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sarinphoto1Seymour M. Hersh
(Investigative journalist and political writer based in Washington D.C. USA. He is a long time contributor to The New Yorker magazine on national security matters and has also written for the London Review of Books since 2013)

Copyright: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n24/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin

Note: RIEAS received permission from the Author, Mr. Seymour M. Hersh and the London Review of Books to post the article.

Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad. Read more

trumphoto109Gregg Roman
(Director of the Middle East Forum, a research center headquartered in Philadelphia, USA)

Copyright: http://www.meforum.org/6636/syria-trump-doctrine

When Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched the 21stcentury's second deadliest chemical weapons attack on Tuesday, President Trump .. Read more

moroc17Nizar Visram
(Ottawa-based free-lance writer from Zanzibar, Tanzania. Recently retired Senior lecturer on Development studies, he extensively publishes in over 50 countries on 4 continents)

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) – Publication on 26 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).

ADDISA ABEBA: At the 28th Summit meeting of the African Union (AU) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 30 January 2017, Morocco’s readmission to the continental body generated heated discussion. At the end of the day the Kingdom of Morocco managed to win over sufficient member states on its side and it was allowed to join the fold unconditionally.....Read more

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

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