Homeland Security Portal

Homeland Security Portal

Regional Stability

Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps: The Revolution Continues beyond Iran’s Borders

, May 17, 2016

After the JCPOA was signed on July 14, 2015, the Gulf States felt all the more threatened by Iran and concerned that the support the United States had given them previously was eroding. Iran, for its part, particularly by means of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), stepped up its involvement in the region - notably in Yemen, making use of Lebanese Hizbullah fighters among others. It also continues its clandestine intelligence activity in the Gulf States. Read More »

Borders Melt-Down: 100 Years After the Sykes-Picot Agreement

, May 16, 2016

The “Middle East” with which we are all familiar is commemorating a curious and even sad 100 year anniversary. A century after the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Middle East has become a political powder keg and the setting for successive armed conflicts, causing its borders to disintegrate. Read More »

Hamas’ Terrorism in Egypt

, March 10, 2016

Egypt has officially accused Hamas of training the terror operatives who assassinated Egyptian Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat last year. Hamas now fears that Egypt will declare the movement a terror organization and torpedo Turkey’s efforts to ease the blockade of Gaza. Read More »

Earthquakes of the Middle East

, February 24, 2016

The Middle East is experiencing tectonic and dramatic changes that are shaping its landscape into unexpected realities. Five years from now, what Middle East can we expect? It would not be adventurous to say that we will be confronted with a new map with new entities born or re-born. Read More »

The Iranian Penetration of Iraqi Kurdistan

, January 21, 2016

Iran has positioned itself as a reliable military backer of Iraqi Kurdish forces, filling a vacuum the West has left as a result of its tepid support. Iranian penetration of Kurdistan allows Tehran to render it less likely that its major adversaries, including Israel and the U.S., will gain a secure foothold in a region that has a 400-mile border with Iran. Expectations of Kurdistan becoming an ally of Israel, America, and Europe may be in danger if the West continues to prioritize Iraqi and Turkish interests over those of the Kurds. The writer taught at Salahaddin University in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2012-2013. Read More »

The True Face of the Palestinians’ Leader

, January 13, 2016

There is a continued perception of Mahmoud Abbas as the “moderate” representative of the Palestinian cause. This stance represents a misunderstanding of Abbas’ position, which continues to encourage terror, but not terror through means of firearms. Such encouragement is responsible for the latest wave of terror in Israel. Read More »

The Failures of the International Community in the Middle East since the Sykes-Picot Agreement, 1916-2016

, January 4, 2016

Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picot divided the Middle East between Britain and France in secret in the midst of World War I in a way that did not take into account the demographic, socio-cultural and religious aspects of the local peoples. Several Arab tribes found themselves dispersed into different states. Today, across the region, authority has collapsed and people are reaching for their older identities - Sunni, Shiite, Kurd. Sectarian groups, often Islamist, have filled the power vacuum. All the unrest in the Arab world is internal, social, religious and tribal, with no link to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Read More »

A Bad Agreement with Iran Will Undermine Middle East  Stability

, March 2, 2015

The big winner of the international coalition’s war on Islamic State is Iran. The war is not only weakening a bitter enemy of Shiite Iran, but also strengthening Iran’s main ally in the region – Syria, as well as Hizbullah.​ ​The agreement will also likely have negative repercussions for the possibility of advancing a diplomatic process with the Palestinians.The Iranian regime will not change in nature. The subversion outside of Iran and the push to expand its influence will continue and even intensify. While some in the West speculate that the regime will moderate over time, it is just as likely that the Revolutionary Guards will keep gaining power and complete their takeover of the Iranian Revolution. Read More »

Iran’s Fortunes Rising in a Middle East Vacuum

, March 19, 2014

Iran is implementing a plan to expand its influence over the Middle Eastern region. As a primary sponsor of Hizbullah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the “long arm” of Iranian influence may be attempting to establish itself as a regional power player, in the wake of the U.S.’ declining prestige. Read More »

How Nuclear Talks Help Iran Dominate the Middle East

, February 25, 2014

The nuclear talks are creating an atmosphere where the economic pressure will subside as Iran gains time to fill in the missing pieces of its nuclear program. Iran’s foreign policy is gaining momentum as Gulf States are persuaded to align with Iran. Ongoing negotiations with the United States are proceeding at a relaxed pace that allows Iran to continue working towards its strategic goals. Read More »

Have the Fundamentals of Israel’s Strategic Environment Inextricably Changed?

, August 22, 2013

There is a view that developments since the advent of the Arab Spring have completely altered the way Israel should look at its national security needs for many decades to come. However, while many of the essential facts of Israeli security remain the same, the changes in neighboring and hostile regimes, such as power vacuums being filled by terrorist organizations and additional weaponry being smuggled into conflict zones, result in a need for re-evaluation of Israeli strategy. Read More »

The Kurdish Awakening in Syria: Could It Lead to Regional War?

, August 15, 2013

Regional stability may be threatened by the rise of independent Kurdish populations in the Middle East. A “Greater Kurdistan” is no longer a remote possibility. This reality poses challenges for all of the states with large Kurdish populations: Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. Read More »

Strategic Shifts in the Middle East

, July 1, 2013

Various regional and strategic issues represent threats and concerns to the State of Israel, including peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Israeli policy towards Syria, and Israeli opinion regarding the threat of a nuclear Iran. Read More »

The Iranian Role in the 2012 Gaza Conflict

, December 2, 2012

Iran’s supply of rockets to the Palestinians shows a lack of fear of Israel and the Western powers. The rift between Sunnis and Shia that is evident in various Middle Eastern conflicts makes clear that Iran will confront Sunni states like Egypt and Turkey over issues of regional hegemony and influence. These changes are becoming clear not only in actions in Gaza, but in the Syrian conflict as well. Read More »

The Future of Kurdistan: Between Turkey, the Iraq War, and the Syrian Revolt

, August 30, 2012

For the first time in modern Kurdish history, an exclusively Kurdish-controlled enclave has developed on the border with Kurdish areas of Turkey. The Free Kurdish Army, responsible for claiming this land, is continuing their mission to gain control of Kurdish cities in Syria. With these new developments, the emergence of a “Greater Kurdistan” is no longer a remote possibility. This area is a potential land bridge for many of the conflicts in the region; therefore control of this land is important to many of the powers currently embroiled in regional conflicts. Kurdistan has the potential to become a new flashpoint in the Middle East. This report provides an overview of the Kurds and Kurdistan. Read More »

The Role of Iranian Security Forces in Syria

, June 20, 2012

Iran views the confrontation in Syria as a critical battleground with the West regarding the reshaping of the Middle East and its own role in the region as a key, vital and influential player. Hizbullah is currently serving under Iran’s command as a part of Assad’s forces, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been involved in Syrian events. Iran’s aid to Assad illustrates Iran’s goal of becoming a power capable of countering the West’s influence. Read More »

Majority and Minorities in the Arab World: The Lack of a Unifying Narrative

, January 3, 2012

The current sociopolitical eruption in the Arab world, known as the “Arab Spring”, is the result of the total failure of Arab states to create a unifying national narrative and establish modern egalitarian polities. The 90 years since the Arab states were established have been fraught with discord between the different communities, political and economic discrimination, uprisings, military coups, subversion, and conflicts between the states themselves. However, this eruption has opened the door to Islamic rule, which threatens to destabilize the region. Read More »

Turkey, the Global Muslim Brotherhood, and the Gaza Flotilla

, November 30, 2011

This report resents the results of an investigation into the role played by the Global Muslim Brotherhood and its Turkish allies in the May 2010 Gaza Flotilla which involved a violent altercation between passengers on one of the ships and Israeli naval forces. Read More »

Iran’s Race for Regional Supremacy: Strategic Implications for the Middle East

, September 21, 2011

Iran has accelerated its quest for regional supremacy through its mobilization of both Shiite and Sunni terror surrogates, including Hizbullah in Lebanon, Shiite militias in Iraq and in the Gulf, the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Al Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades in the Palestinian territories. These actions could destabilize the entire region, creating a threat to global security. Read More »