Middle East and North Africa
As two new books detail, Israel's ultra-Orthodox community has formed a partisan bloc able to manipulate the country's political system even as it makes little effort to hide its contempt for secular democracy. But it is not too late for Israeli centrists to push back.
See more in Israel; Religion
A decade ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, the United States chose to immerse itself in the greater Middle East when it had little reason to dive in. But now that most Americans want little to do with the region, U.S. officials are finding it difficult to turn away, writes Richard N. Haass.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; United States; Wars and Warfare; Politics and Strategy
Anti-Americanism might have ebbed momentarily thanks to U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and support for the Arab Spring. But hostility is once again mounting in the Arab world. In Amaney Jamal's new book, she tries to determine why.
See more in Diplomacy and Statecraft; Middle East and North Africa
Two new books lament the outsized role of the military in Israeli national security decisionmaking, blaming the generals for favoring force over diplomacy.
See more in Israel; Defense and Security
The Arab uprisings of 2011, once a great source of hope for democracy enthusiasts, have given way to sectarian clashes and political instability.
See more in Democratization; Middle East and North Africa; United States
It's easy to be pessimistic about the Arab Spring, given the post-revolutionary turmoil the Middle East is now experiencing.
See more in Democratization; Middle East and North Africa
The United States' approach to counterinsurgency, championed by General David Petraeus, helped produce stunning results in parts of Iraq and Afghanistan.
See more in Defense Strategy; Middle East and North Africa
If there's one indisputable fact about this most polarizing of figures, it's that he is hard to get rid of -- and every retreat, even his most recent withdrawal from political life, lays the groundwork for an eventual counterattack.
See more in Grand Strategy; Israel
Halting Iran's progress toward a bomb will require the United States to make credible promises and credible threats simultaneously -- an exceedingly difficult trick to pull off.
See more in Proliferation; Iran
The September 11 killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans during an attack by an angry mob on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi has concentrated the world's attention on the problems of post-Qaddafi Libya.
See more in Democratization; Libya
The mood in Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Dohuk -- the three largest cities in Iraqi Kurdistan -- is newly buoyant these days, and with good reason.
See more in Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity; Iraq
Israeli authorities in the West Bank have long worried about stopping Palestinian terrorism.
See more in Israel; Terrorism
A nuclear-armed Iran would not make the Middle East more secure, argues Colin Kahl; it would yield more terrorism and pose a risk of a nuclear exchange.
See more in Iran; Weapons of Mass Destruction
U.S. and Israeli officials have declared that a nuclear-armed Iran is a uniquely terrifying prospect, even an existential threat. In fact, by creating a more durable balance of military power in the Middle East, a nuclear Iran would yield more stability, not less.
See more in Weapons of Mass Destruction; Iran; Proliferation
Debates about the possibility of containing a nuclear Iran often hinge on judgments of whether the regime there is rational. But as a wealth of recently released Iraqi documents about Saddam Hussein's tumultuous reign in Iraq show, even an arguably rational leader can be unreasonable -- and very hard to deter.
See more in Global Governance; Iraq
Iraq is hardly the failed state that Ned Parker portrayed in these pages, argues Antony Blinken, the U.S. vice president's national security adviser. Norman Ricklefs sees Iraq's politics becoming more moderate and less sectarian. Parker replies that despite these improvements, Baghdad still violates human rights and ignores the rule of law.
See more in Iraq; Politics and Strategy; Rule of Law
When it comes to Iran's nuclear program, then, the United States and its allies should get out of the way and let Iran's worst enemies -- its own leaders -- gum up the process on their own.
See more in Iran; Weapons of Mass Destruction
NATO's operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention.
See more in Libya; NATO
Throughout 2011, a rhythmic chant echoed across the Arab lands: "The people want to topple the regime."
See more in Political Movements and Protests; Middle East and North Africa
Nine years after U.S. troops toppled Saddam Hussein and just a few months after the last U.S. soldier left Iraq, the country has become something close to a failed state.
See more in Wars and Warfare; Iraq