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Middle East and North Africa

The Illusion of Arab Nationalism

The Arab uprisings briefly resurrected the idea of Arab nationalism. During the 2011 Pan Arab Games in Qatar, spectators sang the unofficial Arab national...

Explanations for the Labor Shortage

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The current breakdown of the global supply chain threatens to change the future of the world. If this worsens, the fabric of the global...

Arab Leaders and Their Delicate Egos

Arab leaders, no matter how divided they might be, all have one thing in common: They can’t tolerate criticism and go to extreme lengths...

Prospects for Saudi-Iranian Talks

In recent months, regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia have been in talks with the aim of improving bilateral relations and maintaining regional security....

The Same Old Song in Russia and Turkey

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are meeting Wednesday to address their usual topics of discussion: bilateral relations, the situation...

The Syrian Kurds’ Long Road to Recognition

The origins of the Kurdish question in Syria can be traced back to the mid-1950s when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser defined his vision...

Turkey’s Ambitious Plans for Africa

For years, Turkey has pursued an ambitious agenda, expanding its influence in countries and regions formerly under Ottoman control. It may not be able...

The Rise and Fall of Political Islam in Morocco

Last week, Morocco held its 11th parliamentary elections since adopting its constitution in 1962. The Islamic Justice and Development Party (PJD), which had been...

On Geoeconomics

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Last week, I spoke and moderated at several conferences in person – a rare thing since the pandemic began – whose topics ranged from...

Brief: Armenia Shakes Up the Caucasus

Background: In the Caucasus, major regional powers Russia, Turkey and Iran compete for influence over the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia....

Hezbollah’s Waning Shiite Support

Last month, prominent Hezbollah figure Nawar al-Sahili held a lavish wedding for his daughter in Lebanon. The swanky affair, complete with ornate decor and...

What the Taliban’s Resurgence Means for the Arab World

There have been mixed reactions in the Arab world to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Oman’s grand sheikh congratulated the Afghan people on what...

Turkey and Iran Compete Over Afghanistan

Afghanistan is not a country that lends itself to domination by sheer force. Its rugged, mountainous terrain makes it impossible for a foreign military,...

The Next Israel-Hezbollah War

Last month, on the 15th anniversary of Israel’s Second Lebanon War, the commander of Israel’s Northern Command, Gen. Amir Baram, warned that in the...

Hezbollah’s Moment of Truth

Lebanon is facing its worst economic crisis since its founding. The Lebanese pound has collapsed, the central bank’s dollar reserves are depleted, and inflation...

Tunisia’s Democratic Downslide

Last week, following a day of anti-government protests, Tunisian President Kais Saied fired his Cabinet, suspended parliament and began ruling by decree. In a...

Recent Articles

The meltdown of autocratic regimes currently underway in the Arab world has led to the growth of ungoverned spaces. The resulting vacuum is being dominated by armed Islamist non-state actors – in particular Salafist-jihadist militias.

The three non-Arab powers – Turkey, Iran and Israel – are trying to manage the regional commotion according to their national interests.

It was during the Cold War era that a deep ideological chasm in the Middle East began to coagulate. The struggle between those who adopted European secularism and those who crafted an ideology based on religious tradition had its roots in late 19th century Ottoman Empire. Roughly 100 years later, this struggle had polarized the region.

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Required Reads: Middle East and North Africa

From our 2021 Forecast...

Arab expectations from the Arab-Israeli alliance system are too high and Israel will be unable to deliver. This will remain a loose alliance aimed at blocking Iran but will not include strong, joint military action.

Middle East and North Africa in our Memos

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Latest Posts

Europe’s Faltering Economic Recovery

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(click to enlarge) As the COVID-19 vaccination campaign proceeds, the pandemic seems almost under control in Europe. Social distancing measures are being lifted and economies...

Daily Memo: OPEC+ for Natural Gas, French Warship in the Taiwan Strait

Gas producers’ alliance? Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said Riyadh would consider Russia’s invitation to cooperate on natural gas issues. He suggested such...

Forecasting and Living

I started writing a book in 2015 that would eventually have the title “The Storm Before the Calm.” In it, I identified a series...

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