Archive | Middle East

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Choosing Cohesion Over Conflict

By Mustapha El-Khalfi – Minister of Communications, Spokesman of the Government of Morocco With difficult global headwinds and regional instability, now is the time to embrace a new era of national unity Since 2004 $1 billion has been invested in the Moroccan Sahara, which is evident in the construction of more than 150 new local […]

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Posted in Africa, Economic Security, Europe, Food Security, Global Economy, Middle East, Political Security, Security Issues, World

"Castillia" by Unknown - cantigas de santa maria. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Castillia.jpg#/media/File:Castillia.jpg

The Forerunners of ISIS

The recent creation and sudden conquests of the so-called “Islamic State” have astonished policy-makers, military strategists, and foreign affairs analysts. The self-proclaimed caliphate of Abû al-Baghdâdi went from a broken outfit of Iraqi insurgents to a feared theocracy that currently threatens the established order of the Middle East. One can be forgiven for thinking such a movement as being […]

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Posted in Africa, Culture, Education, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Terrorism, World

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Kurdistan: the Next Epicentre of Regional Instability

Kurdistan is a nation that encompasses parts of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, but it is not a state. In post-Saddam Iraq the Kurds have had success in forming a new autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) with their own military. In July last year, KRG President Masoud Barzani asked his parliament to prepare for an independence referendum. The Kurds have a […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Middle East, Security Issues, Syria, US, World

Images of the late King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan and his son, King Abdullah Il bin al-Hussein, seen here on Oct. 30, 2009, in Al-Batra are a common sight throughout the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which is partnered with Colorado in the National Guard’s State Partnership Program, which fosters military-to-military, military-to-civilian and civilian-to-civilian cooperation. There are currently 62 SPP partners. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill) (Released)

What Price Stability? Jordan’s Balancing Act

At a time when the Middle East appears to be crumbling Jordan appears to be standing firm – a beacon of hope in a burning region.  But is Jordan really as stable as it appears? Are we just turning a blind eye to the compromises that come with such stability at a time of such uncertainty […]

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Posted in Middle East, Political Security, World

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The overlooked story of Syria’s Yarmouk death camp

A brave 12-year-old girl named Zeynab Daghastani recently attempted to escape the grim living conditions of a besieged Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. Starving and bone-tired, she did not make it very far before being shot and killed by an ISIS sniper. Welcome to Yarmouk. On April 1st, a group of ISIS’s mask-wearing jihadists swept through the […]

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Posted in Conflict, Humanitarian Intervention, Israeli Palestinian Conflict, Middle East, Political Security, Refugees, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, UN, US, World

Image by Jacques Delarue

After Authoritarianism: State Development and National Identity in the Middle East

The Arab Uprisings have resulted in an increase in the expression of both sectarian and trans-state identities, making the process of reunification and the prospects for a peaceful coexistence somewhat dependent on the new leaderships’ ability to unite, make amends and, possibly for the first time in the region, craft a territorial nationalism that complements rather […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Syria, Terrorism, World

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Was ISIS Inevitable?

ISIS’ exploits dominate headlines, horrifying witnesses around the world. As a history graduate who specialised in researching the rise of Islam, its culture, and its creation of a complex and inspiring civilisation, the recent destruction of millennia old artefacts have almost reduced me to tears. As we now watch and condemn the destruction of priceless […]

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Posted in Conflict, Humanitarian Intervention, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Refugees, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

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Why Israel Is Losing the Public Relations War

Almost everybody thinks badly of Israel. That’s what a poll published by the BBC World Service in 2014 shows. More precisely, Israel ranks as the fourth most negatively viewed nation, right after North Korea, Pakistan and Iran. What explains the differences between European and American views on Israel, and how does such an overall negative […]

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Posted in Conflict, Economics, Israel, Israeli Palestinian Conflict, Middle East, Political Security, Security Issues, World

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Is Iran Headed For Another Recession?

Garnering over 50 percent of the vote, Hassan Rouhani assumed a decisive victory on June 2013 and became Iran’s new president after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s eight year long reign. Vowing to pull the country out of its sanction filled, depressed economy, he won the elections by a landslide. Less than three months ago, during a December […]

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Posted in Economic Security, Economics, Global Economy, Iran, Middle East, Security Issues, World

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Bibi Wins Re-election in Israel, But at What Cost?

Incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won re-election. Under immense pressure, Netanyahu displayed his winner mentality and insatiable desire to govern Israel by seemingly pulling out all the stops to assure another Likud victory, but at what cost? First there was Netanyahu’s Republican-hosted speech to U.S. Congress where his apparent aim was to display […]

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Posted in Conflict, Middle East, Security Issues, UN, US, World

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Boehner Makes Republicans ‘Tools and Dupes’ of Netanyahu’s Election Campaign

This article was first published in The Huffington Post on 3rd March 2015. One of the defining precepts of the American Republic from its earliest days to today has been that the president of the United States represents the country in its dealings with the world. It is a view which the Supreme Court unambiguously […]

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Posted in Iran, Middle East, US, World

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ISIS, Islam and Credulity: More Irreverence Needed in the Fight Against Extremism

This week, King Abdullah of Jordan appealed to European parliamentarians to help root out both terrorism and ‘Islamophobia’. Setting aside this interesting conflation, the wholesale failure of Arab and majority Muslim countries to embody either mutual respect or inclusivity towards many of their ethno-religious minorities bespeaks of an imbalance in critical attention to how those […]

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Posted in Europe, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

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ISIS and The Illusion of Power

It can be difficult to stay optimistic about peace while an atmosphere of gloom permeates the contemporary Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria. It is nearly impossible to watch the news without being inundated by provocative visuals of ISIS’s atavistic executions of U.S. journalists and perplexed by ISIS’s seemingly uncanny ability to recruit Westerners. […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Syria, Terrorism, US, World

Image by Rod Waddington

Khat Chewing – Benign Practice or Social Peril?

A stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, Khat is a narcotic leaf that induces mild euphoria upon chewing – an extremely popular custom in Somalia, Yemen, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia. Lucrative business More than 25,000kg of khat is sold each day in Ethiopia’s Adaway Market and is a vital source of […]

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Posted in Africa, Drugs, Economic Security, Food Security, Security Issues, World, Yemen

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