Foreign Policy Blogs

Islamic Awakening

Learning From Barbarian Underdogs

Learning From Barbarian Underdogs

“I have no forts, no houses, no country. I have no cultivated fields, no silver or gold for you to take — all you can get from me is war, nothing else. I have met your men in battle and have killed them. We are greatly pleased about this. Our men who have fallen in […]

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Was Assad Not Responsible for the Chemical Weapons Attack Last August?

Was Assad Not Responsible for the Chemical Weapons Attack Last August?

The journalist who broke the story of the My Lai massacre and the Abu Ghraib prison scandal believes that the al Nusra Front backed by Turkey, not Assad, was responsible for the chemical weapons attack last August. Numerous Turkish commentators disagree with his assessment. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who broke the story of the My […]

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MILF Signs Peace Agreement in the Philippines

MILF Signs Peace Agreement in the Philippines

Following forty years of fighting and tens of thousands dead, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a peace deal with President Benigno Aquino’s government at a high-profile ceremony in Manila on Thursday. The conflict over control of this resource-rich area stems from the claims of its Muslim population to an ancestral homeland, dating back […]

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Armed to the Teeth: The Security Problem with Libya and its Weapons Cache

Armed to the Teeth: The Security Problem with Libya and its Weapons Cache

  When the Libyan Civil War ended with the death of Muammar Gaddafi in October of 2011, the country rejoiced, as they had finally rid themselves of tyrannical rule that lasted 42 years. Shortly after, the National Transitional Council (NTC) declared Libya “liberated” and announced the plans to hold elections in eight months time. This […]

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Defining Sexism in the Middle East, Latin America and Everywhere Else

Defining Sexism in the Middle East, Latin America and Everywhere Else

One famous singing icon who has a particularly strong following in Latin America and the Middle East due to her cultural connections to both regions is Shakira. Recently, a debate arose worldwide over her boyfriend, famous footballer Gerald Pique “forbidding” Shakira from doing sensual music videos with men, raising the question to whether a partner […]

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Libya pleads for international help amid government failures

Libya pleads for international help amid government failures

  In its most hard-worded statement to date, the Libyan government on Mar. 20 vowed to eliminate terrorism and mobilize “the national military force” to confront the threat. According to the release, “the cities of Benghazi, Derna, Sirte and others face a terrorist war led by Libyan and foreign elements that have hostile and sinister […]

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Al-Shabaab and Party Balloon Effect

Al-Shabaab and Party Balloon Effect

From the outset, let me make one thing clear: Al-Shabaab, and its extremist world view is neither constructive nor sustainable. This extremist neo-Islamist group represents one of a two nihilistic worldviews that dominated the twenty first century political discourse—global (dysfunctional) jihadism and global war on terrorism. Both, due to their applied mantra—with hammer, all problems […]

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Assad Re-captures Yabroud and Lebanon Takes a Plunge

Assad Re-captures Yabroud and Lebanon Takes a Plunge

Merely a day after the Syrian civil war entered its fourth year the Assad regime scored a major victory against rebels in the town of Yabroud. Located in the Qalamoun region, a mountainous area near the Lebanese border, Yabroud had served as a crucial gateway for the transit of rebel supplies and fighters into the […]

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Egypt’s political climate as seen through the Muslim Brotherhood trials

Egypt’s political climate as seen through the Muslim Brotherhood trials

In his new piece for the New Yorker, “Revolution on Trial: The strange world of the Muslim Brotherhood court cases,” Peter Hessler brings his readers into the courtroom of the ongoing trial against former Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, and his co-defendants. Morsi and a number of other Muslim Brotherhood members are charged in connection with multiple […]

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Somalia’s Sullied Security

Somalia’s Sullied Security

“We cannot have our right hand tied in our back and be asked to defend ourselves with our crippled left hand.” – Abdirahman Sheikh Issa The recent al-Shabaab attack at the heart of the government’s compound, Villa Somalia, marks a turning point; both in terms of the audacity of the group’s militancy and the massive […]

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As U.S. pulls back, Egypt looks to Russia for military aid

As U.S. pulls back, Egypt looks to Russia for military aid

As Egyptian military leaders scramble to consolidate power ahead of a presidential election in April, it is seeking help from a former ally. After meetings last week in Moscow, it was reported that Russia will supply Egypt with $3 billion in arms and military aircraft. From Egypt’s standpoint, the deal will help make up for […]

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A Candid Discussion with Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin on Suicide Terrorism

A Candid Discussion with Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin on Suicide Terrorism

Throughout the Middle East, many Muslims and non-Muslims have fallen victim to suicide bombings. In fact, more Muslims have been killed in suicide bombings in the region than Jews and Christians. This extreme form of violence has been the subject of many studies. Researchers have been baffled as to why someone, mostly at a young […]

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Rouhani’s Iran: Striking the Balance Between Continuity and Change

Rouhani’s Iran: Striking the Balance Between Continuity and Change

By Ghoncheh Tazmini Is Rouhani really Ayatollah Gorbachev? Analysts have been quick to make assumptions about President Rouhani’s diplomatic maneuvers, translating his diplomatic skills as reminiscent of Gorbachev’s era of Perestroika and Glasnost. Jochen Bittner of Die Zeit asks: “Is Rouhani an Iranian Gorbachev?” The Wall Street Journal asks the same question, featuring an article titled, “Is Rouhani the New […]

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May be time to accentuate the positives in Egypt, Turkey

May be time to accentuate the positives in Egypt, Turkey

Last month I wrote about The Economist’s timely debate about how democracy is doing these days. For the final tally of the public vote, 69 percent agreed with me that concerns about the health of democracy are not overblown. Two chief concerns are Egypt and Turkey. In an op-ed last week for “Christian Science Monitor,” […]

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Bahrain: Three Years On

Bahrain: Three Years On

For many of us, February 14 is celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day, an occasion marked by lovers expressing their love for each other by presenting flowers, candy or greeting cards. For Bahrainis, the day is marked quite differently, as it represents the third anniversary of the uprising on their tiny Gulf archipelago of 1.7 million people.  […]

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