Syria heads toward renewed conflict
Daesh’s imminent defeat in Syria has brought new tensions to the fore. Iran now has proxies and allies right next door to Israel, while the U.S. has committed to a long-term military presence. Russia’s main objective continues to be securing its Syrian bases, and Turkey is becoming more isolated over its insistence on keeping Kurdish groups from controlling any territory. These factors form a volatile mix that makes it difficult to foresee anything but renewed conflict in the already war-torn country.
Opinion: Long-simmering tensions over Qatar come to a boil
Qatar has quarreled with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states before, but this latest flare-up is far more serious. While the cause of the crisis – an allegedly fake news report – seems a flimsy justification for a diplomatic and economic blockade, Doha’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and friendly ties with Iran have put it in this fix. Qatar will have to agree to at least some of the 13 demands made by Saudi Arabia and its allies, and the U.S. will probably help broker a compromise to end the impasse.
Can Turkey and Israel sustain detente?
Turkey’s mercurial president decided to make up with Israel just as suddenly as when he froze relations back in 2010. That bodes ill for a durable rapprochement, especially in light of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s long-standing ties with Hamas. But there are long-term reasons why the deal could work.
Sinai’s tangled web
The geopolitical significance of the Sinai Peninsula, which borders several strategic waterways and serves as a buffer between Egypt and Israel, can hardly be understated. Instability there is on the rise, as radical jihadi groups gain a stronger foothold. Egypt will have to overcome mistakes of the past and underwhelming support from its allies to bring law and order back to this critical portion of its territory.
Global trends: players and paths for Islamic State (part 2)
As Islamic State begins to lose ground in Syria and Iraq, regional and global powers are trying to carve out their own spheres of influence. The struggle is less military than political, and will hinge on negotiations to establish workable solutions, federal and otherwise, in both countries. But managing the endgame over the next 12-18 months will be tricky, and er...
Both sides lose out in Israel-Hamas war of attrition
A seven-week war of attrition escalated into a spiral of violence in Gaza and surroundings which did not serve the interests of either Israel or Hamas. Israel seems to have lost more in terms of international standing, sense of security and economically. Hamas suffered huge, devastating casualties but sees these as a sign of victory and its resilience, writes GIS g...
Erdogan's presidential win brings hopes and fears to Turkey
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s new president, sealed his decisive win on promises of a strong Turkey ‘rising again from the ashes’. But his overwhelming support at the polls on August 10, 2014, has prompted fears among critics that, riding a wave of religiously conservative support, he will transform the secular republic into an increasingly authoritarian one. Prim...
US scales back its efforts on counter-terrorism and al-Qaeda
Counterterrorism work in the United States looks to be undergoing a fundamental change as the administration reduces its concentration on al-Qaeda. This focus has been maintained since the 2001 terror attacks on the American mainland and led to the capture and death of al-Qaeda’s leader Osama Bin Laden. The question is whether the transformation reflects a shift in...
Arab Spring fails to deliver peace or stability in the Middle East
Peace in the Middle East is hard to visualise despite the euphoria following the Arab Spring rebellions of 2011. Now new conflicts and controversies have emerged across the region which is a cauldron near boiling point. Freedom-loving countries have a major role to play in the region’s future stability. THE OPTIMISM and r...