Iraq: Sectarianism, Oil and the War in Syria (Part 2/2)

March 24, 2014

Maliki treats the breakdown of order in Iraq as a challenge to his rule. Iraq, a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has large oil reserves which are unevenly spread across the country. As of January 2013, it also held...

Iraq: Sectarianism, Oil and the War in Syria (Part 1/2)

March 17, 2014

Maliki treats the breakdown of order in Iraq as a challenge to his rule. Iraq has certainly experienced a turbulent decade. The US-led invasion in 2003 which culminated in the ouster of long-time ruler Saddam Hussein was a game-changer in Iraq's history. Subsequent efforts by the Coalition...

Post-Uprising Arms Proliferation is Destabilizing the Middle East

February 20, 2014

Arms proliferation is further destabilizing the Middle East and North Africa. In recent years, as order in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) eroded between uprisings and armed conflicts, the desire for arms amongst a wide range of actors became one more destabilizing factor in the...

The Day After: Iran’s Quiet Taliban Diplomacy (Part 2/2)

December 06, 2013

The Taliban seems committed to working with Iran for the purpose of enhancing its diplomatic leverage. This is the final of a two part series. Read part one here.  Enmity has marked Iran’s relationship with...

Saudi Arabia and Qatar: Royal Rivalry in the Levant (Part 2/2)

August 23, 2013

The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Qatar will not cease to be a factor affecting events in Syria. This is the last of a two part series. Read part one here. The roots of the Saudi-Qatari rivalry run deep. In spite of...

Lebanese Salafist Cleric Organizes Militia Forays into Syria

May 30, 2013

Chris Zambelis analyzes the recent decision of Lebanese Salafist cleric Shaykh Ahmad al-Assir to mobilize an armed militia to join the uprising in Syria and its implications for Lebanon. The role of Al-Assir, who singles out Hezbollah and Iran as malicious and hegemonic forces, has to be understood...