West Asia: Publications

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  • Examining the Interventionist Logic in the Arab Uprisings

    At first glance, there was no coherent regional and international response to the transitions triggered in the Arab world since December 2010 as external players, both regional and international, had to confront with unceasing alarm the rapidity of change threatening to unravel in critical Arab states. However, as events in the region progressed, a pattern emerged to the external responses, one that was as predictive as it was differentiated.

    July 2014

    Russia, Turkey, and Iran: Moving Towards Strategic Synergy in the Middle East?

    This article aims to delve into the patterns of convergence and divergence of interests among three key regional players in the Middle East: the Russian Federation, Turkey and Iran.

    March 2015

    Israel–Gaza Crisis: Understanding the War Crimes Debate

    The long conflict between Israel and Palestine took a turn for the worse after the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in June 2014.

    March 2015

    The Articulated Strategy to Fight the Islamic State: Is It Self-Defeating?

    President Barack Obama has detailed his strategy to degrade, defeat and ultimately destroy the Islamic State (IS) (the IS is also referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS]) currently considered the most threatening of the various terrorist groups operating primarily in the Middle East. Fundamental to the success of the strategy is military action aimed at degrading the combat capabilities of the fighting elements of the IS.

    January 2015

    Mubarak’s Fall in Egypt: How and Why did it Happen?

    After nearly 30 years in power, the Hosni Mubarak regime in Egypt, considered by many to be the strongest in the Arab world, collapsed suddenly in February 2011 after a mere 18 days of street protests. In this article, we try to explain the puzzling collapse of the Mubarak regime using regime transition theory. We argue that the Mubarak regime’s collapse came about as a result of four key developments, none of which were sufficient to cause the regime’s collapse, but when coalesced together exposed the regime’s lack of coercive and persuasive powers, thereby hastening its demise.

    January 2015

    Restrained and Strategically Effective—The 2011 Aerial Campaign over Libya: An Indian Perspective

    The winter of 2011 was a dramatic period for air power in Mediterranean Europe and India. Operation Unified Protector (OUP), the successful North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) offensive aerial campaign that paved the way for a regime change in Libya, involved two platforms that had been shortlisted for the largest fighter aircraft deal of recent times.

    May 2014

    State, Secularism and Democracy

    Democracy has spread spontaneously and swiftly in an area of the world generally thought to be immune to political changes: West Asia and North Africa (WANA). An incident of common occurrence in Third World countries—a policeman extorting money from a fruit vendor—sparked this surge for democracy, which spread rapidly from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea in some two months. On December 17, 2010, a fruit vendor, Mohammed Razzack, set himself on fire to protest against a policeman extorting money from him.

    May 2014

    New Directions in Iranian Foreign Policy: Impact on Global Energy Security

    After the June 2013 election when Hassan Rouhani became president of Iran, Iranian foreign policy changed course. The fundamental transformation is the result of his decision to open up a fresh dialogue with the United States and other Great Powers to resolve the nuclear stand-off that would end the country’s isolation, lift the biting US-led sanctions and allow Iran to open a new chapter in its economic policy and international diplomacy.

    Interventionism and Human Security

    The conflict in Syria is inexorably turning into a quagmire as more entities get dragged into the sludge. From a hands-off policy to one of humanitarian support, the West has progressed to arming rebels, while Russia has shown that it is determined not to let down its ally by continuing arms shipments to the Assad regime.

    January 2014

    The Afghan Game: Interests and Moves

    In Afghanistan, the third Great Game is still on. The end of US–NATO combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 will be read by many as ‘Obama’s Vietnam’, but the retention of a small number of troops and several military facilities by the US in that country will be a source of worry for countries such as Russia, Iran and Pakistan who are concerned about US motives and moves in regard to the region, especially Central Asia’s energy resources which are already a target of international competition.

    November 2013

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