Steven A. Cook

From the Potomac to the Euphrates

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

Christmas Reading

by Steven A. Cook Friday, December 21, 2012
Greek Orthodox priests attend the Christmas procession inside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem (Ammar Awad/Courtesy Reuters). Greek Orthodox priests attend the Christmas procession inside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem (Ammar Awad/Courtesy Reuters).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I am looking forward to reading Gregory Johnsen’s book, The Last Refuge: Yemen, Al-Qaeda, and America’s War in Arabia over the break. Read more »

Are Egypt’s Officers Muslim Brothers?

by Steven A. Cook Monday, December 17, 2012
Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi observes as Egypt's new Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sissi receives his orders at the presidential palace in Cairo (Handout/Courtesy Reuters). Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi observes as Egypt's new Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sissi receives his orders at the presidential palace in Cairo (Handout/Courtesy Reuters).

Over the last three weeks as Egypt lurched through yet another political crisis, a variety of observers have wondered what the military might do as Egyptians have faced off against each other over President Mohammed Morsi’s November 22nd decree and the draft constitution.  As the polarization of Egypt’s political arena deepened and the Ministry of Defense signaled its intention to remain in the barracks—with the exception of providing security for Saturday’s referendum—questions surfaced once again about the relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and the senior leadership of the armed forces.  Some have deduced that by the military’s inaction, the officers must back Morsi’s decree and the draft constitution. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Egypt’s Referendum, Syrian Endgame, and Revolutionary Verse

by Steven A. Cook Friday, December 14, 2012
Supporter of Egyptian President Morsi holds up a Koran during Friday prayers at a rally in Cairo (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters). Supporter of Egyptian President Morsi holds up a Koran during Friday prayers at a rally in Cairo (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

The Sandmonkey gives a concise, but telling, summary of the situation related to Egypt’s constitutional referendum slated for December 15, 2012. Read more »