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November 29, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Why Dictators Always Pretend to Love the Law

There’s something farcical—but entirely rational—about the way authoritarians such as Egypt’s Sisi invoke legal justifications for repression.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends the Arab summit in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, May 31, 2019.

November 26, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Erdogan Has Never Been in This Much Trouble

Surrounded by rivals amid a collapsing economy, the Turkish president is facing the longest odds of his life. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at a lectern. There are Turkish and AKP flags behind him.

October 28, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Unvaccinated Police Officers Could Become America’s Own Insurgents

Iraq and Egypt show how hard it is to get rid of a militarized security force.

U.S. Capitol Police officers look down from the Rotunda door as members of Congress gather for a September 11th commemoration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. September 13, 2021

October 19, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Erdogan Might Be Too Sick to Keep Leading Turkey

Evidence is growing that Turkey’s president is ailing—and that could be bad news for the country’s politics.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leaves after the Global Refugee Forum at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, December 17, 2019

October 4, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Democracy Was Never Going to Stop Islamist Terrorism

Twenty years after 9/11, U.S. policy in the Middle East is still based on a fundamental mistake.

U.S. President George W. Bush (L) meets with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak (R) in Sharm El Sheikh May 17, 2008.

September 20, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Netanyahu Is Gone. Netanyahu-ism Still Reigns.

When it comes to policies Washington cares about, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his predecessor are practically the same.

Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett looks at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to an Israeli army base in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, November 24, 2019.

August 23, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Iraq Is the Middle East’s New Power Broker

After decades of offering only chaos, Baghdad is trying to become a leading force in the region. 

U.S. President Joe Biden Speaks with Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi during a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2021.

July 28, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Miscalculating Tunisia

If Westerners are shocked at political developments in Tunisia, it’s because they described it as a straightforward success for too long. 

Amid fellow protesters, a Tunisian girl holds a sign reading "game over." Two soldiers stand facing the crowd.

August 2, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Cracks Are Growing in the Erdogan Regime

Turkey is more politically unstable today than at any other point in recent years. 

July 20, 2021

Middle East and North Africa
Generation X’s Short Arc of History

Ben Rhodes’s new book about global politics reveals the limits of the Obama administration’s worldview.

U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes speaks about Obama's upcoming visit to Cuba at the White House in Washington February 18, 2016. U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a historic visit to Cuba next month, speeding up the thaw in relations between the two Cold War former foes but igniting opposition from Republicans at home.