Bottom Line Up Front:

On April 16, Egypt’s parliament passed amendments to the Constitution that provide President al-Sisi with a path forward to maintain power until 2030.

There is little observable public opposition to the constitutional changes, likely a result of the oppressive nature of the Egyptian government.

More Arms, More Problems

Bottom Line Up Front:

Global arms sales are booming, with a spike caused by a years-long increase in spending from countries in the MENA region.

Countries exporting arms cite the link between deterrence and stability to justify these sales, while often downplaying the role these weapons play in helping autocrats oppress their populations and often prolong wars and insurgencies.

German Government: Anti-Israel, Pro-Iran

Supporting one-sided resolutions against Israel is not Germany’s only unfriendly act against the Jewish state. Chancellor Angela Merkel has put pressure on other European Union states so that they do not transfer their embassies to Israel’s capital. Stopping the murder of Israelis is also not on the German government’s agenda.


Bottom Line Up Front:

A serious military escalation is underway in Libya as General Khalifa Haftar and his forces move to take Tripoli.

The battle is now unifying a range of violent non-state actors with the recognized interim government against Haftar, who is receiving significant external state support.

Germany: Talk of ‘European Army’ was Meant ‘Allegorically’

Since taking office in 2013, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has done little to alleviate the problems in the military. The best-known projects during her tenure were kindergartens for the soldiers' families; the procurement of flat screen television sets and mini-fridges for the barracks; the announcement of efforts to make the German army "more attractive for gay, lesbian and transgender people"; buying uniforms for pregnant soldiers, and making battle tanks suitable for pregnant soldiers. As worthwhile as these efforts may be, they do little to address the core problems.

"Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it." — Tobias Lindner, a Greens Party member, serving on the budget and defense committees.

Illiberals and autocrats unite to craft a new world media order

Underlying global efforts to counter fake news, psychological warfare and malicious manipulation of public opinion is a far more fundamental battle: the global campaign by civilisationalists, autocrats, authoritarians and illiberals to create a new world media order that would reject freedom of the press and reduce the fourth estate to scribes and propaganda outlets.