Middle East and North Africa

Article

The Problem With Vows to 'Defeat' the Islamic State

Authors: Stephen D. Biddle and Jacob Shapiro
The Atlantic

In recent weeks, ISIS has suffered territorial losses on multiple fronts, including in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. The organization may look nearer to defeat than at any time in the past two years, but there is still a great deal of fighting to be done before the group is destroyed, or more likely beaten back to an underground terrorist organization as it was in 2009.

See more in Iraq; Syria; Counterterrorism

Foreign Affairs Article

Where the Turkish Military Fails, Egypt's Succeeds

Author: Steven A. Cook

While Egypt’s military leaders demonstrated unity of purpose when they overthrew President Mohammed Morsi in 2013, the officers involved in the recent coup attempt in Turkey were proven weak and divided, writes CFR’s Steven A. Cook. Key differences in the political role and public support of the Egyptian and Turkish militaries explain why one successfully overthrow an elected government and the other failed to.

See more in Egypt; Turkey; Military Operations

Foreign Affairs Article

Can't Have It Both Ways in Iran

Authors: Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh

As the U.S. campaign season wears on, both Republicans and Democrats are pledging to stay tough on Iran. Such promises aren’t new. Last summer, as the Barack Obama administration unveiled its nuclear agreement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry assured skeptics that the United States would sustain essential sanctions that punish Tehran for its aid to terrorists, regional aggression, and human rights abuses.

See more in Iran; United States; Treaties and Agreements; Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Foreign Affairs Article

Ministering Justice

Author: Ayelet Shaked

Ayelet Shaked is a relative new­comer to Israeli politics. Shaked, 40, served as Benjamin Netanyahu’s office manager before breaking with the prime minister and joining Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party in 2012 and then winning election to the Knesset in 2013. Following the 2015 election, Shaked was named Israel’s minister of justice. 

See more in Israel; Rule of Law

Foreign Affairs Article

Anger and Hope

Author: Tzipi Livni

Tzipi Livni has been called the most powerful woman in Israel since Golda Meir. Born to a prominent right-wing family, Livni spent several years working for the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service, before entering politics.

See more in Israel; Politics and Strategy

Foreign Affairs Article

Israel Among the Nations

Author: Robert Danin

In 1996, Ehud Barak, who was then Israel’s foreign minister and would later serve as prime minister, charac­terized Israel as “a modern and prosperous villa in the middle of the jungle.” Twenty years later, as political turmoil and vio­lence engulf the Middle East, that harsh metaphor captures better than ever the way most Israelis see their country and its place in the region. 

See more in Israel; Society and Culture

Foreign Affairs Article

Israel’s Second-Class Citizens

Author: As'ad Ghanem

When the world focuses on the Arab-Israeli crisis today, the plight of the 4.6 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank gets most of the attention. But another pressing question haunts Israeli politics: the status and future of Israel’s own Arab citizens, who number around 1.7 million and make up around 21 percent of its popu­lation. 

See more in Israel; Society and Culture