An effective strategy against the self-proclaimed Islamic State has to engage with the root causes of its continued survival and growth, such as expanding Sunni disenfranchisement.
While desertions have contributed to the emergence of an armed rebellion since early fall 2011, they have failed to critically weaken the Syrian regime’s army.
Peaceful Salafi political parties are losing strength in Egypt and Tunisia while the popularity of Salafi-jihadi movements aiming to build an Islamic state by force is increasing.
The most recent attack in Lebanon by the self-proclaimed Islamic State may reveal a broader regional expansion.
Jordan’s Hirak grassroots movement of 2011-2013, recognized as a social and political protest movement born out of discontent in the East Bank hinterlands, has reflected the country’s rising political contention.
The Syrian capital’s military housing has helped cement bonds between army officers, which has buoyed the Assad regime during the current crisis.
Although legislation has been passed creating equality between the sexes in the Algerian military, women still have a long road ahead to gain full equality.
The Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen has led to the rise of extremist groups which could threaten both regional and international security if ignored by world powers.
Egypt could be facing a dangerous Islamist insurgency unless the state formulates proper strategies to tackle the fragmented Islamist political scene.
The Tunisian government and other political and religious actors need to work together on a de-radicalization strategy that brings reform to both the political and the religious spheres.