While countries worldwide have announced lockdowns to block the coronavirus, North African governments are using the opportunity to further quell freedom of expression and advance their agendas. Will civil society stand their ground?
The kingdom’s national history, geopolitical competition, and future vision have all shaped its approach to the coronavirus. The Islamic holy month will underscore how long-standing traditions have changed.
To contain the coronavirus, Arab governments are mobilizing official Islamic institutions. The most pressing goal is to shut down sites of potential contagion as Ramadan approaches.
The new coronavirus is spreading into conflict-affected states. The pandemic and efforts to contain it are much more likely to aggravate and multiply conflicts than reduce or end them.
Despite ongoing public dissatisfaction with the government, Algerians, along with much of the global population, remain confined to their homes.
The proposal to list military businesses on the Egyptian Stock Exchange may founder due to issues of transparency, profitability, unfair competition, and legal ambiguity.
The integration of women in Arab armies has been inconsistent, slow, and socially and politically problematic. Nevertheless, this situation is gradually changing.
Since 2011, borderlands in the MENA region transformed into considerable sites of contested power by a plethora of actors.
Mahra in eastern Yemen has relied on a tribal code of conduct to escape the worst excesses of the country’s civil war. Localized forms of conflict management could help the rest of Yemen too.
The Iraqi-Syrian border near Qaim and Bukamal has become a magnet for conflict, as Iraqi and Syrian state actors compete with Iranian-backed nonstate militias for influence and power.
Division and self-interest have largely derailed efforts to restore legitimate governance in Yemen.
The Gaza Strip faces a confluence of poor conditions allowing for rapid coronavirus spread. The United States must help prevent a worsened humanitarian catastrophe.
In Yemen, many new and traditional security providers operate and compete at the local level. Changes in security governance result in quick political fragmentation and reordering of security relations.
The U.S. government should seek the immediate release of American citizens and permanent residents wrongfully detained in Egypt, who are now in imminent danger due to COVID-19.
Russia faces opportunities and challenges as it seeks to restructure and reform the Syrian armed forces, which it sees as a key to concluding the civil war on terms favorable to the Assad regime, containing Iranian involvement, and winding down Russia’s combat role.
Russian-led military reform in Syria can deal with the twin challenges of weak sovereignty and Iranian influence by committing to developing Syrian military education, training a highly mobile force, and monitoring the political reconciliation process over the long term.
Even though the Syrian civil war is far from over, Russian advisers can use their experience modernizing Syrian forces from 2015 to prepare for an effective postwar force structure.
Building on its own postwar experience, Russia should support the restructuring of the special services in Syria in order to ensure Russia’s lasting influence.
Russia faces a conundrum in Syria: how to modernize the armed forces while the regime’s political priorities undermine proposed reforms in personnel management, force generation, and unit organization.
Domestic mismanagement and international hostility have complicated Iran’s response to the coronavirus threat, fueling one of the world’s most dire outbreaks.