Weekly discussion of Middle East policy, arts, and culture, featuring experts from the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.
29:54Marsin Alshamary joins the program to discuss the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections on Oct. 10. Originally scheduled for 2022, the elections were moved up amid pressure from the Tishreen protest movement that began in late 2019. MEI Senior Fellow Randa Slim also speaks with two long-time watchers of Iraqi politics, Farhad Alaaldin and Naufel Alhassan, about how they see things playing out and the impact the elections might have on Iraq’s political landscape going forward.
Iran and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
31:19Iulia Sabina-Joja and Alex Vatanka join today's program to discuss Iranian foreign policy and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Amid growing concerns about the regional repercussions of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the SCO met for its 20th anniversary summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on September 16th and 17th. Regional security cooperation and Iranian accession were at the top of the agenda, with Iran formally joining the organization as a full member on September 17th.
9/11’s legacy for U.S.-Middle East relations
33:34Ross Harrison, Paul Salem, and Randa Slim join host Alistair Taylor to reflect on 9/11’s impact on US policy in the Middle East over the past 20 years and how its legacy has been viewed by the region.
16:28Maati Monjib and Rachid Aourraz join guest host Intissar Fakir to discuss the results of Morocco's Sept. 8 general elections, their context and why they are important, and what they signal about political trends in the country moving forward.
The state of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
23:46Elisabeth Kendall and Nadwa al-Dawsari join Charles Lister to discuss Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its place in Yemen’s persistent internal conflict.
A Case Study in Irregular Warfare
27:18Mick Mulroy and Ken Tovo join host Alistair Taylor to discuss their recent paper on how US intelligence and military operatives effectively collaborated with local Kurdish partners in Northern Iraq in the early 2000s, why it was a successful partnership, and what lessons it may provide for future operations. The paper, “Irregular Warfare: A Case Study in CIA and US Army Special Forces Operations in Northern Iraq, 2002-03," is available now on MEI's website.
Al Qaeda and lessons from the past 20 years of counterterrorism
29:53Peter Bergen and Colin Clarke join guest host Charles Lister to discuss Bergen’s new book, The Rise and Fall of Osama Bin Laden, as well as the Biden administration’s handling of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and concerns about the country once again becoming a safe haven for Al Qaeda under the Taliban.
The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan
14:33Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, director of MEI’s Afghanistan and Pakistan program, joins host Alistair Taylor for a bonus episode responding to the Taliban’s rapid overthrow of the Afghan military and government over the past week.
First Anniversary of the Abraham Accords
27:08Amb. Dennis Ross and Karen Young join guest host Gerald Feierstein to discuss the progress of relations between Israel and the Arab world one year after the signing of the Abraham Accords, as well as the agreement's economic impacts and what role the United States will play moving forward.
Ebrahim Raisi and the future of Iran
29:08Ebrahim Raisi was sworn in as Iran's new president on August 5. Ali Alfoneh and Henry Rome join guest host Alex Vatanka, director of MEI's Iran Program, to discuss the political and economic challenges the new president will contend with, his relationship to Ayatollah Khamenei, and the future of Iran and the country's leadership.