This category contains 155 posts

A Syrian Sea Change?

When Michael Young and Joshua Landis agree about the situation in Syria, it’s usually worth paying attention. The news is full of reports about rebel victories in Idlib and Jisr al-Shughur, and the clashes with Hizbullah in Qalamoun. Apparently, there are factions of Jabhat al-Nusra contemplating a break with Al-Qaeda, so as to make themselves more palatable to … Continue reading

A Puzzling Escalation in the Golan

The Syrian vortex has made strange bedfellows over the past year. The rise of the Islamic State had the effect of briefly putting everyone else on the same team, a federation of American fighter pilots, Hizbullah commandos, Syrian Army rank-and-file, and Iranian military strategists. Israel contributed the odd play, but mostly communicated its support for Team World in the language … Continue reading

Revisiting the Dystopia

Last year around this time, I spent an afternoon imagining what a worst-case scenario would look like for Lebanon in 2014. Here’s an excerpt to jog your memory: “As the year draws to a close, Lebanon exists in a state of low-intensity civil war. The Army has begun to fracture along sectarian lines. Saudi-bought French weaponry begins … Continue reading

An Untold Lebanese Refugee Story

Someone recently forwarded me an article from the Anti-Racism Movement’s website, about a new, apparently unofficial, policy to stop renewing the residence permits for the children of migrant workers in Lebanon. Here’s a clip from the piece: Since early this summer, the General Security had decided, without explanation or prior warning, with no new decision or … Continue reading

Of Maps and Men

A few months ago, my friend Joshua Landis wrote an essay for this blog called “The Great Sorting Out,” which generated one of the more interesting discussions we’ve hosted. I’ve been thinking about Joshua’s argument ever since, and trying to make sense of what I find to be right and wrong about it. This piece at The New … Continue reading

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