Showing posts for "Coups"
This article was originally published here on ForeignAffairs.com on Tuesday, July 19, 2016.
In a half-decade of extraordinary moments in the Middle East, images of citizens swarming tanks and other military vehicles have been among the most arresting. Within the emerging iconography of the era are photos from early July 2013 that capture overjoyed Egyptians celebrating that the military had emerged from its barracks to depose the country’s elected president, Mohammed Morsi, ending the Muslim Brotherhood’s year-long experiment in governance. The intervention reaffirmed the military’s prestige, influence, and authority in the Egyptian political system. Last Friday night, similar scenes played out in the streets of Istanbul and Ankara. Instead of joy, however, Turks were outraged that members of the military sought to depose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a politician who has been winning elections as mayor of Istanbul, prime minister of Turkey, and head of state since 1994. The attempted coup failed, a purge is underway, and the Turkish armed forces—the second largest military in NATO—is in chaos. How was it that the Egyptian officers managed to do what that one faction in the Turkish military could not, especially given Turkey’s extensive history of coups? The answer lies in the interventions themselves and the underlying worldview that served as the basis of the officers’ apparent power. Read more »
There is no shortage of advice in the United States about how the Obama administration should approach Egypt. The familiar ring of policy prescriptions bouncing around the Beltway and beyond is either a testament to a lack of creativity or limited leverage or the return of some version of the political order that prevailed under Mubarak. Take, for example, Saturday’s lead editorial in the Washington Post called, “The U.S. Must Confront the Egyptian Military’s Push for Authoritarian Rule.” It could have been written in 2007 after Hosni Mubarak pushed through a series of constitutional reforms. In fact, “Constitutional Autocracy” from March 2007 must have been a template of sorts for Saturday’s piece. Don’t get me wrong, the editorial board’s criticism of Egypt’s draft constitution is spot on, but its policy prescriptions seem a bit tattered. According to the folks over on 15th Street, now that it is clear that Egypt is not on the road to democracy (as if that has not been fairly obvious for some time) the Obama administration should “suspend aid and cooperation with the regime until it frees political prisoners and adopts a genuine democratic path.” Read more »
Over this past weekend one of my Economist-devouring, Washington Post-reading, New York Times-gobbling buddies who does not work in the field of foreign affairs asked me, “Hey, what’s up with Erdogan and the Turks?” I’ve been asked this question so many times this summer by so many people that I have lost count. It’s been a long summer in Turkey, starting in May with the Gezi Park protests that revealed a depth of anger toward Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which seemed to surprise the Turkish leadership. Then in early August there were the Ergenekon verdicts, which brought to a close a five year investigation and trial in an alleged plot to undermine Erdogan and his government. The trials may be over (excluding appeals), but the controversy around Ergenekon continues. In between these two bookends have been the deteriorating situation in Syria, the coup in Egypt, a slowing economy, and the beginning of a peace process with the Kurdistan Workers Party. The combined pressure of all of the events seems to have gotten to the prime minister who has been bullying domestic critics, engaging in conspiracies about “interest rate lobbies” intent on bringing down the Turkish economy, and generally finger-pointing at everyone but himself for the difficulties Turkey now confronts at home and abroad. Read more »
With the dramatic developments in Egypt over the last month, Turkey has fallen out of the news even though it has been an eventful summer along the Bosphorus. The opposition to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that began after authorities tried to clear Istanbul’s Gezi Park in late May has proven more durable than virtually everyone predicted. The government has responded to this political turbulence with a variety of coercive measures making Erdogan’s illiberal turn appear to be downright authoritarian. At the same time, Ankara’s strategic position in the Middle East continues to crumble. The prime minister’s reaction to Egypt’s July 3 coup d’état may be principled, but his harsh and oddly emotional rhetoric has alienated yet another important Middle Eastern country. In an irony of ironies, the Egyptian press recently reported that if Erdogan makes a much-delayed visit to Gaza in late August, he will have to do it through Israel. That makes Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq the major regional powers with whom Turkey is at odds. Read more »
The post below on Egypt’s Salafis was written by my research associate, Alexander Brock, and my intern, Amr T. Leheta. I hope you find it interesting.
After the military intervention that toppled Mohammed Morsi and imprisoned much of the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership, many Egyptian and foreign observers are speculating that Egypt’s Salafis are poised to rise to prominence. The Salafi parties have shown political acumen that hardly anyone could have predicted, given their historical opposition to political participation. Yet just as Salafi parties, in particular al-Nour, are well positioned to replace the Muslim Brotherhood as the predominant Islamist political actor in Egypt, the seeds of the movement’s political demise may have already been sown. Read more »
My dear friend, Nervana Mahmoud, an Egyptian-born doctor in the UK, is a keen observer of Egyptian politics. Her article below discusses power dynamics among Egypt’s principal political actors and how those dynamics might play out in the next presidential elections there. Enjoy… 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.