Foreign Policy Blogs

Middle East & North Africa

Hamid al-Ahmar

The Yemen Times has a recent profile on Sheik al-Ahmar's son, a very relevant man following the recent death of his father, the second-most powerful person in Yemen.   The author, Abdullah al-Faqeh, is a professor of politics at Sana’a University and very clearly a fan of young Hamid.  ...

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Gulf News

The Gulf Research Center has published a series of articles Nuclearization of the Gulf, which can be downloaded for free as a .pdf file from their main page, or you can order a hard copy if you want something impressive on your bookshelf.    Interesting and comprehensive site in and of ...

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The Death of Sheik al-Ahmar

(Apologies for the delay in posting- have been out of town) A leader dies in a Muslim country, one in which chaos always seems a possible destiny, in a time of frail uncertainty, leaving the country in a new and vertiginous and dangerous world.   This is case in Pakistan, with the ...

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Al-Qaeda and Numerology in the Maghreb

An Oliver Guitta article in the Middle East Times from yesterday analyzes the ascent of Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, particularly Algeria (Here is an earlier post about the Dec 11th Algiers bombings).   Basically, the thrust of the article is that al-Qaeda is consolidating its influence in the region, and that ...

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"Santa's Ghetto"

"Santa's Ghetto"

Interesting story on grafitti art on NPR this morning. In Bethlehem, Israel's security wall is being tagged by both international and local artists, in what can be seen as a display of defiance or, alternately, just an outlet for frustrated young people. You can listen to and ...

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New Counter-Terrorism Magazine

The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has released the first issue of The Sentinel, a scholarly look at terrorism around the world.   A pdf copy of it can be downloaded here.   Of particular interest is page 14, where Gregory Johnsen- late of this site- has a rigorous look at ...

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Putin in The Middle East

Putin in The Middle East

Today brought the shocking and completely unexpected news that Vladimir Putin has agreed to become the Prime Minister of Russia when his term ends next year.  That isn't the only news to come out of Russia today- though I know the reader may want ...

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Hajji Ahmadinejad

For the first time since the revolution of 1979, a sitting Iranian President has been invited to participate in the hajj.  King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia has extended an invitation to the head of his regional rival, a gesture one could think is the triumph of religion over politics, ...

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A few scattershot things of interest

Today's Asharq Al-aswat has an interesting and disturbing article about al-Qaeda shifting its base to the Gulf, or, more precisely, Yemen.  It quotes an anonymous official saying he “believes that Yemen may replace Afghanistan as the incubator to breed, rally and train [terrorists]. In practice, Yemen could become the ...

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More on Lebanon

Apologies for this blog being Lebanon-centric these last couple of days; however, when the testing ground of Arab ideologies teeters on the brink of its most intense political crisis in 17 years, it calls for many words. And there have been a lot of words regarding the assassination of Francois al-Hajj ...

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Bombing in Lebanon

 Brig. Gen. François al-Hajj, who was on the track to succeed Michel Suleiman as Army chief of staff whenever he becomes president, was killed in a car bomb in Beirut today.   Al-Hajj also led the battle against the Fatah al-Islam militant group in ferocious fighting last summer.   Whether this ...

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Lebanese Election Postponed

Ad nauseam, ad infinitum.  For the 8th time, the Lebanese parliament has postponed electing a president.   The many factions had agreed on choosing Gen. Michel Suleiman to replace Emil Lahoud, but it has hit many, many snags.  For one, the Lebanese constitution forbids high-ranking state employees from becoming President, so Suleiman ...

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Bombings Hit Algeria

At least 60 people have been killed as a result of two bombings in Algiers today- one near a government bulding and the other near United Nations offices.    The government is sure that the GSPC is responsible (The GSPC, a splinter of the GIA group which waged the ...

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