1 Middle East
While not as great as it had been in the recent past, the role of arms and military spending in the societies and economies of the Gulf states is still much larger than in any other area of the world. It was not until after the Iran-Iraq War and the 1991 Gulf war that these states felt that they could make reductions, necessitated by the 1980s fall in world oil prices, in their very large levels of military spending. Only in Kuwait, for understandable reasons, did military spending in 1995, measured in current dollars, exceed that of 1985. Excepting Kuwait, military expenditures per capita are down across the region, as is the percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) spent on the military. Those reductions, however, are in levels of military expenditure that were the highest in the world. Even today, the Gulf remains one of the most militarized areas of the world.
Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space Comments View/Create comment on this paragraph ISLAMABAD – Can Muslim governments free themselves from their countries’ powerful militaries and establish civilian control comparable to that found in liberal democracies? This question is now paramount in countries as disparate as Egypt, Pakistan, and Turkey. Comments View/Create comment on this paragraph To predict how this struggle will play out, it helps to understand the region’s past. Since Islam’s founding in the seventh century, it has maintained a tradition of deep military engagement in politics and governance.
Snapshot In striking a deal to bring Shalit home, Netanyahu dropped political realism in favor of emotional values. But the move will embolden Hamas, making realism more necessary than ever. No one in Israel is calling the agreement signed for Gilad Shalit’s freedom a good deal . On many levels it is terrible.
The Middle East 1916-2001 : A Documentary Record 1916 - The Sykes-Picot Agreement 1917 - Balfour Declaration; November 2 1922 - British White Paper on Palestine; June 1922 - The Palestine Mandate; July 24 1939 - British White Paper on Palestine
Essential Reading Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman. Combating Terrorism Center, West Point, 19 December 2007 (.pdf file). Al-Qaeda in Iraq: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank. Mother Jones , 18 October 2007. Iraq After the Surge Paul Rogers.
A conversation with Nawal El Saadawi, activist, feminist, writer, doctor. She is the author of forty-seven books, including Women and Sex , Memoirs From the Women’s Prison , and God Dies by the Nile . Seventy-nine years old, she is one of the most outspoken agitators for women’s rights in Egypt. Nawal El Saadawi I am very angry today.
I think it is now pretty clear that the 2009 decision to dramatically escalate the war in Afghanistan was a tragic mistake. A few recent stories highlight this: Glenn Greenwald comments on a new Sunday Times report about drone strikes targeting rescuers: As I indicated, there have been scattered, mostly buried indications in the American media that drones have been targeting and killing rescuers. As the Bureau put it: “Between May 2009 and June 2011, at least fifteen attacks on rescuers were reported by credible news media, including the New York Times , CNN , Associated Press , ABC News and Al Jazeera .” So, this is a war crime, just to be clear.
04 July 2011 Dear Subscriber, As a result of staffing constraints, changes in media reporting on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a shift in our strategic priorities, we have decided to discontinue the Afghanistan and Pakistan Conflict Monitors . As a consequence, we will no longer be producing the Daily Briefing, or updating the websites. Instead of continuing to feature news stories, which are increasingly well covered by other... Read the post »