Steven A. Cook

From the Potomac to the Euphrates

Cook examines developments in the Middle East and their resonance in Washington.

The Turkish Paradox

by Steven A. Cook Thursday, June 28, 2012
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan gives a thumbs-up sign from the cockpit of the Turkish Primary and Basic Trainer Aircraft "Hurkus" during a ceremony at the Turkish Aerospace Industries in Ankara (Umit Bektas/Courtesy Reuters). Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan gives a thumbs-up sign from the cockpit of the Turkish Primary and Basic Trainer Aircraft "Hurkus" during a ceremony at the Turkish Aerospace Industries in Ankara (Umit Bektas/Courtesy Reuters).

Below please find an excerpt of a piece that my friend Michael Koplow and I wrote that was originally published here on ForeignAffairs.com. I hope you find it interesting, and I look forward to reading your comments.  Read more »

Three Myths About the Muslim Brotherhood

by Steven A. Cook Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The Muslim Brotherhood's President-elect Mohamed Morsi and Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim pose for a portrait Egyptian police generals in Cairo (Handout/Courtesy Reuters). The Muslim Brotherhood's President-elect Mohamed Morsi and Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim pose for a portrait Egyptian police generals in Cairo (Handout/Courtesy Reuters).

Since Egypt’s Supreme Presidential Election Commission declared Mohamed Morsi the winner of the presidential election, there has been a lot of commentary about the Muslim Brotherhood.  Morsi, an engineer by training, was a long time member of the Brotherhood and was a member of its political department.  Morsi has resigned from both the Brotherhood and its party, Freedom and Justice, but that is more symbolic than substantive.  The Muslim Brotherhood is now in control of the Egyptian presidency, previously the fulcrum of power in the political system and observers are asking,  “Who Lost Egypt?”  The answer is no one; 51.7 percent of Egyptians voted for Morsi.  The race was close and, no doubt, there are Egyptians fearful about their future, but there has been so much mythmaking about the Muslim Brotherhood, it is worth debunking a few. Read more »

Egypt’s Military Adopts Turkish Model to Retain Power Over Morsi

by Steven A. Cook Monday, June 25, 2012
Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi celebrate his victory at the election at Tahrir Square in Cairo (Ahmed Jadallah/Courtesy Reuters). Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi celebrate his victory at the election at Tahrir Square in Cairo (Ahmed Jadallah/Courtesy Reuters).

This article was originally published here on Al-Monitor on Sunday, June 24, 2012. I hope you find it interesting and look forward to your comments.  Read more »

Weekend Reading: Saudi Revolutionaries, Tunisia’s Constitution, and the SCAF Speaks

by Steven A. Cook Friday, June 22, 2012
A man reads a newspaper at a street kiosk in downtown Tunis (Louafi Larbi/Courtesy Reuters). A man reads a newspaper at a street kiosk in downtown Tunis (Louafi Larbi/Courtesy Reuters).

On Jadaliyyaan interview with Saudi revolutionaries.

Tunisia Live gives an English translation of the final draft of the preamble to Tunisia’s 2012 constitution. Read more »

Military ‘Soft Coup’ in Egypt Has Precedent

by Steven A. Cook Thursday, June 21, 2012
Police stand guard during a protest against the military council outside Egypt's parliament in Cairo (Suhaib Salem/Courtesy Reuters). Police stand guard during a protest against the military council outside Egypt's parliament in Cairo (Suhaib Salem/Courtesy Reuters).

This is an excerpt from an article published here at The Christian Science Monitor on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. I hope you find it interesting and I look forward to reading your comments.  Read more »

The Pharaoh’s Legacy

by Steven A. Cook Wednesday, June 20, 2012
People sit in front of Maadi military hospital where Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak was transferred from Tora prison, on the outskirts of Cairo (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). People sit in front of Maadi military hospital where Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak was transferred from Tora prison, on the outskirts of Cairo (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

This article was originally published here on ForeignPolicy.com on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.

Hosni Mubarak is dead, or very close to it. The Egyptian state news agency MENA reported that the former president was pronounced clinically dead after having a stroke on the evening of June 19 — a statement that was quickly denied by a member of the ruling military junta, who clarified that Mubarak was nevertheless in critical condition. Read more »

In Egypt, Lamentations Over a Lost Revolution

by Steven A. Cook Monday, June 18, 2012
People walk in front of a wall sprayed with stencilled paintings depicting the Egyptian military council members in Cairo (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). People walk in front of a wall sprayed with stencilled paintings depicting the Egyptian military council members in Cairo (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

This excerpt is taken from my article originally published here on Al Monitor on Monday, June 18, 2012. I hope you find it interesting and I look forward to reading your comments.  Read more »

Weekend Reading: Egypt’s Groupthink, Supreme Court Ruling, and State Propaganda

by Steven A. Cook Friday, June 15, 2012
A man reads the headlines of local newspapers in Cairo, a day after former leader Hosni Mubarak was handed a life prison sentence (Ammar Awad/Courtesy Reuters). A man reads the headlines of local newspapers in Cairo, a day after former leader Hosni Mubarak was handed a life prison sentence (Ammar Awad/Courtesy Reuters).

The Sandmonkey says Egypt’s revolutionaries suffer from Groupthink.

The BBC offers a Q&A on this week’s ruling by the Egyptian Supreme Court, explaining exactly what it means and what impact it might have going forward. Read more »