How sectarianism matters and how it doesn’t

I wanted to flag this piece in the Washington Post from a week and a half ago because I think it’s always important to counter the notion that Islamic sectarianism is all you need to know to explain the current situation in the Middle East. It’s written by Nick Danforth, a grad student at Georgetown,… Continue reading How sectarianism matters and how it doesn’t

A nuclear deal is only the first step

Real life has infringed on blogging today, but I did want to flag this important piece by Stephen Walt from a couple of days ago, explaining why a diplomatic agreement with Iran over its nuclear program can have a deep and lasting impact on the Middle East and America’s role there regardless of the fine… Continue reading A nuclear deal is only the first step

Shot in the dark

Today, in Foreign Policy: I’m not a Pakistan expert by any means, so I could be wrong, but I thought this was an excellent piece and I recommend you check it out. Very critical of Pakistan’s many political and economic failures, particularly its inability or outright lack of desire to do something about the many… Continue reading Shot in the dark

Michael Collins Dunn on Civil War Officers in the Egyptian Army

Today we should celebrate the 150th anniversary of surrender of a gang of armed insurrectionists at Appomatox. Since he’s rerunning the piece today, and because a. I’ve read it and it’s fascinating and b. it’s in line with the kind of stuff I like to do around here when I have a chance, I’m sending… Continue reading Michael Collins Dunn on Civil War Officers in the Egyptian Army

How do you define a “bad deal” with Iran?

There’s been a lot of talk over the past year plus about the risks of a “bad deal” with Iran. “No deal is better than a bad deal,” we keep hearing. People are worried that the Obama administration will accept a bad deal if the alternative is no deal, even though the administration keeps insisting… Continue reading How do you define a “bad deal” with Iran?

Saudi Arabia and oil prices

If I were a steadily employed person who regularly commuted to a workplace and had to fill his tank frequently, I’d probably be harping about low gas prices all the time. “Have you seen how low gas has gotten?” I’d say. “Man, gas was twice this expensive just a few months ago,” I would remark,… Continue reading Saudi Arabia and oil prices