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Strife Feature | Sunni-Shia Conflicts: From A Trick To A Reality

September 16, 2017

By Guillaume Beaud Most Western observers analyse a vast majority of Middle-Eastern upheavals as a Sunni-Shia conflict. Increasingly mobilized since the King of Jordan Abdullah II warned about a “Shia Crescent” in 2003 after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. Syria, Yemen and the tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia quickly fell into … Continue reading “Strife Feature | Sunni-Shia Conflicts: From A Trick To A Reality”


Elite Loyalty: The Durability of Ideological Bonds in the Islamic State

December 11, 2016

By: William McHenry During the last decade, the United States (U.S.) has engaged in protracted military conflicts with Islamist extremist groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS). In Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. committed immense resources to counter-insurgency campaigns waged against such extremist groups. Throughout these military campaigns, policymakers have focused on improving the US and … Continue reading “Elite Loyalty: The Durability of Ideological Bonds in the Islamic State”


Turkey’s President Erdoğan counter-coup cleanup

September 5, 2016

By: Kyle R. Brady Is President Erdoğan ignoring the lessons of the Iraq War at his peril? Following the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey[1] — wherein factions within the Turkish military and government allegedly conspired to depose President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan[2] — the government of Erdoğan now faces a serious and growing threat:  a potential insurgency found within … Continue reading “Turkey’s President Erdoğan counter-coup cleanup”


Book review: 'America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam' by Christopher Lawrence

May 23, 2016

Reviewed by: Cheng Lai Ki Christopher Lawrence. America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Oxford, UK. Casemate Publishers, 2015. ISBN: 978-1612002781. Hardcover. £19.99 Compared to other countries around the world, the United States military possesses the largest expenditure rate in the world of around $640,221million, according to a study conducted by the Brookings in 2014.[1] … Continue reading “Book review: 'America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam' by Christopher Lawrence”


The limits of US security cooperation in Jordan

April 22, 2016

By: Peter Kirechu The most notable feature of President Barack Obama’s partnership-based counterterrorism doctrine­–roughly defined–is its central focus on training and arming local security services to independently deal with emerging terrorism threats. The President’s doctrine is unfortunately fraught with inconsistent performance of US-trained security services, especially among fragile states in the Middle East and beyond. … Continue reading “The limits of US security cooperation in Jordan”


Tackling Iraq’s Shia Militia Crisis

April 11, 2016

By: Peter Kirechu Iraqi security forces are engaged in a contentious fight against a determined and effective foe in the self-styled Islamic State (also referred to as IS, ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh). Iraq’s security sector, while resilient in the face of tens of thousands of jihadist militants has nonetheless required substantial external assistance from the … Continue reading “Tackling Iraq’s Shia Militia Crisis”


ISIS and the Flood: the hydro-politics behind the rise (and fall) of Daesh

March 25, 2016

EDITORS NOTE: This is the fourth and final article in a four-part series which explores the role of water in human conflict and politics. The series marks (though is not affiliated with) World Water Day 2016, a UN initiative to promote awareness of water issues. More information on World Water Day can be found here. … Continue reading “ISIS and the Flood: the hydro-politics behind the rise (and fall) of Daesh”


ISIS and its conduct of war: interview with Professor Dr. Albert A. Stahel

February 12, 2016

By: Annabelle Vuille Professor Dr. Albert A. Stahel is the founder and head of the Swiss think tank Institut für Strategische Studien [Institute for Strategic Studies]. He has taught strategic studies at the Military Academy of the ETH Zürich and holds the title of honorary professor in the same field at the University of Zürich. … Continue reading “ISIS and its conduct of war: interview with Professor Dr. Albert A. Stahel”


IDPs in Iraq and the progress of the Islamic State: An interview with Hebatalla Taha (IISS)

October 14, 2015

By: Jack Curran-Persell Hebatalla Taha is a Research Analyst for the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London where she focuses on the Middle-East and North Africa. Jack Curran-Persell: Earlier this month, you wrote a very interesting article for IISS on the situation for IDPs in Iraq. With the UN estimating over 3 million Iraqis have … Continue reading “IDPs in Iraq and the progress of the Islamic State: An interview with Hebatalla Taha (IISS)”


Photo essay from the frontline against IS: playing the waiting game with the Kurdish Peshmerga

September 28, 2015

By Christiaan Triebert: Christiaan Triebert recently returned from the frontline between the Kurdish Peshmerga and Islamic State militants in northern Iraq. This is his account of his time with the Peshmerga.  *** “Get the brothers ready for tonight’s position.” “Yes I will, inshallah.” “Inshallah.” A group of Peshmerga soldiers stand around a walkie-talkie. They listen to the Arabic … Continue reading “Photo essay from the frontline against IS: playing the waiting game with the Kurdish Peshmerga”


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