Middle East and North Africa

2018 jordan protests

­­A Hashemite Family Reunion Can’t Hide Jordan’s Woes

Making nice after an alleged coup attempt obscures serious challenges, including water scarcity, a refugee crisis, and unhelpful neighbors.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a press conference at the International Conference on the Legal-International Claims of the Holy Defense in the capital Tehran on February 23, 2021.

Nuclear Sabotage Could Be What Iran Needed

This week’s attack on an Iranian enrichment facility has improved the country’s negotiating position.

Two girls stand at the entrance of a tent in an IDP camp in Syria.

Assad Regime Continues Stonewalling U.S. Aid to Syria

Syrian government is using aid deliveries as a weapon, State Department reports.

King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein of Jordan speaks at the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2019 in New York City.

Jordan’s King Is His Own Worst Enemy

There’s much more evidence of the monarch’s poor governance than a foreign conspiracy against him.

Soldiers return home from Afghanistan

Biden Faces His First Disasters in Yemen and Afghanistan

Unless it changes tack, the administration is about to make bad situations even worse.

Israel's controversial separation wall runs between the Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev (left), built in a suburb of East Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Shuafat refugee camp (right) on Feb. 11.

The ICC’s Israel Investigation Could Backfire

It’s more likely to inflame nationalist sentiments than change anything on the ground.

A car drives past a campaign billboard of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s Government Has Nobody at the Wheel

A cycle of deadlocked elections has left the country without a functioning administration—and a foreign policy set on autopilot.

Palestinian woman walks past election mural in Gaza.

The Return of Palestinian Politics

Elections in May will be the first since 2006—a remarkable but risky gambit.

Benin's President Patrice Talon at a press conference in Paris.

Benin’s King of Cotton Makes Its Democracy a Sham

Talon’s procedural reforms have hollowed out fair elections and are a master class in entrenching autocracy.

German emergency personnel load the stretcher used to transport Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, at Charité hospital in Berlin on Aug. 22, 2020.

A Chance to Stop Syria and Russia From Using Chemical Weapons

Moscow and Damascus have evaded all accountability, but Biden can build a coalition to change that.

A view of a damaged school building due to bombardment by pro-government forces in Kansafra, in Syria's Idlib province, on March 3.

10 Years On, Syrians Have Not Given Up

A survivor of regime atrocities explains why the international community must act.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves the Muni World conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Feb. 14, 2018.

Israel’s Osirak Option

As Netanyahu forms his government, the parallels between the politics that led to a strike on Iraq’s nuclear facility and those that could result in targeting Iran today are clear.

A couple walks past a graffiti mural in Lebanon.

Nobody Knows What Lebanon’s Currency Is Worth Anymore

In Lebanon’s absurd economy, money’s value depends on whom you ask.

Pilot at LaGuardia Airport in New York

Biden Needs to End His Staff Travel Ban Now

Only three top State Department officials have been allowed to travel abroad. That’s no way to preserve U.S. interests.

Protesters at a vigil in Myanmar.

Are U.S. and Chinese Interests Really Opposed in Iran and Myanmar?

Beijing is making moves to ensure regional dominance in Southeast Asia and oil supplies from the Middle East. It could be shooting itself in the foot.

Members of the Koglweogo, a self-defense militia, attend an annual gathering in Siguinvousé, Burkina Faso, on Feb 14.

Biden’s Strategy in the Sahel Looks a Lot Like Trump’s

U.S. diplomacy is back in West Africa—but the United States is also back to its old counterterrorism playbook.

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