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The Arab Spring Was a Revolution of the Hungry

Four years after the Egyptian revolution, Egypt has watched as its government has once again come under a dictator's rule. In a new article, TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis discusses why much of the Arab world's upheaval can be attributed to the region's food insecurity.

The ruler who controls the main staples of life — bread and fuel — often controls everything else, too.

Read more on what Cambanis describes as the "revolution of the hungry" in the Boston Globe.

Tags: food scarcity, egyptian uprisings, egyptian revolutions, arab spring

Egypt: Back to the Future

TCF senior fellow Michael Wahid Hanna's recent report citing Egypt's next stage of sustainable instability has been quoted in a new piece comparing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi with Egypt's second president, Gamel Abdel Nasser:

On television, the uniformed Sisi consoled his troops and insisted that "things are totally stable". However, according to Michael Wahid Hanna of The Century Foundation in New York, the likeliest prospect for Egypt is several years of "sustainable instability".

Read the full article in the Africa Report.

Tags: egyptian politics, cairo, al sisi

Islamic State Affiliate Claims Beheading of Croatian Hostage

The Islamic State's Egyptian affiliate, Sinai Province, announced Wednesday that it has beheaded Croatian energy worker, Tomislav Salopek. Commenting on the execution, TCF senior fellow Michael Hanna discussed the consequences of this behavior:

“This is already an insular moment for Egypt and it’s quite possible that the country could be seen as not only an inhospitable environment for foreigners, but a dangerous one—and that is [Sinai Province’s] intention,” said Michael Hanna, an Egypt analyst with the Century Foundation in New York.

Read more on the alleged execution at the Wall Street Journal.

Tags: terrorism, islamic state of iraq and syria, extremism

Egypt to Open New Improved Suez Canal

Egypt has just expanded the Suez Canal following the completion of a multi-billion dollar construction project. TCF senior fellow Michael Hanna, commenting on the expansion, has said that the Egyptian government will likely try to use the completed project as an opportunity to project the image of a stable Egypt to the outside world.

“If they’re able to carry it out without any compromising security incidents, they’re also going to use this as an opportunity to project a different image of Egypt, an image of Egypt as stable, able to carry out major public works, and defend competently against these jihadi enemies,” said Michael Hanna, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation in New York.

Read the full article in TIME.

Tags: time magazine, jihadists, egyptian politics

After Mullah Omar, Taliban Leaders Face a Legitimacy Crisis

The longtime leader of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammad Omar, has officially been confirmed dead. The leadership transition after his death will inevitably been one fraught with challenges to the Taliban's credibility, says TCF senior fellow Michael Wahid Hanna.

The authority of Omar, referred to by his followers as the amir ul-mo’mineen (commander of the faithful), was unquestioned and supreme. His death deprives today’s Taliban leaders of a vital source of political authority to back policies that may be challenged by the movement’s rank and file. Decisions can no longer be cast as commands from him, and it’s unlikely that any successor could achieve equivalent political authority. As a result, his death will challenge the Taliban’s ability to maintain its unity of purpose and mobilization.

Learn more about the Taliban's legitimacy crisis in Hanna's latest article for Al Jazeera America.

Tags: taliban, al qaeda, afghanistan

A Plan for Syria

Following a resolution to the Iran nuclear negotiations, the United States must now shift its focus to achieving political stability in war-torn Syria—despite its reluctance.

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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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