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Browse Blanche, Ed

1-282 out of 282 article(s)
Title Type Date Words
Looking back over my shoulder. Dec 1, 2017 1372
Syria: the muscle flexing continues... Jan 1, 2017 1400
Lebanon: An unlikely alliance that could avert conflict. Nov 1, 2016 524
SYRIA: smoke & mirrors in Palmyra. Nov 1, 2016 806
Syria: fading hopes of an end to the stalemate. Oct 1, 2016 1378
Syria: death by 'unknown hand' toll continues to rise. Sep 1, 2016 1298
The beginning of the end of the 'Caliphate'? Jan 1, 2016 1145
Iran-Soviet arms deal is a game changer. Dec 1, 2015 826
Iran set to extend its influence in Iraq: in the uncertain aftermath of the Iran nuclear agreement, what happens next in Iraq will determine how events in the Middle East unfold. Aug 1, 2015 745
Gulf Arabs bolster forces as us exits. Apr 1, 2015 1447
Algeria: a brewing crisis. Mar 1, 2015 1422
The bear is back! Russia uses arms sales to challenge the West in Middle East. Mar 1, 2015 1359
Iran opens new front in Syria--with eye on Israel. Feb 1, 2015 1796
Oman prepares for change. Feb 1, 2015 1406
Simmering Lebanon braces for jihadist offensive. Feb 1, 2015 1276
Dangerous fallout from Hizbullah's Israeli spy scandal. Jan 1, 2015 844
Iran's ballistic missiles threaten nuclear deal. Jan 1, 2015 923
Iran and the Caliphate: fears of a Sunni avalanche. Dec 1, 2014 1124
GCC dreams of an 'Arab NATO'. Dec 1, 2014 1886
Raising the stakes: a laptop seized in Syria suggests Islamic State is pushing to develop a nightmare Black Death terror weapon amid intelligence fears the jihadists, who have long sought chemical and biological capabilities, are planning major attacks on the West. Nov 1, 2014 729
Oman: playing the long game. Jul 1, 2014 1577
Foreign fighters in Syria. Jun 1, 2014 1624
Battle for the Nile: fears of a new water conflict. May 1, 2014 1576
Lebanon on the edge. Apr 1, 2014 2561
Hammering history. Apr 1, 2014 1835
Rouhani vs Revolutionary Guards. Mar 1, 2014 2149
Enter the bear: Russia muscles into the east Mediterranean gas bonanza, chalking up a 25-year deal with Syria for exclusive offshore exploration rights, part of Vladimir Putin's long-term strategy to restore Moscow's influence in the energy-rich region. Mar 1, 2014 1722
Al Qaeda: the caliphate cometh? In northern Syria and western Iraq Al Qaeda forces are gaining ground with the declared aim of establishing an Islamist caliphate in the heart of the Arab world, a miniature replication of the Muslim empire that once stretched from Spain to Indonesia, and a potential launching pad for jihad across the region. Feb 1, 2014 2349
Qatar: a change of tack? There are signs of a changing role for the gas-rich Gulf emirate under its young new leader after Doha's dalliance with the Muslim Brotherhood and funding rebels in Syria. Feb 1, 2014 1021
Iraq's slippery slope: few nations have been as tormented by violence and upheaval as Iraq has over the last four decades of constant war, but now it's going through another savage and often random bloodletting, pitting Sunni against Shi'ite in a sectarian conflict that is remorselessly consuming the Middle East. Jan 1, 2014 2511
Iran's 'foreign legion': Tehran has stepped up its military support for the embattled Syrian regime and by all accounts, is virtually running the war to keep President Bashar Assad in power, using Iraqi Shi'ite fighters in what is seen as a new expeditionary force Iran is building to further its regional ambitions. Dec 1, 2013 2034
Syrian crisis: shifting sands in Saudi Arabia. Oct 1, 2013 2629
Borders of blood. Aug 1, 2013 2367
Libyan violence escalates alongside chaos: the flood of weapons plundered from Muammar Gaddafi's arsenals in 2011 armed a jihadist surge across North Africa that is now threatening Libya and its vital oil industry. Aug 1, 2013 1650
Iraq on dangerous ground. Jul 1, 2013 2307
The Algerian powder keg. Jun 1, 2013 2028
Al Qaeda's most toxic generation? May 1, 2013 2518
Showdown in Iran: the Islamic Republic, battered by western-backed sanctions and armed confrontation with the United States and Israel, holds seminal presidential elections in June in the grip of a political power struggle that will determine the country's future in a region convulsed by turmoil. May 1, 2013 1619
In Lebanon, Syria's war creeps closer: Hizbullah, Iran's powerful Shi'ite proxy in the Levant that's aiding the Damascus regime in Syria's war, appears to be on collision course with Sunni jihadists battling to crush President Bashar Assad, and that will trigger sectarian bloodshed in Lebanon. Ed Blanche reports from Beirut. Apr 1, 2013 1282
The slippery business of oil: a decade after the US invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, Iraq is in the grip of a new conflict, this time between power-hungry Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki and the rebellious Kurds over their new-found energy riches. Apr 1, 2013 2180
Menacing the Maghreb: French forces may have driven off North African jihadists in Mali, but the Islamists are far from defeated, and have made a strategic withdrawal into the deserts and mountains from where they threaten a long war against regional regimes--and energy supplies from Algeria and Libya. Mar 1, 2013 1798
Kurds: attaining the impossible dream? After decades of betrayal and genocide, Iraq's Kurdish minority now seems to be on the threshold of statehood that could change the region's political landscape thanks to an ocean of oil, an unlikely ally and a couple of historical lucky breaks. Essay Feb 1, 2013 2068
Gas mania in the Med: the Mediterranean Sea, where throughout history great empires have clashed, is now the arena for the world's energy giants scrambling to secure access to the oil and gas buried deep under the seabed even though regional rivalries and unfinished revolutions could threaten new conflicts. Feb 1, 2013 2075
The battle for Iraq's soul: Iran and Iraq are at odds again, in a struggle for dominance of Shiite Islam between the competing centres of religious authority, the holy cities of Qom in Iran and Najaf in Iraq. The outcome will resonate across the Middle East--and probably beyond. Essay Jan 1, 2013 2421
Cyber wars: the Middle East, where mankind's first battles were recorded more than 3,000 years ago, has become the laboratory of a new form of warfare, conflict by computer in which nation can cripple nation without firing a shot. Cover story Dec 1, 2012 2888
Conflict by remote control: the tiny Mediterranean country teeters once again on the brink of sectarian anarchy, manipulated as always by regional rivals like Saudi Arabia and Iran, its people held hostage to a fate they cannot control while their leaders hide to avoid assassination. Dec 1, 2012 1609
Democracy remains deadlocked as Khamenei cracks down: Iran is in turmoil as the 2013 presidential election race starts to heat up amid a Tehran power struggle and a crumbling sanctions-battered economy. The signs are that supreme leader Ali Khamenei is taking a tough pre-emptive line to keep opponents in line. Nov 1, 2012 2092
Danger in the desert: the Sinai Peninsula, a battleground since ancient times and the main arena in four wars between Israel and Egypt, is once again a combat zone which could threaten the landmark 1979 peace treaty between the two neighbours--or bring them together. Oct 1, 2012 2315
The other army of God: Israel's ultra-Orthodox religious fanatics are steadily infiltrating the army, long a bastion of secular Zionism, mirroring a growing confrontation between liberals and messianic religious nationalists for control not only of the Jewish state's once-vaunted military but of society itself. Essay Aug 1, 2012 2674
A Jordanian dilemma: King Abdullah II struggles to save the Hashemite dynasty, avoid having his country dragged into the Syrian bloodbath and overcome severe economic ills and ugly rumour to unite a divided society. Jul 1, 2012 2363
The hidden hand in Syria. Jul 1, 2012 1603
Lebanon: on the brink of bedlam? Jun 1, 2012 2381
Yemen's race against time: the Arab world's poorest country is facing economic collapse, and it's running out of water and oil, crises that are probably far more perilous than Al Qaeda's growing power or the escalating secret war against the jihadists being waged by Barack Obama. Jun 1, 2012 1780
A Maghrebi Tinderbox: North Africa teeters on the brink of chaos with a Tuareg conquest in northern Mali, a spinoff from the 2011 conflict in Libya where a new civil war is brewing, along with a growing jihadist threat in the Sahel region and as far east as Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. May 1, 2012 2757
The dark side of the 'Arab Spring': A surge in executions, with a 'judicial killing spree' against dissidents reported in Iran, blights the drive towards democracy in the Middle East. May 1, 2012 1657
Shades of Saddam: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, flying in the face of the Arab Spring revolution for greater democracy in a region long notorious for its dictators, seeks to become an old-style Arab strongman by eliminating his political rivals. Apr 1, 2012 2369
Sidestepping the strait: the UAE races to finish a pipeline to bypass the Strait of Hormuz that Iran has threatened to close in its confrontation with the West, while the Gulf monarchies scramble to open new land routes for oil exports. Apr 1, 2012 1645
Israel seeks new friends: adrift after the political convulsions of the Arab Spring and the messy rift with its former ally Turkey, Israel's leaders have been forced to rethink the country's strategic options and are looking for new alliances to help them ride out the storm. Mar 1, 2012 2134
Switching on the sun: it's 'all systems go' for the world's most ambitious solar project. Situated in the Moroccan desert, the $549 billion, sun-driven supergrid could one day electrify much of Europe as well as the Middle East. Mar 1, 2012 1632
Gulf security: Obama's Plan B: after failing to keep troops in Iraq, the Americans switch to beefing up their forces in the Gulf states in a transparent attempt to reassure Saudi Arabia and its partners, and to deter Iran. But it's a plan that could go wrong. Essay Jan 1, 2012 2230
Israel's day of reckoning: Israel braces for a 'complete break' with peace partner Egypt after three decades as the wave of turbulence sweeping the Arab nation thrusts the Muslim Brotherhood into prominence. Essay Jan 1, 2012 1603
US attempts annihilating Al Qaeda: the Americans are cutting down the jihadist movement's leaders in a savage and largely secret campaign of counter-terror that is redefining how future wars will be fought. Dec 1, 2011 1802
Can oil restore Libya's fortunes: Libya's new rulers struggle to rebuild an oil industry battered by the civil war that ended Muammar Gaddafi's 32-year rule, but the threat of further violence could sabotage these efforts and with them any prospect of an early national recovery. Dec 1, 2011 2346
Iraq steps on the gas: Baghdad's drive to achieve energy supremacy switches focus from oil to natural gas, but the country's deep-rooted sectarian rivalries and the perennial security problem undermine efforts to secure an economic future. Cover story Nov 1, 2011 2016
Arab Spring and the Mukhabarat moment: the fight back against repressive Arab regimes whose intelligence services and secret police once seemed invincible is well under way, but the 'democratic dawn' is not going down too well with western agencies fighting terrorism. Nov 1, 2011 1679
The disclosure that US President Barack Obama approved the sale of 5,000-pound bunker-buster bombs to Israel, for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear installations, has sent ripples of alarm across the Middle East, including Israel itself. Nov 1, 2011 642
Iran: the enemies within: while the Islamic Republic seeks to expand its power across the Middle East, it is having to battle a series of insurgencies on its periphery that Tehran claims are supported by the United States, Britain and Israel. Oct 1, 2011 1638
Netanyahu battles his generals; Binyamin Netanyahu is locked in a confrontation with Israel's generals, past and present, over his obsession with launching pre-emptive military attacks on Iran and its nuclear programme. Oct 1, 2011 1978
In the space of a week in September, Israel's relations with two countries that not so long ago were key strategic allies crumbled alarmingly, cementing a harsh and dangerous new reality for the Jewish state as it braced itself for yet another crisis over the Palestinians' determination to declare statehood in a changing Arab world. Oct 1, 2011 647
Obama's new secret war: the US unleashes a Pakistan-style campaign from the sky against Al Qaeda jihadists in Yemen, as that impoverished country teeters on the brink of civil war. Cover story Aug 1, 2011 2612
A club of kings: the GCC plan to recruit Jordan and Morocco and unite all the Arab monarchies is seen as a stratagem to counter the growing pressure for democratic reform in the Arab world--and an expansionist Iran. Aug 1, 2011 1670
Assad's hope of survival: Tehran reportedly has sent seasoned covert operators to prop up the Damascus regime and prevent the collapse of a key ally in Iran's expansionist strategy. Aug 1, 2011 1555
Last word. Aug 1, 2011 704
The struggle for supremacy: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unleashes a political firestorm by challenging supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Cover story Jul 1, 2011 1980
Iraqi oil: output soars but is it enough? Efficient exploitation of its vast oil reserves is key to the pace of Iraq's recovery, but with Baghdad forced to sharply scale back ambitious plans to boost production--and the imminent withdrawal of US forces--the future is looking precarious. Report Jul 1, 2011 1692
Two bad seasons from disaster? High food prices were a key factor in triggering unprecedented political unrest around the Arab world but now a major global food crisis is looming that could destabilise the region even further. Cover story Jun 1, 2011 1873
After Bin Laden: the jihadist movement faces major challenges after US commandos assassinated Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, especially in the Arab world, where pro-democracy uprisings have shown how Al Qaeda's violent ideology has failed. Jun 1, 2011 1787
The perils of piracy: shipping companies say Somali marauders, expanding their operations deep into the Indian Ocean, are moving in on tanker lanes from the Gulf and threatening global oil supplies. Jun 1, 2011 1035
Last Word: Much of Beirut's rich architectural heritage--the product of the Ottoman and French colonial eras--in the historic business and financial district around Martyrs' Square, was turned to rubble in the 1975-90 civil war. Jun 1, 2011 683
The insatiable dragon: energy-hungry China, one of the world's few expanding economies, has secured a major stake in the Middle East's oil and gas sectors, and is steadily increasing its geostrategic reach. Cover story May 1, 2011 2308
Beirut reaches for the sky: construction frenzy convulses the Lebanese capital despite upheaval in the Middle East, forever changing the face of Beirut and sending property prices soaring. May 1, 2011 1405
Treasure of the tyrants: amid the avalanche of anger that is starting to sweep away the old order in the Arab world, the hunt is on to recover the billions of dollars dictators and their cronies have plundered from their people. Cover story Apr 1, 2011 2092
For Israel, a nightmare scenario: amid fears that with Hosni Mubarak gone, the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt is in jeopardy, Israelis brace themselves for confrontation with the neighbours. Apr 1, 2011 1318
A farewell to arms? The frenzy of fury sweeping the Arab world that has already dislodged two US allies from power and threatens others could have a major impact on the multi-billion-dollar arms market in the Middle East. Apr 1, 2011 1545
Back to the abyss? Lebanon faces a serious risk of violent upheaval if Hizbullah operatives are indicted for the 2005 assassination of Rafiq Hariri by an international tribunal, while Israel is alarmed by Hizbullah's political coup. Mar 1, 2011 1598
Gulf Rail Network: the dream becomes reality: the Gulf Cooperation Council plan to build a rail network to cover the Arabian Peninsula that would link the region to the rest of the Arab world and beyond, is finally taking real shape. The scheme could transform the political and economic outlook of the region. Feb 1, 2011 2229
Iraqi oil ambitions stir up a Hornet's nest: Iraq is making an all-out drive to quadruple its oil production over the next decade to outstrip Iran and eventually perhaps challenge the dominance of Saudi Arabia, but the rivalry could get ugly, warns Ed Blanche. Jan 1, 2011 2249
Mystery death of the 'perfect spy'. Dec 1, 2010 2048
Yemen's southern discomfort: South Yemen, once a Soviet-backed socialist state, is up in arms seeking secession amid rising Al Qaeda violence and other woes that threaten the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Nov 1, 2010 1904
Israeli gas finds could prove a game changer: sparks fly over Israel's discovery of vast gas fields under the eastern Mediterranean, threatening to ignite new hostilities with Lebanon and Syria. Essay Nov 1, 2010 1869
Sarkozy's war against Al Qaeda: France, the former colonial power in North Africa, goes after Al Qaeda for beheading a French hostage, joining Maghreb states, who are also stepping up the hunt for jihadist marauders. But while there may be an element of justice seeking in the new French initiative, Paris also has commercial interests in its sights. Oct 1, 2010 1729
Apocalypse soon? Tensions are rising so rapidly across the Middle East that the region is on the cusp of a major conflict involving, undoubtedly, Iran and Israel. Ed Blanche provides an anatomy of what an Israeli assault on Iran's nuclear facilities might look like. Aug 1, 2010 2637
Is Israel becoming a police state? Critics say democratic principles are being steadily eroded as Israel becomes increasingly isolated and 'slips down the slope towards McCarthyism and fascism'. Jul 1, 2010 2323
Al Qaeda's new weapon: 'clean skins'. Jul 1, 2010 2080
Middle East water wars: Increasingly, water is becoming a catalyst for confrontation across the Middle East region; a focus of national security, foreign policy and domestic stability. Jun 1, 2010 2247
Israel and the nuclear option: a US think-tank has suggested Israel could use tactical missiles using against Iran's nuclear facilities rather than launch a high-risk air assault. Jun 1, 2010 1266
Iran tightens its grip on the 'new' Iraq: according to the Americans, the Islamic Republic suffered a 'stunning defeat' in Iraq's dead-heat parliamentary elections in March, but Tehran's 'invisible general' may well prove them wrong. May 1, 2010 2518
All fall down: the five-year hunt by UN investigators for the assassins of Rafiq Hariri seems to have run out of steam and political will, but a new focus on Hizbullah is whipping up tensions in Lebanon. May 1, 2010 1557
Challenging Mubarak: Mohammed ElBaradei, former head of the UN's nuclear watchdog agency, has become Egypt's champion of the people to run against President Hosni Mubarak and lead the fight for political reform. May 1, 2010 1906
Iran draws a line in the sand: the face-off between Iran and Israel grows increasingly rancorous; as the tension rises, the possibility grows that the region is hovering on the brink of a new conflict that could bring an all-out missile war. Apr 1, 2010 2134

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