Ilan Berman
Ilan Berman
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Egypt's Population Bomb

December 5, 2017  •  Al-Hurra Digital

It's the most important Middle Eastern news story that no one is talking about. Earlier this Fall, Egypt's state statistics agency, the Central Agency for Popular Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), formally released the findings of its 2016 national census. The results shed important new light on the challenges now confronting the government of president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in Cairo.

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US Would Be Wise To Prepare For EMP Attacks On Its Cities

November 29, 2017  •  The Hill

Imagine that a hostile nation – say, North Korea – fires a nuclear-tipped missile at the United States. The missile detonates in the upper atmosphere above a major American city such as Los Angeles, releasing a cascade of charged electrons that damages and destroys all technology and electrical systems within line-of-sight of the explosion. Vital infrastructure on the country's Western seaboard is incapacitated. Large swathes of California and parts of Nevada lose power. Stores, social services and emergency functions that rely on electricity begin to break down, as disorder spreads and the death toll climbs. Such a scenario isn't the plot of the latest Hollywood blockbuster, although it well could be. It is, rather, the projected outcome of a man-made electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event of the type that a growing number of America's adversaries are capable of creating.

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Toward A New Uzbekistan

November 22, 2017  •  U.S. News & World Report

You could call it "Extreme Makeover: Central Asian Edition." Today, among the five post-Soviet republics that make up the region, there are heartening signs of political dynamism and a newfound drive for integration. At the center of these changes is the Republic of Uzbekistan, which has launched a far-reaching program to reform and modernize the state. This effort finds its roots in the passing of Uzbekistan's first president, Islam Karimov, last September, which precipitated a far-reaching policy rethink on the part of his successor, Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The product was "Uzbekistan's Development Strategy for 2017-2021," formally adopted by the country's government back in January.

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Iran's Imperial Project

November 21, 2017  •  The Washington Times

Iran is on the march in the Middle East. Over the past year, a steady drumbeat of news reports from the Persian Gulf, intelligence assessments regarding Syria's civil war, and firsthand accounts out of Iraq, Lebanon and beyond has pointed to an inescapable conclusion: Iran is erecting a new empire in the region.

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The Russian War On Terror

November 3, 2017  •  The National Interest

Which country ranks as the largest source of foreign fighters for the Islamic State's "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq? That dubious distinction doesn't belong to a Middle Eastern state, despite the fact that countries such as Saudi Arabia have historically been major contributors of radicals to the Islamic State's ranks. Nor is it a North African nation, even though Tunisia had previously served as the preeminent supplier of fighters for the Syrian front. Rather, the most active contributor to the current contingent of jihadis supporting the Islamic State is none other than the Russian Federation. That is the finding of a new report from the Soufan Group, a leading U.S. counterterrorism consultancy. The study, entitled "Beyond the Caliphate: Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees," notes that - while the number of foreign fighters from places like Tunisia has declined appreciably over the past two years - those of Russian origin have not.

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Books by Ilan Berman

Cover of Iran's Deadly Ambition Cover of Implosion Cover of Winning the Long War Cover of Tehran Rising

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