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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the category “Middle East”

There’s A Reason They Call It The ‘Forever War’

Combat deployments to the Middle East are not necessary for the security of the United States and only allow regimes in Baghdad, Damascus, and Istanbul to use American troops and assets for their own security. It’s time to stop playing a shell game with the U.S. military in the Middle East and bring them home.

Read Here – The National Interest

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Mohammed bin Salman Is Having a Fire Sale Of His Political Power

The two most important facts about Aramco are now directly in tension with one another. It has been central to the power of the House of Saud precisely because the royal family has had it under tight control. At the same time, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has made it central to his plan to transform the country, known as Vision 2030, by promising to sell shares of the company to investors—thus giving them greater control over it.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Should China Police The Strait Of Hormuz?

During the late June 2019 crisis in the Persian Gulf, the American president made a startlingly candid observation (even by his standards): “China gets 91 percent of its oil from the Straight (sic), Japan 62 percent, and many other countries likewise. So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation. All of these countries should be protecting their own ships …”

Read Here – The National Interest

ISIS’s Leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi—The World’s Most Wanted Man—Is Dead

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the reclusive leader of the world’s deadliest terrorist movement, was killed during a daring nighttime raid by U.S. Special Operations soldiers in northwestern Syria, President Trump announced…After five years of spawning terror that reached the far corners of the globe, the leader of isis was trapped—“whimpering and crying and screaming”—in a dead-end tunnel, with three children, Trump said.

Read Here – The New Yorker

Also Read: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Is Dead (But His Legacy Lives on)

The Middle East’s Lost Decades

Today, nearly ten years later, the situation in the Middle East looks even worse than it did before the Arab Spring. Political repression is more onerous. Economic growth is sluggish and unequal. Corruption remains rampant. Gender equality is more aspiration than reality. Yet something fundamental has changed. Arab governments have traditionally rested on what political scientists call an “authoritarian bargain,” in which the state provides jobs, security, and services in exchange for political loyalty. This bargain is based on the assumption that ordinary people will remain passive. But today, that assumption no longer holds. Citizens no longer fear their governments.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Iran, The Unitary State

To see Tehran as helplessly riven with antagonistic factions is misguided. Under concerted pressure from Trump, the separate parts of Iran’s regime have closed ranks. Western policymakers must accept the reality that Iran conducts its security policy as a unified state actor.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Cease-Fire Chaos: The Kurds, Turkey, And Trump Administration Are Touting Different Strategies

Even if the Trump administration moves closer to Turkey, the relationship between the country and Congress will sustain long-lasting damage. It’s unclear whether the latest cease-fire will mollify the cries to punish Turkey.

Read Here – The National Interest

The Unwanted Wars

The war that now looms largest is a war nobody apparently wants… Iran has no interest in a wide-ranging conflict that it knows it could not win. Israel is satisfied with calibrated operations in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza but fears a larger confrontation that could expose it to thousands of rockets. Saudi Arabia is determined to push back against Iran, but without confronting it militarily. Yet the conditions for an all-out war in the Middle East are riper than at any time in recent memory.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Intra-Gulf Competition In Africa’s Horn: Lessening The Impact

What’s new? Middle Eastern states are accelerating their competition for allies, influence and physical presence in the Red Sea corridor, including in the Horn of Africa. Rival Gulf powers in particular are jockeying to set the terms of a new regional power balance and benefit from future economic growth.

Read Here – International Crisis Group

Israeli Gridlock

Parliamentary elections held Tuesday in Israel produced a remarkable and unfamiliar result: everyone, including Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister in the country’s history, lost. Neither his religious-conservative bloc nor the slightly-to-the-left party led by his primary challenger, former military chief Benny Gantz, secured enough support to form a majority.

Read Here – RealClearWorld

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