North Africa

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Nathan J. Brown and Michele Dunne

Egypt's judiciary once acted as a brake on the most authoritarian impulses of successive regimes. But now it is leading the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Jeff Martini

A return to military dictatorship in Egypt seems all but certain. But two things could undermine the generals. First, as the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood recedes, it will become difficult for them to hold together a governing coalition of leftists, liberals, and Salafists that is built solely on its members’ shared antipathy for the Islamist group. Second, the new regime might overreach in its suppression of the opposition, inviting a backlash.

Mara Revkin

When Egypt’s 31-year-old emergency law finally expired in May 2012, Egyptians hoped that the days of arbitrary arrests and crackdowns on dissent in the name of national security were over. But thanks to an unprecedented counterterrorism clause in Egypt's new constitution, those days are here to stay.

Joshua Stacher

Anyone who claims to possess full political power in post-Mubarak Egypt is lying. That even goes for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the military’s commander in chief and Egypt’s current defense minister, whose impending presidential candidacy reveals the military's weakness more than strength.

Emily Dyer

The 2011 revolution may have toppled President Hosni Mubarak, but it did not liberate Egyptian women. Sexual harassment and assault have worsened since his departure, reflecting both long-term trends in government policy and more recent shifts during Egypt’s seesawing transition.

Vish Sakthivel

By asserting itself in security and counterterrorism operations in North Africa, including by supporting French intervention in Mali, Morocco gained an advantage in its battle with Algeria for regional clout.

Letter From,
Rory McCarthy

After a year of mounting unrest, Tunisia's rival political parties finally reached an accord to dissolve the Islamist-led government and create a caretaker administration. Despite deep polarization, the Islamists agreed to give up power, keeping the country's democratic transition on course.

Steven A. Cook

Nearly 150 years after its completion, the Suez Canal continues to inspire awe. But given recent developments in politics, economics, and security, some see it as a mere relic. In fact, the waterway ensures Cairo's continued relevance to the United States and the region.

William McCants

A civil war has broken out within al Qaeda, largely because its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has tried to expand the movement too broadly. As al Qaeda affiliates open new fronts in the global jihad, they often disagree about who should call the shots.

Frederic Wehrey

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.

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