Middle East

December, 2014

  • 30 December

    Saudi Arabia Using Oil as Weapon

    With ongoing proxy wars in Syria and Iraq, Saudi Arabia risks instigating an oil war with Russia and Iran -- a war that the kingdom can perhaps win in the short term. But like sectarian conflict, Saudi actions threaten to spark a conflagration that can spin out of everyone's control.

  • 30 December

    US Boots on Ground in Middle East: How Many Are There?

    Americans may reasonably ask if some Middle Eastern countries with estimated armies of around 3 million are unwilling or incapable of marshaling forces sufficient to defeat 30,000 ISIL fighters, why should America put “more boots on the ground”?

  • 1 December

    Pope Francis: Back to the Middle East

    Pope Francis is desperately attempting to preserve Christianity as a viable faith in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. He realizes that it is vital that he and Christians have the support of the Turkish government and its Islamist president in this endeavor.

November, 2014

  • 16 November

    Kuwait Sentences Bidoon Children to Illiteracy

    The Kuwaiti state refuses to issue birth certificates to stateless children, denying their very existence from the moment of their birth. The Bidoon issue is a long-standing one in Kuwait, but the government is now using different tactics to isolate and ostracize members of this group.

  • 15 November

    Middle East: Wine, Blood and Gasoline

    Mahmoud Abbas is doing everything in his power to prevent a general uprising, which might quite well endanger his regime. But pressure from below is mounting. Popular wisdom in Israel has already found a name for the situation: "Intifada of Individuals". For the Israeli security chiefs, that is a nightmare.

  • 12 November

    Who Will Make the Middle East’s New Map?

    The U.S. wants countries like Iraq and Syria to remain unified failing which it fears complicated new realities will emerge. But those complications are already here

October, 2014

  • 31 October

    Why a Third Intifada May be About to Kick Off

    With no diplomatic solution on the horizon and with no evidence that either party is willing, or able, to break the psychological barriers to reconciliation,Israeli and Palestinian sides are resorting to increased unilateralism and kowtowing to their own domestic pressures.

  • 26 October

    Chinese Salafism and the Saudi Connection

    In China, the Hui Salafi sect, and its links with Saudi Arabia, have a long and complex history.

  • 12 October

    Turkey’s Islamic State Challenge

    Once the IS problem is defused, though, the conundrum of what to do with Assad will return. It is doubtful that the international community is really willing to pursue regime change in Damascus, so Turkey may have no choice but to soften its rhetoric and seek a diplomatic exit strategy from the Syrian quagmire.  Otherwise, the civil war could conceivably go on for years to come and continue to destabilize the entire region.

  • 8 October

    Syria War: Implications of Battle for Kobani

    The reason that Turkey supports ISIL and al-Nusra's war against the Kurds is that it seeks to prevent a Kurdish autonomous region on its southern border with Syria. By eliminating "Rojava," the Kurdish appellation for "West Kurdistan," Turkey also hopes to further weaken the Kurdish nationalist movements, especially the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its politically affiliated organizations.