Middle East and North Africa

Foreign Affairs Article

Who Is Ali Khamenei?

Author: Akbar Ganji

In June, Hassan Rouhani was elected president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Rouhani ran as a reform candidate, and many have interpreted his victory as a harbinger of a possible liberalization or rationalization of Iranian domestic and foreign policy. But the dominant figure in Iranian politics is not the president but rather the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Society and Culture

Foreign Affairs Article

Can Washington Win Over the Arab Street?

Author: Amaney Jamal

In my book Of Empires and Citizens, I argue that at the height of the period of authoritarian rule in the Middle East, Arab societies were divided between those people who benefited from their leaders' relationship with the United States, and therefore sought to preserve the dictatorships, and those who did not, and therefore sought democracy.

See more in Middle East and North Africa; Politics and Strategy

Foreign Affairs Article

Why Drones Work

Author: Daniel Byman

The Obama administration relies on drones for one simple reason: they work. Drone strikes have devastated al Qaeda at little financial cost, at no risk to U.S. forces, and with fewer civilian casualties than many alternative methods would have caused.

See more in Somalia; Pakistan; Yemen; Drones

Foreign Affairs Article

Lesser Israel

Author: Jeffrey Goldberg

As two new books detail, Israel's ultra-Orthodox community has formed a partisan bloc able to manipulate the country's political system even as it makes little effort to hide its contempt for secular democracy. But it is not too late for Israeli centrists to push back.

See more in Israel; Religion

Foreign Affairs Article

After Qaddafi

Author: Dirk Vandewalle

The September 11 killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans during an attack by an angry mob on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi has concentrated the world's attention on the problems of post-Qaddafi Libya.

See more in Democratization; Libya