Thriving on conflict, sectarianism, and local opportunism, al-Qaeda’s affiliates are stronger than ever in Yemen. To shrink their growing base will require better governance in vulnerable areas, not treating all Sunni Islamists as one enemy, and above all ending Yemen’s civil war.
CrisisWatch is a monthly early warning bulletin designed to provide a regular update on the state of the most significant situations of conflict around the world.
The one-year-old Iran nuclear deal has succeeded in its goal of blocking nuclear proliferation and opening the door to Iranian economic recovery. But it remains in jeopardy unless both Washington and Tehran defend and extend the spirit as well as the letter of the accord.
New frictions in Iraq and Syria threaten Ankara and Tehran’s usually peaceful management of their Middle East rivalries. To rebuild trust and avert open conflict, they should coordinate de-escalation, exchange intelligence and designate representatives to open a new channel between their leaders.
Iraqi youth who came of age during the post-2003 turmoil share a sense of hopelessness and disempowerment. Across the political spectrum, they feel trapped: join a protest movement or militia, or emigrate. Even amid the severe challenges the government and its partners face, this generation must be prioritised, lest Iraq’s most important resource become a major security threat.
Yemen's outlook is bleak. It is crucial that the opposing blocs and their regional allies commit to a political process to resolve the conflict, but there is no end in sight. The immediate priority should be an agreement on humanitarian aid and commercial goods for areas where civilians are under siege.
Some in the West hope the nuclear deal with Iran will empower the country’s moderates. But playing Iranian domestic politics directly could backfire. The West should recognise that any change will be gradual, best supported by implementing the nuclear accord, resuming trade, and diplomacy that balances Iranian and Arab interests in the Middle East.
The [Huthis] almost certainly receive some smuggled weapons, but these are not decisive in their ability to continue the war [in Yemen].
With the [Iran nuclear] deal in jeopardy, the system will be in vital need of Rouhani’s team of smiling diplomats and economic technocrats to shift the blame to the U.S. and keep Iran's economy afloat.
The [recent U.S.] raid ignores the local political context in Yemen, to the detriment of an effective counter-terrorism strategy.
The use of U.S. troops and the high number of civilian casualties . . . are deeply inflammatory and breed anti-American resentment across the Yemeni political spectrum that works to the advantage of AQAP.
The longer the war continues in Yemen, the stronger al-Qaeda is likely to get.
It’s either an empty threat or a clear statement of intent [by the Trump administration] to go to war with Iran. Both are reckless and dangerous.
Le nombre élevé de victimes du raid antiterroriste américain du 1er février au Yémen risque d’aggraver plutôt que d’aider à résoudre un conflit qui est la raison principale de l’expansion d’Al-Qaida dans la péninsule arabique (AQPA) dans ce pays dévasté. Sous forme de questions-réponses, April Longley Alley explique pourquoi.
Originally published in Orient XXI
High civilian casualties from the latest U.S. counter-terrorism raid in Yemen risk aggravating rather than helping to resolve a conflict that is the principal reason for the growth of al-Qaeda in the devastated country.
Why renegotiation is better than repudiation.
Originally published in Foreign Affairs
Originally published in The New York Times
In this video, Crisis Group's Middle East and North Africa Program Director Joost Hiltermann lays out the dangers that the nuclear accord with Iran may face under a future Trump administration and calls for the international community to unite in support of their deal with Tehran.