Steven A. Cook

Este archivo solo abarca los artículos del autor incorporados a este sitio a partir del 1 de diciembre de 2006. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

A grab from handout footage released by Yemen's Huthi Ansarullah Media Centre on November 19, 2023, reportedly shows members of the rebel group during the capture of an Israel-linked cargo vessel at an undefined location in the Red Sea. ANSARULLAH MEDIA CENTRE/AFP via Getty Images

Yemen’s Ansar Allah—also known as the Houthis—poses a threat to commercial shipping in the Red Sea. From mid-November through mid-December, the group attacked at least 30 merchant ships in the area, prompting most of the world’s major shippers to reroute their vessels around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. The economic effects of these attacks have yet to be fully realized, but already insurances rates for shipping lines have doubled. Not only that, but circumnavigating Africa requires more time, fuel, and ships than routes through the Suez Canal, resulting in stretched supply chains and increased environmental damage.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators gather during a rally for Gaza outside the Israeli Consulate General in New York on Oct. 9. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

This was not supposed to happen. Israel’s vaunted military and ruthlessly efficient security services had Hamas bottled up in the Gaza Strip. Sure, every few years there was a conflict that followed a similar pattern: a provocation, Hamas rocket attacks, Israeli air strikes, Egyptian mediation, and then quiet again. Meanwhile, Israel’s diplomatic achievements piled up as it expanded its circle of peace to include the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan. Until a few days ago, Washington was debating when Saudi Arabia and Israel would normalize relations.

That was when people began getting news alerts on their devices informing them that Hamas had invaded Israel, killed many civilians and soldiers, and had yet to be subdued while a salvo of anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 rockets rained down on Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Tel Aviv.…  Seguir leyendo »

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi takes part in a meeting on the second day of a European Union-African Union summit at the European Council Building in Brussels on Feb. 18, 2022. Johanna Geron/AFP via Getty Images

According to Nashat al-Daihi, the host of an Egyptian television program called “With Pen and Paper”, I am in the pay of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was not the only Egyptian outraged over my last column, which was about how Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ruined Egypt. Sisi’s online supporters poured forth an endless amount of whataboutism and personal insults on my Twitter—er, X—timeline for what seemed like days, revealing once again that all hope for thoughtful debate on social media was lost long ago.

The claim is absurd on its face. There is simply no way that the Muslim Brotherhood would pay me for anything based on who I am and what I have written about them.…  Seguir leyendo »

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a press conference with his German counterpart in Istanbul on July 29, 2022. OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images

When I lived in Ankara in the early 2000s, I often spent time with Turks in their 20s and 30s. I recall a particular dinner conversation when we were discussing Turkish foreign policy and the country’s tortured relations with its NATO allies when one of them asked: “Why do Americans and Europeans insist that Turkey is either West or East? Why can’t we just be Turkey?” I fumbled around for an answer citing Turkish interests, the Cold War, and European Union membership before settling on “But Mustafa Kemal Atatürk! He wanted to ‘raise [Turkey] to the level of the most prosperous and civilized nations of the world.’…  Seguir leyendo »

Syrians are fond of saying that their country is “the beating heart of the Arab world,” having played an outsize role in the history and politics of the region, from the Islamic golden age in the 7th century and the Arab Revolt during World War I to the Arab-Israeli wars. After 2 1/2 years of civil conflict, however, it is becoming more difficult to think of Syria as the spirit and soul of the region.

Among the catalogue of horrors that Bashar al-Assad and his supporters have perpetrated against their people, the use of chemical weapons in Ghouta on Aug. 21 is particularly egregious.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the past five years, Turkey has veered from what was once a promising path of liberal democracy — and the European Union can pull it back.

The recent massive street protests in Istanbul started as a backlash against the government’s plan to develop a beloved park into a shopping mall, but they also reflect popular frustration at the country’s authoritarian turn, made clear in the rise of crony capitalism, intimidation by government forces and the centralization of power in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It was just a decade ago that then-Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told an audience at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy audience that the main reason his government was pursuing wide-ranging democratic reforms was the possibility of fully joining the European Union.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cairo is tense and polarized. Egypt’s military is groping for solutions to the many political and economic problems that have beset the country since the fall of the old government. Various political parties and groups are united in their opposition to military rule despite being divided among themselves. The Muslim Brotherhood, meanwhile, is trying to remain above the fray and out of the line of fire by making deals with the army. And despite the promise of parliamentary elections and the prospect of a new constitution, the situation remains highly unstable.

One could be forgiven for thinking this is a description of early 2012, but it is actually an account of early 1954, when Gamal Abdel Nasser and his military colleagues, known as the Free Officers, first consolidated their power in Egypt.…  Seguir leyendo »

Egyptians lined up this week to vote in the first Parliamentary elections since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak. The high turnout in a peaceful, orderly election contrasted sharply with the violence and chaos of the previous week, when hundreds of thousands returned to Tahrir Square after security forces killed at least 42 people and left 3,000 injured. But Washington should not be fooled by the peace that has returned to Egyptian streets. Even successful elections can not erase months of political mismanagement by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (S.C.A.F.) or the bloodshed committed under its auspices.

The U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »