via Hoover Daily Report
The Hoover Institution hosted a virtual online series featuring fellows’ analysis of the foreign policy challenges facing the incoming presidential administration.
Firas Elias writes: These proxy groups continue to demand the removal of U.S. forces from Iraq, and both Iraqis and regional U.S. allies will likely carefully observe how Biden will navigate this point of ongoing tension. For better or for worse, it is clear that any new steps that President-Elect Biden may take in his dealings with Iran will directly impact Iraq’s internal affairs as well. The same could be said for the other Arab countries in which Iran has attempted to create a foothold. – Washington Institute
by Alexandra Evans
Michael Beckley and Hal Brands | Foreign Affairs
By Trae Stephens & Steve Blank, Defense News: “The world is on the cusp of a new era of warfare dominated by unmanned systems, artificial intelligence, networked weapons and sensor fusion.”
U.S. Should Strengthen Gulf State Partners,
Vital to Stability in the Middle East
By Michael J. Connor, RealClearDefense: “Last Wednesday, the Senate voted down legislation aimed at stopping the sale of advanced offensive weapons to the United Arab Emirates. Washington can and should do more. As Iran proliferates advanced long-range weaponry and its proxies launch short-range attacks, the incoming Biden administration should also emphasize strengthening the defenses of America's partners in the Gulf.”
Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh — National Review
Among Donald Trump’s proudest achievements as president was his withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), his predecessor’s nuclear agreement with Iran. The boldest action of his presidency was his decision to kill Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force — the expeditionary, special-operations, terrorist branch of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) — at the Baghdad airport. Read more
Aya Burweila on Turkey's Goals in Libya by Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar
December 18, 2020
Despite the repeated targeting, killing, and capturing of Al Qaeda leaders and operatives, the Taliban maintains that the terror group does not operate in Afghanistan.
FDD senior fellow Behnam Ben Taleblu joins the podcast to discuss recent assassinations inside Iran and the state of the Iranian regime’s various proxy wars.
READ THE LATEST EDITION HERE
Civil war is breaking out in Africa’s second largest country | Emily Estelle
by Michael R. Auslin
With China increasingly dominant, nations seek their own paths between socialism and capitalism.
Five months after the elimination of Abdel Malek Droukdel, aka Abu Musab Abdel Wadud, the leader of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), by the French army in the Malian city of Talhandak, AQIM appointed a new emir on Nov. 21. His name is Yazid Mebarek, aka Abu Ubayda Yusef al-Annabi, a 51-year-old Algerian and a jihad veteran.
Now in its sixth year, the war in Yemen shows no signs of abating. The country faces what is widely considered the world's worst humanitarian crisis — a situation that has only been exacerbated by the global coronavirus pandemic. As a new administration prepares to take over in Washington, it is a natural time to assess U.S. policy toward the country. We asked 9 experts to provide their perspective and answer the following question: How should the Biden administration approach Yemen?
By Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar, December 17, 2020
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The 10 years of the so-called “Arab Spring”—the last of which is the year of COVID-19—have brought many Arab countries to the edge of the abyss. The worst may be yet to come if President-elect Joe Biden takes expected steps that would be in the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
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Ten years after the first Arab Spring protests erupted in the central Tunisian city of Sidi Bouzid, the locals are still suffering economic hardships amid a lack of government support.
By Dec. 23, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must decide what scares him more: elections with Gideon Saar as contender or rotation with Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara will "take steps" to respond to the US sanctions unveiled this week.
Oz Katerji writes: The Arab Spring may be over, but the civilian uprisings in the Middle East have barely begun. The Middle East now finds itself in the state of flux that Karl Marx described as permanent revolution, the aspirations of its people permanently churning but never fulfilled There is no way for dictatorships to turn the clock back to 2011, and there is no desire from their populations to accept a status quo that permanently disenfranchises them. The powder is drier than it has ever been; all that is missing now is the next spark. – Foreign Policy
By Dmitri Shufutinsky, December 16, 2020
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Israel must maintain its deep historic relationship with Azerbaijan, but the Jewish people also have common bonds with Armenians. Jerusalem must seek a larger role in the region to broker peace and prevent Iran and Turkey from gaining a foothold in the area.
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Omar Alshogre writes: If, like in Egypt, the Syrian revolution had ended in less than a month, we would not have learned so much about freedom, democracy, and human rights. Ten years of unrest will make Syrians the most capable people in the Middle East at rebuilding their country in the future. We will not make the same mistakes of other countries that have rid themselves of their dictators but are still trapped in corrupt systems. – Foreign Policy