Category Archives: Middle East and North Africa

March Madness at Notes on the Periphery!: Part 5 (full bracket)

Over the past month, Will Vogt and I have unveiled an entire “bracket,” modeled off the 68-team format used during college basketball’s final tournament, to provide a short preview of 64 “forgotten” conflicts across the world. In each “regional”—Middle East … Continue reading

Posted in Balkans, Caucasus, Central Africa, East Africa, Europe, Latin America, March Madness, Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, territorial disputes, terrorism, West Africa | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Al Qaeda’s Gamble in Mali

A few years from now, when the first full-length book on Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is written (any takers?), how will it characterize the group’s recent adventure in Mali? My bet: Mali will be described as a … Continue reading

Posted in Al Qaeda, Algeria, Mali, Middle East and North Africa, terrorism, West Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

March Madness at Notes on the Periphery!: Part 1 (Europe and the Middle East)

It’s mid-March. Those of you in the United States know what that means: it’s time for the most exciting three weeks of the year—NCAA college basketball’s final tournament. Each year, 68 college teams (annoyingly bumped up from 65 a few … Continue reading

Posted in Al Qaeda, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Balkans, Caucasus, Cyprus, Egypt, Europe, Georgia, Iraq, Kosovo, Libya, March Madness, Middle East and North Africa, North Caucasus, Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia, territorial disputes, terrorism, Tunisia, Turkey, Western Sahara, Yemen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Syria and Bosnia: A Series (Intro)

INTRODUCTION Some experts are just now starting to compare the magnitude of bloodshed in Syria for a little over two years now with that of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992-1995. But the comparison is almost always surface-level, mostly confined to commenting on the … Continue reading

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Book thoughts: “The Last Refuge: Yemen, al-Qaeda, and America’s War in Arabia” by Gregory Johnsen (2013)

Most counterterrorism wonks know the basic story of al-Qaeda’s rise: the brainchild of a rich and charismatic Saudi (Osama bin Ladin) and an Egyptian doctor-cum-theologian and terror organizer (Ayman al-Zawahiri); jihad against the Soviets in 1980s Afghanistan; the move to … Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews, Middle East and North Africa, terrorism, Yemen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Militaries’ Post-Revolutionary Experiences in Libya and Egypt

There’s been a lot of discussion this week about the fate of the post-revolution Libyan army, especially in the context of the Libyan government potentially giving the go-ahead to Ansar al-Sharia (the same group, you’ll remember, widely held to be behind … Continue reading

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