Over the last 12 years, the campaign against al Qaeda has dominated U.S. policy. From this perspective, al Qaeda has been a beneficiary of the Arab uprisings in general and of recent events in Egypt and Syria in particular. The longer the turmoil continues, the greater al Qaeda's possible gains, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
It's pretty clear that the U.S. administration is frustrated with the way Egypt is going, says Dalia Dassa Kaye. There are few good choices. What is unfortunate is the development of cutting economic assistance to Egypt. That is sending exactly the wrong message to the Egyptian people and the broader region.
The United States should not be too quick to write off Iraq based on recent violent trends, says Jason Campbell. After all, if there is anything that should be remembered from years past it's that the Iraqi populace can endure astonishing levels of violence and still maintain confidence in the survival of the state.
Dealing with surprises is an important part of many professions. The NFL coach prepares by developing a comprehensive response plan for anything that could happen during the game while the Navy SEALs rely on a looser framework that helps them stay alive and achieve their mission objective.
“While the proponents of Air-Sea Battle are careful to say that the strategy isn't focused on one specific adversary, we shouldn't kid ourselves: The Chinese see it as aimed at them,” write David C. Gompert and Terrence K. Kelly.
The escalating war in Syria presents a growing threat to the Middle East and the West more broadly. Led by groups like Jabhat al-Nusra (the Victory Front), an al-Qaeda-affiliated organization, Syria is becoming a training ground for foreign fighters and a microcosm of sectarian conflict.
After a five-year delay, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed this week to resume direct peace talks. RAND researchers have worked with Palestinians, Israelis, and the international community since 2002 to develop a comprehensive nation-building plan.
While Egypt really is in trouble, what is needed is not a U.S. signal in the form of an aid cut off or another European mediation effort, it is for Egyptian liberals to stand up and condition their participation in government on genuine national reconciliation.
Are U.S. officials deluded about the prospects for cooperation with a country that is fundamentally determined to undermine its goals? No, writes Olga Oliker. In fact, they are pursuing a rational approach towards a state that shares U.S. interests in some key areas, even as it fundamentally disagrees in others.
U.S. policy should not be hamstrung by a narrow focus on democratization, writes Seth G. Jones. More than ever, the United States and its allies should think first about protecting their vital strategic interests in Egypt and the region.
There are good reasons for the United States to rethink how it counterbalances Iran, reassures local allies, and projects power with fewer resources. However, tying down large numbers of fighter aircraft in the Gulf is likely only to exacerbate old problems and create new ones.
Bernard Rostker and Ross Anthony, RAND senior economists with expertise on Gulf War Illness (GWI), discuss a study by scientists at Georgetown University Medical Center that suggests the symptoms of GWI are biological in nature, and a GWI study RAND conducted more than a decade ago.
Dozens of people were killed in a series of bomb blasts across Pakistan Sunday, just a week after 10 foreign mountain climbers and their Pakistani guide were shot and killed in Northern Pakistan. The attacks again demonstrated the Pakistan government's inability to prevent terrorist violence in certain areas.
Rebel, or Tamarud
, is a petition drive aimed at ousting President Morsi by collecting more signatures calling for his resignation than the number of votes he received in the 2012 elections. On June 30, the organizers will take to the streets in a rally that is likely to touch off clashes with security forces and Morsi's supporters.
The governor of the Egyptian city of Luxor, Mohamed El-Khayat, resigned amid protests last week, just days after being appointed to the post by President Mohamed Morsi. His selection was controversial due to his affiliation with an Islamist terror group that in 1997 killed 62 people in Luxor, many of them tourists.