Middle East and North Africa News

What’s Behind the Hostility Toward Women in Iran

Oct 27, 2014
"Parliamentarians’ renewed obsession with women’s dress and male-female workplace mixing represents a throwback to the early days of the Islamic revolution, when women who did not observe the Islamic dress code were subject to 70 lashes and when men and women were segregated in university classrooms, buses and elsewhere," writes Haleh Esfandiari.
Webcast

The Future of Syria: A History Lesson

Oct 24, 2014
Christian Sahner provides insight into Syria’s civil war and the impact of the emergence of the Islamic State through the lens of history. What can the country's past tell us about its future?

Jane Harman on The Daily Rundown

Oct 20, 2014
Jane Harman comments on the developing ISIL situation; what might happen if ISIL did, in fact, obtain three fighter jets, the power and success of the Kurdish fighters, and the role that Turkey has played in the conflict.

Analyzing ‘Operation Inherent Resolve’

Oct 16, 2014
"Washington has finally named its latest military operation in the Middle East. The choice–'Operation Inherent Resolve'–has both a loneliness and a longness about it, and even a sadness. It also stands in stark contrast to the more optimistic names of the past three U.S. wars in the Middle East and south Asia," writes Robin Wright.

ISIS Says the Quran Allows Enslaving Women. Will Clerical Leaders Respond?

Oct 14, 2014
"Islamic State militants crossed a last possible boundary of decency by citing the Quran as authority for the barbarism they have been practicing against women. Equally disturbing, Arab leaders and the ulama, the clerical leaders of Islam, have been silent in the face of this effrontery," writes Haleh Esfandiari.

Show Me the Money

Oct 14, 2014
Jane Harman contributed a short analysis to a debate on the U.S. defense budget for Politico’s “The Agenda,” arguing that expenditures for the latest counter-terrorism efforts against ISIL should be part of Congressionally authorized defense expenditures rather than in a separate fund.

The Iranian Sphere of Influence Expands Into Yemen

Oct 09, 2014
"The implications of events in Yemen extend beyond its borders. If the Houthis secured Bab Al Mandab and the sea in Al Hudaydah governorate, another strategic waterway, they would control the traffic from the Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf, a sobering prospect for those worried about increased Iranian influence in the region,"

Why Kobani Matters

Oct 09, 2014
"Thundering air power can be daunting, but sometimes the effect is more psychological than physical. Big costly bombs fired by big costly warplanes have been knocking a fair number of “armed vehicles,” which may be little more than a pick-up truck with a weapon mounted on the back. But they have not yet set back the ISIS campaign in Syria," writes Robin Wright.

The Nation-Building Trap

Oct 01, 2014
"It's the reality that we're being pulled inexorably like a moth to a flame not just toward a military conflict with Assad, but toward bearing the responsibility for fixing -- or worse for creating -- the new Syria...we may well end up in the very place U.S. President Barack Obama has willfully tried to avoid: nation-building," writes Aaron David Miller.

Congress AWOL on Mideast Action

Oct 01, 2014
"Despite its claims to the contrary, ISIS looks outmatched. But our recent strikes were just an opening salvo. A considered, long-term strategy (including kinetic action) needs a careful framework and congressional authorization. The debate is crucial, and the only way to make room for debate is with a special session of Congress. The president should seek it now," writes Jane Harman.

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