The Empress of ISIS

Image Source: The New York Post Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are all prominent international terrorists who have plotted and executed attacks against the United States. While each espoused slightly different ideologies, they all had one common goal, and all eventually met their day of reckoning. These four … Continue reading The Empress of ISIS

Preserving Legitimacy Through Transition: Lessons from the Republic of Yemen

Photo credit: Reuters On April 7, 2022, the leader of the internationally recognized government of Yemen, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, announced his abdication and transferred his powers to a presidential council, led by his former advisor, Rashad al-Alimi. Hadi also dismissed his vice president, Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, who publicly stated his support for the formation … Continue reading Preserving Legitimacy Through Transition: Lessons from the Republic of Yemen

A New Russian Strategic Calculus? Analyzing the Viability of JCPOA Negotiations

Photo Credit: Deutsche Welle Underneath the central crisis of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia is more subtly challenging global security. Most recently, Russian attempts to hijack negotiations around the United States’ re-entrance into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), threaten to spiral Middle Eastern security into greater crisis. Indeed, these negotiations have constantly been … Continue reading A New Russian Strategic Calculus? Analyzing the Viability of JCPOA Negotiations

How Will the Russia-Ukraine War Affect the Stability of Egypt?

On February 24th, Vladimir Putin initiated a ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine. Despite diplomatic attempts to prevent escalation, the Russian president moved to enforce his military grip on the former Soviet republic. While much has already been said about the potential consequences of the Russo-Ukrainian War on NATO, on other Eastern European republics, and on … Continue reading How Will the Russia-Ukraine War Affect the Stability of Egypt?

A Friendly Reminder that Al-Qaeda is Still Strong and Will Likely Become Even Stronger

A fighter from the Al-Nusra Front holds a flag representing the local al-Qaeda branch in Syria. Photo Credit: Rami Al-Sayed, AFP. Prior to and following the withdrawal from Afghanistan, US intelligence and defense officials sounded the alarm regarding al-Qaeda. They specifically flagged al-Qaeda’s ability to reconstitute its capabilities and conduct an attack on US interests … Continue reading A Friendly Reminder that Al-Qaeda is Still Strong and Will Likely Become Even Stronger

Why The Biden Administration Should Take a Tougher Stance Towards Yemen

A Houthi rebel stands near the damaged presidential palace in Sana’a after Saudi airstrikes in December 2017. Photo Credit: DW News             In February 2021, President Biden pledged to push for an end to the Yemeni Civil War; he also vowed to end offensive support for the Saudi Arabia-led bombing campaign in Yemen.[i] The U.S. … Continue reading Why The Biden Administration Should Take a Tougher Stance Towards Yemen

Iraq’s 2021 Parliamentary Elections: A Glimmer of Hope for the End of Sectarianism

Shi’ite Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is emerging as a kingmaker in the bitter contest to form a new governing coalition and select a new Prime Minister. Photo Credit: NYT. “No to America, and no to Iran. Iraq is for Iraqis” – So an unnamed protestor told a CNN reporter in January 2020, just one of hundreds … Continue reading Iraq’s 2021 Parliamentary Elections: A Glimmer of Hope for the End of Sectarianism

Saudi Pursuit of Soft Power Through Soccer: Saudi Arabia aims to match what UAE and Qatar have achieved

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman attends the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Photo Credit: TASS via Getty Images The January announcement of Saudi normalization of relations with Qatar will likely help Saudi Arabia’s efforts to acquire an elite soccer team, which would allow Riyadh to enhance its tarnished global image.[i] Saudi Arabia’s neighbors, the UAE … Continue reading Saudi Pursuit of Soft Power Through Soccer: Saudi Arabia aims to match what UAE and Qatar have achieved

Turkey’s New Joint Operational Concepts Foreshadow the Future of Armed Conflict

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stands in Front of a Bayraktar TB-2 Drone. Photo Credit: AA Following the July 15, 2016 coup attempt and subsequent violent purges, Turkish Armed Forces launched major military operations in Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya and continued to expand basing across North Africa.[i] These operations exhibited characteristics indicative of the … Continue reading Turkey’s New Joint Operational Concepts Foreshadow the Future of Armed Conflict

There is No Society: Islamic Action and Activism under the Thumb of the Saudi State

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as "sidewall skiing" (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia. Photo Credit: Reuters Graveyard of Clerics: Everyday Activism in Saudi Arabia (2020)by Pascal MenoretStanford University Press, 250 pp., $24.00 Saudi Arabia is a country of extremes: extreme heat, extreme wealth, and as Pascal … Continue reading There is No Society: Islamic Action and Activism under the Thumb of the Saudi State