Middle East Week

Sam Heller comes on the show to talk about infighting in Jabhat al-Nusrah, JaN’s evolving strategy in Syria, and their relationship with Ahrar al-Sham and other jihadi groups in Syria.

Sam’s recent posts on Jihadology.net:

Links:

Direct download: Sam_Heller_Dec_14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:49pm EDT

Nate Rabkin comes back on the show to talk about the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). We discussed the problems that were exposed by the ISIS advance this summer, efforts over the past few months to rebuild the ISF, the importance of Shiite militias in Iraq, the lack of cooperation between the ISF and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, what US airstrikes and military advisors mean for the ISF, current problems within the ISF, and more.

Nate is the managing editor of Inside Iraqi Politics, an excellent newsletter with in-depth information and analysis on Iraq.

Subscribe to the Middle East Week podcast in iTunes

Direct download: Nate_Rabkin_Dec_14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:10am EDT

Aaron Stein joins me for part 2 of our discussion on Turkey’s Middle East foreign policy. You can listen to part 1 here.

In this episode we talked about Turkey’s foreign policy towards Syria and Iraq, from the time the AKP came to power in 2002 to the current crisis.

Sponsor:

Scrivener - a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents.

Direct download: SourcesOfTurkishConduct_pt2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:15pm EDT

Aaron Stein joins me for a joint Middle East Week and Turkey Wonk podcast about Turkey’s foreign policy in the Middle East. This is part one of two episodes that are based on a forthcoming book by Aaron on this topic. In this first part we discussed:

  • Turkey’s policy of “Strategic Depth”
  • The motivations behind the AKP’s foreign policy strategy
  • Turkey’s role as mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and their support for Hamas
  • How Turkey reacted to the start of the Arab Spring in Tunisia
  • Turkey’s reaction to the uprising in Libya and their role in the current conflict
  • The ups and downs of Turkey’s foreign policy in Egypt after the fall of Mubarak

Links:

Sponsor:

Scrivener - a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents.

Direct download: SourcesOfTurkishConductPt1.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:18pm EDT

Michael Knights comes back on the show to discuss issues related to Kurdish independence. Topics covered include:

  • Kurdish autonomy through the 1990’s and 2000’s
  • The Kurdish economy and the importance of oil
  • Unity and cooperation amongst various Kurdish political parties and organizations
  • The potential future importance of Kurdish natural gas
  • How the international community has approached the issue of Kurdish independence
  • What the future could hold for Kurdish political and economic independence

Links:

Direct download: Michael_Knights_Nov_14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:28am EDT

Adam Baron comes on the show to discuss the ongoing political chaos in Yemen. Topics covered include:

  • Who the Houthis are, and where they get their power and influence
  • Saleh’s continued grip on power and recent connections to the Houthis
  • The Islamist Islah party’s current status
  • How AQAP fits into the current chaos
  • What president Hadi has been able to accomplish over the past two years
  • The importance of local politics in Yemen
  • The relevance of the international community (including the recent sanctions) on Yemeni politics
  • Problems with viewing the situation in Yemen through a sectarian lens

Links:

Sponsor:
Hover - Simplified domain management. The best place to go to buy a .com .net .org & more.

Direct download: Adam_Baron_Nov_14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:42pm EDT

Yasmine Ryan comes back on the show to talk about the recent elections in Tunisia. We talked about the major political parties in Tunisia (going beyond Islamist vs. secular), the level of participation and interest in the political process, economic challenges facing Tunisia, the upcoming presidential election, and more.

Sponsor:
Scrivener - a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents.

Direct download: Yasmine_Ryan_Nov_14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56pm EDT

Humera Khan comes on the show to discuss countering violent extremism (CVE) and deradicalisation. We talked about CVE strategies, how CVE differs from counter-terrorism, the role of social media in CVE, and much more.

Sponsor:
Scrivener - a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents.

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

Direct download: Humera_Khan_25_Oct_14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:26pm EDT

Jeffrey Lewis comes on the show to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. We cover many arms control issues related to the ongoing negotiations.

Sponsor:
Scrivener - a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents.

Direct download: Jeffrey_Lewis_Oct_14.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:57am EDT

Aaron Zelin comes back on the show to discuss the Khorasan group, US-led airstrikes on Jabhat al-Nusra targets in addition to ISIS, the potential for JaN-ISIS reconciliation, jihadis in Gaza, and more.

Sponsor:
Scrivener - A powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents.

Direct download: Zelin_3_Oct_14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:58pm EDT