The contours of a future Middle East emerge
Events are moving fast in the Middle East. The hoped-for rapprochement between Russia and the U.S. that could bring an end to the war in Syria appears to have collapsed. Growing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia could spark a war at any moment. But the most explosive issue for this region of minorities is the prospect of independence for Iraqi Kurdistan.
The many faces of ISIS
If we want to know what will happen to Islamic State (ISIS) after the death of its first “caliph” and the loss of Mosul and Raqqa, we must first understand what it is. There is not one ISIS, but at least four. Each will require different handling once the caliphate is shattered and scatters.
After Mosul and Raqqa, risks multiply
As the battle for Mosul concludes, the battle for Raqqa is entering its initial phase. From a military perspective, the fall of these twin bastions of Daesh was never in doubt. But tactical victories can only be turned into long-term strategic gains if a political process is put in place. Otherwise, we will see a “son of Daesh” and worse in Syria and Iraq.
GIS Dossier: Sub-Saharan Africa
The list of challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa is long and daunting. Political instability and violence have led to immense migration flows that countries on three continents are struggling to contain. These problems have exacerbated weather-related catastrophes like famine, creating a vicious circle. Yet, the region has plenty of potential. Can it overcome its hurdles? This edition of GIS Dossier surveys the predictions from our experts on this troubled region.
The conflict over Qatar adds to Middle East quagmire
Aside the war in Yemen, the Arabian Peninsula has been a relatively calm part of the Middle East. A sharp conflict over Qatar’s alleged sponsorship of terrorism threatens to add it to the long list of dangerously unstable countries in North Africa, Sahel zone, Horn of Africa and the Middle East. Europe and the United States have big stakes in avoiding this scenario.
Tolerating persecution of Christians destroys lives and free societies
Around the world, but especially in the Middle East, Christians are coming under attack. According to some estimates, more than 80 percent of all religious discrimination is directed against Christians. However, Western politicians remain silent. Failure to address this issue and defend the rights of Christians where they are persecuted will, in the end, destroy Western civilization, freedom and democracy.
Algeria: A European crisis in the making
Algeria's perennial problems are reaching crisis levels. The economic outlook is so dire that street violence is a distinct possibility. Its political scene is paralyzed by a seemingly endless succession crisis involving the ailing 78-year-old president, Abdulaziz Bouteflika. Legislative elections earlier this month did nothing to stop the drift. If unrest breaks out, a descent into civil war cannot be excluded, and Europe would face a new regional crisis of the first order.
Will El-Sisi bring Egypt back?
At the heart of the Middle East is a surprising absence. Egypt, the most populous nation in the Arab world, with the largest army and a proud 6,000-year history, is no longer a leader. It exerts virtually no influence in the region, a situation that is unlikely to change unless President Abdel-Fattah Eli-Sisi turns his country around.
Ivory Coast’s recovery looks fragile
Ivory Coast is on the mend after a lost decade of internal turmoil and civil war. Yet recent army mutinies and protests by angry cocoa producers show how little real progress has been made in diversifying the economy and creating reliable security forces. On the horizon, perhaps, looms a presidential succession crisis as well.
Global Outlook 2017: The Middle East
The dangerous military situation in the Eastern Mediterranean opens a list of troubling scenarios in the Middle East. Just as grave is the possibility of turmoil in Egypt, which could launch a migrant wave of millions into Europe. Daesh's impending military defeat will pose challenges as the movement disperses and infiltrates Europe. Saudi-Iranian relations will remain tense, and the new U.S. administration's effort to revive an alliance with Sunni Gulf states could be derailed by its pledge to build an embassy in Jerusalem.