Middle East Articles

The image of hundreds of Syrian women, carrying white cloths and olive branches in a protest against the government’s mass arrests of the men of their village in April, was indeed powerful. There, in the town of Baida, the women had seemed to be political equals of their men in the way they stood up, side by side, for their cause. Yet such seeming equality proves only to be an illusion for most Syrian women in their domestic lives. In fact, gender discrimination in Syrian law serves to institutionalize the social and cultural stigmas associated with sexual abuse, honor crimes, and divorce.

By Melissa Barber, Nancy Xie  |  January 12, 2012

The revolutions that have swept across the Middle East and North Africa to create the “Arab Spring” of 2011 have left virtually no corner of the region untouched. From Qatar and Algeria to Syria and Tunisia, a surge of newfound pride and energy has fundamentally reshaped the political environment of the Middle East and forever altered the course of the region’s history. It is hardly surprising, then, that the dynamic of the region’s omnipresent issue—the question of Palestine—has also been affected. But just what the Arab Spring will bring for Palestine remains to be seen: the Arab Spring may herald a new trend of non-violence on the tentative path toward peace; just as likely, it may portend a summer of resurgent violence and misery.

By Alex Palmer  |  January 12, 2012

As Egypt moves from the euphoria of revolution to the less heady questions of timetables, candidates, and elections, the Arab world’s oldest and dominant Islamist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, is again stepping into the Egyptian political and global media limelight. The country’s military rulers have just announced that voting for the People’s Assembly will begin on November 28 of this year, marking the first parliamentary elections since the ousting of Hosni Mubarak. Amid fears that the vote would divide Islamist parties and youth secular groups, however, the Muslim Brotherhood appears confident in its role in the transition process from military to civilian rule.

By Lena Bae  |  January 12, 2012

What are the key developmental challenges Pakistan faces today, and what solutions has the Finance Ministry posed to address these challenges?

By Abdul Hafeez Shaikh  |  December 24, 2011

In 1925, crusader for American airpower Brigadier General William Mitchell argued that using an independent US air force to attack an enemy nation’s industrial and economic works would benefit not only the United States but also the enemy nation. The benefits of airpower, according to Mitchell, would arise from avoiding costly land battles along the lines of World War I, shortening wars by attacking the heart of the enemy nation instead of its military forces, and ultimately saving blood and treasure on both sides. It was an idea grounded upon the ideals of American Progressivism, a school of thought that places full faith in expert opinion, efficiency, and humanitarian motives for making wars less costly.

By Gian P. Gentile  |  December 24, 2011

"Major Shane Reeves is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy and Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Marsh is an Assistant Professor and Senior Military Faculty member in the Department of Law at the United States Air Force Academy.  Prior to these assignments, both taught as Associate Professors for the International and Operational Law Department at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, Charlottesville, VA.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the authors and do not reflect the official positions of the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Air Force, or the Judge Advocate General's Corps of either service."

Many have challenged the legality of the 2011 United States’ operations that resulted in the deaths of Osama Bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki.  Pakistan condemned the Bin Laden operation as a violation of international law; human rights advocates asserted that each man should have been captured instead of killed; and others claimed the operations were unlawful “assassinations” or, in the case of Awlaki, a violation of his constitutional rights as an American citizen.  These criticisms are all without merit.  

By Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Marsh, Major Shane Reeves  |  October 26, 2011

Leonard A. Leo is the Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and the Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society.

Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou is Vice Chair of the USCIRF and an Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University.

For much of the world, there is no greater human right than the freedom to practice one’s religion or belief system according to the dictates of conscience, without fear of coercion or retaliation.

By Elizabeth H. Prodromou, Leonard A. Leo  |  July 1, 2011

As his reign drew to a close in the late 1970s, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had few allies. He had persecuted the Communists, thwarted the advocates of liberal democracy, antagonized conservative landholders, and provoked the religious conservatives. Having publically opposed or oppressed almost every group in Iran, the Shah sowed the seeds of his own destruction. When the Islamic revolution broke out, he had few but his remaining loyal soldiers to turn to.

By Michael Mitchell  |  April 21, 2011