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Questions tagged [middle-east]

Questions related to politics of the Middle East and/or any of the territories within it (use the relevant tag of the Country alongside this).

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38
votes
7answers
12k views

Why does the U.S military use mercenaries?

With a defense budget now totaling ~686-billion dollars a year – which is about the size of the next 8 largest defense budgets combined (figure) – why does the U.S military see the need to ...
35
votes
5answers
11k views

What reason would the Obama Administration have for releasing $221M to Palestine, right before leaving office?

I had just learned of this from Bradley's question here. What reasons would that administration have for suddenly giving such a large amount of money to a country in direct conflict with one of its ...
28
votes
7answers
10k views

Why did Arab spring and Iranian green revolution fail, but the European revolutions didn't?

Why did the Arab spring back a few years ago fail for the most part, the Iranian green movement didn't get the result it wanted, but the European revolutions (such as French revolution in part or ...
27
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4answers
4k views

Why is redrawing the artificial borders not a viable solution to conflicted states?

Multiple states in Middle East and Africa seem to be stuck in violent conflicts that seem to be reoccurring and nearly inevitable because of the unstable internal power balance of various ethnic or ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do the Palestinian refugees have special status among the refugees?

The UN body dedicated to protect and help the refugees all around the world is the UNHCR - except for the Palestinian refugees who are the sole group to have their own, specially dedicated UN body: ...
19
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5answers
7k views

Why are there never-ending wars in the Middle East?

War seems to be a normal daily routine in the Middle East, the war in Iraq, Syria... Why are these countries not normal? Or is it due to external powers keeping those countries at constant wars in ...
14
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6answers
2k views

Why is nobody worried about Pakistan's nuclear program?

I'm asking about what seems to me to be a double standard in the level of concern, in the media and among world leaders, regarding the nuclear capability of two states in the Greater Middle East. The ...
14
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1answer
2k views

What is the most democratic Arab country?

Using measurements of majority-rule, human rights, liberties, gap between highest and lower classes, which is the most 'democratic' Arab country today?
12
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2answers
857 views

How many new settlements did Israel build in the last decade in the West Bank?

How many new settlements did Israel build in the last decade in the West Bank? I mean I've seen many news about Israeli settlement "expansion" in various international media but when looked into it ...
11
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2answers
819 views

Why US has a biased approach towards Shia Militants

I have been observing Middle-east for past 5/6 years and have observed a clear biased approach by US towards Sunni and Shia militants US Behaviour towards Sunni Militants Countless Drones in North-...
10
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2answers
1k views

Are there any political parties in Saudi Arabia?

Are there any political parties in Saudi Arabia? If there aren't any, then what stops the establishment of such parties?
10
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1answer
340 views

What has been the result (so far) of the new US sanctions on Iran?

About 14 months ago, President Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran. As I remember, one of goals of the sanctions was to reduce Iran's influence in the Middle East by reducing its financial resources. ...
10
votes
1answer
221 views

Does Saudi Arabia support Baathist resistance in Iraq?

Does Saudi Arabia support Baathist resistance in Iraq, currently led by Ad-Douri? Do they want to install a similar regime as in Egypt to counter the Qatari influence?
9
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2answers
3k views

Do Sunnis support monarchy and Shias support republic?

In several accounts about the Sunni-Shia conflicts erupting in the Middle East (such as this one) the Sunnis are usually viewed as taking the side of a monarchy and the Shia the side of the rebels ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is Hizb ut-Tahrir outlawed in Muslim countries but allowed in Western Countries?

Hizb ut Tahrir is an International, Pan-Islamist Organization which aims to unite the Muslims under the Caliphate (as its promised with them in prophecies) and its proposed state would have Sharia law ...
9
votes
1answer
241 views

How much international aid does the Palestinian Authority receive?

I'm interested in all money which goes to the Palestinian Authority, from Western countries or otherwise. Also, how much international aid goes to the West Bank through other channels (like UNWRA or ...
8
votes
1answer
155 views

How did the US approval ratings in the Middle East change over the last two decades?

How did the US approval ratings in the Middle East change over the last two decades? Did US approval ratings go down, did they stay the same or did they rise?
7
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3answers
1k views

Why is Iran determined by U.S. as the biggest state sponsor of terror in the world today?

This is the official stance of the Trump administration. Was it also the position of the Obama administration and Bush administration? What is this based on? I know that America considers Hezbollah ...
7
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4answers
12k views

How come ISIS does not attack China or Japan or other Asian countries?

How come ISIS does not attack China or Japan or other Asian countries? Do they have no hatred for Asian countries? Is it solely the Western society that they are after? But that wouldn't make sense:...
7
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4answers
1k views

What is the reason behind Qatar isolation?

It is very clear that, in last few years, Qatar has become a little independent of its politics from the Saudi Arabia. Most Arab countries are followers to KSA which is a itself a follower for USA. ...
6
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6answers
3k views

Why Saddam Hussein was captured but Assad is still spared by America?

There were 2 major reasons for capturing Saddam: Possessing WMDs (Never proved completely) Killing Shias by Chemical Weapons In the neighbourhood of same Iraq, Bashar Al Assad has been doing ...
6
votes
3answers
930 views

Why do we call the Syrian refugees refugees?

According to the legal definition of being a refugee, a refugee is someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Why are most Islamic countries less democratic/more corrupt than most Western countries? [closed]

Why are most Islamic governments, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, less democratic and more corrupt than most Christian-aligned countries particularly in the West?
6
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4answers
681 views

Why would US NOT sanction Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's possible killing?

We have a question about motivating western countries to start sanctions against Saudi Arabia. It is rather simple question - murdering and torture in embassy are hard things to explain And what is ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Why the West supports Al-Qaeda in Syria? [closed]

Currently the main force of the non-ISIS opposition to Syrian government is the Islamic Front group, a loose conglomerate of several groups, the strongest of which is the An-Nusra front, a Syrian ...
6
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3answers
376 views

What has been Russia's response to the US strikes on Syria?

Russia warned of consequences for the strikes against Syria, and it seems they have made warnings prior to the strikes. Has there been a response or a mobilization of their military that might ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Why does ISIS have bombable infrastructure?

I am wondering why ISIS built and/or took control of certain highly visible infrastructure that the U.S. and allies are now bombing, e.g. "four checkpoints, two guard towers and a command post." ...
6
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4answers
807 views

How does the US justify its drone attacks? [closed]

How does the US justify ethically and legally its drone attacks in the Greater Middle East ( especially in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan)? For instance killing their own citizens in some of ...
6
votes
2answers
375 views

Yemen - why isn't the West distancing itself from the blockade?

This question really isn't about the airstrikes and civilian casualties. Nor it is about the arms sales to Saudi Arabia. These are real concerns, but similar to those found in many other conflicts. ...
5
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5answers
1k views

Why do so few Arab countries have nuclear energy power plants?

According to Wikipedia there are no Arab countries that have a functioning nuclear energy program. (Indeed, Pakistan and Iran are the only Muslim countries to do so, and neither of these are Arab.) ...
5
votes
1answer
292 views

Which countries are friends/allies in Middle East?

In the latest news about the murder of a journalist it was hinted that Turkey and Saudi Arabia are not friends. I knew Saudi Arabia and Iran are not friends either, nor are Turkey and Iran, or Iran ...
5
votes
1answer
396 views

Why the west is supporting political Islam? [closed]

During the Soviet-Afghanistan conflicts, the west is supported Islamist groups against the secular government in Afghanistan. During the 1970s and sometimes later, Western and pro-Western ...
5
votes
1answer
333 views

Why is Oman interested in diplomatic relationship with Israel and vice versa?

Netanyahu visited Oman on the invitation of Sultan Qaboos bin Syed. Looks like Oman would be the 1st country in GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. What ...
5
votes
1answer
262 views

What options does the US have in response to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi?

The explanation by the Saudi's have been ever changing. First it was a flat denial of his death, now they've acknowledged it once video evidence was presented the the Turkish media. Saudi Arabia ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Why do Iran and Saudi Arabia share the same “age of majority”?

According to Wikipedia, backed by a couple of sources, Iran and Saudi Arabia share the same age of majority: 8 for girls, 14 for boys. Now, according to the sources, this is due to sharia law. ...
4
votes
2answers
356 views

Have any Western governments officially conceded that becoming involved in the Arab Spring was a mistake?

The Arab Spring has in hindsight been a complete disaster for the region. Syria is in a massive civil war. Libya effectively split apart into several state. Egypt is experiencing constant turmoil. And ...
4
votes
3answers
240 views

How did Wahhabism come into power as an influential movement in Islam?

Why does it have so many followers, and how does it contrast with other versions of Islam? How has it influenced the politics of Islamic (and non-Islamic) nations?
4
votes
2answers
349 views

Is Arab Nationalism relevant today?

What is the contemporary relevance of Pan-Arabism? Or is it merely a relic of the past? Do any political parties or leaders in the Arab world profess this notion or has it evaporated since the '67 ...
4
votes
1answer
227 views

Why US is supportive of YPG despite their links with PKK

PKK has been engaged in many terrorist activities and has been declared as terrorist organization by US herself. Merely a month ago the US defense chief openly admitted the links between PKK and YPG ...
3
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4answers
4k views

When did modern Middle-Eastern terrorism start?

Terrorism, specifically coming from the Middle East, has been an epidemic. It has spread across the globe, to the US, France, UK, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Germany and even to parts of ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Are Kurds hostile to the west?

Compared to other ethnic groups in the middle east, are Kurds hostile towards the west (Australia in particular)? I don't mean annoyed or disappointed or exasperated by the west's betrayal or lack of ...
3
votes
1answer
322 views

Can the US Congress prevent a military action against Iran?

I'd like to know if Trump decides to carry out a military action against Iran, can it be prevented by the Congress? In other words, I want to know which steps are needed to declare war (approval by ...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

Have some of Russian troops withdrawn from Syria since Putin's announcement in december 2017?

On 11 december 2017, Vladimir Putin announced that Russian army would partially withdraw from Syria. "In two years, the Russian armed forces, together with the Syrian army, have defeated the most ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Implications of a Kurdish Exit from Iraq [closed]

How would Kurdish officials deal with the situation following a "Yes" vote in a referendum to exit the Iraqi confederation. The "Kurdistan" so formed would border four countries: Iraq, Turkey Syria ...
2
votes
1answer
617 views

What are the military equivalent of the US marines in the Middle Eastern Countries?

Someone recently asked me a subjective "who would win in a battle between..." question and I have to admit I don't know much about specific Middle Eastern military structures, other than IS. What are ...
2
votes
0answers
98 views

Saudi-Israel relations a reality? What are its potential effects? [closed]

There seems to be gathering rumours of an under-the-table, non-official alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Both fear the rise of Iran and Hizbulla and it would be logical that they work ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

Is Saudi Arabia (and co) justified in sanctioning Qatar on the pretext of terrorism support? [closed]

As in the title, have they have made legitimate justifications based on tangible evidence or its mainly another excuse for something that they've done in the past as well? To my understanding Saudi ...
1
vote
3answers
420 views

What are the potential benefits of a successfully implemented Islamic State? [closed]

Hypothetically, what positive aspects could come out of the next 50 years of Middle Eastern-US policy if ISIS is successfully able to create and defend territory between Iraq and Syria?
1
vote
3answers
343 views

Are Saudi Arabia's air defences actually working? [closed]

Saudi Arabia has one of the biggest military budgets in the world. State purchased huge amount of western weapon systems, including the most advanced of them - US Patriot systems. It is even ...
1
vote
1answer
376 views

Syria: Why Is There A Civil War There? [closed]

Wikipedia characterizes the current war in Syria as a civil war: The Syrian Civil War (Arabic: الحرب الأهلية السورية‎, Al-ḥarb al-ʼahliyyah as-sūriyyah) is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict ...