Middle East and North Africa

Op-Ed

Biological Attack

Author: Laurie Garrett
ForeignPolicy.com

Laurie Garrett examines the recent reports of two polio cases in Syria, which has not reported a case since 1999, and explains why polio is coming back from the brink of eradication.

See more in Syria; Diseases, Infectious

Primary Sources

Briefings on P5+1 Negotiations and Joint Statement, October 2013

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with the five permanant members of the Security Council (United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France) and Germany to discuss nuclear proliferation in Iran, on October 15 and 16, 2013. Foreign Minister Zarif and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton released a joint statement on October 16.

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

Must Read

Journal Of Democracy: Syria and the Future of Authoritarianism

Author: Steven Heydemann

"The democratic aspirations of the protesters who filled streets and public squares across Syria in early 2011 were among the conflict's first casualties. If democracy as an outcome of the uprising was always uncertain, democratic prospects have been severely crippled by the devastation of civil war and the deepening fragmentation of Syrian society."

See more in Syria; Nation Building

Must Read

Carnegie: What to Make of Saudi Hand-Wringing

Author: Frederic Wehrey

This absence of clear unanimity in the Gulf, combined with the momentum of U.S.-Iranian talks, leave Riyadh few options. Moving forward, it is likely to follow in the broad wake of U.S. policy, but with a greater preference for hedging. It may pursue multiple, overlapping policy initiatives as a form of insurance, some of which may clash with U.S. strategies and goals.

See more in Saudi Arabia; Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation

Must Read

Cairo Review of Global Affairs: Freezing Aid without a Strategy

Author: Jonathan Guyer

"Beltway analysts draw the same conclusion: U.S. aid has not bought leverage over Egypt. Their argument is that cutting aid is futile and actually detracts from U.S. interests. It's quite a tautology. Since American assistance doesn't buy leverage, Washington should keep the aid flowing. If we agree that American assistance doesn't do much, then why continue it?"

See more in Egypt; Defense Strategy

Must Read

NYRB: Syria's Refugees: The Catastrophe

Authors: Hugh Eakin and Alisa Roth

"One of the misconceptions about the Syrian refugee crisis is that it mainly involves people in large camps, above all in Jordan and Turkey....But according to UN figures, a full three quarters of the Syrian refugee population throughout the region are surviving on their own in towns and rural areas."

See more in Syria; Refugees and the Displaced

Must Read

Lobe Log: Reading Rouhani

Author: Djavad Salehi-Isfahani

"Much analysis of the reasons for Iran's new conciliatory approach credits sanctions for the improved diplomatic prospects for reaching a deal. Where opinions differ is how to respond to Iran."

See more in Iran; Nuclear Energy