Middle East and North Africa
The Islamic State, or ISIS, is the first terrorist group to hold both physical and digital territory: in addition to the swaths of land it controls in Iraq and Syria, it dominates pockets of the Internet with relative impunity. But it will hardly be the last. Although there are still some fringe terrorist groups in the western Sahel or other rural areas that do not supplement their violence digitally, it is only a matter of time before they also go online.
See more in Syria; Global; Cybersecurity; Counterterrorism
The Islamic Republic of Iran has no real intention to defeat the self-proclaimed Islamic State, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh with coauthor Reuel Marc Gerecht. The Islamic State’s exacerbation of sectarian divisions is advantageous to Iran as it continues to manipulate Sunni-Shiite relations to extend its power and help its allies.
See more in Iran; Terrorist Organizations and Networks
After generations of authoritarian stagnation punctuated by moments of domestic repression and interstate war, in recent years, the Middle East has begun to move.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; United States; Targets for Terrorists
See more in Iraq; United States; Terrorist Organizations and Networks
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Counterterrorism
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached by Iran, six other countries, and the European Union in Vienna in July, has sparked a heated political debate in the United States.
See more in Iran; Weapons of Mass Destruction
Over the past few years, the nuclear issue has dominated news about Iran.
See more in Iran; Sanctions
American leaders contemplating Iraq have made a habit of substituting unpleasant realities with rosy assessments based on questionable assumptions.
See more in Iraq; United States; Grand Strategy
See more in Iraq; Territorial Disputes; Terrorist Organizations and Networks
The Islamic State, or ISIS, is the first terrorist group to hold both physical and digital territory: in addition to the swaths of land it controls in Iraq and Syria, it dominates pockets of the Internet with relative impunity. But it will hardly be the last.
See more in Iraq; Terrorist Organizations and Networks
The events of the past five years have put an intense strain on the relationship between the United States and its traditional partners in the Arab world, particularly the countries that belong to the Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
See more in United States; Middle East and North Africa; Weapons of Mass Destruction
For decades, the partnership between Egypt and the United States was a linchpin of the American role in the Middle East.
See more in Egypt; International Organizations and Alliances
Israeli national security strategy can seem baffling.
See more in Israel; Regional Security
There are now some 60 million displaced people around the world, more than at any time since World War II.
See more in Syria; Labor
In June 2014, a small force of Islamic extremists routed the Iraqi army and seized control of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
See more in Iraq; Terrorism and Technology
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