• Policy Analysis
    JordanInternational Law

    Trump Has Upended the Foundation of the Middle East Peace Process

    Jan 18, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    After the Jerusalem decision, questions remain about whether Trump and his circle will realize the folly of their policies and the tremendous damage they will …

  • Policy Analysis
    MoroccoDemocracy and Governance

    The Moroccan King’s “Political Earthquake”: Old Medicine in New Bottles?

    Jan 17, 2018Mohammed Cherkaoui

    The real promise of political and economic reforms in Morocco mostly depends on whether King Mohammed VI is sincere about implementing them and if he succeeds …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Abdulwahab al-Qassab: Iraq’s Sectarian Parties Will Win Elections

    Religious parties, both Shia and Sunni, are best positioned to win Iraq’s parliamentary elections in 2018. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi cannot escape his sec…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanUS Foreign Policy

    Will Trump’s Jerusalem Move Unravel US-Jordanian Relations?

    Jan 11, 2018Joe Macaron

    President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is testing US-Jordanian relations and shifting how Amman views its regional role.

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Egyptian and Jordanian Relations with Israel under Strain

    Generally cordial and cooperative, Egyptian and Jordanian relations with Israel are currently strained following provocative actions by the U.S. and Israel on …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Unsettling Times for Iraqi Kurdistan

    Jan 10, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Sulaymaniyah protests last December have revealed a deep split in Iraqi Kurdistan. By pitting Sulaymaniyah against Irbil, Baghdad aims to capitalize on the…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    The Middle East in 2018: A Trump Administration To-Do List

    Jan 9, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    US Middle East priorities in 2018 include Iran, the fate of the two-state solution, and managing instability in Iraq and Syria. US policy confusion and lack of…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Regime Unity Will Decide the Fate of Iran’s Protests

    Jan 4, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Iranian protesters’ slogans and demands indicate that there is much angst and frustration with the slow pace of political reform, the glacial movement of econo…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantReligion and Politics

    The Many Angles of Turkey’s Fight for Jerusalem

    Dec 28, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey’s championing of the cause of Jerusalem is genuine but also serves its interest in restoring its relations with the Arab countries and increasing its so…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaThe GCC

    Costly Mistakes in Saudi Decision-Making in Yemen and Lebanon

    Dec 27, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Saudi Arabia’s mistakes and poor decision-making in Yemen and Lebanon have been at the heart of recent failures to deal with the two countries and have allowed…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    The Syrian Opposition Faces an Existential Crisis

    Dec 21, 2017Joe Macaron

    After losing important bargaining chips such as control of territory and ability to declare a ceasefire, the Syrian opposition may not be able to influence the…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    No Room for Assad in a Future Syria

    There is no end to Syria’s conflict, no establishment of a democratic and open political system, and no return for Syria’s refugees, so long as Bashar al-Assad…

  • Research Paper

    What Defines Terrorism? The Identity of the Victim or the Victimizer?

    Dec 20, 2017Azmi Bishara

    No great analytical effort is required to illustrate the widespread use of the terms “terrorism” and “counterterrorism” in today’s world. These terms dominate …

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Putin in Egypt as the United States Retreats

    From the perspective of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, warming relations with Moscow sends a signal to Washington that the US-Egyptian bilateral relationship …

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaDemocracy and Governance

    Libya’s Modern Slavery and the Politics of Denial

    Dec 18, 2017Mohammed Cherkaoui

    The treatment of refugees and migrants in Libya raises new questions about three major political, socioeconomic, and moral dilemmas for the Libyan government, …

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptMedia and Technology

    Press Freedom Reversals in Post-Arab Spring Countries

    Dec 18, 2017Sahar Khamis

    Just like the path to democratization and reform has been obstructed or derailed in most of the Arab Spring countries, so has the path to media freedom, in a p…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Using Its Syrian Foothold, Russia Expands in the Middle East

    Dec 14, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Russia’s victory in Syria does not merely prop up the Assad regime but, more broadly, helps propel Moscow’s strategic interests in the wider Middle East.

  • Policy Analysis

    Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration: The Oslo Era’s Final Act

    Dec 13, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    Trump’s declaration about Jerusalem isolated the United States, unified the Arab and Muslim worlds, and may have given the Europeans a chance to play a role as…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantEnergy and Economics

    Turkey’s Policy toward a Fractured Libya

    Dec 12, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey is interested in being on good terms with all Libyan factions but is caught up in the complex relations between Libya’s political forces and their regio…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Implications of Saleh’s Assassination on Yemen’s Future

    Dec 8, 2017Joe Macaron

    For the Iranian regime, Yemen remains a low-risk investment at Saudi Arabia’s border; and the impression in Tehran is that Saleh’s assassination forced Riyadh’…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarEnergy and Economics

    The GCC’s Future Is in the Balance after Its 38th Summit Meeting

    Dec 7, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The GCC should be preserved despite the failure of its 38th summit meeting in Kuwait and the establishment of a Saudi Arabian-Emirati new political and militar…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanInternational Law

    Trump’s Jerusalem Announcement: Big Gambit, Little Gain

    Dec 6, 2017Tamara Kharroub

    This is indeed a shameful day for the United States, where accrediting military force, violating international law, and supporting apartheid in Jerusalem mark …

  • Policy Analysis

    Egypt Still Banking on Libya’s Haftar While Reaching Out to Other Leaders

    Economic and primarily security interests drive Egypt’s Sisi to support General Khalifa Haftar, strongman in eastern Libya, against Islamist movements while al…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Missing Considerations of the Counterterrorism Alliance

    Nov 29, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The first meeting of the Islamic Military Counterterrorism Coalition, which took place in Riyadh, may have provided recognition of MbS’s leadership of the Musl…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    US Military Planning in the Middle East: Increasing Challenges, Vague Strategies

    Nov 28, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Uncertainties about US military policy, intentions, and ambitions in the Middle East together with many political challenges and developments increase the conf…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Future Possibilities for the Kurds in Post-IS Syria

    Nov 28, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    With the defeat of the Islamic State in Syria, Kurdish activities and aspirations are yet again exposed to the calculations and machinations of all the parties…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Arab Normalization with Israel Frames Trump Peace Plan

    Nov 22, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    President Trump’s peace plan in the Middle East embraces the “outside-in” approach for peace between Palestinians and Israelis with a risky Arab-Israeli normal…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Trump Embraces the Saudi Vision of the Yemen Conflict

    President Trump has adopted the Saudi leadership’s position that the Yemen conflict is a case of Iranian and proxy adventurism that needs to be rolled back and…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Closure of the PLO Office in Washington: The “Ultimate Deal” Exposed

    Now that the Palestinians are potentially losing their diplomatic foothold in Washington, they may finally decide that the United States is withdrawing from ne…

  • Policy Analysis
    North AfricaDemocracy and Governance

    Challenges to Tunisia’s Transition to Democracy

    Nov 21, 2017Mohammed Cherkaoui

    Recent moves by the Tunisian executive suggest that the Jasmine Revolution is not unfolding as smoothly as expected and that the country may not be the excepti…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Is Egypt’s Population Growth a Blessing or a Curse?

    Nov 20, 2017Sahar Khamis

    At 98 million, Egypt’s rapid population growth is a threat to the national economy and an obstacle to the country’s prospects for development and prosperity.

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Is Power Trumping Legitimacy in Saudi Arabia?

    Nov 16, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Machiavellianism endangers at least three pillars of legitimate rule in Saudi Arabia: royal family consensual decision-making, con…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    US Curbs Saudi Arabia’s Surge in Lebanon

    Nov 14, 2017Joe Macaron

    Clear statements from the White House and the Department of State appear to have curbed the Saudi surge in Beirut and toned down Riyadh’s rhetoric against the …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iraq’s Disputed Territories: A Worrisome Achilles’ Heel

    Nov 13, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Two major factors will help shape the future of Iraq’s disputed territories. One is the population dynamic, given the influx of internal refugees, and the othe…

  • Policy Analysis

    Policy Recommendations for the Trump Administration

    Nov 9, 2017Sumaya al-Majdoub

    The last session of the second annual conference of Arab Center Washington DC, held on October 26, 2017, concentrated on policy recommendations for the future.…

  • Policy Analysis
    North AfricaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Emerging Security Challenges in North and West Africa

    The appearance of stability in the countries of north and west Africa belies a dangerous reality of the existence of many extremist groups feeding on poor soci…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Bilateral Disagreements Aside, Jordan and Israel Agree on Syria

    Jordan and Israel view military activities by Sunni extremists groups and by Hezbollah as threats and are using their developing ties with Russia to try to mit…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Is Mohammed bin Salman Overplaying His Hand?

    Nov 6, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Mohammed bin Salman may think that consolidating power in his hands will help the kingdom face its challenges, but he would do well to know that sidelining imp…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Amid Regional Chaos, US Seeks Improved Saudi-Iraqi Ties

    Nov 6, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Despite many pitfalls, the Trump Administration is quite keen on helping to improve relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq in an effort to contain Iranian inf…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Is Palestinian Reconciliation Viable This Time?

    The Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement is the product of political manipulation between parties that lack confidence in each other’s strategic objectives. Th…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Century after Balfour: Israel’s Knesset Wants All of Palestine

    Nov 2, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    A hundred years after the Balfour Declaration, Israeli lawmakers are slated to take legislative steps that, instead of moving toward democracy, would only doub…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Raqqa’s Liberation and US Policy in Syria

    Oct 31, 2017Radwan Ziadeh

    The Islamic State’s defeat in Raqqa was met with widespread approval among all Syrians, but the Kurds’ control of the liberated city and its surroundings promp…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Ankara’s Ambiguous Policy toward a Divided GCC

    Oct 30, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    As a key player in the GCC crisis, Turkey has tried to support Qatar while avoiding potential deterioration in Ankara-GCC relations, which would result in nega…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Egypt’s Security Challenges in the Sinai Belie the Government’s Rhetoric

    Clashes in the northern Sinai Peninsula that resulted in scores of deaths of Egyptian security forces have underscored the durability of the extremist insurgen…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Domestic Troubles for the Saudi Arabian Leadership

    Oct 24, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Mohammed bin Salman’s challenge to established norms of governance in Saudi Arabia and the abrupt changes in its economic and social conditions may help pull t…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Libya’s Complicated Search for a Leader

    Oct 24, 2017Mohammed Cherkaoui

    Libya faces an uneasy distinction between a fragile state and a failed state and has fallen between the cracks of a dispute over legitimacy, struggle for power…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Kirkuk Battle Is a Watershed Event for Iraq

    The Iraqi central government harnessed domestic and international support to abort the Kurdish referendum for independence, in the process weakening the KRG’s …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    The Challenges of Turkey’s Operation in Syria’s Idlib

    Oct 19, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey is concerned about who controls neighboring Idlib Province in Syria but is equally interested in thwarting the Syrian Kurds’ plans for autonomy south of…

  • Policy Analysis
    US Domestic Politics and Elections

    Undermining Tillerson and the Demise of US Soft Power

    Oct 19, 2017Joe Macaron

    President Trump’s public undermining of his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is causing a paradigm shift in the international system. However, replacing Tiller…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    The Art of (Decertifying) the Deal: Trump’s Iran Strategy and the Nuclear Agreement’s Future

    Oct 17, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    The president’s decertifying the Iran nuclear deal does not terminate US participation in the JCPOA but opens the door to such a move, roils US relations with …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Will US, Saudi Pressure Deter Hezbollah in Lebanon?

    Oct 12, 2017Joe Macaron

    Given the current status quo in Lebanon, the best American and Saudi pressure can do is to make the country’s political environment unbearable for Hezbollah.

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    The Kurdish Referendum and Cross-Communal Dynamics in Iraq

    While Abadi’s popularity has risen because of his stewardship of the successful anti-Islamic State campaign, his standing could be jeopardized if the crisis ov…

  • Policy Analysis
    Arab Americans/ Muslim Americans

    Countering Violent Extremism under the Trump Administration: Shortsighted and Counterproductive

    Oct 11, 2017Tamara Kharroub

    To counter violent extremism, the Trump Administration would better serve US interests and security by focusing on fostering democratic governance, investing i…

  • Policy Analysis
    MoroccoDemocracy and Governance

    Morocco’s Rif Rises against the Makhzen’s Power

    Morocco’s popular protests highlight three intersecting dilemmas: the future legitimacy of the monarchy, poor governance and widespread corruption, and the pot…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Egypt’s Role in Arab Politics: Punching Below its Weight

    Oct 4, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Egypt’s traditional influence in the Arab world is a function of its ability to help resolve its problems. This influence is today on a downward trajectory as …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Does Turkey Really Want to Punish Iraqi Kurdistan?

    Oct 3, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey may feel that it has to impose punitive measures against Iraqi Kurdistan over the referendum but countervailing Turkish domestic political conditions ma…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Kurds Vote to Secede, but Problems Loom

    The widespread disapproval of the Kurdish referendum inside Iraq, the region, and internationally points to potential serious developments for the Kurds and a …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Mahmoud Abbas: A Lone Voice in the UN Wilderness

    Sep 29, 2017Khalil E. Jahshan

    President Abbas’s speech before the United Nations was true to the Palestinian essentials of appealing for justice in Palestine, denouncing Israel’s excesses a…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Strategic Implications of Reopening the Baghdad-Amman Highway

    Sep 29, 2017Joe Macaron

    While pivotal for Jordan’s and Iraq’s economies, the recent re-opening of the Amman-Baghdad highway has strategic and security implications for faraway powers …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    The Follies and Pitfalls of the Kurdish Referendum

    The Kurdish referendum is a dangerous play with delicate Kurdish and Iraqi politics to shore up KRG President Masood Barzani’s legitimacy in Iraqi Kurdistan.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranInternational Law

    Trump’s United Nations Speech: More of the Same

    Sep 20, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    President Trump’s speech before the UN mixed isolationism and economic nationalism with calls for international consensus building, two irreconcilable position…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Future Implications of the Islamic State’s Demise in Syria

    Sep 20, 2017Radwan Ziadeh

    Syria’s developments regarding the Islamic State’s expected demise and the Astana meeting should not be taken to signal an end to the country’s war which has l…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    The US and the GCC: A Steep Learning Curve for President Trump

    Sep 18, 2017Imad K. Harb

    In its first year in office, the Trump Administration must work on remedying its shortcomings on Gulf affairs and strive to safeguard the GCC’s unity as a stra…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Trump Administration’s Wishful Policies in the Yemen Conflict

    Prolonging the Yemeni conflict with unending military assistance to the Saudi-led campaign has been a disaster. The long-suffering Yemeni people deserve a chan…

  • Policy Analysis
    North AfricaJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    A New Tunisian Law Tackles Violence Against Women

    Sep 12, 2017Sahar Khamis

    The new Tunisian law against violence against women sets a new model for the Arab world to emulate and raises the bar in the struggle for women’s rights and ge…

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

    Troubling Ambiguities in the UAE’s Role in Yemen

    Sep 8, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The UAE’s ambiguous policies in Yemen expose the entire restoration of Yemeni legitimacy to uncertain circumstances, put it and Saudi Arabia at cross purposes,…

  • Policy Analysis

    Can the Gulf Cooperation Council Survive the Current Crisis?

    The GCC is likely to survive the current crisis, at least on paper, but to become far less relevant as policymaking is driven by younger decision-makers who ha…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    The Popular Mobilization Forces and Iraq’s Next Elections

    Sep 6, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Multiple Shia parties are competing to benefit from the successes of the Popular Mobilization Forces in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq’s 2018 nati…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Will Netanyahu’s Legal Troubles Break the Stalemate?

    Aug 31, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    With or without Benyamin Netanyahu, there is little reason to believe that any likely foreseeable Israeli government will be ready for peace with the Palestini…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    An Evaluation of President Trump’s Emerging Counterterrorism Strategy

    Aug 30, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    President Trump’s counterterrorism strategy that relies on military solutions is unlikely to succeed in a region with complex politics, dubious allies, and lon…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Egypt’s Extremist Groups and the Shrinking Political Space

    The Egyptian government’s repressive policies have contributed to the problem of extremism by constricting political space, severely cracking down on opponents…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Is the Trump-Sisi Honeymoon Over?

    Aug 28, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The State Department’s decision on aid to Egypt shows that the Trump Administration cannot sidestep established law or Congress’s power of appropriation despit…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Is the Turkey-Iran Rapprochement Durable in Iraq and Syria?

    Aug 24, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Given the historical nature of the Turkish-Iranian rivalry, a durable rapprochement between Turkey and Iran requires assurances about the future of the Kurds a…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Stakeholders of the Syrian Conflict Divide the Pie

    Aug 23, 2017Joe Macaron

    The recent local and regional developments in Syria signal that it is entering a new phase where major powers are coming to terms with a compromise that the Sy…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Still Elusive Libyan Peace

    Aug 17, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The political impasse in Libya may pave the way for a final collapse of the nearly failed Libyan state and the subsequent divorce between the eastern and weste…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    The Realities and Challenges of a New US SOFA with Iraq

    The United States and Iraq are currently negotiating a new Status of Forces Agreement that is contingent upon numerous domestic, regional, and American conditi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Potential for Intercommunal Violence in Iraq and Syria

    Aug 9, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    The legacy of authoritarianism, the rise of sectarian sentiments, ethno-nationalist aspirations, communal grievances about government neglect, and outside inte…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    An Economic Explanation for Egypt’s Alignment in the GCC Crisis

    Aug 9, 2017Imad K. Harb

    With Egypt heavily reliant on Saudi Arabia and the UAE for its economic stability and survival, Cairo may not find much room for independent foreign policy dec…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Stretched over Two Borders, Hezbollah is Making Israel Anxious

    Aug 8, 2017Joe Macaron

    In the long run, the risks of confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah may largely depend on how the US-Russia deal will unfold in southern Syria.

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Existential Questions: Iraq Gears up for Elections

    Aug 7, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Iraqi political forces are beginning to come together, pick fights, ingratiate themselves with potential foreign patrons, and evaluate the mood of the country …