Steven A. Cook

From the Potomac to the Euphrates

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

Weekend Reading: Egypt’s Transition at a Crossroads

by Steven A. Cook Friday, November 30, 2012
Anti-Morsi protesters chant anti-government slogans as they rally in Tahrir Square in Cairo (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters).

Asmaa El Gammal says it is a grave mistake for Egyptian president Morsi not to take protests in Tahrir seriously.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s statement concerning President Morsi’s recent constitutional decree. Read more »

Still Think Middle East Peace Doesn’t Matter?

by Steven A. Cook Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Egyptian protesters shout slogans against Israel's ongoing military operation in the Gaza Strip, in old Cairo (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

The article below was originally published here on on Monday, November 19, 2012. I look forward to reading your comments.  Read more »

Weekend Reading: Kurdish Hunger Strikers, Jabari’s Assassination, and Jordan in Turmoil

by Steven A. Cook Saturday, November 17, 2012
Syrian Bedouin writer and journalist Lina Hawyan al-Hassan, reads a book at her home in Damascus (Khaled Al Hariri / Courtesy Reuters)

Jake Hess’ take on hunger striking Kurds.

Issandr el Amrani on Ahmed al Jabari’s assassination.

Katie Paul looks at the escalating crisis in Jordan.

In Shifting Sands of Middle East, Who Will Lead?

by Steven A. Cook Friday, November 16, 2012
Hamas Prime Minister Haniyeh and the Emir of Qatar arrive at a cornerstone laying ceremony in Khan Younis (Mohammed Salem/Courtesy Reuters)

This article was originally published here on on Thursday, November 15, 2012

Even before the recent round of Hamas rockets and airstrikes from Israel in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian enclave was in the news as the diplomatic destination of choice for the leaders of the Middle East. Last month, the emir of Qatar visited Gaza. Bahrain’s embattled king is also weighing such a trip. Turkey’s prime minister, too, announced his intention to travel to the strip. Read more »

Patriot Games

by Steven A. Cook Thursday, November 8, 2012
A Patriot missile battery is seen from the canoeing venue at the Athens OIympics (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters)

I coauthored this post with my good friend, colleague, and former intern, Michael Koplow.  He writes his own terrific blog:

Wednesday saw a strange confluence of events surrounding Turkey and its oft-stated determination to intervene in Syria with the help of its Western allies. It began with an unnamed Turkish Foreign Ministry official – presumably Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu – revealing that there have been talks between Turkey and the United States about deploying Patriot missile batteries on the Syrian border. Read more »

Erdogan and Merkel: Almost Auf Wiedersehen

by Steven A. Cook Monday, November 5, 2012
Turkey's PM Erdogan and German Chancellor Merkel adjust their earphones for the translations as they address a news conference following their bilateral talks in Berlin (Fabrizio Bensch/Courtesy Reuters)

Last week brought some seemingly good news for Turkey’s long moribund effort to join the European Union. At a joint press conference in Berlin with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that “The EU is an honest negotiating partner” and that Brussels would pursue Turkey’s membership in “good faith.” In a way, there was reason for Turks to celebrate Merkel’s forward leaning statements. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Egypt’s Salafists, Jordan’s President, and Turkey’s Republic Day

by Steven A. Cook Friday, November 2, 2012
A woman visits the Scientific Institute after it reopened after restoration works, in Cairo (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters).

Ashraf El-Sherif provides insight into the two camps within Egyptian Salafism, both competing for legitimacy in Egypt’s new political landscape. Read more »

U.S. Foreign Policy: More Civilizing Missions?

by Steven A. Cook Thursday, November 1, 2012
U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney greet members of the crowd after the conclusion of the final U.S. presidential debate in Boca Raton (Joe Skipper/Courtesy Reuters).

Apologies for the light blogging recently. I wish I had been able to be more active over the last three weeks, but an unfortunate injury to my left arm has kept me on the shelf.

Needless to say, there is a lot going on in the world, what with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the presidential elections, the worsening (can it really get any worse?) situation in Syria, the emergence of an Egyptian constitution, a renewed Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN, and the list goes on and on. Each of these topics deserves coverage, but I’d like to look back ten days to the presidential foreign policy debate. Read more »