Latest Article from Matthew RJ Brodsky
Washington and the Tunnel War Between Israel and Hezbollah عاصمة_القرار - واشنطن و"حرب الأنفاق" بين إسرائيل و"حزب الله
Israel's Operation Northern Shield is exposing Hezbollah's cross-border tunnels from Lebanon into Israel and it seems to have caught UNIFIL by surprise. What do these revelations mean for the wider region? Does their exposure bring Israel and Lebanon closer to war? Washington has come out decisively on Israel's side, saying it has the right to defend itself against any aggression, including Hezbollah's attack tunnels. Anchor Michel Ghandour hosts Matthew RJ Brodsky and Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council Nabeel Khoury for a lively, in-studio debate to discuss these developments, how we arrived at this point, and what moves can be expected next.
Latest Article from Tevi Troy
George H. W. Bush was always being underestimated. Though he was successful at almost everything he did—Yale student, baseball team captain, fighter pilot, oil executive, politician, and father—people always seemed to think that he was missing something. Peter Flanigan, the Nixon aide who dangled in front of Bush a senior job in the Nixon White House, seemed to typify this uncharitable and inaccurate view when he told him, "Well, you know, George, you'd have to work hard if you took this job." Bush, ever gracious, held his tongue at the insult, prompting his impressed wife Barbara to marvel, "How George kept his temper, I'll never know." Bush went on to serve in a multitude of high-level positions in the Nixon and Ford administrations, including head of the Republican National Committee, UN ambassador, liaison to China, and CIA director. This array of positions served as a launching pad to the vice presidency and then the presidency. Flanigan tried and failed to become ambassador to Spain. Fooled by his quiet resolve, those who underestimated Bush—from Flanigan to Bob Dole to Michael Dukakis to Saddam Hussein—found themselves astounded when Bush bested them. They shouldn't have been. Beneath his gracious, even goofy, WASP exterior was a real warrior.
Latest Article from Ilan Berman
Last weekend's maritime dust-up between Russia and Ukraine — in which the Russian navy fired on Ukrainian ships in the Sea of Azov — caught Western capitals by surprise. Predictably, the skirmish has elicited condemnations from a host of nations worried about the possibility of further escalation in the four-and-a-half-year-old conflict between Moscow and Kiev. But a resolute Western response to Russia's renewed aggression has been far slower to materialize. This, however, hasn't been because of a lack of policy options. To the contrary, U.S. and European policymakers currently have a broad range of ways by which they can ratchet up the costs to Russia for the recent hostilities.
Latest Article from Jonathan Schanzer
I'm a terrorist, an intelligence agent for at least two Middle East governments, a coup-plotter, and a member of a sex cult.
At least that's what the Turkish press is reporting.
My career as a Turkish outlaw and secret agent began when I began researching Ankara's burgeoning links to terrorist groups. In 2010, I observed that Turkey had become a hub for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. A year later, I was shocked to learn from senior U.S. officials that Turkey was backing jihadists of all stripes in a bid to topple embattled dictator Bashar al-Assad. Then in 2012 and 2013, reports emerged that Turkey helped Iran evade sanctions—moving more than $20 billion in gold and cash—at the height of the nuclear standoff.
Latest Article from Judith Miller
The eventual role that Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker may play in the Department of Justice is uncertain, but thanks to his predecessor, Jeff Sessions, successors will inherit an agency that enjoys deep support within law enforcement circles. More than two dozen Justice Department officials and law enforcement officers said in recent interviews that no recent attorney general was as appreciated within their community as Sessions, the 71-year-old former senator from Alabama, who was fired the day after the midterm elections, presumably for having recused himself from supervising the DOJ's inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Latest Article from Soeren Kern
Chancellor Angela Merkel has appointed a Turkish immigrant to fill the second-highest position in Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, BfV).
As the BfV's new vice president, Sinan Selen, a 46-year-old Istanbul-born counter-terrorism expert, will be the first Muslim to fill a top leadership position within Germany's intelligence community.
The appointment comes just weeks after Merkel fired BfV President Hans-Georg Maaßen for publicly defending the anti-mass-migration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) against attacks from Merkel and her junior coalition partner, the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD).
Latest Article from Clifford May
Eight years ago this month, Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian, was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to be hanged on the charge of blasphemy. She has spent the years since on death row. Now, Pakistan's Supreme Court has overturned her conviction on grounds of insufficient evidence. So this sad story turns out to have a happy ending, right? C'mon, you knew it wasn't going to be that simple.
Latest Article from Michael Freund
Earlier this week, the cabinet passed a welcome decision that was long overdue. For the first time since 2002, the government approved the construction of 31 Jewish housing units in Hebron, thereby allowing the city's Jewish community to continue to grow.
That it took 16 years to grant permission to Hebron's Jews to build is remarkable, for it underlines how successive governments have failed to muster the requisite courage needed to fortify and expand the Jewish presence in the City of the Patriarchs. There is simply no reason it should be so difficult for Jews to build in the place where our founding father, Abraham, lived and was buried.
Latest Article from Asaf Romirowsky
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine evacuated at least 10 international senior officials from the Gaza Strip last Monday. The reason? These top staffers had received death threats following the announcement of budget cuts and planned layoffs by the agency.
This is all because U.S. had decided not to renew its funding — emboldened, perhaps, by the Taylor Force Act's prohibition on funding organizations that abet terrorism.
UNRWA confirmed later that it had "decided to temporarily withdraw part of its international staff from Gaza following a series of worrying security incidents affecting its personnel in the Strip."
Latest Article from Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
[Originally published under the headline "Why is the Middle East Studies Association Trying to Stop the Online Publication of Islamic State Documents?"]
Why would the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the primary umbrella organization for the field of Middle East studies, oppose the New York Times partnering with George Washington University (GWU)'s Program On Extremism to produce a public archive of the thousands of Islamic State (ISIS) documents the newspaper retrieved from northern Iraq?
Latest Article from Henry I. Miller
Eco-Bullying Crosses the Pond