Middle East and North Africa News

Syria: What's Really Happening

May 08, 2013
"In Syria, there are no good options, American credibility is at stake, and the pressures to act are considerable in the face of great uncertainties," writes Aaron David Miller in Salon.com.

Islam’s Powerful Role in the New Egypt

May 01, 2013
Islam is now playing a more powerful role in Egyptian public life more than a year after Islamist parties dominated parliamentary elections. But Egypt is not following Iran’s path toward theocracy, according to a new paper by Nathan Brown, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Obama's Syria Dilemma

Apr 30, 2013
President Obama is now faced with a dilemma: Defending his red line could undermine his carefully crafted strategy of steering clear of direct military involvement in the Syria crisis. Aaron David Miller notes several points the president should keep in mind as he grapples with this conundrum.
Jane Harmon discusses Syria on Morning Joe

Chemical Weapons in Syria?

Apr 29, 2013
Jane Harman appears on MSNBC's Morning Joe to discuss allegations of chemical weapon use in Syria.
John Kerry and Hillary Clinton

Why John Kerry Could be a Better Secretary of State than Hillary Clinton

Apr 26, 2013
Aaron David Miller writes that John Kerry may prove to be a more successful U.S. Secretary of State than Hillary Clinton.

Tunisia: Secular Opposition Rising

Apr 24, 2013
Tunisia’s secular opposition may be a major contender in presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for late 2013, according to a new paper by Marina Ottaway, a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Call of Tunisia, an alliance of secular political groups is competing for supporters. In April 2013, it was “running almost even” with the Islamist Ennahda party in public opinion polls.

Women Challenge the Muslim Brotherhood

Apr 19, 2013
Responding to the Muslim Brotherhood, leading female activists are charging that Islam actually guarantees women wide-ranging rights–and that the largest Islamist movement in the Arab world merely wants to maintain male dominance. In March, the Brotherhood had warned that U.N. passage of a draft declaration on violence would lead to society’s “complete disintegration.” It said that the declaration contradicted Islamic principles by allowing women to have full sexual freedom and marry outside their faith while cancelling the need for a husband’s consent to “travel, work, or use of contraception.”

A New Challenge for Palestinians

Apr 18, 2013
Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's resignation has the potential to inject clarity and honesty into the region's problems, writes Aaron David Miller in this op-ed from The Los Angeles Times.

Report: Sunni-Shiite Divide Deepens

Apr 16, 2013
The Arab uprisings have deepened ethnic and religious tensions between Sunnis and Shiites in the Middle East, according to a new report by The Brookings Institution. The rise of sectarianism is being drive by three main factors: •Sunni Islamist ascendancy in Tunisia and Egypt •The civil war in Syria, renewed conflict in Lebanon, and unrest in Bahrain •Popular perceptions of outside intervention have created a “virtual proxy war” with Iran, Syria and Hezbollah on one side and the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey on the other

Violence Unsettles Tunisia’s Democratic Transition

Apr 12, 2013
Tunisia’s transition to democracy is seriously threatened by violence following the assassination of a prominent leftist politician in February, according to a new paper by David Ottaway. The killing of Chokri Belaid triggered a showdown between the moderate and fundamentalist wings of the Islamist Ennahda Party, which rules in coalition with two secular parties.

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