Middle East and North Africa

Op-Ed

Egypt's 2011 Uprising is a Cautionary Tale for Ukraine

Author: Steven A. Cook
Fortune.com

"Although comparisons between Egypt's 2011 uprising and the recent turmoil in Ukraine are largely unwarranted, CFR's Steven A. Cook writes that there is an important lesson for Ukraine in the Egyptian experience: the need for simultaneous economic and democratic reforms to achieve both political stability and economic prosperity."

See more in Ukraine; Egypt; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Must Read

Foreign Policy: The $20 Million Case for Morocco

Authors: Eliza Barclay and Kristen Chick

"Morocco's lobbying efforts still appear capable of influencing American policy. The U.S. mission to the United Nations, for instance, recently proposed adding a human rights mandate to the UN mission in Western Sahara -- it is, after all, currently the only UN peacekeeping force without one. But the United States dropped the proposal after the government of Morocco and its allies lobbied against it."

See more in Morocco; Politics and Strategy

Ask CFR Experts

How does the nuclear deal with Iran affect Hezbollah and its regional influence?

Asked by Ahmad Takouche
Author: Mira Rapp-Hooper

It is not clear how the interim Geneva agreement between Iran and the P5+1 powers will affect Iran's relationship with Lebanon-based Hezbollah or Hezbollah's regional influence. According to the IAEA's most recent report, Iran's stockpile of medium-enriched uranium has decreased substantially from its prior levels, suggesting that Iran is implementing the Geneva agreement, at least for the time being. One could certainly argue that if Iran continues to comply with the deal and forecloses its nuclear option, it will no longer be able to easily project influence with the threat of nuclear weapons acquisition or a latent nuclear capability. By this logic, Iran may choose to rely more heavily on Hezbollah to make its presence felt throughout the region. This is certainly a concern of other Gulf States, who fear that the nuclear deal does not address the threat that proxy groups may pose to their regimes.

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See more in Iran; Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation; Political Movements and Protests

Op-Ed

For Obama, Few Options in Syria

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Defense One

As Washington remains reluctant to take strong action in Syria, Gayle T. Lemmon discusses the limited interventions under consideration for U.S. intervention, including counterterrorism operations inside Syria, increased arms distribution to moderate rebels, and humanitarian aid.

See more in Syria; Conflict Assessment

Transcript

Foreign Affairs Media Call on Iran Negotiations with Elliott Abrams, Suzanne Maloney, and George Perkovich

Speakers: Elliott Abrams, Suzanne Maloney, Gideon Rose, and George Perkovich

Experts discuss the challenges, opportunities. and future of the Iranian nuclear talks and whether these talks will succeed or fail. Elliot Abrams, Suzanne Maloney, Gideon Rose, and George Perkovich focus on the future of the nuclear energy talks and how that will affect foreign policy regarding U.S. involvement or the possibility of Iran going nuclear.

See more in Iran; Nuclear Energy

Must Read

New York Review of Books: Syria's Polio Epidemic: The Suppressed Truth

Author: Annie Sparrow

"The UN's current polio vaccination program—sponsored by UNICEF and delivered in UN-financed convoys and flights—is fully orchestrated by the Syrian government, and in opposition-held areas, it is dependent for administration on volunteers from the government-dominated Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). SARC's president, Abdul Rahman Attar, is closely tied to the government, and even has his own pharmaceutical company, which has influenced the preference given to regime territory in the administration of polio vaccines during these last three years."

See more in Syria; Health; Children

Audio

Foreign Affairs media call on Iran negotiations with Elliott Abrams, Suzanne Maloney, and George Perkovich

Speakers: Elliott Abrams, Suzanne Maloney, and George Perkovich
Presider: Gideon Rose

Three contributors to the Foreign Affairs ebook Iran and the Bomb 2: A New Hope—CFR Senior Fellow Elliott Abrams, Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Suzanne Maloney, and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Vice President George Perkovich—discuss the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 over Iran's nuclear program, including the debate about potential U.S. sanctions against Iran.

See more in Iran; Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation

Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 41

Countering Terrorism

Author: Charles E. Berger

Charles Berger argues that the United States should fund the establishment of a permanent terrorist rehabilitation institution in Yemen, providing a critical counterterrorism partner with a needed strategic capability to counter al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and forming the cornerstone of a strengthened intelligence-sharing relationship.

See more in Yemen; Radicalization and Extremism; Terrorism

Ask CFR Experts

Could Iraq be divided into separate regions along Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish lines?

Asked by Edrees Mohammed, from UCLAN

This is an idea first proposed by Vice President Biden in 2006 when he was a senator. It was a non-starter then and it won't work any better today. While the Kurdish region in the north is already almost an independent country, neither Shiites nor Sunnis are interested in splitting up the rest of Iraq—something that would be hard to do, in any case, because the two sects are intermingled in Baghdad and other areas. Just as the solution to Iraq's last major bout of bloodletting, in 2003-2007, wasn't partition, so it isn't today.

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See more in Iraq; Population

Must Read

Human Rights Watch: "I Wanted to Lie Down and Die"

"Since 2006, tens of thousands of Eritreans fleeing widespread human rights abuses and destitution in their country have ended up in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Until 2010, they passed through Sinai voluntarily and generally without problems and crossed into Israel. But over the past three years, Sinai has increasingly represented a dead-end comprised of captivity, cruelty, torture, and death."

See more in Egypt; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Testimony

Al Qaeda's Expansion in Egypt

Author: Steven A. Cook

In his testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Steven A. Cook addresses the current state of Egypt, the situation in the Sinai Peninsula, its potential to affect American national security interests, and what the United States can do to help the Egyptians meet the challenges they confront.

See more in Egypt; Counterterrorism; Homeland Security