Middle East and North Africa
Critics of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Middle East strategy often complain that Obama lacks a strategic vision. This is almost exactly wrong. Obama came to office with a conviction that reducing the United States’ massive military and political investment in the Middle East was a vital national security interest in its own right.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; International Organizations and Alliances
In response to Foreign Affairs’s survey, Elliott Abrams offers a brief explanation of why congress should not approve the JCPOA.
See more in Iran; United States; Treaties and Agreements
On March 17, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won reelection, thanks in part to a desperate last-minute pledge to his right-wing base that the Palestinians would never get a state so long as he was in power. After the election, he tried to walk his comments back, but Palestinian observers weren’t buying it.
See more in Palestine; Wars and Warfare
Nearly a century after it first emerged in Egypt, political Islam is redefining the Muslim world. Also called Islamism, this potent ideology holds that the billion-strong global Muslim community would be free and great if only it were pious—that is, if Muslims lived under state-enforced Islamic law, or sharia, as they have done for most of Islamic history.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Europe; Religion
A close call. It is tempting to view the chaos in Libya today as yet one more demonstration of the futility of U.S.-led military interventions. That is precisely the case that Alan Kuperman makes in his article (“Obama’s Libya Debacle,” March/April 2015), which asserts that NATO’s 2011 intervention in Libya was “an abject failure” that set free Libya’s vast conventional weapons stockpiles, gave rise to extremist groups, and even exacerbated the conflict in Syria.
See more in Libya; NATO
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Intelligence
The civil war in Syria will soon enter its fifth year, with no end in sight. On January 20, Foreign Affairs managing editor Jonathan Tepperman met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus to discuss the conflict in this exclusive interview.
See more in Syria; Presidents and Chiefs of State
The U.S. intervention in Libya was a complete failure. Libya has not only failed to evolve into a democracy; it has devolved into a failed state. Violent deaths there have increased, and the country now serves as a safe haven for terrorists.
See more in United States; Libya; Humanitarian Intervention
ISIS may use terrorism as a tactic, but it is not a terrorist organization. Rather, it is a pseudo-state led by a conventional army. So the counterterrorism strategies that were useful against al Qaeda won’t work in the fight against ISIS.
See more in United States; Iraq; Terrorist Organizations and Networks
Both Max Boot (“More Small Wars,” November/December 2014) and Rick Brennan (“Withdrawal Symptoms,” November/December 2014) provide insight into what the United States did wrong at an operational level in Iraq.
See more in United States; Iraq; Intelligence
In describing what he characterizes as a bungled U.S. exit from Iraq, Rick Brennan (“Withdrawal Symptoms,” November/December 2014) presents an incomplete picture.
See more in Iraq; Defense and Security
After 13 years of war, the loss of many thousands of lives, and the expenditure of trillions of dollars, what has the United States learned? The answer depends on not only who is asking but when.
See more in Afghanistan; Iraq; Wars and Warfare
In a speech at Fort Bragg on December 14, 2011, President Barack Obama declared that the U.S. military would soon depart Iraq, ending one of the longest wars in American history.
See more in Iraq; 9/11 Impact
Syria is a hard one. The arguments against the United States’ taking a more active role in ending the vicious three-year-old conflict there are almost perfectly balanced by those in favor of intervening, especially in the aftermath of the painful experiences of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
See more in Syria; Military Operations
For as long as the shah of Iran occupied the Peacock Throne, his relations with the United States depended on a mutually accepted falsehood. Neither side stood to gain from acknowledging that Washington’s favorite dictator owed his position to American skullduggery.
See more in Iran; Regime Changes
Back in 2009, during his heavily promoted Cairo speech on American relations with the Muslim world, U.S. President Barack Obama noted, in passing, that "in the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government."
See more in Iran; Regime Changes
Over the past three years, the world has witnessed a surge of nonviolent resistance movements.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights
Foreign policy is a critical component in the lives, conduct, and governance of all nation-states. But it has become even more significant in recent years as interstate relations have grown ever more complex.
See more in Iran; Culture and Foreign Policy
Contrary to popular myths and conspiracy theories about Washington's desire to control the Middle East, for the past six decades, U.S. policymakers have usually sought to minimize the United States' involvement there.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Culture and Foreign Policy
The surge of ethnic and sectarian strife in Syria and across the Middle East has led a number of analysts to predict the coming breakup of many Arab states.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Economics