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Foreign Affairs Reviews Once Upon A Revolution: An Egyptian Story

The latest review of TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis's book, Once Upon a Revolution: An Egyptian Story has been published in the May/June 2015 issue of Foreign Affairs.

Cambanis’ analysis is sharp, and he does not hold back when it comes to graphically depicting the Egyptian state’s violence against its own people, be they Coptic Christians or Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

Read the review here.

Tags: once upon a revolution, foreign affairs, book review

Egyptians Question President’s Decision to Go to War in Yemen

In Egypt, a public debate is growing regarding whether or not the country should go to war in Yemen in an attempt to combat Houthi rebels in the region. TCF fellow Michael Hanna commented on the Yemen debate and how a decision to go to war could leave the Egyptian government with a dissatisfied public.

“This is the kind of situation where they [the state] could face very real public disgruntlement and dissent. There are very few issues that could produce that kind of reaction. This seems like one,” said Hanna. “There has been an interesting level of questioning. That hasn’t been the case in the past year and a half.”

Read more on the discussion surrounding Egypt's involvement in Yemen at TIME.

Tags: time magazine, saudi arabia, egyptian government, conflict, abdul-fattah el-sisi

Iran is Winning the War for Dominance of the Middle East

There is a continuous battle for Middle Eastern dominance, with the two loose coalitions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, neither of whom have any solid grasp of what good governance would resemble in the region. TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis says that despite the highly regional localized struggle, the U.S. should "take particular care in this conflict."

Sure, it’s bizarre to see the U.S. military working with Iran to battle the Islamic State in Iraq, while working against Tehran in Yemen. It’s also refreshing. This isn’t a homily; it’s foreign policy. It’s encouraging to see the United States operating around the edges of a complex, multiparty conflict and finding ways to advance American interests.

Read Cambanis's full article.

Tags: saudi arabia, middle east violence, middle east conflict, iran

When Diplomacy Is Most Needed, America Flees

Yemen has erupted into one of the world's scariest hot spots for conflict in the past month. But rather than ordering on-the-ground intelligence representatives to learn more about how to contain and mitigate the regional war that has ensued, all US civilian, miliary, and intelligence personnel have been ordered to pack up and leave the country. According to TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis, in the post-9/11, post-Benghazi era, US diplomacy has become increasingly fearful. In his latest article, Cambanis asks what costs come with this cautious approach to diplomacy.

Throughout the combustible region stretching from Pakistan to Morocco, where America has expended most of its foreign policy energy in the last four decades, its diplomatic presence operates at a paralyzing remove, behind concrete as well as perceptual barriers. And intentionally or not, the result leaves the United States flying blind in places where information is the hardest to obtain and where diplomacy may be the most vital.

Cambanis's article can be found in the Boston Globe.

Tags: thanassis cambanis, diplomacy, conflict, boston globe

Obama Removes Weapons Freeze Against Egypt

President Obama has lifted a nearly two-year arms freeze against Egypt in an attempt to repair relations with the country at a time when war is spreading across the Middle East. The deal came with restrictions, however, including Obama's announcement that Egypt will no longer be allowed to draw credit from future foreign aid to purchase American arms. TCF fellow Michael Hanna commented on the agreement in a new article discussing the decision:

“Now the military aid could be much more easily discontinued in the future,” said Michael Wahid Hanna, a researcher at the Century Foundation in New York. “This is a very far-reaching step.”

To read more, find the article in the New York Times.

Tags: obama, new york times, michael wahid hanna, egyptian government, arms deal, abdel fattah al-sisi

Reading Room: Thanassis Cambanis *00

TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis, who was a member of Princeton's Class of 2000, is featured in this week's edition of the university's alumni magazine. The feature highlights Cambanis, his book Once Upon a Revolution, and his time spent in the Middle East in recent years.

When the revolution erupted in Egypt in 2011, journalist Thanassis Cambanis *00 knew he had to be there: “It was clearly a historical moment for the Arab world.” In Once Upon a Revolution, Cambanis tells the story of two ordinary Egyptians who threw themselves into overthrowing President Hosni Mubarak and championing democracy, in different ways.

Find the article in the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

Tags: thanassis cambanis, once upon a revolution, egyptian revolution, egyptian protests, book review


Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

In the first years of the new century, an assertive foreign policy took a toll on the cultivated role of the U.S. as a responsible global leader. The Century Foundation's work in this area provides perspective on the international difficulties the U.S. is facing today, while providing policy recommendations to promote the nation's security interests. Our research and analysis focuses on effectively responding to challenges in the Middle East and Pakistan, as well as responding to international crime.

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