Middle East and North Africa

Latest in Middle East and North Africa

Syria

A Primer on Syria’s Constitutional Committee

As new U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen prepares to assume his position on January 7, it is an opportune time to revisit the Syrian constitutional drafting effort and its role within the larger Syrian peace process. The constitutional committee was a central goal of Pedersen’s predecessor, Staffan de Mistura, who announced his resignation as the U.N.’s Syria Envoy in October.

Yemen

The U.S. 'Yellow Light' in Yemen

The United States continues to tacitly support Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’s military campaign in Yemen even as the country implodes, Iran’s influence grows and U.S. allies sink into the quagmire. The U.S. government calculated that supporting its allies in favor of preventing Iranian encroachment offers more value than the fallout from the humanitarian crisis.

Middle East and North Africa

Why Be a Pawn to a State? Proxy Wars From a Proxy’s Perspective

This is the second of a two-part series on proxy war. The first essay explained why states might engage in proxy war and the likely costs and problems. This second essay examines the same issues from the proxy’s perspective.

Just as states exploit proxies for their own ends, so too do proxies exploit states—but the cost for them is often heavy.

Middle East and North Africa

Why Engage in Proxy War? A State’s Perspective

This is the first of a two-part series on proxy war. This first essay explains why states might engage in proxy war and the likely costs and problems. The second will examine the same issues from the proxy’s perspective.

A proxy war occurs when a major power instigates or plays a major role in supporting and directing a party to a conflict but does only a small portion of the actual fighting itself.

Middle East and North Africa

The Middle East After the Defeat of the Islamic State

The collapse of the Islamic State’s caliphate and the military campaign that drove the group underground is a win for the Trump administration, the United States and the world as a whole. Even by the standards of terrorist groups, the Islamic State is bloody, extreme and toxic. However, even if the Islamic State isn’t revived—although it might be—the Middle East as a whole is likely to remain broken.

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