Middle Eastern Countries By: Justin Sunderhaus
Tunisia • For years, Tunisia was known as the most European country of North Africa, with a broad gender equality and welcoming Mediterranean beaches. But in 2011, it was center stage as the launching pad of the wave of revolt that swept through the Arab world and beyond. • For all its modern traits, Tunisia had a repressive government in a region full of police states, and levels of corruption became intolerable once the economy gripped southern Europe spread to the country.
Algeria • Algeria is an important partner in counterterrorism and the fight against Al Qaeda groups. The Algerian economy is largely based on hydrocarbons, and the country is a significant source of natural gas. Algeria receives security force benefits from U.S. security assistance and participation in bilateral and regional military cooperation programs. • Algeria is relatively stable, but has recently been challenged by a series of riots and strikes that have occurred since early January 2011.
Egypt • Egypt remains locked in a process of political transition after the resignation of the long-serving leader Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Mohammed Morsi won the June 2012 presidential elections, but the military retains a lot of power. • Egypt’s first democratically elected parliament was dissolved in June 2012, leaving the country with no parliament and no constitution. This legal vacuum has created a political tug-of-war between the civilian president and the military.
Libya • Currently in Libya, there is an increased level of violence between protesters and the government of autocratic leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
Saudi Arabia • A power struggle between the royal family and the Wahhabi religious establishment is slowly coming to the open. Whereas in the past year this was limited to a radical faction of the Wahhabi establishment, now the entire Wahhabi order is involved and the resultant situation in Saudi Arabia. • It is far more complicated than what one may perceive from the surface.
Jordan • The situation in Jordan is not what you would consider normal. Jordan has been swept up in the way of protests that have rocked the Arab world.
Yemen • Yemen is a poor, deeply divided country that has been in turmoil since January 2011, when protesters inspired by the Arab Spring took to the streets in a violent uprising against the autocratic rule of President Ali Abdullah Salehat a cost of hundreds of deaths and rising chaos.
Syria • The current situation in Syria remains one of the most important components of the Middle Eastern and international policies. Using Syria’s domestic crisis and pursuing their own goals NATO’s leading states, Israel, Turkey and the monarchies of the Persian Gulf are trying to undermine the Syrian regime.