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sa71Elodie Pichon
(Research Fellow of the IFIMES Institute, DeSSA Department. This native Parisian is a Master in Geopolitics, Territory and Security from the King’s College, London, UK).

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 12 March 2017

Note: The article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the views of the Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS).

This year, 2017 will be a challenging year for Saudi Arabia, who is losing its leadership in the Middle East and faces looming economic challenges stemming from low oil prices.

Saudi Arabia has been humiliated in Syria, and embroiled itself in an endless and costly conflict in Yemen. According to Reuters, Saudi Arabia is spending $175 million per month for bombings in Yemen and an additional $500 million for ground incursions. These low oil prices and military expenses have unprecedented impact on Saudi foreign reserves, which depleted from $732 billion to $623 billion in 2015. However the main cost of these military failures is not a financial one, they also dealt a fatal blow to the Saudi monarchy that used military nationalism to foster support, and implement a cult of the personality to King Salman....Read more

egypt13Dr. Shaul shay (Col Res)
(Director of research of the Institute for Policy and Strategy and a senior research fellow of the International Policy Institute for counter Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzeliya (IDC), Israel. Dr. Shay was the deputy head of the National Security Council (NSC) of Israel.).

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) -Publication date: 28 January 2017

Illegal immigration via Egyptian Mediterranean Sea shores rose over the past few years in attempts to reach Europe and flee civil wars and difficult economic conditions...Read more

water18Quantin de Pimodan
(Co-author of The Khaleeji Voice, six-part book series about each of the GCC nations and their respective urban art cultures)

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 10 December 2016

In “Peak Water: How We Built Civilisation on Water and Drained the World Dryi”, Alexander Bell narrates what he calls the first war in human history that takes place around 2450 BC in Mesopotamia in today’s Iraq. This war was fought between two city-kingdoms, the Lagash and the Umma, both kingdoms of Sumerian civilization. The Lagash were found northwest of the Euphrates’ shores with its spiritual center of Girsu while upstream, of the same river, Umma is located, looking at its southern rival with much envy for its access to water. Read more

middle45Habib C. Malik (PhD)
(Associate Professor of History at the Lebanese American University (Byblos campus).

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 24 April 2016

As the Middle East continues to unravel along ethno-sectarian and tribal lines creative federal solutions for the resulting mess have come increasingly under consideration. The primordial communal aggregates of the heterogeneous region have resurfaced with a vengeance necessitating new formulations for future peaceful coexistence among them after the dust has settled. As a consequence, this might signify that the heyday of the unitary state structure as it has prevailed over decades in places like Syria and Iraq under the Baath is now behind us. Logically, federal arrangements applied to composite societies offer optimal chances for accommodating diversity within a unified state entity, while simultaneously safeguarding the distinctiveness and autonomy of the various communal components constituting the existing pluralism. Some of the most successful countries around the world happen to be federally structured: Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Germany, others...Read more

saudimap16Paul Kotsonis
(RIEAS Research Associate)

Copyright: https://politicsofdevelopmentblog.wordpress.com - Publication at RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 16 April 2016

Since 2011, the Arab world was filled with violent conflict; in Tunisia the self-sacrifice of Muhammad Bouazizi rose protests which were later followed by the fleeing of President Ben Ali and the subsequent election of Islamist Nahda party; in Libya an uprising started in Benghazi against the country's leader Qaddafi and was followed by military intervention of the UN and later the death of Quaddafi leading to the elections held in 2012; In Egypt rising protests lead Hosni Mubarak to transfer emergency powers to the military; protests and armed conflict also started taking place in Syria and Yemen (Economist, 2016a)...Read more

syriankurdistan16Dr Spyridon Plakoudas
(Defence Analyst, RIEAS Research Associate)

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 24 March 2016

Syria: A Divided Country

After five years of sectarian violence, the country has been reduced to rubble and partitioned de facto in several warring statelets: a) the titular state of Syria under Assad that still controls the populous urban centres of eastern Syria along the Damascus-Latakia central road, b) a mosaic of dominions and enclaves under the shaky rule of the anti-Assad opposition in northern and southern Syria, c) the sprawling jihadist state in the eastern Syrian desert under the black banner of the Islamic State and d) an almost continuous Kurdish state along the long Turkish-Syrian frontier. A few days ago, the Kurds of Syria proclaimed the establishment of a federal government in northern Syria – in stark defiance to Turkey's stern opposition to a second independent Kurdish entity...Read more

jordanphotoBy Antonia Dimou
(Associate at the Center for Strategic Studies-University of Jordan, RIEAS Senior Advisor, and Athens Webster University Instructor)

Copyright: Originally appeared at ELIAMEP Middle East Mediterranean 2/4 | April-June 2015- Republication on RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 14 November 2015.

Jordan is a free market oriented economy that offers a wide range of incentives to international investors. The kingdom's Investment Promotion Law provides freedoms from customs and duties, unrestricted transfer of capital and profits, and tax income exemptions. Jordan is thus considered as an ideal base of investment braced by its strategic location in the heart of the Middle East that ensures unimpeded access to the markets of Asia and Africa. The growth oriented business environment of the kingdom largely explains the interest of Greek companies either to advance exports or transfer activities and open representation offices for investment security, stability and cash flow reasons...Read more

middle45Antonia Dimou,
(Senior Advisor at the Research Institute for European and American Studies, Greece, and Lecturer at Webster University, Athens Campus)

Copyright: http://www.cceia.unic.ac.cy Publication date on RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 1 November 2015

The conduct of two separate airstrikes in Syria, led by the United States and Russia respectively, comes as part of a strategy to defeat and degrade the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in pursuance of revisiting the international response to the Syrian conflict. The prolonged neglect of the conflict in Syria has admittedly created power vacuums, paving the way for extremist groups to gain and control territory. The prospect of de facto territorial divisions is a reported reality with territory under control of ISIL; territory held by the Assad regime; and territory controlled by enclaves of diverse fighter groups. Read more

ira15Alexandros Kassidiaris
(Security Analyst, Postgraduate from the Department of War Studies, King's College London, UK)

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 24 October 2015

The phenomenon of piracy attacks in the Horn of Africa against commercial vessels by mostly Somali-based pirates is not a new one. From 2008 to 2012 this kind of assaults presented an excessive incline creating a major problem for international commercial shipping in this part of East Africa and onwards. The continuous instability in this area and the strong feeling of insecurity and anxiety of the seafarers sailing through this route and especially in the Gulf of Aden created a certain necessity for some official anti-piracy action. Under those circumstances a specific region has been characterized as the Piracy High Risk Area and detailed instructions have been issued for the ships that would approach it.... Read more

memapTamir Libel
(Visiting Scholar in the Department of Political Studies at University of Trier and Non-resident Fellow with the Centre for War Studies at University College Dublin)

Kamran Bokhari
(Teaches national security and foreign policy courses at the Security & Policy Institute at the University of Ottawa and is the author of "Political Islam in the Age of Democratization")

Copyright: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/09/iran-israel-communication.html#ixzz3ngCI9dcX - Publication on RIEAS web site (www.rieas.gr) on 6 October 2015.

There are two major reasons why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should pull back from his hard-line opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal. First, Iran is on a path toward international rehabilitation, whereby the United States and its European allies will increasingly be working with Tehran on regional security in the Middle East. Second, geosectarianism is reshaping the regional strategic environment to where the bulk of the threat to Israeli security will be from Sunni as opposed to Shiite actors... Read more

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