Foreign Policy Blogs

Middle East & North Africa

France and Abu Dhabi

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A few things about Algeria

A New York Times article today portrays the United Nations as being upset at Algeria for not providing enough security in the run-up to last month's bombing of the body's Algerian offices.  A senior United Nations official said Wednesday that the Algerian government had ignored repeated requests to close off the streets outside the organization's […]

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Rice visit…and more carnage.

Woman bomber kills 11 in Iraq in Baquba, capital of the Diyala province. Incidentally, this is the province where a major operation to clean out insurgents is underway. Unfortunately, this has been the third female bomber in three months in Baquba. With the upsurge in booby-trapped houses killing coalition and local security forces, the insurgents […]

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Iran

Be sure to check out this article by Claude Salhani in the Middle East Times.   Relevant to Bush's Middle East trip, a large part of which was dedicated to shoring Gulf states’ support for solidarity against Iran, it is titled “What Does Iran Want?” That's a damn good question, and Salhani addresses it in his […]

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Brief Post on a Brief Editorial

In the current Yemen Times, Hassan al-Haifi has a short editorial on the need for change in the Arab World.   I link to it for a couple of reasons.  One, basically, is that it is always interesting to read critical articles in the mainstream Arab press.  We tend to think that no one is allowed […]

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Assassinations and some success for Operation Phantom Pheonix

Unfortunately, Judge Amir Jawdat Naeib was assassinated in Baghdad on his way to work today. According to the linked BBC article, assassinations have gone down since the ‘surge’, but this is another example of how far Iraq is from true stability. Despite this, the Coalition has announced that over 60 militants have been killed in […]

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Bush on Palestinian State: No Swiss Cheese

The President is concluding the Israel/Palestinian portion of his Middle East trip, before moving on the Gulf to deal with Iran.   Bush feels confident that there will be a Palestinian state and a peace treaty before he leaves office in slightly more than a year, saying “'there's going to be a signed peace treaty by […]

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Iraqi Women's Voices

The Institute of War and Peace Reporting has a new series called Iraqi Women's Voices.  The first one, also printed in the Middle East Times, is called “Life After the Islamic State,” about a woman whose Baghdad neighborhood, once secular and free of the Sunni-Shi’ite divide, fell under the sway of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. My […]

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Bush in the Middle East

An editorial in today's Middle East Times nails it: And if indeed the president's concern is the Arab-Israeli dispute, then why the stops in four Gulf countries? Why the visits to Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE and Saudi Arabia? It is interesting to note that those four countries share the same concerns over Iran's rising influence […]

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Pity the Nation

Interested in knowing why Lebanon frequently has the difficulties it does?  Pay attention to the last sentence excerpted here. From The Daily Star Iranian official to meet Assad to discuss Lebanon Saturday, January 05, 2008 ROME: Ali Larijani, member of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council and adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will visit Damascus […]

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Terrorism Publication

Clearly, not everything in the Middle East centers around terrorism, despite the impression one might get from the news or even at times this blog.  However,  it obviously is a very real phenomenon, and understanding it is key.  In light of that, I’m linking today to a fairly new publication called Perspectives on Terrorism, the […]

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Marc Lynch on Iran

Marc Lynch has an article in the Christian Science Monitor on US policy toward Iran vis a vis the Gulf States.   The thesis is essentially that the Gulf States have shifted their policy toward Iran to one of pragmatic accomadation (though not friendship). Lynch writes: The states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are accommodating […]

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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.  In the last post on the al-Ahmar […]

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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 itself, and the paper looks very […]

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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 unsolved murder of Benazir […]

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