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April 2, 2019

Turkey
Turkey: The Perils and Promise of Prediction

A few days before Turkey’s local elections, I wrote an article for Foreign Policy.com titled “Erdogan is Weak. And Invincible.” Well, at least the first part was accurate.  The ruling Justice and Dev…

Supporters of Republican People's Party (CHP) celebrate on a main square in Ankara, Turkey, April 1, 2019

March 20, 2019

Algeria
Don’t Get Your Hopes Up About Algeria

The Middle East’s latest protests seem like the Arab Spring all over again. That’s no reason for optimism.

People take part in a protest demanding immediate political change in Algiers, Algeria March 12, 2019

March 20, 2019

Algeria
An Algerian Arab Spring?

Is the Arab Spring back, as some protesters, activists, and analysts have declared? The uninspiring answer is a qualified maybe.

People carry their national flags as they gather during a protest over President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's decision to postpone elections and extend his fourth term in office, in Algiers, Algeria March 15, 2019

March 13, 2019

Military Operations
400 American Troops Can’t Do Anything

If the president wants to withdraw from Syria, he might as well just withdraw.

U.S. President Donald Trump, with first lady Melania Trump, delivers remarks to U.S. troops in an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, December 26, 2018.

March 13, 2019

Syrian Civil War
Clashing Realities in Syria

400 American troops can't accomplish anything. 

U.S. President Donald Trump, with first lady Melania Trump, delivers remarks to U.S. troops in an unannounced visit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, December 26, 2018.

February 28, 2019

Algeria
Algeria’s Protests: What to Know

Algerians are protesting in large numbers over moves to maintain ailing longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika in power. The ruling elite faces a test of legitimacy that could spark unrest in a region …

 Algerian protesters in Paris hold a sign reading, "System get out, free Algeria."

February 25, 2019

Iran
All This Should Remind You of the Run-Up to the Iraq War

The march to war against Iran is echoing the drumbeats of America's last major Middle Eastern invasion.

Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Mark Milley, President Donald Trump, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo salute as a military honor guard carries the casket of Scott Wirtz, a civilian employee of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency killed along with three members of the U.S. military during a recent attack in Syria, past them during a dignified transfer ceremony at Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Delaware, U.S., January 19, 2019.

February 25, 2019

Iran
The U.S. Message on Iran is Reminiscent of 2002

The march to war against Iran is echoing the drumbeats of America's last major Middle Eastern invasion.

Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Mark Milley, President Donald Trump, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo salute as a military honor guard carries the casket of Scott Wirtz, a civilian employee of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency killed along with three members of the U.S. military during a recent attack in Syria, past them during a dignified transfer ceremony at Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Delaware, U.S., January 19, 2019.

February 20, 2019

Arab Spring
False Dawn

Teaching Notes for False Dawn, written by Steven A. Cook, in which he examines why Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Turkey did not transition to democracy and explains how and why Middle East uprisings didn't succeed.

False Dawn

February 13, 2019

Middle East and North Africa
The Middle East Doesn’t Admire America Anymore

What a late-night meal in Italy taught me about U.S. power in the Arab world.

A woman stands next to an inflatable tank with U.S. President Donald Trump outside an art exhibition 'MonuMental' by the pseudonymous artist, Saint Hoax in downtown Beirut, Lebanon October 12, 2018