Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: Middle East

Mean Streets of Reporting

Mean Streets of Reporting

Throughout the four years of covering the war in Bosnia, we male correspondents secretly feared for our female colleagues. We shared all the dangers and challenges except for one — sexual assault. That was a war where bounties were put out for some reporters and rapes camps inflicted horror for local women; as they told […]

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Turkey: Year in Review

Turkey: Year in Review

Summary of Turkish foreign policy in 2011 2011 was in many ways a milestone in modern Turkish history. First, the Arab Spring not only shook the Western influence in the region, it also ended the post-colonial period in the Middle East, marked by authoritarian-suppressive regimes, which in their way mirrored and reflected their perception of […]

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On Turkish Foreign Policy and the Middle East (Interview)

On Turkish Foreign Policy and the Middle East (Interview)

Dear followers of FPA’s Middle East blog, News.Az, a leading online news source of the Caucasus recently conducted an online interview with me – here you can find the full version of the interview: —————————————————————————————– Turkey is a new leader of the Muslim world in the Middle East. Are you satisfied with the Turkish policy […]

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Plot to Assassinate Saudi Ambassador or Murder-for-Hire Sting….

Plot to Assassinate Saudi Ambassador or Murder-for-Hire Sting….

It’s called a ‘murder-for-hire’ sting, a standard law enforcement ploy designed to help the criminal find the very worst in his nature and act on it. But sting operations come with their own risks as well as rewards—and attorneys know that ‘entrapment’ can be a strong defense. . .

Informants are like sharks, scouring the underworld for opportunities and targets the feds can use as springboards to career-making cases. It’s the informant’s job to find two sticks (agent and opportunity), to rub them together vigorously, and to blow gently on the sparks of criminal enterprise.

Think about this as well….the ‘downpayment’ for the ‘hit,’ the100k wired to the US undercover bank account is enough to trigger a case for conspiracy, but it still doesn’t prove that the Iranian government was driving the bus. To do that, US authorities must establish a link between the owner of the account in the UAE — or the owner/s of an account held by an international financial institution with correspondent branches/banks around the world — and the government of Iran.

This is a critical point–one that could defuse the Obama Administration’s claim that ‘senior officials at the highest levels of the Iranian government’ were tied to the assassination plot and challenge the call of senior US officials for alterations to current foreign policy, in the US and abroad, toward Iran. If US authorities cannot prove that this was something more than a plot formulated by a small group of non-state actors, the President, the Secretary of State, DEA and the FBI have some explaining to do. . .

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Western Intervention and the Lessons from Libya.

Western Intervention and the Lessons from Libya.

As we observe the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and we contemplate what went wrong with the past decade, we should look at Libya for lessons on western intervention!  In the aftermath of 9/11, American neoconservatives tried to ‘liberate’ the Arab world, and bring ‘democracy’ in the Middle East.  It was argued that failed states like […]

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Hopeless But Not Serious: Austria’s Foreign Policy

Hopeless But Not Serious: Austria’s Foreign Policy

Last night I attended the New York Premiere Screening of Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace. Featuring interviews with Leon Charney, Back Door Channels reveals the unlikely confluence of events that produced one of the most significant diplomatic achievements of the 20th Century: the Camp David Peace Accords between Israel and Egypt. The term […]

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Turkish Naval Buildup in the Eastern Mediterranean

Turkish Naval Buildup in the Eastern Mediterranean

According to Turkish daily Sabah, Turkey’s new strategic focus is shifting from the Aegean towards East Mediterranean. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had indicated earlier that Turkey would take steps towards ensuring freedom of navigation in Eastern Mediterranean, as a reaction to the Palmer report. In the following days it is expected that the Turkish Navy […]

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Turkey: Turning to the East

Turkey: Turning to the East

When eminent scholar Walter Russell Mead tackles a subject he does not do it on the cheap. One of his latest long articles attempts to discern the current trajectory of Turkey’s foreign policy and he takes his readers through quite a ride. Mead, an American history, smoothly goes through modern Turkish history and then ties […]

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The Libyan Struggle

The Libyan Struggle

After Gaddafi Libya may not find what it is looking for. As I write this, the majority of pro-Gaddafi forces have lost, or are in the process of losing their resistance against the mostly civilian rebels. The pictures and stories coming from Libya are not incomparable to Egypt and/or Tunisia. Young men holding rifles in […]

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Child Soldiers in Yemen

Child Soldiers in Yemen

Since the beginning of the popular uprising, Yemen’s government has had to intensify its military recruitment campaign. With the recent waves of defections and the opening of several new fronts, the army is in great need of fresh blood. But most importantly, the government is trying to gather new loyalty under its banner in order […]

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Arabic Dreams of Turkish Ways

Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Benghazi last week, where the Libyan opposition is getting stronger every day. Davutoglu was welcomed, as any other AKP official in a Muslim country, and the crowd cheered for him holding interesting posters with the words, “Thank you Erdogan, Turkey and Islam” written on them. Davutoglu was pleased. This […]

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Turkish-Syrian border standoff: An overview

Turkish-Syrian border standoff: An overview

Turkey faces a growing danger of Syrian economic and social disruption spilling onto its soil, with some fearing an influx of refugees could draw Turkish troops into border operations uncomfortably close to Syrian forces.President Bashar Al Assad’s crackdown on opposition has pushed once-warm ties between Turkey and Syria close to breaking point. Syrian policy towards […]

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Alberta's Energy Minister Visits US to Spur Investment

Last week, Alberta’s Energy Minister Ron Liepert was in the US to promote his province’s energy sector. During breakfast at the Penn Club in Manhattan organized by the Canadian Consulate-General, he discussed a wide array of energy-related subjects. The message he had for US foreign policy was simply that Alberta (and by extension Canada as […]

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Obama's Middle East speech and Turkish foreign policy

Not one single word in Obama’s Middle East speech included or even made a remote reference to Turkey. This, from Turkey’s perspective, was the most important part of yesterday’s policy position statement. In traditional Turkish collective memory, Middle East has been a realm of ‘problem’, which Turkey had to stay away from; some of those […]

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A New Chapter for America in the Middle East

President Obama’s speech on Thursday was designed to introduce a symbolic redefinition of American policy in the Middle East. Assuring his international audience that an ever-changing world demands continued leadership, his words ushered in a new chapter of American diplomacy.

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