Political Analysis

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Peace in Yemen: The First Steps

Within ten months of his appointment as UN Special Envoy for Yemen, British born Martin Griffiths has succeeded in what has for years been regarded as the near-impossible – bringing the two main protagonists in the Yemen conflict to the negotiating table.

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Shifting Middle Eastern Sands Spotlight Diverging US-Saudi Interests

A series of Gulf and Middle East-related developments suggest that resolving some of the Middle East’s most debilitating and devastating crises while ensuring that efforts to pressure Iran do not perpetuate the mayhem may be easier said than done. They also suggest that the same is true for keeping US and Saudi interests aligned.

© Hakim Khatib/MPC Journal - Why the Arabic Majority World Turned Away from Science

Why the Arabic Majority World Turned Away from Science

Contemporary Islam is not known for its engagement in the modern scientific project. But it is heir to a legendary “Golden Age” of Arabic science frequently invoked by commentators hoping to make Muslims and Westerners more respectful and understanding of each other. President Obama, for instance, in his June 4, 2009 speech in Cairo, praised Muslims for their historical scientific and intellectual contributions to civilization: It was Islam that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic…
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Lebanon’s Sunni Tangle

As if the discovery of sophisticated Hezbollah tunnels penetrating into Israel and violating the UN truce terms was not enough of an embarrassment to the Lebanese government, the political situation is deadlocked as well.  Hezbollah is also at the centre of that débacle.  

An image grab taken from a propaganda video uploaded on June 11, 2014 by jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) allegedly shows ISIL militants gathering at an undisclosed location in Iraq's Nineveh province. (AFP Photo) © AFP

The New War: The Islamic State As a Case Study

The collapse of the bipolar international order of the Cold War period and the start of the unipolar international order under the United States has transformed the nature of military conflict around the world. After this transition, the majority of wars around the globe became civil conflicts confined within states rather than wars fought between nations. For example, in the period between 1991 and 2001, the world witnessed 57-armed conflicts. Of these 57, only three of them were between nation states with the rest being civil conflicts[1]. This phenomenon was a primary motivation for theorists of war and conflict to…
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All Quiet on the Gaza Front?

On 16 November 2018 Israel entered into a ceasefire arrangement with the de facto rulers of the Gaza strip – Hamas.  It seems to be holding. 

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Khashoggi Crisis: (Re)Shaping US Politics and Relations with Saudi Arabia

The killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have gotten more than they bargained for. The killing has sparked multiple battles that are likely in coming months to shape relationships ranging from that between the United States and Saudi Arabia to those between US President Donald J, Trump, his Republican party, the US Congress, and the country’s intelligence community.

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The Two Irans

The dynamics of the Iranian state make for an intriguing case study.  Informed observers maintain that two strong internal forces are pursuing irreconcilable political objectives.  On the one hand there is the reformist camp, concerned about the people’s welfare and willing to engage with the outside world.  On the other, there is the “deep state”, led by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supported by the powerful IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps), dedicated to upholding and strengthening the Islamic Revolution.  It is the deep state that has complete dominance over the country’s political affairs, and can exercise its will in defiance…
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Oman As Player in Peace Process

The Israeli and Palestinian leaders both travelled to the country last month, raising speculation that Muscat is acting as a mediator on behalf of the Trump administration.

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How Fares Trump’s Peace Plan?

In mid-October 2018 rumours about Trump’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan were flying around the Israeli media. On the 22nd one TV channel reported a conversation between Donald Trump and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, during which Trump had apparently said that he was prepared to “get tough” if necessary with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

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