• Viewpoint
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Five Years after Sisi’s Coup: More Repression and a President for Life

    Jul 20, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Five years after the military coup of July 2013, Egypt’s domestic conditions appear to be heading toward increased authoritarianism, state repression, and regi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqEnergy and Economics

    Controlling the Nasib Crossing Is a Game Changer for the Syrian Regime

    Jul 19, 2018Joe Macaron

    The imminent opening of the Nasib crossing on the Syrian-Jordanian border could revitalize commercial activities in the Levant; but challenges lie ahead, inclu…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    BDS and Palestinian Rights: An Assessment

    Jul 18, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    The aim of BDS is to pressure Israel to abide by international law, focusing on three principal demands: ending military occupation of Palestinian land, securi…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaDemocracy and Governance

    Libya: Controlling Oil, Fearing Partition

    Jul 16, 2018Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    In light of Libya’s institutional fragmentation between east and west, control of the Oil Crescent and its revenues has become a determining factor in the coun…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Proposed Basic Law: Israel – The Nation State of the Jewish People

    Jul 16, 2018Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

    The Basic Law states that "the State of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people" and that the realization of national self-determination in the State o…

  • Policy Analysis
    International Law

    In Helsinki, Trump and Putin Will Bargain over Syria and Iran

    Jul 12, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    To avoid policy disaster at the Helsinki summit, Trump and his team must develop a clear idea of what they want from Putin on the Middle East and be prepared t…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    The Dangerous Dynamics of Iraq’s Constitutional Vacuum

    With parliamentary results unfinished and a caretaker government barely running the affairs of state, Iraq is facing a dangerous constitutional vacuum at a ver…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Future of Iraqi-Kuwaiti Relations: Overcoming a Troubled History

    Iraq and Kuwait are developing cordial relations after an acrimonious history. Kuwait wants a stable and non-threatening neighbor while Iraq seeks Kuwait’s fin…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Turkey’s New Regime under Erdoğan: Implications for the Arab World

    Jul 10, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    In the new order in Turkey, Erdoğan’s increasing dependence on Turkish nationalists will be a significant factor in shaping the country’s foreign policy in Syr…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Egypt-Ethiopia Nile Water Crisis: a Cause for Regional Tensions?

    Jul 5, 2018Daniel Stoll

    While the Ethiopian dam on the Nile could be a source of conflict in east Africa, and while relations among Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan will remain unsettled fo…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Raging—and Surprising—Battle for Southern Syria

    Jul 5, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    The Syrian regime began its assault on the southern city of Daraa toward the end of June, assisted as elsewhere in Syria by Russian warplanes and Iran-supporte…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iran’s Syria Predicament

    Jul 4, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    As Syria's civil war draws to a close, Iran's activity in the country is coming under increasing scrutiny. The US, Israel, and the Gulf states are all working …

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Mapping Saudi Arabia’s New Ruling Bargain

    Jul 3, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    “There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.” Machiavelli…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    The Kushner-Greenblatt “Deal of the Century”: A Dealmaker Morphs into a Dealbreaker?

    Jun 29, 2018Khalil E. Jahshan

    What was most insulting to Kushner’s Palestinian audience was his attempt to wittingly or unwittingly reduce their political aspirations and yearning for natio…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Syrian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon: The Politics of their Return

    Jun 28, 2018Joe Macaron

    Overwhelmed by their own economic woes, Jordan and Lebanon are employing different tactics to achieve the same objective: to secure the return of Syrian refuge…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Jared Kushner’s Misguided Appeal to the Palestinian People

    President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, gave an interview to the Palestinian Al Quds newspaper on June 24 (original Arabic, Engl…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    The Aftermath of Egypt’s 2018 Presidential Election: Stormy Weather Ahead

    Jun 26, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's return to office in a rigged election this March failed to provide a strong mandate for difficult economic and politi…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    US Withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council Has Little to Do with Human Rights

    Jun 22, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    US withdrawal weakens the council’s credibility and empowers Israel in its neglect for the council’s investigations and resolutions. The UNHRC is the premier i…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    The Problem of Legitimacy for the Palestinian Authority

    Jun 21, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    Recent damaging decisions by the Palestinian Authority cannot be solely blamed for the popular discontent with it. Instead, the Palestinians’ anger stems from …

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Hodeida and the Changing American Position

    After opposing Saudi-UAE plans to take the vital Hodeida port, the Trump Administration is now supporting the operation to show it will actively oppose so-call…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanSecurity and Defense

    It May Be Time to Restructure American Assistance to Jordan

    Jun 15, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Since May 30, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has seen a wave of massive, largely peaceful protests that have King Abdullah II in a bind. The current turmoil h…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Can Assad Truly Assert His Control over Syria?

    Jun 12, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    Despite the Assad regime’s consolidation of power, reviving the territorial integrity of Syria is a mirage. Moscow’s rise as a key power broker and the Russia-…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantReligion and Politics

    The Damascus-Aleppo Highway and Stabilizing Northwest Syria

    Jun 7, 2018Joe Macaron

    While Russia, Turkey and Iran are stabilizing northwest Syria along the Damascus-Aleppo highway, they are also normalizing an irregular situation that could ul…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Human Rights, Democracy, and the Changing Middle East: A Status Report

    Jun 6, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    Demands for democracy, wider political space, and guarantees of basic human rights have been turned aside by more effective authoritarian responses for now, bu…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    The End of an American Era in Palestine and Israel

    Jun 6, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    This is the end of an era in US relations with Palestine and Israel, and the transition to a new era may resemble a moment from the past—the first intifada.

  • Viewpoint
    JordanDemocracy and Governance

    In Jordan’s Case, Rent Collection May No Longer Work

    Jun 5, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Once again, socioeconomic conditions are at the center of Jordan’s political instability. Thousands of Jordanians over the last few days have participated in p…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Pompeo Digs a Deeper Hole for US Iran Policy

    Jun 5, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    Pompeo's May 21 speech indicates that where Iran is concerned, the US is returning to a policy of "zero enrichment" backed up by economic warfare. But the Whit…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Needless Crisis in the Arabian Gulf

    The Trump Administration would do well to work with the Saudis and Emiratis to identify a face-saving way to back down and end the blockade of Qatar.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranThe GCC

    How the blockade on Qatar failed

    Jun 5, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    The GCC crisis has inflicted significant financial loss on Qatar, but it has failed to bring it down.

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarThe GCC

    One Year Later: A Necessary Reckoning in the GCC

    Jun 5, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Countries blockading Qatar must reflect on how their attempts to control the Gulf are destabilizing the entire region.

  • Policy Analysis
    North AfricaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Political Calculations…from the Western Sahara to the Arabian Gulf

    The timing of Morocco’s decision to sever relations with Iran and to close the Iranian embassy in Rabat “immediately” on May 1, 2018, has raised questions abou…

  • Policy Analysis

    Missed Opportunities and Failed Integration in the GCC

    The crisis that erupted on June 5, 2017, when three members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) turned on a fourth—for the second time in three years—has hig…

  • Policy Analysis

    Perspective: Can Washington Resolve the Impasse?

    Jun 1, 2018Majed M. al-Ansari

    The White House—and more specifically, President Donald Trump—played a negative role in the GCC crisis when it started. The president initially supported the S…

  • Policy Analysis

    Kuwait’s GCC Mediation: Incentives and Reasons for Failure

    Jun 1, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    Kuwait has been a mediator in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) since the first crisis of 2013-2014 between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and …

  • Policy Analysis

    A Difficult Position: US Mediation in the Gulf Dispute

    Jun 1, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    Strengthening and maintaining the Gulf Cooperation Council are among the top goals of any American administration that seeks to preserve peace and stability in…

  • Policy Analysis

    MEASURES OF STALEMATE IN THE GCC CRISIS

    Jun 1, 2018Imad K. Harb

    The current existential crisis in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) began in May 2017 with a hacking operation of the Qatar News Agency website and the public…

  • Viewpoint
    LibyaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    An Accord for Libya?

    Jun 1, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Amid the many conflicts rending the Arab world today, the one in Libya recently took a hopeful turn toward a peace process despite the violence still wracking …

  • Policy Analysis

    Anti-Qatar Embargo Grinds Toward Strategic Failure

    Jun 1, 2018Gabriel Collins

    “The experience of the past thus clearly suggests that blockades or embargoes do not always produce the results originally sought when the decision for action …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iraq will Remain a US-Iran Point of Contention

    The United States’ more belligerent position toward Iran, in the wake of the Trump Administration’s recent withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, is likely to …

  • Viewpoint
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Elections and the Arduous Road Ahead

    Iraq has just finished a fourth round of parliamentary elections. What Iraqis await now are the results of consultations between political parties and factions…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    One year on, Trump remains the cause of – and solution to – the Qatar crisis

    May 23, 2018Andreas Krieg

    When it turned out the statements released by Qatar's news agency were the product of an external cyber-attack, and not the actual words of the country's emir,…

  • Viewpoint
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Crack in the Russian-Iranian Alliance in Syria?

    May 23, 2018Joe Macaron

    In a rare instance since the Russian intervention in Syria in September 2015, the policy differences between Moscow and Tehran have become public. This raised …

  • Viewpoint
    IranEnergy and Economics

    Pompeo Peddles Disaster for American Interests

    May 22, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Another spectacle of a confused American foreign policy was on display on May 21, 2018 at the Heritage Foundation, where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo deliver…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Time for Deal-Making after Iraq’s Elections

    May 22, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    Iraqis have rewarded Moqtada al-Sadr’s ability to move beyond sectarian divisions and project a strong anti-corruption message that is hoped to steer Iraq in a…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantInternational Law

    US Jerusalem Embassy vs. Nakba: A Moment of Truth for World Leaders

    May 17, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    Trump has walked back his declaration to bring US troops in Syria home “very soon” in light of pressure from advisors and allies, but he risks embroiling the U…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantInternational Law

    The United States Abdicates Its Responsibilities in the Middle East

    May 17, 2018Imad K. Harb

    It is impossible to see how the massacre of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza or the moving of the American embassy to Jerusalem will help chart a way out…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Has Trump Opted for a Longer US Presence in Syria?

    Trump has walked back his declaration to bring US troops in Syria home “very soon” in light of pressure from advisors and allies, but he risks embroiling the U…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Saudi-Iranian Conflict in an Age of Sectarianization

    May 15, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    Doctrinal sectarian and strategic reasons underlie the ongoing cold conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. As the Trump Administration pushes its more confron…

  • Viewpoint
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Dangerous Israeli-Iranian Escalation in Syria

    May 11, 2018Joe Macaron

    In the most dangerous escalation since the establishment of the Golan Heights ceasefire line in 1973, Israel and Iran exchanged fire in southwestern Syria unde…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Lebanon’s Elections Provide No Serious Change

    May 10, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Lebanon has just finished a feverish election campaign for its 128-seat Chamber of Deputies. This round followed a nine-year period in which this basic democra…

  • Viewpoint
    EgyptConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Deploying Arab Forces in Syria is not Advisable, nor Possible

    May 10, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    Over the last few months, President Donald Trump has made announcements that regional states should bear more of the burden of ridding Syria of the so-called I…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Palestinian National Council Reconvenes in Ramallah: We’ve seen this movie before!

    The 23rd PNC meeting in Ramallah did not generate a new Palestinian strategy and the session did not rise to the Palestinian national challenge in 2018. In tha…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon’s Elections to Rearrange the Country’s Political Landscape

    May 3, 2018Joe Macaron

    For the first time since 2009, Lebanese will elect a new parliament on May 6, a decisive election that will redraw the representation of powers of the ruling c…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Seventy Years of Nakba: Ending a Process that Has Not Stopped

    May 3, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    On May 15, 2018, Palestinians commemorate 70 years of their Nakba, the catastrophe of dispossession and homelessness that unfolded when the state of Israel was…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Mohammed bin Salman Is Wrong on Palestine

    May 2, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Critics allege that impetuousness and impatience are driving Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s actions and statements. What could also be drivi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    The Many Challenges of Iraq’s Upcoming Elections

    Transcending ethnic and sectarian divisions could be one of the most significant outcomes of the upcoming Iraqi elections that can transform the currently divi…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantEnergy and Economics

    Between Idealism and Realpolitik: Erdoğan’s Quest for Palestine

    Apr 26, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey’s active policy for Palestine enables Ankara to strengthen its ties to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas simultaneously and thus to bolster its role a…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    External Actors Complicate Resolving the Yemeni Conflict

    Although the Houthis and the Hadi government show no signs of compromise, Yemen’s conflict continues to drag on largely because external actors are pursuing ag…

  • Policy Analysis
    North AfricaDemocracy and Governance

    Major Stakes in Tunisia’s Municipal Elections

    Apr 24, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    Tunisia, the only true success story from the Arab Spring thus far, finds itself at a crossroads as it approaches major national elections over the next year a…

  • Viewpoint
    LibyaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Haftar’s Illness and Libya’s Troubles

    Apr 20, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Libya’s confusing political environment just became a little more so with the reported illness of strongman General Khalifa Haftar. He is commander of the so-c…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Kosovo Model for Syria

    Apr 17, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    The April 13, 2018, American-British-French strike on Syria was wider in scope and effect than that of April 2017 on Shairat Air Base; both conducted as punish…

  • Policy Analysis
    SudanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Egyptian-Sudanese Relations on the Mend, but Tensions Remain

    Egyptian-Sudanese relations are currently improving although the nature of their ties over the years remains prone to rapid change. Part of their problems are …

  • Viewpoint
    Conflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Forgotten Arab League

    Apr 11, 2018Joe Macaron

    On April 15, the summit of the League of Arab States will be convened in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. It will serve as a reminder that Arabs have a regional, albeit f…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Mysterious Strike Renews Israel-US Coordination in Syria

    Apr 10, 2018Joe Macaron

    The Israeli strike on Iranian assets in Syria last Monday and the imminent US strike on Syria renew the US-Israeli coordination there for the first time since …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Super-Hawks on Iran May Make the US the Biggest Loser

    Apr 10, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    The super-hawks President Trump appointed in his administration may very well get the United States into a conflagration with Iran despite international satisf…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Doubts Surrounding Trump’s Work on GCC Reconciliation

    Apr 9, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Conditions in the Gulf and in Washington do not augur well for Trump-led successful negotiations to resolve the GCC crisis, although all players are making the…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    The Looming Threat of Kurdish-Arab Strife in Northern Syria

    Apr 9, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    The latest developments in northern Syria signal a clear threat of rising Arab-Kurdish tensions that could boil over if local, regional, and international play…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantInternational Law

    The Gaza “Great March of Return”: Regional and International Reactions

    Despite the bloodshed, from a Palestinian perspective the Great March of Return was a resounding success, beating expectations and fueling enthusiasm for more …

  • Viewpoint
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Covering Gaza: Is the Mainstream Media Discourse Changing on Palestine/Israel

    Apr 6, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    As Israeli occupation forces carried out a brutal response against 30,000 Palestinians protesters in Gaza, Washington, DC—and much of the international communi…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Netanyahu Tries to Shore Himself Up

    Apr 4, 2018Imad K. Harb

    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) did not need the people of Gaza demonstrating on their border to create what amounted to a target-shooting opportunity that kil…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Is This the End of AIPAC’s Reign?

    Apr 3, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    The month of March in Washington DC is known for cherry blossom and AIPAC's annual conference. From 4-6 March, the 2018 AIPAC policy conference took place in D…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Where Is Syria Headed?

    Apr 3, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    The scenarios for Syria’s future after the fall of Eastern Ghouta now look very different from those drawn in 2012 or 2013, which depicted a peaceful political…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Jordan’s Four Worst-case Scenarios on Its Syrian Border

    Mar 30, 2018Joe Macaron

    Jordan faces four worst-case scenarios as the US-Russia ceasefire agreement is gradually collapsing in southwestern Syria. Amman’s options to limit the damage …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Pompeo Unlikely to Press for Human Rights in the Arab Region

    In contrast to Tillerson, who raised human rights and democracy concerns in some Arab states, Pompeo is unlikely to do so given his ideology and desire to stay…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Who is John Bolton? A Political Profile of the Next National Security Advisor

    Mar 23, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    With the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor, the United States risks turning the National Security Council into an echo chamber of hyper-n…

  • Viewpoint
    US Foreign Policy

    Bolton Is In; Fasten Your Seatbelts

    Mar 23, 2018Imad K. Harb

    It is hard to see how the Trump Administration can conduct a purposeful and reasoned foreign policy with the chaos engulfing its essential institutions. The fi…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    A Palestinian Landscape of Unknowns

    Mar 23, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    Unable to even pretend that Washington can deliver on brokering peace, Palestinian leaders seem stuck, having already devoted fruitless heavy political investm…

  • Viewpoint
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    Trump’s Transactional Relationship with Saudi Arabia

    The March 21, 2018 press conference between US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) must rank among the most surreal…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaSecurity and Defense

    Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the Yemeni Hemorrhage

    Mar 20, 2018Imad K. Harb

    It is necessary to point out that the Saudi-led intervention in March 2015 has exacerbated human suffering and underscored the differences between Yemen’s elit…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Egypt’s Presidential Elections and the Challenges Ahead

    Mar 20, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    Sisi is on his way to a second term but Egypt is set for a number of challenges after its presidential elections regarding economic development, human rights a…