Stewart M. Patrick, Director of the Council on Foreign Relations' International Institutions and Global Governance Program, explains why some weak and failing states such as Pakistan are more attractive than others as safe havens for transnational terrorist groups.
Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, says that bin Laden's death helps the drive for democracy in the Middle East and weakens the influence of al-Qaeda in the Arab world.
In this report by the Institute for the Study of War and AEI's Critical Threats Project, Jeffrey Dressler and Reza Jan look at the expansion of the Haqqani network, Afghanistan's most capable insurgent organization, and argue that the peace accords signed between the Sunnis and Shias lack legitimacy.
In The National Interest, Bruce Riedel comments on the al-Qaeda plot to terrorize "Obama's city" of Chicago on the eve of U.S. elections back in 2010, noting that the Saudi spy who defected to our allies underscores the importance of U.S. alliances in the Middle East.
CFR's John Campbell says deteriorating economic and social conditions in Northern Nigeria are behind the recurring upsurge in Boko Haram's activity. Campbell cautions that the circumstances enabling Boko Haram to operate may be taken advantage of by Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups, though that has not happened yet.
Pakistan's latest moves to exert influence in Afghanistan, including possible brokering of talks with militant Taliban allies, could pose difficulties for U.S. stabilization efforts, says CFR's Daniel Markey.
Authors: Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevenson Democracy: A Journal of Ideas
Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevenson argue that demilitarizing Hezbollah is crucial to rolling back Iranian influence in the Middle East and shaping an environment more conducive to Arab-Israeli accomodation.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
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