• 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…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Many Complications of Returning Islamic State Fighters

    Mar 19, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    As the Islamic State (IS) transforms into a flat organization with autonomous cells around the globe, the foreign fighters returning to their home countries po…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantMedia and Technology

    Where on Earth is the Palestinian Press?

    Mar 16, 2018Khalil E. Jahshan

    As a long-term observer of Middle East politics, I have always been intrigued by the surprisingly limited impact exerted by the Palestinian media on Palestinia…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Firing Tillerson Leaves US Diplomacy in Limbo

    Mar 15, 2018Joe Macaron

    Tillerson’s firing comes at a critical time in US foreign policy. New dynamics are emerging in the Trump Administration and the successor Mike Pompeo should ba…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    A Saudi Comeback to Lebanese Politics?

    Mar 14, 2018Joe Macaron

    Nearly 100 days after his mysterious “captivity” in the Saudi capital, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri visited Riyadh again on February 28. The timing c…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Who is Mike Pompeo? A Political Profile of the Nominee for US Secretary of State

    Mar 13, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    When considering his policy positions, temperament, and personal relationship with President Trump, Pompeo is almost the polar opposite of outgoing Secretary o…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Tillerson’s Departure: Implications for Middle East Policy

    Mar 13, 2018Imad K. Harb

    President Donald Trump’s sacking of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has important ramifications for US policy in the Middle East, and specifically toward the …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    US Syria Policy: Juggling Contradictory Interests

    US policy in Syria, as articulated by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, remains focused on the Islamic State, but it does little to bring about other stated go…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    Strategic Considerations of the UAE’s Role in Yemen

    There are legitimate questions about whether the UAE is interested in keeping Yemen unified and sovereign under a national government recognized by the interna…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Trump’s UNRWA Decision Buys into Israel’s Argument

    Mar 8, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    US funding cuts to UNRWA open the door for further US policies that espouse Israeli far-right positions regarding the status of Palestinian refugees and the ri…

  • Research Paper
    Democracy and Governance

    The Arab World at a Crossroads: Rebellion, Collapse, and Reform

    Mar 8, 2018Dr. Shafeeq Ghabra

    A return to stability in the Arab world requires awareness by the respective governments of popular grievances and needs a plan for implementing corrective pol…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Repercussions of Trump’s Jerusalem Policy Change: An Interview with Khalil E. Jahshan

    President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his administration’s decision to move the American embassy there have probably t…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Will Trump Further Militarize the Arab World?

    Feb 28, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Under the leadership of President Donald Trump, the Arab world may be poised for increased militarization as he pushes for military sales and it experiences nu…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Hell on Earth: The World Forsakes Syria’s Eastern Ghouta

    Feb 28, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    The people of this district near Damascus are being exposed to relentless aerial bombing and ground attacks that have killed over 500 civilians, including many…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    US Allies Upstage Tillerson’s Mideast Tour

    Feb 27, 2018Joe Macaron

    Israel and Turkey dominated Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first expanded high level trip to the Middle East as US foreign policy faces new regional challe…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Eastern Ghouta: Syria’s “Hell on Earth”

    Feb 23, 2018Khalil E. Jahshan

    In recent weeks, the Assad regime and its supporters have subjected the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta to one of the most violent attacks of the seven-year …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantEnergy and Economics

    Turkey’s Challenge to Arab Interests in the Horn of Africa

    Feb 22, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey’s policies and many activities around the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa have added complications to the already complex strategic picture of the Middle…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Is There a US Policy Toward the Kurds in Iraq and Syria?

    Recent tensions between the United States and Turkey over US support for the Syrian Kurds have brought to the forefront the issue of US policy toward the Kurdi…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Abbas Reassures UNSC of Palestinian Commitment to Just and Lasting Peace

    Feb 20, 2018Khalil E. Jahshan

    Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas delivered today his long-anticipated speech to the UN Security Council. His objective was essentially two-fold, he wanted f…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Mahmoud Abbas at the UN Security Council

    Feb 20, 2018Imad K. Harb

    What was most noticeable in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s peace plan was his reaffirmation that the Arab Peace Initiative (API) of 2002 remai…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    The War of Others on Syria’s Soil

    Feb 20, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    The late diplomat, politician, and publisher of the influential Lebanese daily An-Nahar, Ghassan Tueni, characterized the 15-year Lebanese civil war as “a war …

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Mahmoud Abbas’s Disappearing Options

    Feb 15, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    Abbas’s options have significantly narrowed after Trump’s position change on Jerusalem; but his limited choices are not beneficial for anyone given the ambigui…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Like Quicksand, Many Issues Threaten to Engulf Lebanon

    Feb 13, 2018Imad K. Harb

    As it approaches the highly anticipated round of legislative elections on May 6, Lebanon finds itself bereft of a cohesive political center that can withstand …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Can Iran’s Minorities Be Used against the Regime?

    Feb 9, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    The heightened tension and antagonistic discourse between Saudi Arabia and Iran help Tehran legitimize its security policies in the country and to “alert” its …

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A change in the American rules of engagement in Syria

    Feb 9, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    The American forces in northeastern Syria intervened in the Deir Ezzor area to protect and defend their local ally, the Syrian Democratic Forces. An estimated …

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarSecurity and Defense

    The US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue: Messages and Implications

    Feb 8, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    The most consequential outcome of the US-Qatar strategic dialogue is the US official declaration of “readiness to work jointly with Qatar to deter and confront…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqEnergy and Economics

    Jordanian-Iraqi Relations on the Mend, but Problems Remain

    Economic necessities and opposition to the so-called Islamic State have brought Jordan and Iraq closer together, but Amman remains concerned about Baghdad’s li…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Russia has abandoned all restraint in its support of Assad

    Feb 8, 2018Imad K. Harb

    It appears that Russia has decided to fully throw in its weight behind Bashar al-Assad’s regime and in fact take part in bombing civilian targets. I think Russ…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Fits and Starts Characterize UN Mediation in Yemen, Syria, and Libya

    United Nations diplomacy regarding Yemen, Syria, and Libya may be undergoing a period of fatigue, or perhaps exhaustion, in searching for efficient formulas to…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    An Unsettling Overview of the Middle East in 2018

    It is clear from ongoing developments in the Middle East that the United States and Russia will continue to play a role that meets their own national interests…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    The Aden Battle and Yemen’s De Facto Partition

    Feb 2, 2018Joe Macaron

    It is clear from ongoing developments in the Middle East that the United States and Russia will continue to play a role that meets their own national interests…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    The Battle of Afrin and the Future of the Free Syrian Army

    Feb 2, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    Low levels of mutual confidence between Washington and Ankara have subjected the American-Turkish strategic relationship to unwarranted dangers and challenges.

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptUS Foreign Policy

    The Middle East Nuclear Picture: Peaceful Programs or Not, Cause for Concern

    Feb 2, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    Focusing solely on the Iranian nuclear program has made Washington oblivious to some significant nuclear developments in other parts of the Middle East.

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Egypt’s Presidential Election Shaping Up as a Non-Contest

    President Sisi has an easy path to reelection in March after his two main rivals have either been pressured to halt their candidacies or have dropped out of th…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Palestinian Bet on the EU Could be an Opportunity for Washington

    Jan 25, 2018Joe Macaron

    The United States should remain engaged in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and President Abbas’ visit to Europe may have provided the Trump Administratio…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Turkey’s Kurdish Conundrum in Syria

    Jan 24, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    As Turkey conducts its military operations against Syrian Kurdish militiamen ostensibly to secure its border with Syria, it finds itself needing to reconcile d…

  • Policy Analysis
    OmanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Determinants of Oman’s Strategic Position on the Gulf Crisis

    Jan 23, 2018Imad K. Harb

    As Oman seeks to steer a neutral course in the ongoing GCC crisis, Omani decision-makers worry that what happened with Qatar may be justified against their own…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Tillerson’s Syria Policy: Ambitious but Short on Detail

    Jan 23, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    While the United States remains concerned about many different and complicating factors in Syria, Tillerson’s pronouncements represent an ambitious policy that…