Algeria appoints new government
Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad formed his government on Thursday after being appointed Saturday by newly elected President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. Several key posts remained unchanged, however, seemingly signaling unchanged state policies. Algeria is facing its biggest political crisis in decades while it grapples with declining energy revenues. In a separate development, Algeria on Thursday released Lakhdar Bouregaa, a prominent opposition activist who was detained last June for allegedly insulting the army, along with dozens of others arrested in a crackdown on the mass protests that toppled President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Tunisian president says parliament to vote on Cabinet lineup
Tunisian President Kais Saied approved on Thursday a proposed new Cabinet lineup made up of independent members and passed it to parliament for a vote to be scheduled by Speaker Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party. Designated Prime Minister Habib Jemli said his government would focus on the weak economy. According to Jemli, his proposed lineup will win majority support in the deeply divided parliament that was elected about three months ago. Read More
Sistani: The (Not-So) Hidden Hand Behind Iraqi Politics
By Lydia Khalil, the interpreter: "The influential Shiite cleric has avoided formal participation in government, but what he does now could be critical."
Jonathan S. Tobin: Iran's Regime Will Fall if U.S. "Keeps Pressure On"by Gary C. Gambill and Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Radio
December 11, 2019
Tunisia’s new president commemorates Arab Spring uprising
Tunisia’s President Kais Saied on Tuesday vowed to meet the demands of the 2011 revolution that toppled autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. “I will work despite manipulations … and plots … to honor your demands,” he said during a gathering commemorating the start of the uprising in Sidi Bouzid. The central province has been the scene of regular protests against unemployment and poverty ever since street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi's immolation in December 2010 ignited the Arab Spring. Ben Ali died in September while in exile in Saudi Arabia.
Algerians protest new president
Thousands of people took to the streets of Algiers on Tuesday against Algeria’s newly elected president. Former Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune won last week's presidential election with 58% of the vote despite widespread public opposition that led to a low turnout. Algeria's high court confirmed his election on Monday, paving the way for his inauguration on Thursday. Tebboune said he was ready to hold talks to “build a new Algeria.” But protesters rejected the call, with many questioning the legitimacy of elections they see as a tool for ruling elites to keep their hold on the country.
More Distractions Loom for the US in 202
By Emil Avdaliani, December 22, 2019
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Impeachment hearings in the US have overshadowed important geopolitical developments in Eurasia that will affect Washington’s position in 2020 and beyond. The US’s failure to improve relations with Seoul and Tokyo strengthens China’s position in the Asia-Pacific. Similar processes are unfolding around Ukraine, where Kyiv might—in the absence of US support—be pressured into accepting Russian demands on Donbas.
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Japan’s Indo-Pacific Strategy: Shaping a Hybrid Regional Order by Céline Pajon
ISRAEL: THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP EXAMINED, HOW THE IRANIAN'S ARE WINNING WHILE IMPLODING & qatar turkish alliance grows
Trump reelection likely despite impeachment, buoying defense industry outlook
(Forbes) The share prices of the nation’s top three defense pure-plays (Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon) are all up about 50% since Trump’s inauguration, thanks to a demand environment in which military contractors don’t need to take market share in order to grow revenues and returns.
Blue and White's nightmare scenario: Saar defeating Netanyahu
The Blue and White party needs Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a rival, or else it would loose its energy.
Trump’s Iran strategy is working. Here’s why
Saeed Ghasseminejad — Fox News
President Trump’s “maximum pressure” strategy against Iran is working, despite warnings of a backlash against the U.S. for the economic sanctions he has imposed on the Islamic Republic. As protests continue in Iran, security forces may have killed over 1,000 people who are calling for an end to the country’s dictatorship, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook told reporters recently. The continuing protests show that the Iranian people are directing their anger at Tehran’s corrupt and oppressive regime, even though American sanctions helped push Iran into a deep recession. Read More
Democratic Frontrunners Are Wrong About Aid for Israel
Putting America’s annual $3.8 billion of military assistance to Israel on the chopping block makes for good politics. But it makes no sense for U.S. national security.
Saudi Arabia and Israel: Who Needs Whom?
By Frank Musmar, December 12, 2019
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Extreme instability and mistrust are heightening tensions in the Persian Gulf, especially between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia. America’s appetite for military engagement has waned after nearly two decades of war and the region lacks any form of collective security framework, leaving a considerable security vacuum. The Gulf states’ overtures to Israel are part of an effort to salvage America’s security commitment to the area while shoring up a relationship that can mitigate Tehran’s rising influence.
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Iran fills the Vacuum Created by Trump's Withdrawal by Con Coughlin •
Brothers in Arms
Aykan Erdemir and Varsha Koduvayur — FDD Report
On June 5, 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, enacting a land, sea, and air blockade. Qatar’s neighbors charged the country with supporting terrorists, collaborating with Iran, and sowing the seeds of chaos around the Middle East. The sudden move closed Qatar’s only road link to foreign markets, through which it received nearly 40 percent of its food requirements. Qatari residents panicked, picking clean supermarket shelves. But the panic subsided less than 48 hours later, as Turkey began sending cargo planes with food and other goods. Read Mor
Netanyahu’s plan for winning an outright majority in the Knesset
If he wants his right-wing ultra-Orthodox bloc to win 61 seats so he can form an immunity coalition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will need Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked to run as part of the New Right list and pass the electoral threshold.
The ultra-Orthodox dilemma on slamming Liberman
Ultra-Orthodox politicians fear that any attacks against Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Liberman would actually reinforce him within secular electorate.
Netanyahu’s relations with Likud members: The ultimate test
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has nurtured his relationship with Likud members for more than three decades. Now he's not sure that they will continue to follow him.
Iraq's Ninevah province turns back on Shiite forces
The Ninevah provincial council has voted to replace a governor who was close to Iran-backed forces.
Who is responsible for the new wave of killings in Aden?
It's hard to determine which side or sides are behind the latest wave of killings as a new round of military escalation looms in Yemen’s south, which has seen skirmishes in Abyan province between the two partners of the Saudi-led coalition.
Afghanistan is not Vietnam
Frederick W. Kagan | AEIdeas
Afghanistan isn’t Vietnam. It isn’t even Iraq. George W. Bush did not lie America into this war. The “revelations” in The Washington Post are only new to people who have forgotten front-page news from a few years ago
US-India declaration has a Sino subtext
(The Sunday Guardian) Mutual concern regarding multi-faceted authoritarian challenge posed by Beijing is manifest throughout it.
By Paul Morris, Strategy Bridge: "Airpower and Afghanistan have been linked intrinsically since before the nation became independent from British control in 1921."
Musharraf Sentenced to Death in Absentia for Treason with Sameer Lalwani
Analysis: How the US arrived at this critical crossroads in Afghanistan
The decades of mistakes and deceit has led us to the brink of a major foreign policy failure. A peace deal will absolve the Taliban for its decades of steadfast alliance with al Qaeda.
The Mullahs' Losing Game by Amir Taheri •
U.S. Officials: Iran Is Secretly Moving Missiles Into Iraq
By Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post: “Iraq is suffering from protests, ISIS threats and the need to find a new prime minister after Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned earlier this week, and Iran wants to exploit the power vacuum in Iraq."