MENA Region

The Wagner Group: Origins and Early Deployments

cc Kremlin.ru, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60797, modified,

First in a two-part series, this backgrounder traces the origins and earliest deployments of Russia’s infamous mercenary outfit: the Wagner Group.

Libyan Civil War Swings in Tripoli’s Favor

cc Ben Sutherland, Flickr, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

But the longstanding conflict is still far from over. In fact, it might be on the brink of a new escalation from Egypt.

Turkey’s Libya Gambit Will Not Go Unanswered by Egypt

Three old Libyan tanks, derelict after the failed intervention in the Chadian civil war. cc Flickr David Stanley, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Turkey’s expanding role in the Libyan Civil War presents a security threat to Sisi’s Egypt, one that is unlikely to go unchallenged.

Islamic State and Al-Qaeda Clash in the Sahel

Operation Flintlock training in 2018, cc Flickr USAFRICOM, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Background on the worsening clashes between Al Qaeda and Islamic State’s regional affiliates in the Sahel.

The Geopolitical Implications of Israel’s West Bank Annexation Plan

cc Flickr Terrazzo, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A geopolitical reading suggests that annexation is only a matter of time.

Will US Troops End Up Stationed in Iraqi Kurdistan?

cc Flickr The U.S. Army, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

What might seem like an appealing option to US military planners is actually fraught with its own geopolitical perils.

Admitting the Hard Reality of US Influence in Iraq

cc The U.S. Army , Flickr, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/, U.S. Army Spc. Christine Foster, with 478th Civil Affairs Company, is taught how to make flat bread by local Iraqi women during a routine meet and greet in the Al Rasheed area of Mahmudiyah, Iraq, May 5, 2007. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jacob H. Smith) (Released)

Meting out vengeance in the name of counterterrorism has produced few tangible results in terms of expanding US influence in Iraq.

Saudi Foreign Exchange Reserves Plummet amid COVID-19 Downturn

cc Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SaudiArabiaP25-100Riyals-(1984)-donatedth_f.jpg, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SaudiArabiaP25-100Riyals-(1984)-donatedth_f.jpg

Is the Kingdom’s dollar peg in jeopardy?

It Will Take More than Billionaires to Bail Out Egypt’s Economy

cc Flickr Mark Fischer, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The COVID-19 crisis should prompt a rethink on Egypt’s longstanding structural inequalities.

Corruption and Sectarianism Sinking PM Hopefuls in Iraq

IraqProtests2, unknown author, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Baghdadprotests.jpg

The old guard has yet to moot a palatable candidate for the young Iraqis demanding change.

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