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December 15, 2015

Ten Most Significant World Events in 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, here are the top ten most notable world events of the past year.


August 9, 2012

United States
Middle East Matters This Week: Egyptian Bloodshed; Intensified Syrian Fighting and Defections

Significant Middle East Developments Egypt. Clashes between militants and security forces continued today in Egyptian Sinai with gunmen firing on a police station and hundreds of troops entering the…

Egypt's prime minister Hisham Kandil prays for soldiers killed during an attack at a checkpoint along the Sinai border with Israel by unknown gunmen, at Omar Makram mosque in Cairo on August 7, 2012 (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters).

January 20, 2012

Middle East Matters This Week: Failed Conciliation in Syria, Gaza, and Bahrain

Significant Middle East Developments Syria. With scores of Syrians killed daily, the Arab League received its observer mission’s much awaited report on Thursday. Human Rights Watch urged the Arab Le…

Islamic Jihad militants take part in the funeral of their comrades in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 30, 2011 (Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Courtesy Reuters).

May 18, 2012

United States
You Might Have Missed: Yemen and Drone Wars

Iona Craig, "Toll Climbs in Yemen’s Fight Against al-Qaeda," USA Today, May 18, 2012. Julian E. Barnes, "U.S. Rethinks Secrecy on Drone Program," Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2012. The policy chang…

Yemen protester

March 8, 2012

United States
Middle East Matters This Week: Israel and the U.S. Talk Iran

Significant Middle East Developments Israel. President Obama held three hours of talks with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House Monday. The two focused almost entirely on th…

U.S. president Barack Obama meets with Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on March 5, 2012 (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters).

February 17, 2012

United States
You Might Have Missed: Al-Qaeda, Post-Qaddafi Libya, and the Interrupters

“The Nutrition Puzzle: Why Do So Many People in Poor Countries Eat So Badly—And What Can Be Done About It?” The Economist, February 18, 2012. Even where there is enough food, people do not seem…

Libya aftermath

November 12, 2012

Regional Organizations
The Future of Middle East Regionalism: Can an Institutional Desert Bloom?

—Cairo, November 12, 2012 It is a paradox of the modern Middle East that an area so rife with common security, economic, and ecological challenges should be such an institutional desert when it come…

A general view of the Arab League foreign ministers meeting on Syria at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo

June 21, 2012

United States
Egypt’s Election Turmoil, Saudi Succession Challenges, Failed Iranian Nuclear Talks, and Syria’s Deadly Stalemate

Significant Middle East Developments Egypt. Egyptian election officials announced yesterday that they were postponing the announcement of the country’s presidential runoff, plunging the country into…

Protesters chant slogans against the military council at Tahrir Square in Cairo on June 20, 2012 (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters).

May 23, 2011

Defense and Security
Quick Takes: Obama Favors Congressional Action on Libya

President Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office on May 20, 2011. (Jim Young/courtesy Reuters) Last week’s Friday File noted that Congress has not acted either…

President Obama meets with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office on May 20, 2011.

May 7, 2012

United States
Obama’s Afghanistan Strategy: Signaling Intent

Last week, President Obama flew to Kabul to meet with President Hamid Karzai and sign the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between the United States and Afghanistan. This aspirational d…

Obama and Karzai