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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Issue 2132

The Sahel: Local Conflicts, International Stakes
Introduction
Introduction

Sahelian Islam’s Shift Towards Salafism And Its Implications For Regional Terrorism

by Joshua Meserveyvia The Caravan
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Sahel region of Africa stretches east from Senegal’s Atlantic coast into Sudan, covering a vast space in which the Sahara Desert peters out southward into savannah. It is predominately Muslim, and specifically Sufi, a type of syncretic Islamic practice that emphasizes the mystical experience of God.

Featured Analysis
Featured Analysis

From The Middle East To The Sahel And Throughout Africa: How Russia Pushes Western Powers Towards The Exit

by Isabelle Lasserrevia The Caravan
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Sub-Saharan Africa, the Sahel, the Middle East, Afghanistan. Like an octopus, Russia has extended its tentacles to every crisis riddled corner, filling the void created by the withdrawal of Western forces. Occasionally partnering with Turkey to better share the imperial burden, Vladimir Putin has once again inserted Moscow as a major player on the international scene. To what extent can it take the place of democratic powers?

Featured Analysis

The Sahelian Matrix Of Political Violence

by Heni Nsaibia, Clionadh Raleighvia The Caravan
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Sahel is one of the most active conflict theatres on the African continent and has become a major node in the "Global War on Terror'' over the past twenty years. After nearly a decade of foreign military intervention through overlapping counterterrorism, stabilization, and military and security training missions, the conflict is often referred to as a ''Forever War'' alongside other Western-led military interventions in the Middle East and Africa. As military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan draw to a close, attention is increasingly shifting to Africa as the next battlefront— where the Sahel remains a key geopolitical dilemma.

Featured Analysis

Remaining Without Expanding? Examining Jihadist Insurgency in Northeastern Nigeria

by James Barnettvia The Caravan
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Over the past twelve years, northeastern Nigeria has experienced one of the most destructive jihadist insurgencies of anywhere in the world. As many as 350,000 people have died and some five million have become displaced as a result of conflict between insurgents commonly known as Boko Haram and the Nigerian state.

Featured Analysis

France In The Sahel Is A Policeman Trying To Escape From Prison

by Michel Goyavia The Caravan
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

On the 10th June, 2021, President Macron announced 'the end of Operation Barkhane' in the Sahel, but he did not announce France's withdrawal from the war against Salafi-jihadist organisations in the area. This is simply a new avatar of France's military engagement in the Sahel after Nicolas Sarkozy's ‘Sahel plan’ and the start of the Special Forces' Operation Sabre in 2009, operation Serval in 2013 and operation Barkhane in 2014. 

Featured Analysis

The Sahel After Afghanistan

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Sahel and the states bordering it are sites of significant jihadist activity that will derive considerable encouragement from the Taliban victory in Afghanistan: Islamism will be on the upswing everywhere. In the Sahel in particular, such violent extremism plays out against the backdrop of weak political structures, poor governance, intercommunal conflicts, and profound economic challenges. These are poor states with growing populations.

E.g., 10 / 16 / 2021
E.g., 10 / 16 / 2021
Thursday, November 29, 2018

Issue 1820

Political Theology in the Greater Middle East

Introduction

by Charles Hill Thursday, November 29, 2018
article

Featured Analysis

by Samuel Helfont Tuesday, December 4, 2018
article
by Sanam Vakil Tuesday, December 4, 2018
article
by Henri J. Barkey Thursday, December 6, 2018
article
by Itamar Rabinovich Thursday, December 6, 2018
article
by Habib Malik Tuesday, December 11, 2018
article
by Aishwary Kumar Tuesday, December 11, 2018
article
by Asli Aydintasbas Thursday, December 13, 2018
article
by Afshin Molavi Thursday, December 13, 2018
article
by Samuel Tadros Tuesday, December 18, 2018
article
by Russell A. Berman Tuesday, December 18, 2018
article
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Issue 1818

Change in Saudi Arabia
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Issue 1817

Strategy in Syria: Beyond ISIS

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Featured Analysis

U.S. Middle East Policy In The Next Four Years

by Eric Edelmanvia The Caravan
Tuesday, December 8, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden and his administration will inherit a very full agenda of problems on January 20, 2021 both foreign and domestic. 

Featured Analysis

America Is Obstructing Turkey’s Geostrategic Destiny

by Michael Doranvia The Caravan
Tuesday, December 8, 2020

In America today, populists on both sides of the political aisle demand that allies should carry more of the burden, especially the military burden, of upholding the international order. Meanwhile, the fear of a rising China cuts against the grain of this thinking. Chinese leader Xi Jin Ping’s more aggressive foreign policy has generated an equally strong impulse to marshal resources and organize allies to contain China. In an effort to reconcile the contradictory impulses, many analysts and political leaders have fastened onto the idea of retreating from the Middle East. 

Featured Analysis

Does The US Need A Lebanon Policy?

by Tony Badranvia The Caravan
Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The season of offering advice to the next administration is upon us once more. When it comes to American policy toward Lebanon, the purveyors of advice are faced with two key questions.

Introduction

Missed By The Middle East

by Charles Hillvia The Caravan
Tuesday, December 8, 2020

In a classic American short story (by William Saroyan) an old man and a boy are sitting on the porch hearing the whistle of a long-range freight train passing through their little town.  “There goes another one we missed,” the old man says.

Featured Analysis

Ajami’s Method

by Russell A. Bermanvia The Caravan
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Aspects of Fouad Ajami’s method are inimitable, or nearly so, inseparable from the distinctive personality of this one remarkable thinker. His reflections on the politics of the Middle East always depended on his empathetic understanding of the cultures, the complex histories, the literary achievements, and the ever-present currents of faith. Add to this his specifically Lebanese perspective, indisputably rooted in the region but also always with an eye to the sea, to the West, and to a very different political-cultural world.

Featured Analysis

And If He Were Here Today

by Franck Salamehvia The Caravan
Thursday, October 29, 2020

In his 1931 collection of essays, Reflections on the World Today, French polymath historiographer and public intellectual Paul Valéry wrote with ominous premonition of a world yet to come, more so than he might have done the world he was frequenting, contemplating, and gazing at in early 1930s France.

Featured Analysis

The Saudi Evolution

by Reuel Marc Gerechtvia The Caravan
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Fouad Ajami had an odd fondness for Saudi Arabia. He was an Americanized, secular Shiite with European sensibilities who, truth be told, had pretty much burned out on the ugliness of the modern Arab world. He once smiled knowingly at the comment of the late, great Middle Eastern historian Charles Issawi: “Thank God it’s Friday: I can stop reading Arabic, Persian, and Turkish and go home and read Jane Austen.”  

Featured Analysis

The Tapestry Weaver

by Sanam Vakilvia The Caravan
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Joseph Conrad said this about his work: “My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel--it is, before all, to make you see.” The same should be said of Fouad Ajami who through his life and writing helped many, like myself, hear, feel and see the rich beauty and diversity of the Middle East.

Featured Analysis

Saudi Arabia And Ajami’s Way

by Martin Kramervia The Caravan
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Crosswinds may best be described as Fouad Ajami’s furthest exploration in the Arab world.

Featured Analysis

Bearers Of Meaning In The Middle East

by Charles Hillvia The Caravan
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Every contributor to this special issue of The Caravan dedicated to the memory of Fouad Ajami will have wondered “What would Fouad be thinking of now?”

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The Caravan is envisaged as a periodic symposium on the contemporary dilemmas of the Greater Middle East. It will be a free and candid exchange of opinions. We shall not lack for topics of debate, for that arc of geography has contentions aplenty. It is our intention to come back with urgent topics that engage us. Caravans are full of life and animated companionship. Hence the name we chose for this endeavor.

We will draw on the membership of Hoover's Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on the Middle East and the Islamic World, and on colleagues elsewhere who work that same political and cultural landscape. Hoover senior fellow Russell Berman directs the project from which this effort originates.