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Egypt’s Dance with Democracy Bears Watching

One of the great conceits of my profession (i.e., political scientist) is the claim made that democracies will never choose to make war on one another. This “Democratic Peace” hypothesis has been treated as proven fact by U.S. presidents ever since Woodrow Wilson explained World War I as a campaign to “make the world safe [&hellip...    read more 

America’s Alibis for Not Helping Syria

There are the Friends of Syria, and there are the Friends of the Syrian Regime. The former, a large group-the United States, the Europeans and the bulk of Arab governments-is casting about for a way to end the Assad regime’s assault on its own people. In their ranks there is irresolution and endless talk about [&hellip...    read more 

International Law and the Hamas-Fatah Doha Deal

Hamas, the Islamist group that has de facto control of the Gaza Strip, is an arm of the international Muslim Brotherhood. It is a terrorist organization that is ideologically committed to the destruction of the State of Israel. To quote from article 8 of its Covenant (1988), “[j]ihad is its path and death for the [&hellip...    read more 

Might Is Right in Syria

In the early 1940s, France—by then a stunted and drained superpower—was no longer calling the shots in international affairs. And it was doing less so in the Levant. Britain was the dominant superpower and by default the artisan of what became the modern Middle East and its Arab sovereign-states system. The Middle East polities we [&hellip...    read more 

The Libyan Non-Model

It is a good thing that Moammar Qaddafi is gone, even if by barbaric means. So what did we learn from the 2011 misadventure, given that some are advocating much the same sort of action against Syria and Iran? Answer: Not much. 1. Small is easy. The bombing of Libya was billed as an idealistic [&hellip...    read more 

The Threat of Boko Haram and the Continuing Crisis in Nigeria

In Nigeria Boko Haram has struck again, this time more violently. On 21 January 2012 the city of Kano was hit with more than 30 bombs during just a few hours. At least 178 people died and hundreds were injured. [1] The city was traumatized. Its residents were subjected to terror and the nation was [&hellip...    read more 

Why U.S. Must Step Carefully in Syria

The popular uprising in Syria against the Alawi-led minority regime of Bashar al-Assad poses a serious challenge to U.S. national security in the Middle East. As it fights for its survival amid escalating violence, the Syrian regime risks not only the deepening of civil strife in the country, but also provoking sectarian strife in the [&hellip...    read more 

Why Iran Cannot be Allowed to Obtain Nuclear Weapons

As important as Iran’s track record of state supported terrorism, the best reason to prevent the country from obtaining nuclear weapons is the truly disturbing worldview of its leaders. The man who founded the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, the Ayatollah Khomeini, subscribed to a violent and aggressive form of Islam, teaching his followers [&hellip...    read more 

Is Morocco Immune to Upheaval?

The uprisings that swept across the Middle East and North Africa during 2011 have largely bypassed Morocco. The absence of tumult and the loudly trumpeted package of constitutional reform measures endorsed in a July 2011 national referendum[1] further strengthened Morocco’s favorable image in the West as a country that has mixed tradition with modernit...    read more 

We Must Not Forget the Price We Paid in Iraq

Seven weeks from now the last U.S. soldier will leave Iraq. Over nearly nine years, hundreds of thousands have preceded them; and 4471 have died of the experience. From Marine Major Jay Aubin, who fell to enemy fire on the very first day of combat, March 20, 2003, to Army Capt. Shawn Charles, who perished [&hellip...    read more