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Middle East & Africa
The Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system intercepts rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel on May 14, 2021.
The Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system intercepts rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel on May 14, 2021.

Russia and Iran Threats Put Missile Defense Back on the Agenda

In Europe and the Middle East, plans for missile defense are a mixed blessing.

Supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr gather outside the Iraqi parliament in the Green Zone in Baghdad, on the seventh day of protests against the nomination of a rival Shiite faction for the position of prime minister on Aug. 5, 2022.
Supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr gather outside the Iraqi parliament in the Green Zone in Baghdad, on the seventh day of protests against the nomination of a rival Shiite faction for the position of prime minister on Aug. 5, 2022.

Is Moqtada al-Sadr Trying to Stage a Jan. 6 Insurrection in Iraq?

The cleric’s “spontaneous peaceful revolution” is more of a bid to maintain his own influence—and the political status quo.

Blinken smiles and waves atop an external staircase in front of an open airplane door showing the Secretary of State's official seal.
Blinken smiles and waves atop an external staircase in front of an open airplane door showing the Secretary of State's official seal.

A Little Great-Power Competition Is Healthy for Africa

U.S.-China competition could benefit Africa by forcing each side to offer what it thinks it is best at.

This photograph taken on December 7, 2021 shows a machine gun over the Menaka camp in Mali for the new Task Force Takuba, a multinational military mission in the troubled Sahel region.
This photograph taken on December 7, 2021 shows a machine gun over the Menaka camp in Mali for the new Task Force Takuba, a multinational military mission in the troubled Sahel region.

Militarizing the Sahel Won’t Make Europe More Secure

The EU’s obsession with security in the Sahel is a reflection of its own anxieties—and a betrayal of its values.

A woman in a mask walks by a large mural of Khamenei.
A woman in a mask walks by a large mural of Khamenei.

Whose Iran Is It Anyway?

Ali Khamenei won’t give up power for anyone—not even his president.

A crowd of men protesting hold flags and a large portrait of Sadr.
A crowd of men protesting hold flags and a large portrait of Sadr.

Moqtada al-Sadr Wants to Be Iraq’s Ayatollah Khomeini

Despite the Shiite cleric’s apparent efforts against Iranian influence in Iraq, his chief inspiration is Iran’s founder and most famous supreme leader.

Supporters of Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr flash the victory sign during protests inside the parliament building in Baghdad on July 30.
Supporters of Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr flash the victory sign during protests inside the parliament building in Baghdad on July 30.

Iraqi Politics Needs a Root-and-Branch Overhaul

New elections won’t fix what increasingly looks like a systemic problem.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gives a speech on U.S.-Africa policy in Abuja, Nigeria, on Nov. 19, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gives a speech on U.S.-Africa policy in Abuja, Nigeria, on Nov. 19, 2021.

Team Biden to Unveil New U.S. Africa Strategy

The strategy seeks to grapple with China’s growing influence in Africa without painting African countries as geopolitical pawns.

Amir-Abdollahian and Bagheri Kani face each while in conversation.
Amir-Abdollahian and Bagheri Kani face each while in conversation.

Raisi’s Inept Negotiators Are Sinking Iran Deal Talks

The incompetence of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his team is partly responsible for the current impasse.

Protesters attend a rally backing the Senegalese opposition in Dakar, on June 8.
Protesters attend a rally backing the Senegalese opposition in Dakar, on June 8.

Senegal’s Democratic Backsliding Is a Threat to African Democracy

A constitutional coup in a country that has long been a beacon for freedom would encourage authoritarians across the continent.

A demonstrator holds a pro-Russian banner in Burkina Faso.
A demonstrator holds a pro-Russian banner in Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso Could Be Next for Russia’s Wagner Group, U.S. Intel Fears

A military coup, natural resources, and roiling insecurity are a recipe for Russian intervention.

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