Even as Susan Rice laid out the Obama administration's plans for a more modest Middle East policy last month, the U.S. military was preparing to step up its assistance in Libya and help the country build a new army. With all the security, economic, and political problems that await, it might be time to consider doing even more.
By ignoring long-standing grievances, playing the sectarian card, and unequivocally treating Shia opposition as Iranian-backed radicals, the Saudi regime is aggravating the very problem that it would like to defuse.
Libya's elections passed peacefully, but observers should have no illusions about the momentous challenges ahead, especially the task of rebuilding and formalizing the country’s security services. During its 16 months in power, the outgoing transitional government walked a fine line between trying to dismantle the country's regional militias and making use of them as hired guns. The strategy sowed the seeds for the country’s descent into warlordism.
With Qaddafi's ouster imminent, the West must plan for post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction.
Iran may hope to capitalize on the Arab Spring, write Dalia Dassa Kaye and Frederic Wehrey, but Tehran will find the region hard to manipulate. Maybe so, argues Michael Doran -- but Washington must still do what it can to counter Iranian influence.
For decades, the outsized personality of Muammar al-Qaddafi has obscured the many rivalries among Libya's domestic groups, from the tribes to the military. With the Qaddafi era coming to a likely end, how will these actors now vie for supremacy?
This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.
After describing the various formal organs and rules of government in Iran, this short study suggests that Iranian governance is best understood as an informal balance of contending forces under the aegis of a powerful, "but not omnipotent," supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.