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Old 04-30-2016   #121
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Default Rethinking Political Islam @ Brookings

Anything with Will McCants directing IMHO is worth watching.

They explain at the start:
Quote:
The rapid succession of events in the past four years—the Arab Spring, the Egyptian military coup, and the rise of ISIS—have challenged conventional wisdom on political Islam. After the democratic openings in 2011, mainstream Islamist groups—affiliates and descendants of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood—rose to newfound prominence after decades in opposition, but grappled with the challenges of governance and deeply polarized societies. The subsequent “twin shocks” of the coup in Egypt and the emergence of ISIS are forcing a rethinking of some of the basic assumptions of, and about, Islamist movements, including on: gradual versus revolutionary approaches to change; the use of tactical or situational violence; attitudes toward the state; and how ideology and political variables interact. Rethinking Political Islam is the first project of its kind to systematically assess the evolution of mainstream Islamist groups across 12 country cases....
Link:http://www.brookings.edu/research/re...olitical-islam
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Old 06-19-2016   #122
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Default Middle East and North Africa’s three big crises.

A short article on the changes in the MENA that are unlikely to be on the political agenda: water shortages, climate change and jobs.

The end result:
Quote:
...people will begin to move north in large numbers.
A fourth factor could accelerate this:
Quote:
..the decline in marriage across the region, which in the restrictive MENA societies means many young men have no hope of having normal sexual relations. Little more than a decade ago, about 60 percent of Middle Eastern men married by their late twenties. Today, the figure is just over 50 percent, and Iran it is 38 percent. There is a new generation of young men who cannot afford to marry, have no work, cannot leave home and are sexually frustrated. The traditional passage to adult life, its responsibilities and joys, is barred to them.
Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-a...policy-desert?
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Old 07-09-2016   #123
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Default

A short commentary on the Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia. When you are facing changing threat level and the oil price drops you have a big problem:
Quote:
For the seven years prior to December 2014 the average price of a barrel of oil was around $89 whereas from January 2015 to May 2016 it fell over 50% to $46. This had profound effects around the region.
Link:https://defenceindepth.co/2016/07/08...ab-monarchies/

There is a closed 2011-2014 thread A Gulf Sheikh down coming? which may help:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=16968
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Old 09-07-2016   #124
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Default Sowing the seeds of conflict in the Middle East

Roger Hardy, a former BBC MENA analyst, has written a book 'The Poisoned Well: Empire and its Legacy in the Middle East', this was recently published by Hurst & Co:http://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/the-poisoned-well/

In a very short article he gives a glimpse into his thoughts and this poem from Algeria is perfect for 'Small Wars':
Quote:
They have sowed hatred in the villages. We store it under the ground where it remains,
The abundant yield of a harvested field.
Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/roger-hardy/sowing-seeds-of-conflict-in-middle-east?
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