Editor's Desk

Mitchell Belfer, Editor in Chief

Mitchell Belfer Mitchell Belfer is Senior Lecturer at the Department of International Relations and European Studies and Editor in Chief of the Central European Journal of International and Security Studies (CEJISS). He holds a Ph.D. and an MPA in International Relations Theory and his academic interests gravitate around: alliance theory, small states, dangerous regions, the international relations of the Arabian Gulf and Middle East, asymmetrical violence and general security-related issues. What began as a strictly alliance-centric focus has morphed into a multi-layered understanding of alliances that investigates the manner in which an alliance’s major to minor and its minor to minor dyads within the alliance behave to one another.
Contact email: mitchell.belfer@cejiss.org

Editor's Desk

Mitchell Belfer

Turkish Delight

Turkey learned the wrong lessons from the past years of war in the Middle East. Unmoored, Ankara is now more aggressive, more nationalist and more Islamist than at any other time in its modern history. Its foreign policy reflects this.   Under the spell of President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, double-speak is commonplace. Turkey professes multilateralism but pursues unilateral goals. It’s officially secular but wastes no opportunity to empower conservative Islamic groups. It screams its adherence…

Editor's Desk

Mitchell Belfer

Is the Arab Gulf stuck in 2011? Josh Rogin wants you to believe it is

Far too many journalists use 2011 as the reference-point for the internal dynamics of the states of the Arab Gulf. Old narratives are rehashed, polished and redeployed without the requisite reflection of how societies, economies and states have changed in the meantime. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of Bahrain.   Bahrain’s chapter in the so-called Arab Spring was not defined by violence. Of course, violence did erupt in 2011; Hezbollah, the Youth of 14 February, Sacred Defence, Al…

Editor's Desk

Mitchell Belfer

Salami Tactics

Tensions in the Arab Gulf have experienced a sharp spike over the past months. Terrorist and proxy militia attacks, directed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, have targeted energy transmission infrastructure via the bombing of pipelines in Saudi Arabia, international oil tankers (belonging to Japan, Norway, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia) in the UAE, while naval mines have damaged other tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. Critical infrastructure in Saudi Arabia (re: Abha’s civilian airport)…

Editor's Desk

Mitchell Belfer, Isabella Nardone

The Issues that Shape Middle Eastern Politics

Three main issues have come to dominate global headlines in the first quarter of 2019: the Iran-US relationship, Israel and its parliamentary elections and the ever-changing dynamics in Libya. The outcome of each of these will impact regional and trans regional relations and understanding aspects of them is essential. In the following analytical snapshot — a Q & A — information of these three situations is teased out via conversation.   ***   Nardone (Formiche)—What could happen…

Editor's Desk

Mitchell Belfer

What Lies Beneath? Understanding Euro-Indonesian Security Relations and Efforts to Build National Security

The European Union’s relationship to Indonesia is largely a reflection of the European Cooperation Agreement with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) which was formalised in 1980. Economic and political coordination discussions have been held regularly ever since. Bilateral dialogues between the EU and Indonesia have included periodic reviews of political, economic and co-operation issues. A Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Co-operation was signed on 9…

Editor's Desk

By Mitchell Belfer

The Road to Tehran Runs Through Europe

Three months since withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the United States has begun to reimpose heavy sanctions on Iran. To the dismay of many in Europe, especially in Brussels, France, Germany and the UK, President Trump announced that it will be impossible for companies, and countries, to maintain economic relations with both the US and Iran—they have to choose. Armies of lawyers have sprung into action. They are exploring legal loopholes, waivers, constructing…

Editor's Desk

Mitchell Belfer

The European Parliament’s Resolutionary War

With Europe tying itself in knots over the twin problems of Brexit and the cresting wave of populism, EU foreign affairs are undoubtedly playing second fiddle to internal matters at preset. The danger of such a state of affairs is that important gains made in democratizing foreign policy are squandered. And that the vacuum is filled by an assortment of narrow interests that do not necessarily reflect wider European values or strategic interests. Concerns over a democratic deficit in foreign…

Editor's Desk

Mitchell Belfer

Understanding the Yemen Tragedy through Iranian Behaviour

The ebbing war against Daesh may preoccupy European security thinking, but it is the triple tragedy unfolding in Yemen — the humanitarian tragedy, the socio-economic tragedy and the geopolitical tragedy — that contains the potential to unwind what is left of the Middle Eastern order. Located along the strategic south-western corner of the Arabian Peninsula, where the Strait of Mandeb straddles the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, and heading northward towards the Nejaz, Yemen is cursed by its…

Editor's Desk

Mitchell Belfer

Rein in Qatar. Gulf unity is at stake

Analysts of the Arab Gulf region have, for the past week or so, been obsessing over the deterioration of relations within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). And for good reason. Qatar stands accused of pursuing some very damaging policies—policies that undermine GCC international projects, generate suspicion of the Arab Gulf internationally and are greeted with outright hostility in other parts of the Arab world. Consider that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and…

2019 - Volume 13 Issue 3