Middle East politics / Arabic / Counter-terrorism


Middle East Politics

My new WINEP article

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In an article for The Washington Institute for Near East Policy I analyze  President Trump’s focus on rebuilding alliances with traditional US allies in the Middle East.

Making sense of the Sisi-Trump summit


Continuing an early-administration priority of restoring relations with key allies, the POTUS pulled out all the stops Monday for the first meeting to the White House by an Egyptian leader since 2009:

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Was the meeting a success? 

Here are three core principles to keep in mind.

#1 – Allies will act as good allies IF they believe they are considered genuine allies

Bottom line: The only way the US gets the benefits of an alliance with a country like Egypt, is if it’s a strong relationship and one where the junior partner truly feels valued.

Otherwise – and with virtually no exceptions to this rule – this is what happens:

Egypt will give the US the metaphorical finger and do what it wants as part of a classic Egyptian desire to demonstrate a certain spunk and “independence.”

Exact same thing is true of Israel and Saudi Arabia..

Continue reading “Making sense of the Sisi-Trump summit”

My new article on the return of US pragmatism to Mid East policy

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For two core reasons: 

#1 – “Trump’s position makes Iranian adventurism throughout the Middle East far less likely. It also decreases the temptation of U.S. allies to engage in counter-productive and destabilizing unilateral military operations of their own out of a perceived need to project strength in the face of Iran.”

#2 – “by restoring alliances with traditional allies in the Middle East, Trump’s approach is far more likely to get significant contributions from them, furthering his America First agenda.”

Here’s the Link to the article.

Making Jordan Great Again?


Today I read this  scathing attack on Jordanian immigration policy by a leading Jordanian journalist.  In a nutshell, he rips what he considers an over reliance on foreign workers at the expensive of hiring Jordanians.

The Key Question this article raises:  what does this say about the long-term fate of global immigration paradigms if Jordan – a relatively poor country – is having this kind of problem in 2017?

The article is in Arabic – here is my translation of the key points:  Continue reading “Making Jordan Great Again?”

Can Egypt’s Muslim Establishment neutralize the anti-Establishment Jihadist narrative?

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Below I have translated a February 13th article in Alaph newspaper titled “Daesh and the Muslim Brotherhood Call Upon Their Followers to Kill the Sheikh of Al-Azhar.”

It highlights the extent to which the political violence associated with Jihadist movements everywhere in the Muslim World is best understood using this paradigm:

Establishment versus Anti-Establishment 

The basic divides as relates to  Egypt in particular:

(Group A) Establishment Islam: Continue reading “Can Egypt’s Muslim Establishment neutralize the anti-Establishment Jihadist narrative?”

What an “America First” policy actually means in the Middle East

I have a new article out for a political website based in California on why the concept of “America First” as applied to say, the Middle East, merely means smarter US policy with better results, NOT isolationism.

Continue reading “What an “America First” policy actually means in the Middle East”

Social conservatism – not Sisi – is the cause of Egypt’s unsolvable unemployment problem

This week The New Yorker published a very interesting in-depth piece titled Egypt’s Failed Revolution. Here was one reaction to the article:


I came away with a different, more favorable, impression.
Continue reading “Social conservatism – not Sisi – is the cause of Egypt’s unsolvable unemployment problem”

4 reasons why Mr. Tillerson is a brilliant choice for Secretary of State


Today President-Elect Trump announced he has chosen Mr. Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobile, as top US Diplomat. This kind of innovative new thinking is why so many people are excited about the strategic possibilities of the Trump administration.

Four Points to Consider: 

Continue reading “4 reasons why Mr. Tillerson is a brilliant choice for Secretary of State”

3 reasons for optimism about a revitalized US-Saudi relationship under President Trump

I have a new article out today explaining why I am optimistic about the strategic possibilities for the US-Saudi relationship under President Trump:

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Here is the link.

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