For more on the region, visit the Belfer Center's Middle East Initiative
By Ishac Diwan, Research Affiliate, Middle East Initiative and Youssef Chaitani, Associate, Middle East Initiative
Lebanon’s sectarian governance system has been over 150 years in the making. But the Syrian fire next door, which has taken an increasing sectarian nature, is likely to burn for a long time. With such dire prospects, what is the fate of Lebanon’s governance system? Will it lead the country inexorably towards civil strife?
February 25, 2015
Op-Ed, Agence Global
"Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s suggestion that our region needs a joint Arab military force to deal with escalating threats from armed factions in lands like Libya is one of the most ridiculous and non-credible ideas to emerge in the Arab world for many years. The idea of joint Arab action for common security needs is a good one in principle, but given the legacy of Arab military actions at home and abroad, it makes no sense whatsoever, on many counts."
February 12, 2015
Op-Ed, Washington Post
By Paula J. Dobriansky, Senior Fellow, The Future of Diplomacy Project
An enduring diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis has eluded negotiators. But even if the Minsk peace talks’ newly announced cease-firewere to hold, there is widespread agreement in the West that Russia has engaged in a quasi-war in Ukraine. Moscow has acted with some circumspection, employing intelligence agents and plainclothes special forces (the so-called little green men), but in the past several months, it has become much more brazen, deploying thousands of regular troops, backed up by artillery and armor. There is also consensus that Russian activities in Ukraine are destabilizing European security and have violated numerous international legal norms.
February 24, 2015
Op-Ed, Foreign Policy
By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
In Washington, 10 years is a long time — more than two presidential terms. In the antique land of Persia, however, it is the blink of an eye. Those negotiating a nuclear deal with Tehran need to equal the patience of their Iranian counterparts.
February 24, 2015
Op-Ed, The National Interest
By Leonardo Maugeri, Associate, Environment and Natural Resources Program/Geopolitics of Energy Project
The dramatic fall of oil prices is set to jeopardize both the U.S. ambition to become a big gas exporter by the end of this decade and the long-awaited development of a global gas market.
February 23, 2015
By Ellis Goldberg, Former Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar, Middle East Initiative
"In recent months, to general horror, the Islamic State (in Iraq and Syria) has carried out many beheadings and one immolation. So, too, have others loosely or closely affiliated with it, most recently of twenty-one Egyptian Christians in Libya. These events have provoked significant debate and widespread condemnation on many levels. Some have argued that there is nothing Islamic in these actions despite the claim by the perpetrators that theirs is the Islamic State. Others have argued that whether these acts are Islamic or not they are far from unique."
Friday, February 13, 2015
Op-Ed, Financial Times
By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
The world loves a peace agreement. The beauty of any deal like the Ukraine ceasefire agreed in the early hours of Thursday morning is that it can be presented in two equally interesting ways. Either it is “Camp David”, a transcendent moment of reconciliation between sworn enemies. Or it is “Munich”, a lapse back into the appeasement of dictators.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Op-Ed, The Business Times
By Derwin Pereira, International Council Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
AS the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) destabilises the Middle East, South-east Asia is likely to become the second front of the war on terror again. More than any other country, Indonesia will play a key role in keeping the region safe.
February 17, 2015
Roger Cohen Speaks About His New Book and the Jewish Experience in the Face Of ISIS and Violent Extremism
New York Times columnist and former Fisher Family Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project, Roger Cohen, discussed his new memoir, "The Girl from Human Street" and the problems the Jewish community and the wider world confront with the rise of global displacement, Islamic State, and violent extremism.
February 17, 2015
By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program
"It is clear...that the true motivation for the visit was an attempt by the Prime Minister to use the Congressional stage for his own political purposes and by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Boehner, to drive an historic wedge between the Democrats and Republicans on Israel."