Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


Entries in Foreign Policy magazine (62)


Egypt Feature: Cairo Cuts Gas Supplies to Israel --- Will the Power Play Backfire? (Mills)

Whatever the reason for this decision, it has squandered one of the Egyptian energy industry's most precious resources. The one thing more important for gas customers than attractive prices is security. As Algeria discovered in the early 1980s and Russia and Ukraine in 2009, once a gas supplier gains a reputation for unreliability, it is very hard to shake off. With the pipeline bombings and now this contractual action, Egypt has squandered a lot of hard-won trust.

This incident marks the definitive end of a very successful period for Egypt's gas industry.

Click to read more ...


Yemen Feature: The Unresolved Economic Crisis (Salisbury)

Yemen's economy, fragile and sclerotic at best, effectively ground to a halt in 2011. A series of explosions damaged a major oil pipeline which is the source of most of the country's fuel. The ensuing shortage of diesel fuel, used to transport goods across the country and to pump most of the country's water, led to a sharp increase in the price of food and water. The government was forced to import fuel and hemorrhaged foreign currency reserves normally used to settle the hefty import bill that covers most of the wheat and rice eaten in the country.

Click to read more ...


Iran & Turkey Feature: Tehran v. Ankara in Battle for Hearts and Minds (Akyol)

Turkish President Erdogan & Supreme LeaderThe Arab Spring has heightened the ideological tension between Ankara and Tehran, and Turkey's model seems to be winning. Last spring, Iran often claimed that the Arab revolutions were akin to the Iranian one decades before and would usher in similar governments. Yet in Tunisia and Egypt, for the first time, leading figures in mainstream Islamist parties have won elections by explicitly appealing to the "the Turkish model" rather than to an Iranian-style theocracy. What's more, in December 2011, the Palestinian movement Hamas salted the wound when a spokesman announced the organization's shift toward "a policy of nonviolent resistance", which reflected its decision to distance itself from Syria and Iran and to move closer to Egypt, Turkey, and Qatar.

Click to read more ...


Syria Feature: Obama Administration Quietly Backs Arms to Insurgents?

We have assessed, based on weeks of reports, that foreign governments and groups have been sending supplies --- including communications equipment, night-vision goggles, and bullet-proof vests --- to Syrian insurgents. We also suspect, though we cannot establish, that foreign actors are ensuring small arms get to the Free Syrian Army.

Now Josh Rogin, writing for The Cable blog of Foreign Policy magazine, gives an indication that the Obama Administration has been or is on he verge of supporting these efforts:

The Obama administration is moving to provide direct assistance to the internal opposition in Syria for the first time, marking a shift in U.S. policy toward a more aggressive plan to help oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Last week, a group of senior Obama administration officials met to finalize a package of options for aiding both the internal and external Syrian opposition, to include providing direct humanitarian and communications assistance to the Syrian opposition,

Click to read more ...


Yemen Feature: The Houthi Movement and the Revolution (Wells)

Walking last month into the Shabaab al-Sumud tent in Yemen's Maydan Taghayr --- Change Square --- I was greeted by eager faces and talkative qat chewers. "We love Americans," a Houthi supporter nodded his head vigorously, and, in doing so, revealed an enormous poster on the tent flap behind him on which the group's infamous slogan was inscribed: "God is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews." Seeing my eyes widen, he offered, "We hate American policies, notpeople. The roots of the slogan lie in America's war on the Iraqi people and support for Israeli policies against the Palestinians. Let me tell you what it is that the Houthis want...."

Even the dedicated observer of Yemeni affairs can be forgiven for not fully grasping the complexity of the country's political milieu during this shaky revolutionary period.

Click to read more ...


Syria Feature: Asking Again, "Will Aleppo Rise?" (BSyria)

Students demonstrate at Aleppo University on Thursday

See also Syria Feature: Will Aleppo Rise? (27 June 2011)

Aleppo's dismal reputation among Syria's revolutionaries is slowly changing. The regime's hold on the city has been increasingly challenged: Recent Fridays have witnessed sizeable protests, and the residents of the lower-income neighborhoods of Fardous, Marjeh, and Sakhour are taking to the streets regularly.

Aleppo is also becoming increasingly violent. Assad's security forces shot dead 13 people in the city last Friday, according to local activists -- on par with the number of fatalities in other hotspots. On Feb. 10, twin car bombings targeting Aleppo's Military Intelligence bureau killed 28 people. The growing Free Syrian Army presence in the areas around the city is also making it hard for Aleppo to remain a bystander to the revolution.

Click to read more ...


Syria Feature: Can the Opposition Get Its Act Together? (Vela)

Opposition members at launch of Syrian National Council (Photo: AP)Omar Muqdad can usually be found smoking and drinking coffee all night in an empty room in Istanbul or Ankara. As a longtime Syrian activist, he can access senior Syrian opposition leaders, as well as their network of supporters around the world, with a phone call. He enjoys a sterling reputation among the activists and defected soldiers who risk their lives daily along the Turkey-Syria border.

But over the months, Muqdad's frustration with the Syrian National Council (SNC), the body intended to serve as the political representation of the Syrian opposition, has grown. He has diligently traveled around Turkey, arranging coverage of the Syrian uprising by major media outlets, holding meetings in Western embassies, and coordinating with activists inside the country. In the meantime, he has come to see the SNC as disorganized, disconnected from the Syrians on the ground, and out of step with the broad spectrum of Syrian society.

Click to read more ...


Bahrain Feature: Obama Administration "Quietly Sells Arms to Regime"

Bahrain's Crown Prince & US Secretary of State ClintonPresident Barack Obama's administration has been delaying its planned $53 million arms sale to Bahrain due to human rights concerns and congressional opposition, but this week administration officials told several congressional offices that they will move forward with a new and different package of arms sales -- without any formal notification to the public.

The congressional offices that led the charge to oppose the original Bahrain arms sales package are upset that the State Department has decided to move forward with the new package....The State Department has not released details of the new sale, and Congress has not been notified through the regular process, which requires posting the information on the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) website. The State Department simply briefed a few congressional offices and is going ahead with the new sale, arguing it didn't meet the threshold that would require more formal notifications and a public explanation.

Click to read more ...


Iran Feature: Israel's Mossad, Posing as CIA Officers, Recruited Anti-Regime Insurgents (Perry)

Jundullah leader Abdolmalek Rigi, executed June 2010Buried deep in the archives of America's intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush's administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives -- what is commonly referred to as a "false flag" operation.

The memos, as described by the sources, one of whom has read them and another who is intimately familiar with the case, investigated and debunked reports from 2007 and 2008 accusing the CIA, at the direction of the White House, of covertly supporting Jundallah -- a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization.

Click to read more ...


Bahrain Feature: The Sustained Strength of the February 14th Movement (Jones/Shehabi)

Writing for Foreign Policy, Toby Jones and Ala'a Shehabi outline the methods and the achievements of the February 14th movement in Bahrain. In a week where the escalating repression of protests saw the death of a 16-year old boy, Sayed Hashim, at the hands of the security forces, Jones and Shehabi are perhaps too light in their critique of violence sanctioned by the government. Similarly, the authors possibly invest too much faith in the potential of the regime to reform, given its steadfast refusal across 2011 to countenance any real structural changes.

That aside, the article gives a vital depiction of a opposition movement which has retained --- indeed, developed --- strength and solidarity across 11 often unforgiving months. Significant, too, is the article's appearance in Foreign Policy, a central forum for the opinion makers in Washington. Indeed, it is enough to make one wonder whether Saqer Al Khalifa, the media attaché to Bahrain's Embassy in the US, who worked so tirelessly last year to spread the Kingdom's message, is falling out of favour in 2012....

Bahrain's revolutionaries
Toby Jones and Ala'a Shehabi, Foreign Policy

Bahrain's February 14th movement has become a symbol of resistance and fortitude...and the most powerful political force in Bahrain today. This confederation of loosely organized networks, named after the date of the beginning of Bahrain's revolution, is faceless, secretive, and anonymous. Its tens of thousands of supporters have abandoned the failed leadership of the country's better established, but listless, political opposition. They have suffered the most and have weathered the worst that the regime has so far meted out.

Click to read more ...

Page 1 2 3 4 5 ... 7 Older Posts »