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Demonstrators wave Western Sahara flags during a protest against the Spanish government support for Morocco's autonomy plan for Western Sahara, in Madrid, on March 26.
Demonstrators wave Western Sahara flags during a protest against the Spanish government support for Morocco's autonomy plan for Western Sahara, in Madrid, on March 26.

Why Is Madrid Pandering to Morocco?

Spain has traded five decades of neutrality on Western Sahara while getting nothing but a spyware scandal in return.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita takes part in a virtual meeting with his U.S. and Israeli counterparts from his office in Rabat, Morocco, on Dec. 22, 2021.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita takes part in a virtual meeting with his U.S. and Israeli counterparts from his office in Rabat, Morocco, on Dec. 22, 2021.

Morocco’s Diplomatic Morass

Despite Washington’s about-face on Western Sahara, the erstwhile darling of U.S. policy circles is more isolated than ever.

A woman displays her iPhone in front of the building housing the Israeli NSO Group in Herzliya, Israel, on Aug. 28, 2016.
A woman displays her iPhone in front of the building housing the Israeli NSO Group in Herzliya, Israel, on Aug. 28, 2016.

Pegasus Lands in Africa

From Morocco to Rwanda, governments and their intelligence services have allegedly used spyware to target everyone including opponents, monarchs, and foreign leaders.

A Vox party supporter protests in front of the Moroccan Embassy in Madrid on May 18.
A Vox party supporter protests in front of the Moroccan Embassy in Madrid on May 18.

Spain Takes a Leap to the Populist Right

This week’s border crisis with Morocco will cast a long shadow over Spanish politics.

U.S. Ambassador in Morocco David T. Fischer after a meeting with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker and Morocco's foreign minister in Dakhla, in Morocco-administered Western Sahara, on Jan. 10.
U.S. Ambassador in Morocco David T. Fischer after a meeting with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker and Morocco's foreign minister in Dakhla, in Morocco-administered Western Sahara, on Jan. 10.

Morocco Wants Compromise, Not War, in Western Sahara

Pro-Sahrawi U.S. commentators ignore the territory’s history and the international community’s shifting stance toward the conflict.

A protester waves the Sahrawi flag in front of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid on Dec. 10, 2020.
A protester waves the Sahrawi flag in front of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid on Dec. 10, 2020.

Biden Can Backtrack on Trump’s Move in Western Sahara

Labeling the Polisario Front a separatist insurgency rather than anti-occupation movement sets a dangerous precedent. But there’s also no strategic reason Biden can’t back away from Trump’s brash turn on day one.

An airplane from Israel's El Al airline arrives in Abu Dhabi
An airplane from Israel's El Al airline arrives in Abu Dhabi

How Arab Ties With Israel Became the Middle East’s New Normal

Though Israel remains opposed to Palestinian independence, 2020 marked the year of its acceptance in the region.

A tribesman stands in front of a Moroccan flag near the border in Western Sahara near Mauritania on Nov. 26.
A tribesman stands in front of a Moroccan flag near the border in Western Sahara near Mauritania on Nov. 26.

How the Western Sahara Became the Key to North Africa

And why Morocco’s apparent victory there will change regional politics.

The U.S. and Moroccan and flags beside a State Department-authorized map of Morocco, including disputed Western Sahara, in Rabat on Dec. 12.
The U.S. and Moroccan and flags beside a State Department-authorized map of Morocco, including disputed Western Sahara, in Rabat on Dec. 12.

Biden Must Reverse Course on Western Sahara

Trump’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty dangerously undermines decades of carefully crafted U.S. policy.

A vehicle of the U.N. Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara drives on the Moroccan side of the border crossing between Morocco and Mauritania in Guerguerat, Western Sahara on Nov. 25.
A vehicle of the U.N. Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara drives on the Moroccan side of the border crossing between Morocco and Mauritania in Guerguerat, Western Sahara on Nov. 25.

The East Timor Model Offers a Way out for Western Sahara and Morocco

Western Sahara’s fate lies in the hands of the U.N. Security Council.

Employees disinfect the streets and shops inside Istanbul's famous Grand Bazaar to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Istanbul on March 18.
Employees disinfect the streets and shops inside Istanbul's famous Grand Bazaar to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Istanbul on March 18.

The Coronavirus Is Creating a Crisis on Europe’s Borders

European countries have suffered from the pandemic, but their southern and eastern neighbors are faring even worse—setting the stage for financial ruin, political instability, and a surge of refugees.

Algerian protesters take part in an anti-government demonstration.
Algerian protesters take part in an anti-government demonstration.

Don’t Hold Your Breath for Democratic Change in the Middle East

The region is accustomed to cycles of protest and political upheaval, so it’s better not to bank on successful revolutions.

Handwritten notes are stuck on a boat used by migrants on Los Caños de Meca beach near Barbate, Spain, on Nov. 26, 2018.
Handwritten notes are stuck on a boat used by migrants on Los Caños de Meca beach near Barbate, Spain, on Nov. 26, 2018.

Europe’s Future Will Be Decided in North Africa

The United States should stop treating the region as secondary to the rest of the Middle East.

Members of the Sahrawi People’s Liberation Army take part in a ceremony to mark 40 years after the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic was proclaimed by the Polisario Front in the disputed territory of Western Sahara at the Rabouni Sahrawi refugee camp in Tindouf, Algeria, on Feb. 26, 2016.
Members of the Sahrawi People’s Liberation Army take part in a ceremony to mark 40 years after the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic was proclaimed by the Polisario Front in the disputed territory of Western Sahara at the Rabouni Sahrawi refugee camp in Tindouf, Algeria, on Feb. 26, 2016.

Can John Bolton Thaw Western Sahara’s Long-Frozen Conflict?

The Polisario Front has created an international diplomatic presence on a shoestring budget and sees the Trump administration as its best hope in decades to gain independence from Morocco.

A Moroccan draped in the Berber, or Amazigh, flag shouts slogans while marching during a protest against the jailing of Al-Hirak or "Popular Movement" activists in the capital Rabat on July 15, 2018.
A Moroccan draped in the Berber, or Amazigh, flag shouts slogans while marching during a protest against the jailing of Al-Hirak or "Popular Movement" activists in the capital Rabat on July 15, 2018.

Morocco’s Crackdown Won’t Silence Dissent

Across the country, protesters are increasingly willing to criticize the government and the monarchy—even in the face of repression.

A road sign points towards an Airbnb apartment, located in the Esh Kodesh outpost, near the Jewish settlement of Shilo and the Palestinian village of Qusra in the West Bank on November 20, 2018.
A road sign points towards an Airbnb apartment, located in the Esh Kodesh outpost, near the Jewish settlement of Shilo and the Palestinian village of Qusra in the West Bank on November 20, 2018.

If the U.S. Government Won’t Act, Airbnb Will

While the White House rubber-stamps Benjamin Netanyahu’s every move, the online rental company is cracking down on Israel’s illegal settlements.

The cover of "Destination Casablanca." (Public Affairs)
The cover of "Destination Casablanca." (Public Affairs)

Book Excerpt: ‘Destination Casablanca’

The naval battle of Casablanca began with airplanes.

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