This study concerns the relationship between the army and politics, not as something wrong or a symptom of the Arab affliction, but as a product of historical stages, the nature of the Arab state and the process of its development, structure, and modernization. The study starts with the hypothesis that by definition no army is far removed from politics, and that in recently-independent states, the military has a role in state building, and in speeding up the transition from one stage to the next. The study focuses on the army’s political aspirations in the narrow sense of seizing and wielding power. The distinction is made between the concepts “revolution” and “coup” as an introduction to thinking about various historical experiences and examples where the military played an important role in the process of political and social change. The study affirms the difficulty of reaching any theoretical law governing the relationship of the army and power, and its behavior in power, while it attempts to differentiate between the coup launched by the regime against the political process, and the coup launched by radicalized officers in the aim of reforming or changing the regime. Finally, there is an attempt to derive the main features in common to military coups.
Fadi Farisin, Cihat Battaloglu and Adam Atauallah Bensaid |
06 Feb, 2017
The emergence of Al-Qaeda as a global terrorist organization carrying out devastating strikes across the USA, Europe, Middle East and Africa shed a spotlight on terrorism, and by extension on radicalism. The attention has intensified with the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), its atrocities and the regional surge in terrorist groups pledging allegiance to it. This in turn has pushed the issue of radicalism to the top of the international agenda. Current efforts to defeat violent extremist groups such as ISIL are dominated by hard security measures, with no guarantees that military action alone can ensure permanent solutions to the specter of terrorism. Assuming the current wave of terrorist groups can be defeated militarily, foreign terrorist fighters may disperse to the rest of the world, creating new problems. Even in the case that foreign fighters are contained; radicalism will not disappear but will find ways to manifest itself.
The election of Donald Trump has been the subject of a deluge of commentary and analysis following the initial shock experienced by most media outlets and pollsters, who had discounted the possibility of a Trump victory. Large swaths of the intelligentsia, east and west, remain astounded by the electoral behavior of the American voters; astounded at the voters’ tolerance of the candidate’s abrasive personality, for his erratic behavior alternating between tacky and obnoxious, and for their support of his ideas that were, until Trump, assumed unspeakable in the culture of liberal “political correctness”; as Trump’s ideas are considered “politically incorrect”, so to speak.
This paper examines the international community’s military engagement and that of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in countering piracy in the Horn of Africa. It then assesses the GCC countries’ role in combating piracy.
What has become very clear in Syria is that the states allied with the respective parties there are not differentiated from each other on the basis of their morality. States are supporting one side over the other for reasons entirely disconnected from the Syrian people’s cause.
This paper analyzes Russia’s changing narrative of the Arab Spring, the overall context within which these narratives were being made, and the sources of shifting perceptions. It will also examine implications that the Arab Spring had for Russian strategy in the Middle East, and discuss Moscow’s dilemmas in dealing with regional and external actors
Russia’s contemporary development of political relations with a number of players in the Gulf – namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the UAE – is taking place as though a continuation of relations between these states and the former United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). Since Soviet contacts with these countries was unquestionably fragmented, this tactic seems an unstable one, and an inadvisable place to be (re) building political ties. Looking at the historic relationships between the USSR and these Gulf states, this paper will show how current Russian policy is building on a problematic past.
The price of crude oil has lost 54% of its value since September 2014 and there are no indications that the fall in prices will stop here unless a major production cut by OPEC is declared. The reasons given for the steep oil price decline thus far include: a glut in the global oil market caused by rising US shale oil production, over-production by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) beyond their production quotas, and a slowdown in China and European Union (EU) economic growth thus reducing global demand for oil.
Russo-Iranian relations have undergone a series of often-erratic ups and downs. Looking at the period since the Islamic Revolution, a number of periods can be drawn out, each marked by a series of competing trends and alliances that ebb and flow depending on shifting internal and external actors. It is the same set of politics within which the outcome of the Vienna Nuclear Agreement can be read, in terms of the future of Russo-Iranian relations.
The case of Qatar shows that small states are far from inconsequential in international relations. This paper argues that the Qatari leadership has refused to remain in the shadow of allies or regional antagonists and has followed a distinctly individual as well as influential foreign policy both within and outside of the Middle East. Drawing strongly upon recent IR literature on the foreign affairs of small states, this paper elaborates several arguments on the trajectory of Qatar’s foreign policy.