On February 17, Lieutenant-General Sami Enan, Egypt’s former armed forces chief-of-staff, announced that he would be running for president. One can be forgiven for asking: Why? Enan’s candidacy seems impractical and impracticable. Based on what is known publicly, which actually is not very much, it is widely assumed that Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be the military’s candidate. It seems hard to imagine that if al-Sisi runs, he would have much trouble winning. Despite the crude propaganda in the form of al-Sisi sweets, sandwiches, pajamas, posters, t-shirts, and odes to the man, there are many Egyptians who seem inclined—at this moment—to want the Field Marshal’s firm hand. Enan, whose sterling reputation was tarnished during the 18 months he was the second-in-command of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, does not have the kind of broad appeal of al-Sisi. So what is going on? Why does Sami Enan want to be the president? As with everything in Egypt, Enan’s candidacy may (or may not) be a bit more complicated than a man with an ambition to lead a great country back from the brink. Read more »
Ahmet Erdi Ozturk says that the sphere of authority of Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs should be redefined. Read more »
There will be light blogging for the next week because…well…you can see why. Thanks!
Last week, a knowledgeable and respected DC-based Egypt expert commented that Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al Sisi is “just a cog in the machine.” It is not at all clear what exactly this means. If there is a machine, who is behind it? And if it is not al Sisi, who is it? The “cog in the machine” explanation of Egyptian politics is not new, it has just become more pronounced over the last three years. It ranks high with other myths of Egyptian politics, notably the “evil genius” view of senior military commanders who allegedly pull levers and push buttons in a masterful subterfuge that produces only the outcomes that serve the military’s interests. Perhaps al Sisi is a cog in the military’s machine, but it seems that Egyptian politics are more prosaic. Read more »
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the never-ending peace process are back. Not that they ever went away, but the conflict has gotten far more newsprint and bandwidth in the last week or so than it has over the last six months. On Sunday, the New York Times ran three pieces in its “Sunday Review” section that touched on the conflict. Essays by Hirsh Goodman and Omar Barghouti dealt specifically with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign—an issue bound up in politics and fraught with emotions that is linked to the efficacy of non-violent protest, the fight against South African apartheid in the 1980s, and the long effort to deny the Jewish connection to the territory that is now Israel and the West Bank. Read more »
From the Potomac to the Euphrates examines how debates about Mideast policy in Washington connect to the region, with a special focus on Egypt and Turkey.
In The Hacked World Order, CFR Senior Fellow Adam Segal shows how governments use the web to wage war and spy on, coerce, and damage each other. More
Red Team provides an in-depth investigation into the work of red teams, revealing the best practices, most common pitfalls, and most effective applications of these modern-day devil's advocates. More
Through insightful analysis and engaging graphics, How America Stacks Up explores how the United States can keep pace with global economic competition. More
India now matters to U.S. interests in virtually every dimension. This Independent Task Force report assesses the current situation in India and the U.S.-India relationship, and suggests a new model for partnership with a rising India.
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster than in wealthier countries. The report outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
This report asserts that elevating and prioritizing the U.S.-Canada-Mexico relationship offers the best opportunity for strengthening the United States and its place in the world.
Williams argues that the status quo for peace operations in untenable and that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.