Yemen’s secessionist Southern Movement threatens the country’s stability, but a military campaign against it would only further inflame its supporters and increase support for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. A political solution is required.
There are limits to how much foreign intervention can accomplish in Yemen. To overcome its daunting security, economic, and political challenges, Yemen’s political system needs to become less centralized and more inclusive.
By scaling back its political engagement to focus on a traditional religious, educational, and social agenda, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is leaving behind an even greater lack of political competition in the country.
The global aims of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb—an Algerian jihadi group—have been thwarted by the Algerian government’s more effective military strategy and the collapse of al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Any effective U.S. diplomatic approach to Iran must involve other countries in the Gulf, but Washington will not succeed if it continues to strive for an anti-Iranian alliance. A normalization of relations between Iran and its neighbors is an important and attainable step for reintegrating Iran into the international community.
Yemen’s Islamist Congregation for Reform party (Islah) faces deep internal divisions on key issues, and its fractious composition prevents it from developing a clear parliamentary platform, leaving the party with no clear path toward the reforms it seeks.
The bulk of development security sector aid in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen has consisted of military training and equipment. The West should adopt a comprehensive approach to aid where security reform is only one part of a broader reform strategy.
If the Yemeni central government cannot fully control its territory, violent extremists will have a space to regroup and launch new attacks. Yemen's problems potentially threaten the region and the international community.
Islamist women, increasingly restless with their subordinate status in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, are pushing for greater representation and a wider role. Their call for broader participation in decision-making bodies are not signs of a “rebellion of the Sisters,” but part of the normal dynamics of change.
Since the civil war of the 1990s, Algeria’s government has given moderate Islamist parties only a superficial role in politics. The resulting rise of Salafism, which rejects the country’s political system, reveals the need for Algeria to increase political transparency and participation and engage its citizens to discourage radicalization outside the political system.
The financial interdependence that sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) created between the West and the Arab world could help stabilize multilateral relations and promote economic development and political stability in the Middle East.
Free trade agreements between the West (U.S. and EU) and Middle East and North African (MENA) countries, while containing beneficial elements, have strengthened negative perceptions of “western-led globalization” because they benefit unpopular elites and impose serious short term economic adjustment.
Despite Algeria’s recent economic growth and domestic stability, the government’s refusal to address the legacy of its violent civil war threatens its long-term stability. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to push forward his “Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation” without public input or dialogue has undermined the prospect for true reconciliation.
Recent economic growth and stabilization in Egypt has been largely fueled by external factors which may not be sustainable. During the same period, Egypt has failed to address pressing social and economic challenges, according to a new paper from the Carnegie Endowment.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II has stated that economic reform is one of his top priorities, yet it remains hindered by two major obstacles: a lack of public support, and the government’s inability to implement deep reform.
Kuwait has made exemplary strides towards democratic reform over the last two years, but deep tensions between the ruling Al Sabah family and the parliament, as well as fractures within the political opposition, could hinder future progress, according to a new paper from the Carnegie Endowment.
Women’s participation in Islamist movements reflects a growing trend toward women’s activism in the Arab world, though quite different from Western norms.
Previous attempts at economic reform have not alleviated the economic problems of Arab countries, failing to dismantle state-dominated economies with high restrictions on private investments.