Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: Arab Spring

The Arab Spring: Countering Counter-insurgency

The Arab Spring: Countering Counter-insurgency

The recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, long-term wars pitting factionalist fighters against government forces, renewed international interest in counter-insurgency. Washington D.C. sparked a cottage industry in what became known as COIN: think-tanks climbed aboard, new prophets emerged, blogs bloomed. Press accounts in 2009-2010 trumpeted COIN as the U.S. surged ...

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European Endowment for Democracy: What is on the menu?

European Endowment for Democracy: What is on the menu?

The socio-political development of the Arab Spring has been a real wake-up call for the EU’s policy-makers. Rapid changes in the South Mediterranean once again pointed the finger at the EU’s inability to act swiftly, decisively and audaciously to the events unfolding beyond the EU’s southern borders. Numerous policy changes ...

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Same month, same airport, same Benghazi? A prince returns

Same month, same airport, same Benghazi? A prince returns

  Going home. The resonance of that phrase is universal. The happy homecoming. The poignant or sad one. The unsure one. The second chance one. For His Royal Highness Prince Mahdi Al-Senussi that ultimate appellation of his “going home” remains to be determined. Forty-two years to the month that Prince Mahdi ...

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A Candid Discussion with Karen Elliott House

A Candid Discussion with Karen Elliott House

    Saudi Arabia is perhaps the only remaining country in the world that takes its name from a ruling family — the Al Saud.  It has vast hydrocarbon resources that feed the world’s insatiable hunger for energy.  It also is an absolute monarchy founded upon religious principles of Wahhabi Islam.  ...

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Gaza and the post-Arab Spring Order

Gaza and the post-Arab Spring Order

  Israel’s attack on Hamas in the Gaza Strip has not elicited a strong response from the Arab world. It is as if the Arab Spring has not yet brought an intense focus on one of the core issues of Arab politics, as many assumed it would. While Egyptian president Mohammad ...

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The EU’s Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Strategy Introduced: first signs of strengths and weaknesses

The EU’s Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Strategy Introduced: first signs of strengths and weaknesses

Two and a half years after the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU showed up with a new human rights face for its external relations. The often repeated words of Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, stating that human rights have to be ...

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SYRIA IN DEPTH: A Candid Discussion with Carsten Wieland

SYRIA IN DEPTH: A Candid Discussion with Carsten Wieland

Initially sprung as a pro-reform movement with demands for government accountability and transparency, today the Syrian conflict has morphed into a multiplayer geopolitical chess game that so far has proved to have no limits in inflicting pain on the players involved. With Iran fearing the loss of a key ally, Turkey ...

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Lebanon’s Salafists Challenge Hezbollah Dominance

Lebanon’s Salafists Challenge Hezbollah Dominance

  The port city of Sidon in Lebanon witnessed an almost unthinkable act today. The Sunni bastion in the south of the country was transformed into the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Instead of Billy Clanton and Wyatt Earp, today’s belligerents in the shootout were the bodyguard of a controversial ...

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Being a Journalist in Today’s Iran

Being a Journalist in Today’s Iran

In a recently published piece by Your Middle East, a leading European digital magazine covering all things Middle Eastern, Omid Habibinia, an Iranian journalist in exile, sheds light on the plight of Iranian journalists inside Iran. In his piece Mr. Habibinia underscores the bravery of many Iranian journalists who, despite ...

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One on One with Dr. Mahmoud Khattab, Chairman of the Syrian American Alliance

One on One with Dr. Mahmoud Khattab, Chairman of the Syrian American Alliance

Dr. Mahmoud Khattab is the Chairman of the Syrian American Alliance. The organization is one of five that make up the Coalition for a Democratic Syria. A Sacramento-based doctor of internal medicine and originally from Damascus, Dr. Khattab’s mission is to help Syrian refugees who have fled their chaos-stricken ...

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The Car Bomb in Lebanon: Spillover from Syria Increases

The Car Bomb in Lebanon: Spillover from Syria Increases

  Beirut, the Paris of the Middle East and the region’s capital for assassinations and attempted political slayings. The latest of which in this bloody saga targeted Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan, the head of the Information Branch of the Internal Security Forces. Hassan, who was tapped to become the Head of ...

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Turkey’s Cross Border Attacks with Syria Highlight Lack of Western Support

Turkey’s Cross Border Attacks with Syria Highlight Lack of Western Support

                                        Wednesday’s mishap by Syrian forces, which saw a mortar shell land in the Turkish town of Akcakale, killing five, has put international attention firmly on the Syrian crisis. For months analysts ...

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Iranian Embassy Closure: New Opening in a Greater Regional Game?

Iranian Embassy Closure: New Opening in a Greater Regional Game?

Since the announcement of the decision by Canada to sever ties with Iran and expel Iranian diplomats from the country, many Iranian-Canadians have found themselves immersed in heated debates over the issue. While these debates seem nearly fixated on the merits and faults of the decision and the potential it ...

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A Candid Discussion with Bijan Kian

A Candid Discussion with Bijan Kian

 Bijan Kian is a Senior Fellow for Global Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School. He has served President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama from 2006 to 2011 as a member of the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. In ...

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Welcome to the Kurdish Spring, the sequel

Welcome to the Kurdish Spring, the sequel

  It essentially was an accident. Saddam Hussein had been whipped in the 1991 Gulf War, President George H.W. Bush called on Iraq’s Kurds and Shia to rise up. They did  —  but Bush was all talk; there was no U.S. military help and they were slaughtered. So as Kurdish refugees ...

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