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December 2014

ISIS and the Third Wave of Jihadism
by Fawaz A. Gerges
“There is no simple or quick solution to rid the Middle East of ISIS because it is a manifestation of the breakdown of state institutions and the spread of sectarian fires in the region.”

The Saudi Thermidor
by Frederic Wehrey
“Saudi Arabia has emerged as the most vigorous stalwart of what can best be described as the reactionary period of the Arab uprisings—their 'Thermidorian' phase.”

The Silent Victory of the Israeli Settlers’ Movement
by Ami Pedahzur
“The visions of the Jewish settlers and the Palestinian Islamists regarding the future of the contested land are the epitome of fundamentalism, since they are not only mutually exclusive but also unyielding.”

Turkey at a Tipping Point
by Jenny White
“By pulling the levers of suspicion and social polarization, Erdogan appeals to the conservative nationalist core of his supporters, but he is out of touch with a large part of the population.”

Kurdish Nationalism’s Moment of Truth?
by Michael Eppel
“Prolonged instability and violence or state collapse in Syria and Iraq, as well as major changes in Turkish attitudes, may produce the right conditions for the establishment of a Kurdish state or new autonomous regions.” Third in a series on resurgent nationalism around the world.

Perspective: Obama’s Middle East Headaches
by Augustus Richard Norton
Barack Obama has tried to reduce American involvement in the region, but events keep pulling him back in. Iraq and Syria are spiraling out of control, while allies only make things worse.

Books: Syria in the Abyss
by Max Weiss
A new book by journalist Reese Erlich offers a tour of the hell that Syria has become, and an explanation of how it got there. To bring peace, he argues, foreign intervention must end.

The Month in Review: October 2014
by the editors of Current History
An international chronology of events in October, country by country, day by day.

2014 Current History Index
by the editors of Current History
January-December 2014

Map of the Middle East
by the editors of Current History

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