On days when I despair at the state of Lebanon, or the future of Hong Kong, I think of the Berlin Wall. For 40 years, those living in its shadow, on either side, could not imagine a life beyond the division it enforced, even while many strove to bring it down. Until, one day, the wall fell.
The challenge for Western policymakers is to avoid viewing Russian activism in the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa through an exclusively zero-sum lens. The region’s political disarray, complexities, and especially the unpredictability of local rulers all present built-in buffers to Russian influence—as they do to all external players.
Senior Fellow and Co-Director Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program
Frances Z. Brown is a senior fellow and co-director of Carnegie’s Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, who previously worked at the White House, USAID, and in nongovernmental organizations. She writes on conflict, governance, and U.S. foreign policy
Michele Dunne is a nonresident scholar in Carnegie’s Middle East Program, where her research focuses on political and economic change in Arab countries, particularly Egypt, as well as U.S. policy in the Middle East.
Senior Advisor Program on Civil-Military Relations in Arab States Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center
Aram Nerguizian is senior advisor of the Program on Civil-Military Relations in Arab States at the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center, where his work focuses on the Lebanese security sector, long-term force transformation in the Levant, and efforts to develop national security institutions in post-conflict and divided societies.
Senior Fellow Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center
Yezid Sayigh is a senior fellow at the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, where he leads the program on Civil-Military Relations in Arab States (CMRAS). His work focuses on the comparative political and economic roles of Arab armed forces and nonstate actors, the impact of war on states and societies, and the politics of postconflict reconstruction and security sector transformation in Arab transitions, and authoritarian resurgence.
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