• 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending January 12, 2018

    Jan 12, 2018Joe Macaron

    Congress grapples with FISA legislation and new sanctions; senators explore US strategy for Syria; President Trump keeps the JCPOA in place, but adds new sanct…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending January 5, 2018

    Back from a holiday recess, the Senate makes major personnel moves; President Trump, Nikki Haley have strong words for Palestine, Iran.

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending December 22, 2017

    Dec 21, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress looks to ratchet up pressure on Syria and Qatar; President Trump releases his National Security Strategy; Trump and Haley take issue with the United N…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending December 15, 2017

    Dec 15, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Iran again is a subject of concern in Washington; Congress and the White House discuss military and national security strategies.

  • 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’…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending December 8, 2017

    With the 69th Anniversary of “Human Rights Day” approaching, Congress explores the US’ role in promoting human rights, peace, and stability in the Middle East;…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congressional Update (Extended Edition) – Week Ending December 01, 2017

    Congress assesses Saudi, Lebanese developments and explores threats to the United States; the White House weighs US embassy move, PLO office closure, and ousti…

  • 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.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending November 17, 2017

    Nov 17, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress sets its sights on Palestine’s Hamas and Islamic Jihad while also trying to strengthen Iran sanctions; groundbreaking Palestinian rights bill is intro…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Congressional Update – Week Ending November 10, 2017

    Nov 10, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress debates defense authorization and foreign surveillance legislation; multiple committee hearings examine counterterrorism and democracy in the Middle E…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranProtests and Activism

    Congressional Update – Week Ending November 3, 2017

    Senators debate amending INARA and grill Tillerson, Mattis on AUMF; State Department approves foreign military sales; ACLU highlights legal implications for an…

  • 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…

  • Public Opinion Survey
    Bar chart showing Arabs ages 18-44 have a more favorable view of Americans than those over 45.
    US Foreign Policy

    Arab Attitudes toward President Trump and his Middle East Policies and Positions

    Oct 27, 2017

    Arab Center Washington DC (ACW) conducted a public opinion survey in the Arab world in cooperation with the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 27, 2017

    Oct 27, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress moves to counter Iran and Hezbollah; administration officials visit the Middle East; Supreme Court dismisses second travel ban challenge.

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 20, 2017

    Oct 20, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    I. Congress1) Legislation. This week, with the House of Representatives on recess and the Senate preoccupied with passing its version of a budget resolution, t…

  • 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 …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 13, 2017

    Oct 13, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress debates Iran and its proxies; President Trump refuses to certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA and designates the IRGC a terrorist organization.

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 06, 2017

    Congress looks to stabilize Iraq and Syria after IS; countering Iran takes center stage as Trump vows not to certify the JCPOA; travel ban back in the court sy…

  • 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 …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Migrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending September 29, 2017

    Sep 29, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress makes progress toward further sanctions on Hezbollah; Trump issues new limits on travelers and refugees coming to the US; Ambassador to Israel David F…

  • 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.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Migrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending September 22, 2017

    Sep 22, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Senate passes NDAA, eyes passage of bill to provide relief for victims of genocide; President Trump makes first trip to the United Nations General Assembly; fa…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending September 15, 2017

    Sep 15, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    The House passes its FY 2018 spending bill and the Senate debates the National Defense Authorization Act; State Department officials travel abroad to talk Iran…

  • 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…