Publications

Reports on Wednesday that the president of Yemen has fled his country underline the latest crisis to strike the state system in the Middle East.

Three other Arab nations – Libya, Syria and Iraq – are already fractured among religious, ethnic and tribal groups, with fighting exacerbated by outsiders bankrolling and arming proxies.

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This report is the result of a series of brainstorming sessions that took place between the summer of 2013 and the winter of 2014-2015, and between American, Russian, and European experts. The teams were led by Ellen Tauscher, the Vice Chair of the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and the former US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, and Igor Ivanov, the president of Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and former Foreign Minister of Russia, in an effort to keep the dialogue open and frank at a challenging time for European security. Not surprisingly, as events in Ukraine unravelled the post-Cold War security order, it proved impossible to narrow the differences and develop a common, action-oriented approach to the challenge of rebuilding the European security order. The report, a project of the Atlantic Council, the European Leadership Network (ELN), and RIAC is focused instead on the necessary first step of listening to each other and reflecting on the significant differences in the Western and Russian approaches. Discussions focused on gaining clarity on the interests at stake, from the US, European, and Russian perspectives, in order to better define whether and where common interests may still lie and how best to advance them. The report clearly points to the fact that managing the differences in the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis will continue to require significant efforts on the part of decision-makers, experts, officials, international organizations, and will take time and strategic patience.

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In September 2014, Bilal Y. Saab, Resident Senior Fellow for Middle East Security at the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft on International Security, and Michael S. Tyson, Marine Corps Senior Fellow at the Scowcroft Center, predicted in a simulation exercise (for results, see "ISIS War Game: The Coming Stalemate") conducted at the Scowcroft Center's Middle East Peace and Security Initiative that the most likely scenario was a military stalemate. They also realized that such a stalemate was not stable. Since the conclusion of the first war game, ISIS's regional attacks have increased in scope, lethality, and level of sophistication, as evidenced by its military and terrorist operations in Libya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Lebanon.

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A strategic review of US defense strategy and force posture in the Gulf is long overdue. In Artful Balance: Future US Defense Strategy and Force Posture in the Gulf, Bilal Y. Saab, Resident Senior Fellow for Middle East Security at the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, and Barry Pavel, Vice President and Director of the Scowcroft Center, analyze how historic changes and developing trends in Washington, the Middle East, and across the globe—along with Iran's nuclear ambitions and asymmetric threat—are all affecting US defense strategy in the Gulf.

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The voters of Israel have spoken, and their answer augurs more friction with the United States and Europe over issues ranging from Iran nuclear negotiations to creation of an independent Palestinian state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, campaigning fiercely for his political life, led his Likud Party to an impressive victory, roaring past a somewhat reinvigorated center-left.

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The Internet of Things of digital, networked technology is quickly moving to the forefront of society, the global economy, and the human experience.

Individuals wear networked devices to learn more about themselves, their diet, their exercise regimen, and their vital signs. Doctors can adjust and optimize implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers, quickly and accurately—and often with no need for intrusive medical procedures. The rewards of networked healthcare come with overlapping areas of concern that have to address to fully unlock the potential of these technologies.

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Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham authored an essay for the latest edition of the French-language magazine Pouvoirs D'Afrique.

In the piece entitled "What Legacy will Barack Obama Leave in Africa?", Pham writes, "With both U.S. political parties, Democratic and Republican, under pressure to demonstrate to the electorate ahead ofthe 2016 presidential election that they are capable of governing, rather than merely obstructing their opponents, there is demand for policy areas where genuine bipartisan consensus can be found and Africa has traditionally stood out as one of those exceptions where there has been broad continuity between administrations."

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Bottom Line Up Front:

• The Islamic State accepted Boko Haram’s allegiance, or bay’at, pledged to the Iraq and Syria-based extremist group over the weekend

• Given the recent military setbacks for Boko Haram and the Islamic State, and their increasing convergence, this development is unsurprising and a propaganda victory for both groups

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Photo: REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi
In contrast to popular uprisings throughout the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, Morocco has emerged relatively unscathed, avoiding destabilizing political upheaval or economic impact. The case of Morocco has surprised many observers because its weak and problematic social, political, and economic indicators are much like those of the other transitioning countries.

pdfRead the Issue in Focus (PDF)

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Among those attending the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington last week was Roger Cukierman, president of an umbrella group of Jewish organizations in France.

Anti-Semitic violence there has gotten global attention since the January attacks on a Jewish deli and the headquarters of a satirical magazine in Paris, but the trend began more than a decade ago, Cukierman says.

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