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Middle East and North Africa

The New Middle East Alliance

During his visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump announced a plan to establish the Middle East Strategic Alliance, a...

In Morocco, Broken Promises and Bleak Prospects 

Morocco is a unique country in the Middle East and North Africa region. Having been conquered by the Umayyad Caliphate in the early eighth...

The Trouble With a Premature Vaccine

Hope is beginning to fade that the world will have a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine before the predicted “second wave” arrives that will...

The Ups and Downs of Turkish-Israeli Relations

In 1949, Turkey recognized the state of Israel, becoming the first Muslim country to exchange diplomatic missions with it. Since then, their relations have...

Turkey Means Business in the Eastern Mediterranean

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on a mission to remake the Eastern Mediterranean. Within Turkish society and across the country’s fragmented political landscape,...

Turkey’s Navy: Searching for an Edge in the Mediterranean

It seems that in every corner of the Middle East, Turkey has inserted itself in one way or another. In northern Iraq and Syria,...

Lebanon’s Unwanted Palestinian Refugees

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is currently touring the Middle East to promote the Israel-UAE peace deal signed earlier this month and to...

Israel and the UAE Formalize Their Normalized Relations

On Aug. 13, U.S. President Donald Trump announced a historic peace treaty between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, two countries that do not...

Turkey and Iraq Tread Carefully in Kurdistan

Last week, a Turkish drone strike allegedly targeting a convoy of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, an insurgent group based in northern Iraq...

How Sudanese Mercenaries Fuel the Conflicts in Yemen and Libya

Sudan is a country of contradictions. It has untapped natural resources and fertile land that could feed the entire Arab region. Yet the majority...

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 2020 Forecast...

In the long term, Turkey is the dominant regional power. Except for cross-border operations into northern Syria, it has thus far hesitated to undertake activities far beyond its border. By the waning months of 2019, however, Turkish troops were again in northern Syria, drillships were venturing farther and farther out in the Eastern Mediterranean, and Ankara was offering to send troops to Libya and signing maritime delimitation deals with one of Libya’s rival governments. The Turks will increase their assertiveness in 2020, with dramatic consequences for the region.

Middle East and North Africa in our Memos

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