Author: Talmage Tyler

Talmage writes for The Borgen Project from Raleigh, NC. His interests include journalism and he has a passion for MENA affairs. Talmage is heavily invested in working with refugees.

SEATTLE — In 2013, two years after the Arab Spring and the start of the Syrian Civil War, the Islamic State in Iraq merged with its Syrian counterpart, Nusra Front, to form the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known colloquially as IS, ISIL, ISIS or Daesh). Shortly after, the group began a blitzkrieg land-grabbing campaign during which it seized multiple Iraqi cities, including Fallujah, Mosul and Tikrit, as well as large swathes of Syrian territory. Within a year of its founding, ISIS declared a caliphate. By early 2015, it controlled half of Syria and had claimed the Iraqi…

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SEATTLE — In its Fiscal Year 2010 Foreign Operations Budget, the United States government committed $1.677 billion to supporting “democratic reform and political institution building in the Middle East and to target the economic despair and lack of opportunity exploited by extremists.” This was divided amongst Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. Tunisia, a country which shortly after the end of that fiscal year would become the birthplace of the Arab Spring, was allocated only a few hundred thousand dollars towards improving its security sector and counterterrorism efforts. Following the Jasmine Revolution, the U.S. government’s interest in Tunisia…

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