Middle East

Uparming ‘Little Sparta’: The Impact of Emirati F-35s on Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge and the History of Arab Military Effectiveness

In this post Jack Sargent explores the implications of the US’s intention to sell the F-35 fighter jet to the United Arab Emirates. He argues that this move could present a serious challenge to Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge, despite the fact that similar US deals with Egypt and Saudi Arabia have failed to overcome Israeli dominance in the region. 


In […]

November 2nd, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Were the Bahrain-Israel and Israel-UAE agreements historic deals?

In this article, Jeremy Pressman analyses the recent normalisation of relations agreements between Bahrain, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He places the deals within the wider history of Arab-Israeli relations in the Middle East and compares them to previous diplomatic breakthroughs in the region. Ultimately, he concludes that while the agreements are a modest diplomatic achievement, they […]

September 30th, 2020|Uncategorized|22 Comments|

Yezidis: Melodies of Mourning and Remembrance

In this article Kasia Micklem explores the revival of musical traditions among Yezidi communities in refugee camps in Iraq and argues that through music the ostracised populace is able to preserve its history, identity and heritage despite systematic attacks by the so-called Islamic State to erase the non-Muslim ‘other’.

The Yezidis are a Kurdish-speaking religious minority that first emerged as […]

September 13th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Hafez al-Assad’s Legacy and the Syrian Civil War

In 2010 the Arab Spring and subsequent armed rebellions destabilised authoritarian regimes in the Middle-East and North Africa, causing the downfall of many long-standing dictators and oligarchs. Although Syria was engulfed by the movement and the Civil War that followed, unlike his counterparts, President Bashar al-Assad survived the onslaught and has since regained control of most of the nation. […]

August 10th, 2020|Uncategorized|1 Comment|

Controlling the Gulf: US Policy and the Military Incompetence of Imperial Iran and Saudi Arabia

US efforts to secure the vast oil resources of the Persian Gulf exacerbated the military incompetence of Imperial Iran and Saudi Arabia. In this article, by examining the military incompetence of Saudi Arabia in Yemen and Imperial Iran in Dhofar (Oman), Jack Sargent outlines the failure of the US to encourage meaningful reforms.


US engagement with the Persian Gulf in […]

U.S Proxy Warfare: Patterns in Middle Eastern Conflicts     

‘Today, we tell the despotic regime in Saudi Arabia that we will not be part of their military adventurism’, said Senator Bernie Sanders on 13 December 2018, as the Senate voted to end U.S military support for Saudi Arabia’s conflict in Yemen. Despite bipartisan support for this resolution, passing in both the Senate in March and the House just […]

September 3rd, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

A brief history of chemical warfare: from Sparta to Syria

William King gives a historical overview of chemical warfare. 

The assassination of Kim Jong-nam with VX on 13 February and the recurrent use of Sarin against civilians in the Syrian conflict have thrust chemical warfare agents back in the international spotlight. What are these agents, and where did they originally come from? How does their recent use fit within the […]

April 25th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment|

Diplomatic Relations After The Iran Nuclear Deal

With the US Congress just a week away from voting on the Iran nuclear deal – a historic deal that has already improved relations between Iran and the West – LSE Associate Professor of International History, Dr Roham Alvandi, spoke to BBC News about UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s visit to Iran.  The Foreign Secretary was in Iran to re-open Britain’s embassy, which […]

September 9th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|