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Archive for the category “Middle East”

Reflections On A War Gone Wrong

4,500 U.S. troops died in Iraq, and countless more returned home with physical and psychological wounds they—and we, as a society—will deal with for the rest of their lives. As a nation, we have sunk over one trillion dollars into Iraq so far— one trillion dollars you see missing every day in unpaved roads, underpaid teachers, and the social services our congressional leadership tells us we don’t have the resources to fund, writes Andrew Exum.

Read Here – Defense One

Also read: The Iraq War and the Inevitability of Ignorance


Ending A Decade Of Silence, Israel Reveals It Blew Up Assad’s Nuclear Reactor

The State of Israel formally acknowledged that its air force blew up a Syrian nuclear reactor in the area of Deir Ezzor in the pre-dawn hours between September 5 and 6, 2007, in a mission known to much of the world as Operation Orchard. The official confirmation ends a 10-and-a-half year policy of referring to the event with a smirk and a wry “according to foreign reports.”

Read Here – Times of Israel

Fresh Prince

At only 32, MBS is already the most powerful figure in contemporary Saudi history, having sidelined other members of the ruling family with the full support of his father, King Salman. His concentrated authority and evident will to shake up the system make it possible for him to do great things. But he has also removed the restraints that have made Saudi foreign and domestic policy cautious, conservative, and ultimately successful amid the crises of the modern Middle East.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

The US Legacy In Iraq: Violence, Sectarianism – And Elections

After 15 years of violence, insecurity and sectarianism following the US invasion of Iraq, finding cause for optimism can be a fool’s errand for Iraqi leaders. This week marks the 15-year anniversary of the start of the US invasion of Iraq, ostensibly to free Iraqis from tyranny and oppression. What came next is well known: With the toppling of dictator Saddam Hussein, the US unleashed a storm of killing and division that persists to this day.

Read Here – Al Jazeera

Iran Among The Ruins

Washington seems to believe that rolling back Iranian influence would restore order to the Middle East. But that expectation rests on a faulty understanding of what caused it to break down in the first place. Iran did not cause the collapse, and containing Iran will not bring back stability.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

What Trump Needs To Know About Iranians

If the United States wants to one day improve its relations with Iran, it must gain the trust of the Iranian people and adopt policies that reflect the realities on the ground in Iran. To this end, the Trump administration ought to take note of the momentous shifts in public attitudes among Iranians. If not, renewed hawkishness may cause a serious backlash with unpredictable consequences.

Read Here – Al-Monitor

Mohammed Bin Salman: Saudi Arabia’s Great Young Reformer May Struggle To Control The Forces He Has Unleashed

Saudi Arabia is going through more upheaval at the moment than the modern kingdom has ever seen. Not everyone is ready for social change, and members of the House of Saud sidelined by the crown prince’s recent power grab could yet form blocs of opposition against him.

Read Here – Independent

The Tragedy Of Mahmoud Abbas

Picture a Palestinian leader in the twilight of his reign. Besieged on all sides and challenged by younger upstarts, he lashes out against Israel, his Arab brethren, and the United States. Other Palestinian officials jockey to replace him, convinced he’s past his prime. This is how it ended for Yasser Arafat, whose insistence on waging the second intifada left him isolated in the final years of his rule. It may well be how it ends for Mahmoud Abbas.

Read Here – The Atlantic 

Can An Israeli-Saudi Détente Work?

Israel and Saudi Arabia have many shared interests, but there are also numerous instances where their interests diverge. The latter was evident when MBS forced the resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri as a means to remove the fig leaf of legitimacy covering Iranian-Hezbollah activity in Lebanon. Israel did not approve of this move, because it had the potential to destabilise Lebanon and ultimately cause the situation on its northern front to deteriorate into a destructive and dangerous war.

Read Here – The National Interest

Donald Trump’s ‘Flip-Flopping Is Going To Push Iran Towards China’

US President Donald Trump’s tougher stance on Iran could push Tehran closer to Beijing, which will defend the Iran nuclear deal whether or not Trump decides to certify it, according to a diplomatic adviser involved in the deal and experts.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

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