Middle East Revolution

Regime Change and Upheaval in the Arab World

America Is Stuck With the Mideast

Walter Russell Mead, Wall St. Journal

Libya: Short War, Long Shadow (PDF)

Royal United Services Institute

Why Democracy Is Still Winning

Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians

Michael Oren, Wall St. Journal

Global oil markets and global commerce mean that American presidents will simply not be able to set this region off to the side....(full article)

Qatar is more and more assuming the role vacated by Egypt in trying to settle local and international disputes....(full article)

In spring 2011, Western military operations, backed by the Arab League, began against the regime of Muammar Qadhafi. Libyan rebels, after being penned in by the regime, began to ta...(full article)

The authoritarian urge to cross-dress in democratic clothes is an implied compliment to the democratic nations. That matters, because western democracies are going through a cris...(full article)

Just as Jews were once expelled from Arab lands, Christians are now being forced from countries they have long inhabited....(full article)


Most Recent Articles

U.S. Enlists Saudi King in War of Ideas - Michael Crowley, Time

Sitting in a gilded room at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Paris, Kerry sounded irritated at the media’s focus on air strikes and ground forces. “The military...

The Double-Edged Sword of Islamist Militancy - S. Chubin, The Daily Star

In an era of fluid and contested borders and indirect and proxy conflicts, the temptation for states to use radical groups for their own policy purposes is substantial....

More than Shock and Awe Needed in Iraq - T. Karon, The National

If Mr Obama’s declaration of limited war sounded a little unconvincing, it fits with a theme: the days when US megaphone diplomacy might prompt an adversary to think twice ar...

Barack Obama's Failed Leadership - William Kristol, Weekly Standard

We have a president who thinks of himself as community-organizer-in-chief, who thinks leadership can be from behind. This is, to say the least, unfortunate. The prospect of two mor...

The Saudis Can Crush ISIS - Nawaf Obaid & Saud al-Sarhan, NY Times

As ISIS continues to grow, many commentators have been pointing to Saudi Arabia as the source of the group, and most assume that the United States is the only force that can stop ...

Obama's Coalition of Frenemies - Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

The hardened rhetoric — and, more important, the expanded commitment it promises — came after the Islamic State beheaded two American journalists in Syria and brazenly dared ...

A Political Coming of Age in the Gulf - Rami Khouri, The Daily Star

The apparent airstrike against targets in Tripoli, Libya, last week by the air force of the United Arab Emirates, in conjunction with Egypt, must go down as one of the most intrigu...

The New Arab Cold War - Steven A. Cook, Jacob Stokes & Alexander Brock, FP

The popular conception of the Middle East is one of a region divided along sectarian lines pitting Sunni against Shiite, but another simultaneous struggle is underway among predomi...

Saudi Arabia's Dilemma - David Ignatius, Washington Post

With Iraq and Syria ablaze, the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia seems almost an afterthought. But Riyadh will be a crucial, if quixotic, ally as the United States seeks to mobiliz...

To Understand ISIS, Start with Wahhabism - Alastair Crooke, Huff Post

It is not hard to understand how the founding of the Islamic State by ISIS in contemporary Iraq might resonate amongst those who recall this history. Indeed, the ethos of 18th cent...

Anarchy Looms in Libya - The Economist

For those Libyans who complain about Western powers fiddling as their country slides into anarchy, the revelation that an Arab air force secretly mounted strikes against one side i...

Libya Disintegrates - Japan Times

Little noticed by a world transfixed by the advance of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the surreptitious Russian invasion of Ukraine, and China’s assertive behavior in the E...

Saudi Arabia's Repression - Washington Post

For months now, the Saudi human rights activist Waleed Abulkhair has been clinging to the truth against the odds. Last month, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison (with five year...

U.S. Can't Retreat and Still Call the Shots - Max Boot, Commentary

Want to know what happens when the U.S. retreats from a leadership role in the Middle East? This is what happens–Egypt and the United Arab Emirates together collaborate to stag...

Libya the Sign of a Newly Proactive Gulf - Jane Kinninmont, The Guardian

Whatever has happened in Libya in the past few days – with the US claiming that the United Arab Emirates and Egypt were behind several airstrikes on Islamist militias – it is...

Saudis Must Stop Exporting Extremism - Ed Husain, New York Times

Let’s be clear: Al Qaeda, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram, the Shabab and others are all violent Sunni Salafi groupings. For five decades, Saudi Arabia has be...

How Britain Became Yemen of the West - Andrew Gilligan, Daily Telegraph

Britain’s role as a chief exporter of terror was made horrifically clear this week. We examine the key failings of government and security forces that allowed home-grown jiha...

The Hard Hand of the Middle East - Robert Kaplan, Stratfor

Reality can be harsh. In order for the United States to weaken and eventually defeat the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, it could use help from both the Iranian regime and that of...

The Middle East Cold War and U.S. - Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast

As big a threat as ISIS is, the competition that truly defines the Middle East is the one between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Where do we fit in?...

Slavery's Modern Face in the Middle East - Robert Fulford, National Post

Kafala is a system that governs construction and domestic migrant labourers in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf States. When workers arrive, they must immediately surrend...

The Fantasy of Mideast Moderates - Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post

For decades, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has been to support “moderates.” The problem is that there are actually very few of them. The Arab world is going through a ...

Repression & Stability: The Sisi Doctrine - Michael Hanna, Foreign Policy

From Gaza to Libya to Iraq, Egypt's new strongman is developing a foreign policy based on repression and stability....

Egypt's Tiananmen Square - Kenneth Roth, Foreign Policy

I went to Cairo to present Egypt's leaders with evidence that police slaughtered 1,000 people at Rabaa Square. They wouldn't even let me out of the airport....

How America Lost the Middle East - Zack Beauchamp, Vox

The United States can't stop the Syrian civil war any more than it can end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, halt the Egyptian military's brutal repression of political dissidents,...

'Sorry Our Drones Hit Your Wedding Party' - Gregory Johnsen, BuzzFeed

On December 12, 2013, a drone struck and killed 12 members of a wedding party in Yemen. If the U.S., which claims the strike was clean and justified, didn’t pony up the $800,000 ...

Who Won the Gaza War? Egypt - Aaron David Miller, Foreign Policy

It's still too early to say, but for now, here's how I'd score the performance of the five major parties to this crisis: Israel, Hamas, the PA, Egypt, and the United States....

After Arab Spring, the Return of the Generals - Shadi Hamid, Spiegel

After the uprisings of 2011, the Arab world seemed to be moving towards democracy, but the recent resurgence of strongmen have illustrated just how deep certain divides still are -...

Libya's Spectacular Democratic Failure - Globe and Mail

Canada has become the latest in a long line of countries to withdraw its diplomatic staff from Tripoli, as Libya continues its descent into chaos. Fighting between rival militias h...

My Letter from a Cairo Prison - Mohamed Fahmy, National Post

Baher and myself [were] wrongly convicted of being members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Where is the evidence of that to convict us, and what are the criteria presented by the court ...

Obama Plays Golf While the World Burns - Max Boot, Los Angeles Times

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. On Saturday, President Obama played golf while his foreign policy, and that of the nation he leads, was going up in smoke. Literally....

When Middle East Conflicts Become One - David Brooks, New York Times

It’s amazing how much of the discussion of the Gaza war is based on the supposition that it is still 1979. It’s based on the supposition that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is...

The West Has Ruined Libya - Richard Spencer, Daily Telegraph

Libya is being torn apart by a comedy war with amateur generals, but it is one that the Americans have done little to try to stop. And we cannot blame them, for Libya is not Washin...

Libya Is More Dangerous than Ever - Nabila Ramdani, The Guardian

It is less than three years since Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the former Libyan dictator, was murdered by his own people. His savage killing, which took place on 20 October 2011, nea...

Did Libya Prove Hawks Right or Wrong? - Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

In August 2011, Anne-Marie Slaughter, a prominent advocate of U.S. intervention in Libya, claimed vindication in the article, "Why Libya Skeptics Were Proved Badly Wrong." Americ...

What Happens When America Disengages - Fred Hiatt, Washington Post

Obama’s determination to gear down in Europe and the Middle East, regardless of circumstances, guaranteed that the United States would not respond strategically to new opport...

Egypt and Gaza: No Longer a True Mediator - The Economist

It is no longer so easy. When Egypt brokered a ceasefire to end the last Israeli war with Gaza, in 2012, the then president, Muhammad Morsi, a Muslim Brother, enjoyed good relation...

Israel & Saudi Arabia: Possible Partnership? - Guzansky & Neubauer, TNI

To Saudi Arabia, the cost of open relations with Israel at this moment in time may be higher than the benefit, given the position of the Arab street, which rejects recognition of I...

The Last Great Myth About Egypt - Steven A. Cook, Foreign Policy

Cairo has never been a mediator between Israel and Palestine -- and today's regime actually benefits from the Gaza invasion....

The New Thirty Years' War - Richard Haass, Project Syndicate

It is a region wracked by religious struggle between competing traditions of the faith. But the conflict is also between militants and moderates, fueled by neighboring rulers seeki...

A Cataclysmic Purge in the Middle East - Hassan Mneimneh, GMF

The governments of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria must each assume some direct responsibility for the current unfolding horror. The Saudi government is locked into a quasi-sui...

Israel Still Mulling Iran Strike

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to visit Capitol Hill Tuesday after sitting down with President Obama Monday to talk about Iran.Monday's discussion was important for ...

Syria Slams UN Draft Resolution

Inside VOA | Contact VOA News ...

UN Approves Air Strikes in Libya

A pro-Qaddafi crowd stormed a news conference given by Libya's deputy foreign minister at a hotel in Tripoli early Friday. The United Nations Security Council voted Thursday to aut...

Gaddafi Planes Bomb Rebel City

Libyan students attend a pro-Gadhafi rally organized in the parking lot of the Rixos hotel where the foreign press is staying in Tripoli, Libya, Monday March 14, 2011. Teachers ...

Middle East Upheaval Timeline

 First day of major anti-government action:

  • Tunisia: December 18, 2010
  • Algeria: December 28, 2010
  • Saudi Arabia: January 21
  • Egypt: January 25
  • Yemen: January 27
  • Morocco: January 30
  • Bahrain: February 14
  • Libya: February 15
Rank Country


(full country profile)
  • Average Life Satisfaction: 5.2/10
  • Population: 10.5 million
  • Political System: Republic
  • 83.8% of people feel personal safety*
  • 14.8% of people find others trustworthy*

Saudi Arabia

(full country profile)
  • Average Life Satisfaction: 6.1/10
  • Population: 26.1 million
  • Political System: Monarchy
  • 78.2% of people feel personal safety*
  • 37.1% of people find others trustworthy*


(full country profile)
  • Average Life Satisfaction: 4.7/10
  • Population: 32 million
  • Political System: Constitutional Monarchy
  • 75.1% of people feel personal safety*
  • 58.5% of people find others trustworthy*


(full country profile)
  • Average Life Satisfaction: 5.6/10
  • Population: 35.5 million
  • Political System: Republic
  • 39% of people feel personal safety*
  • 15.8% of people find others trustworthy*


(full country profile)
  • Average Life Satisfaction: 5.1/10
  • Population: 78.2 million
  • Political System: Republic
  • 72.7% of people feel personal safety*
  • 18.2% of people find others trustworthy*


(full country profile)
  • Average Life Satisfaction: 4.8/10
  • Population: 24.4 million
  • Political System: Republic
  • 65.6% of people feel personal safety*
  • 26.9% of people find others trustworthy*

Middle East from the Compass Blog

Seeing the Mideast Through a Cold W

While I took issue with Andrew Sullivan's idea that Vladimir Putin now "owned" the mess in Syria, ...

John Kerry's Priorities

According to Josh Rogin and Eli Lake, Secretary Kerry has spent "years" trying to nudge the Israel...

Saudi Arabia Expelling Handsome Men

Saudi Arabia engages in all manner of dubious practices: restricting a woman's ability to drive, c...

How the Israelis and Palestinians V

As President Obama stumps for a resumption of the peace process, Gallup has published some polling...

Kerry's Magic Words Will Keep Arms

Secretary of State John Kerry has a plan to stop Gulf state weapons from ending up in jihadist's h...

Latest News from Middle East

Harassment cases blighting Asian Ga

INCHEON, South Korea (AP) — A second sexual harassment case at the Asian Games was being investiga...

For Obama, Ebola one day, Islamic t

TAMPA, Florida (AP) — President Barack Obama is consulting with military officials about the U.S. ...

Islamic State campaign tests Obama'

By Jason Szep WASHINGTON (Reuters) - After about 15 hours of flying and five hours of meetings, slee...

Wary lawmakers ready to OK arms for

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wary House lawmakers are on track to give President Barack Obama authority to or...

Dempsey: Half of Iraqi army not OK

PARIS (AP) — About half of Iraq's army is incapable of partnering effectively with the U.S. t...