Middle East and North Africa News

The Islamic State’s Je Ne Sais Quoi

Jun 17, 2015
"To stay even in this war against the Islamic State (an entity which combines 8th century Islamist practices, values, and ideology with 21st century technology) — let alone winning it — seems a stretch. And here’s why," writes Aaron David Miller.

What Inhibits a ‘Complete Strategy’ for Fighting ISIS

Jun 09, 2015
"The Obama administration and its critics in Congress should stop using language like “defeat.” This isn’t World War II. Eliminating ISIS requires fixing Syria and Iraq, creating well-governed, functional states. And not even the hawks in Congress are prepared to expend the resources required for that," writes Aaron David Miller.

2015 Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research Recap

Jun 08, 2015
From May 26 through May 29, 2015, the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program convened the 2015 Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research (SICAR). Organized in cooperation with The George Washington University, SICAR provided training to 25 up-and-coming historians, political scientists, and international relations specialists in the theory and practice of archival research.

5 Reasons the U.S. Cannot Defeat ISIS

Jun 06, 2015
"Even if we finesse the problem and use Obama's clever turn of phrase, to "ultimately defeat" ISIS, as our goal, we had better get used to a very long war. Even with such a war, victory as conventionally defined may still be elusive," writes Aaron David Miller.

How Supplying Sunni Tribes Could Backfire on the U.S.

May 30, 2015
"If the U.S. opens an assistance conduit to the tribes, it could have major consequences among Shiites: It could weaken Mr. Abadi in the eyes of his Shiite constituency; it could undermine the premise of central government the U.S. is trying to support; it could even lead Iran to more aggressively push their Shiite militias in Iraq, further weakening the idea of centralized authority," writes Aaron David Miller.
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Haleh Esfandiari Interview on Trumped Up Charges Against Jason Rezaian

May 27, 2015
"I have argued that arresting Jason and keeping him for such a long time and finally bringing him on trial is just an effort by the hardliners to embarrass President Rouhani, the Foreign Minister, and the whole team of negotiators,” said Haleh Esfandiari during this interview on CNN.

A Warning in Iran’s Closed-Door Trial of Reporter Jason Rezaian

May 26, 2015
"The ministry, aided by a pliant judiciary, may be trying to make an example of Mr. Rezaian. His experience serves as a warning to other Iranians or dual nationals who work for foreign news agencies in Iran or universities and think tanks abroad. The message? Such Iranians should not feel free, or safe, to travel between Iran and the U.S. or Europe," writes Haleh Esfandiari

Tunisian President on Islam, Politics and Extremism

May 21, 2015
On May 20, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi discussed challenges facing Tunisia at an event hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace. Essebsi, the founder of the secular Nidaa Tounes party, cited his country’s political system as a model for the region.

Middle East Realities That Challenge Obama’s Nuclear Deal With Iran

May 20, 2015
"The emerging Iran deal that the Obama administration contends is comprehensive and definitive contains so many uncertainties, including those regarding Iran’s future nuclear weapons aspirations, that it might well turn out to be an extended interim accord," writes Aaron David Miller.

Obama's Arab Security Strategy: An Old Doctrine Gets Put to the Test in Yemen

May 18, 2015
"Yemen couldn’t be a worse place to put the American Gulf security plan to the test. It is a certified failed state with an impeccable record of sucking outside powers into a treacherous tribal quicksand," writes David Ottaway.

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