the American General S.L.A. Marshall designated the battlefield as ‘the epitome of war’[i], where everything that characterises the deep essence of war, as theorised by Clausewitz, comes into action."
Fear Has Big Eyes
By Stephen Blank, RealClearDefense: “Russia either has just launched its expected offensive or it is imminent. Yet Ukraine’s allies are still unable or unwilling to give it the full complement of what it needs to win."
Why the Liberal Hawks Rule the Roost
By Matthew Petti, The Critic: “Get ready for the next idiot crusade."
Japan’s Strategic Imperative
By Joseph S. Nye, The Strategist (ASPI): "In December, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the most ambitious expansion of military power in Japan since the creation of the country’s self-defence forces in 1954."
Decades-old political economic problems in Pakistan are coming to a head. The South Asian nation needs billions of dollars in financial assistance to avoid a default at a time when its usual patrons are disinclined to bail it out. Even if Islamabad dodges this bullet, it will have to massively overhaul the way it has managed the country.
Nicholas Eberstadt and his coauthors present a national strategy for countering North Korea.
By Dante K. Earle, Military Strategy Magazine: "For centuries, military theorists, planners, and commanders alike have looked to the past for guidance."
Ten Things I Learned by Skimming Thucydides
By John Nagl & Matthew Woessner, War Room: "It’s the day before oral comp exams. While my gullible classmates have been busy rereading Thucydides, I skimmed the text (It’s only a lot of reading if you do it!) and to be on the safe side, rewatched the movie 300."
The Most Important Foreign Policy Paper of the 20th Century
By Francis P. Sempa, RealClearDefense: “On the evening of January 25, 1904, at the Royal Geographical Society’s meeting at its building located on 1 Savile Row in London, Halford Mackinder delivered a paper titled “The Geographical Pivot of History.”
John Foster Dulles represented the apex of liberal mainline Protestantism's influence on American power and policy.
David Schenker writes: The well-being of Jordan’s economy—and, by extension, its domestic stability—are no less important to regional security than developments between Israel and the Palestinians. President Biden’s meeting with King Abdullah is a good opportunity to discuss the trajectory of this key issue and encourage Amman to stay the course on economic reform. – Washington Institute
The Struggle for Israel’s Democracy
Faced with the prospect of judicial reform, Israel’s progressive elite and its American allies are threatening to tear the country apart
BY GADI TAU
France Settles l'Affaire Houellebecq — at Least for Now by Michel Gurfinkiel
The New York Sun
January 11, 2023
50 Women Abducted in Northern Burkina Faso. Suspected Jihadists abducted 50 women according to local officials and some eyewitnesses who managed to escape. The women reportedly were searching for food due to widespread food shortages in the region when they were taken. The incident happened in the Sahel region which has been the scene of jihadist activity. Burkina Faso has been battling a decades-long conflict with insurgents which has displaced more than two million people. The military took power last January promising to end the violence. BBC
Assessing China’s Likely Use of Military Power Against Taiwan in 2023
Michael Mazza | Global Taiwan Institute
The People’s Liberation Army is likely to maintain a high tempo of military activities around Taiwan in 2023 due to China’s domestic challenges, the political calendar in Taiwan, and American and allied efforts to transform force structure and posture in the region.
How Can Israel Win the Palestinian Conflict?
Historian Explainsby Daniel Pipes
January 7, 2023
Background: The Fight Over the Temple Mount by Benjamin Weinthal
January 4, 2023
Alberto M. Fernandez: Sudan at the Crossroads by Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar
December 9, 2022
Iran Protests: Inside the Kurdish Uprising Against the Iranian Regime by Jonathan Spyer
The Jerusalem Post
December 16, 2022
Dan Schueftan: Israel's Opportunities and Challenges by Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar
December 12, 2022
Erdoğan Places Bounties on Critics Abroad -- Targeted in New Jersey
by Abdullah Bozkurt
December 12, 2022
'The Regime Will Lose Control': Interview with an Iranian Revolutionary by Jonathan Spyer
The Jerusalem Post
December 9, 2022
Al Qaeda Leaders Use Afghanistan as a Safe Haven
By Bill Roggio, FDD's Long War Journal: “Since 2001, the Taliban has consistently claimed that Al Qaeda has no presence in Afghanistan."
The Navy Needs a Low-Yield Nuclear Weapon
By Brandon M. Patterson, Proceedings: "The renewed danger of nuclear war will turn U.S. inhibitions about it into a weapon in the hands of those determined to challenge global equilibrium."
The Chip Industry and National Security
By Michael Hochberg & Leonard Hochberg, The War Zone: “The U.S. should move expeditiously to reinforce its relationships with liberal-democratic allies.”
The Never-Ending Two-State Delusion by Efraim Karsh
Transatlantic Policy Quarterly (TPQ)
November 30, 2022
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