On the occasion of the 44th anniversary of Al Majalla and the first year since its relaunch and redesign, complete with digital channels, our editorial team chose the topic of Iran’s militias as our cover story. Although revisited multiple times over recent decades, this topic is particularly relevant after the 7 October attacks by Hamas on Israel.
Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran has built up an extensive network of militias, effectively creating an empire aimed at regional expansion and bargaining with American and international stakeholders.
The rise of these non-state actors in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, and Yemen is a significant development that coincides with the decline of the nation-state and has long-lasting implications. The issue showcases detailed analyses of the complex interplay between Iran and these militant groups.
Additionally, Al Majalla looks into the ‘militia economy’ and its infiltration of state institutions. We then jump to North Africa, where the proliferation of militias in places like Sudan, Libya and the Sahel region has become a chief cause for concern.
Iran-backed militias: Proxies and bargaining chips by Ibrahim Hamidi
Iran's militant empire in the Middle East by Andrew Tabler
Rogue operators: An in-depth look at Iraq’s powerful militias by Salam Zaidan
Houthi militias: A minority group with a majority stake by Mohamed Abi Samra