From Pierre Tristam, former About.com Guide
Iran's Islamic Revolution
Iran isn't a Middle East conflict in the traditional sense. It is a conflicted and conflicting country with its hand in the conflicts of other regions, namely, through Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah in Lebanon, various militias in Iraq. But contrary to some perceptions, Iran's more overt aggressions, at least abroad, have been relatively few in the past half-century. It was attacked during the Iran-Iraq war, fought back and lost. It occasionally makes noise about wanting Persian Gulf islands. Otherwise, the conflicts in Iran are mostly internal--and brutal. Iran embodies a battle for the Persian and Islamic soul.
- Complete Guide to Iranian Politics Elections and Government
- Is Iran a Nuclear Threat to Israel?
- How Should Obama Deal With Iran? Policy Alternatives
- Iran's Nuclear Weapons Program: History and Prospects
- Who's To Say Iran Shouldn't Have the Bomb?
- The Arms-for-Hostages Iran-Contra Scandal: History and Consequences
- Ahmadinejad's Anti-Israel Show at UN Racism Conference
- Momentum Lost? Chilled Spines in Tehran
It is no longer "the Afghan War." It is the "Afpak theater of operation." The Taliban and al-Qaeda recognize no border between Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal regions. Nor did history, for most of those two countries' recent past. What happens in Afghanistan affects what will happen in Pakistan, and vice versa. For now, most of Afghanistan and all of Pakistan's tribal areas, plus large portions of its Northwest Frontier province, are under the sway of the Taliban, who give protection to al-Qaeda. Pakistan has been on the verge of a failed state since the late 1990s. The war on the Taliban is at a literal dead end.
- Why Pakistan Is Barack Obama's Biggest Middle East Challenge
- Obama's Afghanistan-Pakistan Strategy Scaled-Down Objectives
- What Is Pakistan's ISI or Inter-Services Intelligence?
- Pakistan: Country Profile
- Pakistan Beyond Musharraf
- Operation Enduring Folly: US Kills 60 More in Pakistan Air Strike
- Pakistan's North and South Waziristan Agencies
- What Are Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier and Federally Administered Tribal Areas?
- Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan: Profile
- Asif Ali Zardari: Profile
George W. Bush launched the war in Afghanistan in October 2001. It may become QAmerica's longest foreign war before long. What has been achieved since? Hard to tell. The country was briefly conquered whole, the Taliban defeated, al-Qaeda dispersed. But Bush never followed through, either by consolidating gains militarily or by investing in the country's physical, economic and educational infrastructure earnestly enough to make a dent in a country at war since the Soviet invasion of 1979. Afghanistan is now mostly back in the Taliban's control, a failed state with a future as nebulous as America's mission there.
- History of the Taliban
- U.S.-NATO Air Raids and Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan: The Facts
- Why Afghanistan Is the Wrong War
- "The Kite Runner" Controversy and Afghanistan's Regression
- Afghanistan: Country Profile
- Who Are the Ethnic Hazara Shiites of Afghanistan?
- President Bush Speech Launching Attack on Afghanistan and the Taliban
- Return of Religious Repression in Afghanistan
- The Buddha Statues of Bamiyan, Afghanistan
- How to Lose the War in Afghanistan
- Afghanistan, Seven Years On
- Losing Afghanistan
The Arab-Israeli Conflict
The longest conflict in the world, dating back to 1948, involves Arabs and Israelis, and more particularly, Palestinians and Israelis. Israel and neighboring Arab states have fought three major wars. Israel has invaded Lebanon three times. Israel and Palestinians have been fighting hot and cold wars since the early 1960s. The best way to make sense of all the strife is to break it down into its various parts.
- Israel's Separation Barrier in the West Bank
- Israeli Settlements in the West Bank - Numbers, Statistics and Law
- It's the Settlements, Stupid
- How Obama Can Resolve the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
- Benjamin Netanyahu's Offer of a Palestinian "State": An Analysis
- The Hamas-Israeli Conflict: Background, Primers, FAQs.
- Israel, Hamas and Gaza: Causes of War and Solutions
- Is Anti-Semitism an Arab Phenomenon? No
- What Is Fatah?
- What Is Hamas?
- Israel: Country Profile
- Palestine and Palestinians: A Profile
Once the most violent and consequential war in the Middle East, the Iraq war began with the American invasion and occupation. It spawned three major parallel conflicts: sectarian strife between Sunnis and Shiites; al-Qaeda-inspired terrorism; and Turkey's war on Kurds in northern Iraq. The conflict has since evolved. It's less bloody. Bu8t Iraq's future is no less unsettled as it has become a staging ground for the Iranian-American cold war. Here are links to Iraq's various sub-conflicts.
- The Iraq War Five Years On: An Overview
- Why Is the United States in Iraq?
- What Are the Costs of War in Iraq?
- Iraq War Timeline, Part 1: 1973-1993
- Iraq War Timeline, Part 2: 1993-2003