• Policy Analysis

    President Trump and the Republican Congress: Smooth Sailing or Choppy Waters?

    Jan 25, 2017Roxanne Perugino

    For only the third time since 1929, the Republican Party will control the House, Senate and the White House and have the opportunity to choose a Supreme Court …

  • Policy Analysis

    Aoun in Riyadh: A Test for Lebanon’s Foreign Policy

    Jan 25, 2017Joe Macaron

    In November 2014, General Michel Aoun told the Lebanese daily newspaper, As-Safir, that the late Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal was behind a veto to ele…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending January 20, 2017

    Jan 18, 2017

    The 115th Congress convened on January 3, 2017 and lawmakers in both houses wasted little time in voicing concerns about recent developments in the Middle East…

  • Policy Analysis

    Oman’s Needed Adjustment During the Trump Presidency

    Jan 18, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The Sultanate of Oman has arguably always been an outlier regarding unified Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) action since the organization’s establishment in 198…

  • Policy Analysis

    Turkish-Iraqi Relations: Old Trends and Future Possibilities

    Relations between Iraq and Turkey have been cordial and cautious since Iraq became independent of Ottoman suzerainty after WWI, when British forces invaded and…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Battle for DNC Chair: Palestine and Democratic Party Politics after Trump’s Election

    Jan 17, 2017Tamara Kharroub

    2016 was a tumultuous year for the Democratic Party. Democrats lost the White House, both houses of Congress, and a large number of gubernatorial races (two-th…

  • Policy Analysis

    Turkey at “the Gate” of Victory at Al-Bab: What’s Next?

    Jan 12, 2017

    The New Year’s Eve attack in Istanbul represents a significant change in relations between Turkey and the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL). Althoug…

  • Policy Analysis

    Washington Rebalancing Away from the Middle East? Realities and Difficulties

    Jan 9, 2017Imad K. Harb

    In a speech to the Australian parliament in November 2011, President Barack Obama declared that the Asia-Pacific region had become a “top priority” in US secur…

  • Policy Analysis

    Rafsanjani’s Death and Its Impact on Iran’s Political Bazaar

    Jan 9, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The death of former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani comes at a critical time in the Islamic Republic’s political history. As one of the founders…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    House and Senate Introduce Resolutions Disapproving the UNSC Resolution on Israeli Settlements

    Jan 6, 2017

    On January 5, 2017, the US House of Representatives, by a vote of 342-80, passed HRes11, a non-binding resolution objecting to the United Nations Security Coun…

  • Policy Analysis

    Recalculating Route: America and Israel on Divergent Paths

    Jan 3, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    In May 2016, I wrote that the Obama Administration should carefully weigh options for how to address the Israeli/Palestinian issue during its last months in of…

  • Policy Analysis

    US President-elect Donald J. Trump and his Foreign Policy Cabinet Choices: Focus on Middle East Issues

    Dec 29, 2016

    In the last few weeks, President-elect Donald Trump has been building his team of senior officials. The team selected as his foreign policy appointees presents…

  • Policy Analysis

    After Aleppo: The Political and Regional Implications of the New Middle East “Troika”

    Dec 28, 2016Joe Macaron

    Since August 2016, new regional power dynamics have been emerging in the wars in Syria. The trend has manifested itself in the fall of Aleppo and the December …

  • Policy Analysis

    Sidelining Asad: Questioning the Future of Russian-Iranian-Turkish Convergence in Syria

    Dec 27, 2016Imad K. Harb

    The battle of Aleppo has finally been decided in favor of the Syrian regime and its Russian, Iranian, and militia cohorts. But for all intents and purposes, th…

  • Policy Analysis

    UN Security Council Passes Resolution Against Israeli Settlements

    Dec 23, 2016

    On Wednesday, December 21, 2016, Egypt circulated a draft resolution calling for an end to Israeli settlements and demanding Israel to “immediately and complet…

  • Policy Analysis
    US Domestic Politics and Elections

    Middle East Positions of Trump’s Cabinet

    Dec 23, 2016

     Sources: This information was collected and inferred by ACW based on statements, voting records, and other publicly available information.*The infographi…

  • Policy Analysis

    Breaking Ground in Jerusalem

    Dec 22, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    Some things are utterly predictable. The sun will always rise in the east, rain will always be wet, and US presidential candidates who promise to move the Amer…

  • Policy Analysis

    President-elect Donald Trump Nominates David Friedman as US Ambassador to Israel

    Dec 22, 2016

    On December 15, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump nominated David Friedman to the post of US ambassador to Israel. Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer, has no diplo…

  • Policy Analysis

    Secretary of Energy-designate Rick Perry 

    Dec 22, 2016

    In an ironic twist, President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Texas Governor Rick Perry as his secretary of energy. The Energy Department is the same agency Perr…

  • Policy Analysis

    Profile of Secretary of State-designate Rex W. Tillerson

    Dec 15, 2016

    President-elect Donald Trump named Rex Tillerson, Exxon-Mobil CEO, as his choice for secretary of state on December 13. The appointment is controversial and ha…

  • Policy Analysis

    What is Next for Turkey after the Fall of Aleppo?

    Dec 15, 2016

    After the fall of Aleppo, Turkey’s capacity to maneuver in the region will suffer tremendously. Indeed, the fall of Aleppo has increased tensions among Syrian …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – December 15, 2016

    Dec 15, 2016

    I. CongressThe 114th Congress has adjourned, although there will be several pro forma sessions between now and January 3, when the 115th Congress convenes, to …

  • Policy Analysis

    The GCC at 35: Regional Concerns and Strategic Hedging

    Dec 15, 2016Imad K. Harb

    Last week, the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) concluded its 37th summit meeting in Manama, Bahrain, amid many hopeful pronouncements as well as atte…

  • Policy Analysis

    Trump’s “Ultimate Deal” on Palestine/Israel

    Dec 8, 2016Tamara Kharroub

    In the first interview after his election victory, Donald J. Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he wants to broker a deal between Israel and the Palestini…

  • Policy Analysis

    The “Incredible” John Kerry: Ineffectiveness and Inconsistency

    Dec 8, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    It was painful to watch. Secretary of State John Kerry trying to explain and defend American foreign policy in the Middle East is such an uncomfortable sight. …

  • Policy Analysis

    Trump Nominates Treasury and Commerce Secretaries

    Dec 5, 2016

    Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury-designatePresident-elect Donald Trump has nominated his campaign finance chairman, Steven Mnuchin, to be secretary of…

  • Policy Analysis

    Trump Announces Retired USMC General James “Mad Dog” Mattis as Secretary of Defense

    Dec 5, 2016

    On December 1, during a victory rally in Ohio, President-elect Donald Trump announced the nomination of retired Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” Mattis to …

  • Policy Analysis

    Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in the United States: An Assessment of Domestic and International Efforts

    Dec 1, 2016Sara Lobo Tamara Kharroub

    Countering Violent Extremism, or CVE, is a relatively new but expanding framework of practices for US “soft power” engagement with radicalization and extremism…

  • Policy Analysis

    Trump Announces Additions to National Security Team

    Dec 1, 2016

    Nikki R. Haley, Ambassador-designate to the United NationsOn November 22, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump nominated South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as h…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Misplaced Hope of Lebanon’s Presidential Election

    Dec 1, 2016Imad K. Harb

    Developments in Lebanon during November 2016 made it increasingly evident that the election as president of Michel Aoun, former general and leader of the Refor…

  • Policy Analysis

    Trump’s Cabinet Begins to Take Shape

    Nov 23, 2016

    On November 18, President-elect Donald Trump named three Cabinet positions, all of which are considered controversial to varying degrees

  • Policy Analysis

    Understanding the Conditions Leading to Trump’s Victory

    Nov 17, 2016Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election on November 8 came as a complete shock to many in the United States and abroad, as if the statistical li…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congressional Update – November 17, 2016

    Nov 17, 2016

    (1) Congressional Elections Senate Results: The failure by the Democrats to gain control of the Senate is a bitter loss for the Democratic Party. A few short w…

  • Policy Analysis

    Mosul will not be Truly Liberated Without Strong Political Leadership

    Nov 17, 2016Mustafa Gurbuz

    The military victory in Mosul will not be sufficient unless the United States finds a political resolution, in cooperation with local parties, that addresses S…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    House Votes in Favor of Syria Sanctions

    Nov 17, 2016

    On Tuesday, November 15, the House agreed, by a unanimous voice vote, to pass HR5732, the Caesar Civilian Protection Act of 2016, a bill that would impose new …

  • Policy Analysis

    What can President-elect Trump achieve with a Republican Congress?

    Nov 17, 2016

    Election ResultsIn a departure from the voter tradition of preferring a divided government, i.e. one party controlling the presidency and another the Congress,…

  • Policy Analysis

    November 8: What’s at stake for the Arab world?

    Nov 7, 2016Joe Macaron

    What motivates the Arab world’s interest in the 2016 US presidential election is primarily the concern about Washington’s role in the Middle East as well as th…

  • Policy Analysis

    Arab Issues Awaiting the Next President

    Nov 7, 2016Imad K. Harb

    Amidst the maelstrom that is the presidential election, American foreign policy has regressed to the uncomfortable and neglected recesses reserved for untoucha…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Election Edition

    Nov 7, 2016

    Senate ElectionsIn less than 24 hours, voters will elect 435 Members of the House of Representatives and 34 Senators.  Up until last week it appeared that Demo…

  • Public Opinion Survey
    US Foreign Policy

    Arab Public Opinion and the 2016 US Presidential Elections

    Nov 1, 2016

    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)…

  • Policy Analysis

    End of Stalemate: A Loose Power-Sharing Agreement in Lebanon

    Oct 28, 2016Joe Macaron

    After a 30-month impasse that paralyzed the country’s governing institutions and questioned the legitimacy of the confessional system, the Lebanese Parliament …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranReligion and Politics

    Congressional Update – October 28, 2016

    Oct 28, 2016

    I. JASTA Update:The 28 Senators who sent a letter expressing concern over the Justice against Sponsors of Terrorism legislation (JASTA) – after having voted fo…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Battle of Mosul Portends the Future of Iraq

    Oct 28, 2016Imad K. Harb

    The long-awaited battle to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is underway. Months prior, the Iraqi army and police,…

  • Policy Analysis

    ‘Underlearning’ the Lessons of Iraq: American Agility and Russian Influence

    Oct 20, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    Perhaps one of the most cited criticisms of US foreign policy relating to Syria today is the notion that President Barack Obama has “overlearned” the lessons o…

  • Policy Analysis

    The New Regional Order amid the Aleppo Rubble

    Oct 20, 2016Joe Macaron

    It became obvious in recent weeks that the US-Russian channel regarding Syria has run its course and can no longer be the bedrock of serious diplomatic efforts…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Two Presidential Candidates and Their Middle East Policies

    Oct 13, 2016

    Most voters almost never decide a presidential election based on foreign policy, but Clinton is one of the leaders of the centrist Democratic foreign policy es…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – October 13, 2016

    Oct 13, 2016

    Congress remains adjourned until mid-November when it will return to face a crowded legislative agenda. The House will return on Monday, November 14 with the S…

  • Policy Analysis

    Colombia Peace Talks: Lessons for Palestine Policy

    Oct 13, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    After four years of painstaking negotiations, the 52-year war in Colombia between the government and rebels looked like it was coming to an end. Then, in one d…

  • Policy Analysis

    Future US-Egyptian Relations: The Old Status Quo Redux

    Oct 13, 2016Imad K. Harb

    A long time ago, there appeared to be a symbiotic relationship between the United States and Egypt. The former was a strategic benefactor that understood the i…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Congressional Update – September 30, 2016

    Sep 30, 2016

    I. Congress Overrides Presidential Veto to the Justice against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA)On Friday, September 23 President Obama sent his veto message f…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Saudi ArabiaUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congress Overrides Presidential Veto of JASTA Legislation

    Sep 29, 2016Roxanne Perugino

    Despite an intensive lobbying effort by Saudi Arabia’s many lobbyists against the Justice against State Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), the House and Senate…

  • Policy Analysis

    Hezbollah, Iran, and the Politics of Obstructionism

    Sep 23, 2016Imad K. Harb

    On September 7, Lebanon’s Parliament failed for the forty-third time to convene a session to elect a president. Since the expiration of former president Michel…

  • Policy Analysis

    Doomed to Fail: Syria is not Ready for a Ceasefire

    Sep 23, 2016Joe Macaron

    For the second time in nearly six months, Washington and Moscow are striving to implement a nationwide ceasefire in Syria. The ultimate objective of establishi…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – September 23, 2016

    Sep 23, 2016

    Despite several pressing issues, such as the need to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) by September 30, Congress is determined to press the Obama Administratio…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update

    Sep 22, 2016

    Despite several pressing issues, such as the need to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) by September 30, Congress is determined to press the Obama Administratio…

  • Policy Analysis

    New US-Israeli Military Aid Package Reflects Shifts in Relationship

    Sep 15, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    On September 14, 2016 the United States and Israel signed a new 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on military aid, which replaces a previous MOU set to…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Saudi ArabiaUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    House Passes JASTA Amid White House Opposition: Implications for the US-Saudi Relationship

    Sep 13, 2016

    The US House of Representatives passed by unanimous voice vote on September 9, S2040, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), a bill to allow fa…

  • Policy Analysis

    Senate Races 2016 Update

    Sep 7, 2016

    In 62 days voters will cast their ballots for President and for 34 Senate seats up for re-election.  Democrats remain cautiously optimistic that their party ca…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    The Legislative Agenda for the Month of September

    Sep 7, 2016

    Congress returned to session on September 6 after a seven-week summer recess.  Congress will be in session for the month of September with a targeted adjournme…

  • Policy Analysis

    Implications of Al-Qaeda Rebranding in Syria

    Aug 31, 2016Radwan Ziadeh

     The announcement by the top leader of Al-Nusra Front in Syria Abu Mohammed Joulani to distance his group from Al-Qaeda last month was very controversial.…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Saudi ArabiaSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update

    Aug 31, 2016

    Arms Sale to Saudi ArabiaCongressional criticism of the pending arms sale to Saudi Arabia has grown louder, even though the sale is likely to go through.On Aug…

  • Policy Analysis

    The US fatal mistake in northern Syria

    Aug 31, 2016Joe Macaron

     The moment the Turkish incursion into Syrian Territory began on August 24, the stage was set for a looming direct military confrontation between Ankara a…

  • Policy Analysis

    Biden in Ankara enticing Erdogan to weigh his options

    Aug 24, 2016Joe Macaron

    Vice President Joe Biden visited Ankara on August 24 to salvage the remnants of US interests in Turkey. The July 15 military coup attempt left President Recep …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week of August 15, 2016

    Aug 24, 2016

    I. Saudi ArabiaProposed Arms Sale: On August 8 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of its intention to sell to the Kingdom of Saud…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Domestic Politics and Elections

    How the Electoral College Works

    Aug 24, 2016

    The Electoral College has served as a vehicle for American democracy since the country’s birth over two centuries ago. Yet, not many people (including American…

  • Policy Analysis

    The 2016 Congressional Elections

    Aug 11, 2016John Gregory

    I. Can Democrats Reclaim the Senate?Every two years, one-third of the Senate is up for re-election.  Elections are staggered to avoid having both Senators from…

  • Policy Analysis

    A Sane Alternative to Trump: Hillary has yet to Define her Nomination

    Aug 2, 2016

    After scrambling to unite her Democratic Party at the outset of the convention in Philadelphia last week, presidential nominee Hillary Clinton rolled out her n…

  • Policy Analysis

    DNC 2016 Platform: In Denial over Mideast Challenges, Dispensable Language on Israel

    Jul 29, 2016

    Like every partisan document in a tense prelude to national elections, the 2016 Democratic platform reflected the party’s status quo with presidential nominee …

  • Policy Analysis

    Democratic Party Unity Remains a Challenge for Hillary Clinton

    Jul 27, 2016

    The Democratic Party confirmed on July 26 the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, making her the first female presidential nominee of a major party in American polit…

  • Policy Analysis

    Trump’s Convention Speech and the Rise of Conservative Nationalism

    Jul 25, 2016

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is the first American politician in modern history to invoke both nationalism and populism in a successful bid to …

  • Policy Analysis

    Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine: A Political Profile

    Jul 23, 2016

    Timothy Michael “Tim” Kaine was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on February 26, 1958, but grew up mainly in the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. After graduating…

  • Policy Analysis

    Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence: A Political Profile

    Jul 20, 2016

    Indiana Governor Mike Pence was born on June 7, 1959, in Columbus, Indiana. His family was Irish Catholic and Democratic and had President John F. Kennedy as o…

  • Policy Analysis

    GOP Platform on the Middle East Offers Tough Talk, Little Change

    Jul 20, 2016

    As far as the 2016 Republican Party Platform is concerned, the campaign of the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is nowhere to be found. The hands-of…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Congressional Update

    Jul 20, 2016

    Note: Congress has adjourned for an extended August recess and will return on September 6.  Weekly congressional updates will be provided as needed and regular…

  • Policy Analysis

    With Trump Taking Over, A New Republican Party Is Born

    Jul 19, 2016

    The Republican National Convention began its deliberations on July 18 to confirm the party’s presidential and vice-presidential nominees for the 2016 US nation…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update

    Jul 12, 2016

    Note:  Congress will adjourn on July 18 for an extended summer recess and will not return to session until September 6. Members will attend the Republican and …

  • Policy Analysis

    The Week that Cut Turkey’s Ambitions Down to Size

    Jul 7, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    Although signs of policy adjustment have been in the works for several months, the events of June 2016 were an emphatic marker of a shift in Turkey’s foreign p…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    BahrainJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Congressional Update

    Jul 6, 2016

    I. Bahrain(1) Bahrain Human Rights Abuses: On June 30, Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), and six Democratic colleagues sent a letter to Secretary of State …

  • Policy Analysis

    New Rules of Engagement for US-Hezbollah Arm Wrestling in Lebanon

    Jul 6, 2016Joe Macaron

    Lebanon is the only country in the Middle East where US policy is actively seeking to deter Iran’s regional influence. Washington is directly targeting Hezboll…

  • Policy Analysis

    The State Department’s “Dissent Memo” and US Options in Syria

    Jul 6, 2016Radwan Ziadeh

    On June 16, 2016, a dissent memo regarding Syria was filed with the Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department criticizing the Obama Administration…