• Viewpoint
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Failed Iranian Performance and Its Repercussions

    Apr 15, 2024Imad K. Harb

    Rare are the occasions when a purportedly capable country’s determined military response to attack turns out to be a mere theatrical performance. Such was the …

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenEnergy and Economics

    Houthi Red Sea Attacks Have Global Economic Repercussions

    Apr 5, 2024Jim Krane

    The Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping present a new phenomenon in geo-economic conflict: a non-state actor using asymmetric warfare not just to fight conventi…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Saudi Arabia May Be Taking Center Stage in Post-Gaza Peace

    With Israel’s war on Gaza in its fifth month amid ongoing international pressure for a ceasefire, Saudi Arabia has become the focus of much attention over what…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenUS Foreign Policy

    Instead of Houthi Designation, the United States Should Embrace a Comprehensive Approach

    Feb 28, 2024Afrah Nasser

    On January 17, the United States designated the Houthis in Yemen, also known as Ansar Allah, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) in response to t…

  • Policy Analysis
    UAERegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The UAE and the Red Sea Security Crisis

    Feb 27, 2024Giorgio Cafiero

    Despite the Israeli war on Gaza killing nearly 30,000 Palestinians, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has clung to the Abraham Accords, which it signed with Israe…

  • Policy Analysis

    US Troops to Stay in Syria and Iraq but Perhaps Not for Long

    Feb 22, 2024

    In recent weeks, there have been meetings in Washington and in Baghdad about the presence in Iraq and Syria of US troops, whose official mandate is to aid loca…

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Turkish-Gulf Relations in the Context of Regional Reconciliation

    Feb 14, 2024Salim Çevik

    Since 2021, Turkey has been resetting its policies in the Middle East and has started to reconcile with its rivals in the previous decade—Egypt, Israel, Saudi …

  • Policy Analysis

    Iraq’s Illusory Sovereignty: Domestic and Foreign Culprits

    Feb 7, 2024

    The abridgement of Iraqi state sovereignty began at least with the Gulf War of 1991, when Iraq’s Kurds received international protection, the United States and…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenUS Foreign Policy

    From Gaza to Yemen and Back: The Biden Administration’s Confused Strategy

    Feb 1, 2024Nabeel A. Khoury

    On January 17, the Biden administration announced it was adding Yemen’s Houthis (also called Ansar Allah) to the US terrorist list. The move returned the rebel…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iran Between Managing Allies and Modulating Its Deterrence

    Jan 25, 2024Daniel Brumberg

    This is a bad time for Iran to become embroiled in an expanding regional war that pits the Islamic Republic and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen against …

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenUS Foreign Policy

    The Biden Administration Is Strong in the Red Sea but Weak in Gaza

    After enduring weeks of regional tension, including Houthi rebel attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and on American commercial vessels, the Biden administratio…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Normalization Survives Despite the Gaza War

    Jan 11, 2024Imad K. Harb

    The current Israeli war on Gaza, now well into its fourth deadly month, has cast a calamitous shadow over the lives of Palestinians and Israelis, as well as ov…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arab WorldRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Important Considerations for the Middle East in 2024

    The October 7 Hamas attack on Israel and Israel’s subsequent invasion of the Gaza Strip will play a major role in shaping what unfolds in the Middle East in 20…

  • Policy Analysis

    Oman, Gaza, and Relations with the United States

    Jan 5, 2024

    The Sultanate of Oman traditionally has maintained a low profile on the international stage while conducting a friends-of-all foreign policy based on moderatio…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Assessing Yemen as a Second Front in the Gaza War

    Nov 30, 2023Nabeel A. Khoury

    On November 19, Yemen’s Houthis hijacked a cargo ship indirectly linked to Israel as it was traveling in the Red Sea. Much like their firing of missiles toward…

  • Policy Analysis

    Hamas’s “Al-Aqsa Flood” Challenges Iran’s Axis of Resistance

    Nov 27, 2023

    While the Biden administration, with Qatar’s support, has succeeded in securing a deal with Israel and Hamas for a combat “pause,” it remains to be seen if thi…

  • Policy Analysis

    GCC States and the War on Gaza: Positions, Perceptions, and Interests

    Nov 22, 2023

    The war on Gaza has for all intents and purposes reinstated the centrality of the Palestinian issue to the regional and international politics of the Middle Ea…

  • Policy Analysis

    US Military Presence in the Middle East: Deterrence and Retaliation

    Nov 14, 2023

    The United States has recently bolstered its military presence in the Middle East as the Israeli war on Gaza escalated. Bolstering this presence is meant to de…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    A Year of Mixed Results for Iraq’s Sudani

    Nov 8, 2023Rend Al-Rahim

    Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shi`a al-Sudani completed his first year in office on October 27 with a mixed record of successes and failures owing to objective…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iraq, Sudani, and the War on Gaza

    Oct 25, 2023Rend Al-Rahim

    In the space of just over two weeks, Israel’s war on Gaza has upended Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shai` al-Sudani’s year-long careful balancing of Iraq’s for…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Will Saudi Arabia Renew the “Arab Peace Initiative” as the Middle East Seethes?

    Oct 23, 2023Daniel Brumberg

    Whether Hamas’s October 7 assault has ended whatever prospects existed for forging diplomatic relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia remains to be seen. The…

  • Policy Analysis

    On the Limits of Iran’s Policy of “Maximum Tactical Flexibility”

    Oct 13, 2023

    At some point, the tactical balls Tehran has been juggling could fall to the ground with unpredictable or dangerous strategic results.

  • Policy Analysis

    Saudi-Israeli Normalization and the Hamas Attack

    Oct 11, 2023

    When Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) sat down on September 20 with Brett Baier of Fox News for his first English-language television inter…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfEnergy and Economics

    The Geopolitics of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor

    Oct 10, 2023Giorgio Cafiero

    At the G20 summit held in New Delhi in September 2023, the leaders of France, Germany, India, Italy, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States,…

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyEnergy and Economics

    Turkey’s Ambitions in Iraq Play Out in Kirkuk

    Oct 3, 2023Mustafa Gurbuz

    In late August, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani stirred the pot of existing tensions when he ordered the evacuation of the Iraqi military’s Joint…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenEnergy and Economics

    Yemen’s War Economy: A Key Factor in the Ongoing Conflict

    Sep 20, 2023Afrah Nasser

    As Houthi negotiators leave Saudi Arabia after five days of talks with Saudi officials regarding the contours of a compromise solution to Yemen’s ongoing confl…

  • Policy Analysis

    Challenges Facing Kuwait’s Parliamentary Democracy

    Sep 12, 2023

    Watching Kuwait’s seemingly dysfunctional political scene gives one the impression that the country is on a course toward endless instability and disorder. Las…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Saudi-Israeli Normalization Gambit: Deal or No Deal?

    Aug 30, 2023

    After weeks of conflicting accounts from columnists and journalists about the outcome of the Biden administration’s intensive shuttle diplomacy aimed at convin…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaThe War in Ukraine

    The Russia-Ukraine Jeddah Meeting: A Win for MBS in a Changing Global Order

    Aug 24, 2023Daniel Brumberg

    Over the first weekend of August 2023, Saudi Arabia convened an international summit on the war in Ukraine. Held in Jeddah and attended by representatives from…

  • Intern Corner
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    The US Position on Saudi Arabia’s Civilian Nuclear Program

    Aug 16, 2023 Seerat Sohal

    In June 2023, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud affirmed the kingdom’s intent to enrich uranium, part of its desire to develop a civi…

  • Policy Analysis

    Russia, Iran, and the Territorial Dispute with the UAE

    Aug 16, 2023

    Under President Ebrahim Raisi, Iran has carved out an overseas agenda that is a patent departure from the country’s 1979 Revolution-era notion of “neither East…

  • Policy Analysis

    US Troop Buildup in the Gulf Reemphasizes Military Power

    Aug 15, 2023

    The US military has recently significantly increased its presence in the Arabian Gulf, a show of force aimed primarily at deterring Iran from attacking or hara…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    US Negotiations for a Tripartite Agreement with Saudi Arabia and Israel: Context and Calculations

    Aug 14, 2023Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies

    Saudi Arabia and the United States are conducting complex negotiations in order to achieve a tripartite agreement that would include normalization between the …

  • Policy Analysis

    Iran’s Hardliners on the March: The Quiet Before the Storm?

    Aug 3, 2023

    The recent redeployment of Iran’s dreaded “morality police” signals much more than a victory for the country’s hardliners. Instead, it seems to be part and par…

  • Policy Analysis

    Are the United States and Iran Moving Closer to a New Nuclear Deal?

    Jul 14, 2023

    The last few weeks have witnessed an active diplomatic movement between Tehran and Western countries, especially the United States, regarding resolving the cri…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Sudani’s Premiership Is Failing in the Iraqi Fight Against Corruption

    Jul 12, 2023Patricia Karam

    When Mohammed Shia` al-Sudani became prime minister of Iraq, he made it a priority to combat endemic corruption in the country and help restore citizen trust i…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The UAE-Saudi Arabia Rivalry Becomes a Rift

    Jul 6, 2023Charles W. Dunne

    Saudi Arabia and the UAE are waging a quiet struggle to determine who will emerge as the Arabian Gulf’s—and maybe the Arab world’s—preeminent power.

  • Policy Analysis

    Saudi-US Relations in a Changing Global and Regional Landscape

    Jun 29, 2023

    Kristian Coates Ulrichsen discusses the current state of Saudi-US relations as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seeks to chart a new course in domestic and for…

  • Policy Analysis

    Despite US Efforts, Iran is Ascendant

    Jun 21, 2023

    Iran today is not nearly as isolated as Washington had hoped and it has scored some impressive successes in advancing its regional agenda.

  • Policy Analysis

    Shock and Awe: Life in Iraq Twenty Years after the US-led Invasion

    Jun 16, 2023

    This year marks a significant milestone in the American-led “Global War on Terror,” especially in relation to Iraq. It has been 20 years since former Secretary…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Egypt and Iran: A Quest for Normalized Ties Amid Significant Obstacles

    Jun 9, 2023Khalil Al-Anani

    Egypt and Iran appear to be moving toward a closer relationship and a mending of ties. In recent months, officials from both countries have engaged in multiple…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Jeddah Arab League Summit: MBS’s Final Crowning

    May 31, 2023

    The 32nd Arab League Summit was little more than the final crowning of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince as the leader of the current Arab political order.

  • Policy Analysis

    Water Politics in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin

    May 30, 2023

    While energy security and the control of oil have long been determining factors for geopolitical conflict in the Middle East, the region’s geopolitics have als…

  • Policy Analysis
    SudanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Sudan Crisis: How Regional Actors’ Competing Interests Fuel the Conflict

    May 11, 2023Khalil Al-Anani

    The outbreak of military clashes between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which have resulted in the deaths of hundreds and t…

  • Policy Analysis

    Saudi Oil Production Cuts: A Self-Interested Move

    May 10, 2023

    Saudi Arabia’s announcement last month of surprise oil production cuts reverberated around the world. The cuts consisted of a voluntary reduction of 500,000 ba…

  • Policy Analysis

    Iran’s Involvement in the Ukraine War: Compromising Declared Principles

    May 9, 2023

    Politicians and commentators are warning about the consequences of an emerging “Ukraine fatigue” in the second year of the Russian invasion of the country. The…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Thorny Relationship between Yemen’s Government and the Southern Transitional Council

    May 3, 2023

    In Yemen, the Southern Movement calling for separation between the North and South of Yemen is controversial. For those who oppose it, it is a simple secession…

  • Policy Analysis

    Twenty Years after “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq: A Critical Assessment

    May 2, 2023

    The crisis had been building for months when, on March 20, 2003, this author stood with a group of military officers deep inside the Pentagon, watching a telev…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arab WorldGlobal Health and Health Policy

    Challenges Facing the Arab World’s Health Care Professionals

    Apr 26, 2023Yara M. Asi

    In 2022, the Egyptian Medical Syndicate released a shocking report, finding that over 10,000 Egyptian doctors resigned from positions in government hospitals d…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Costs and Benefits of Water Desalination in the Gulf

    Apr 12, 2023

    Desalination has been identified as one technology that could help solve Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries’ water scarcity problem. Desalination is a co…

  • Policy Analysis

    Iran: A Resource-Rich Country Reeling from Rampant Poverty

    Apr 3, 2023

    Even for a state as heavily militarized and intractable as the Islamic Republic of Iran, the breadth and depth of the economic maladies it is facing are crushi…

  • Policy Analysis

    Iran’s Nuclear Program Poses Challenges for China and the United States

    Mar 29, 2023

    Now that China has brokered a renewal of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, it must translate that achievement into real tangible benefits. After all, fo…

  • Policy Analysis

    Geopolitics of Small Islands: The Stalemate of Tiran and Sanafir’s Transfer Impacts Egypt-Saudi Relations

    Mar 29, 2023

    In June 2017, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi consented to ceding sovereignty over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia. However, nearly si…

  • Policy Analysis

    The GCC Is On Board with the Saudi-Iran Agreement

    Mar 27, 2023

    The signing of a joint trilateral statement by senior national security officials from Saudi Arabia and Iran in the presence of Chinese officials in Beijing on…

  • Policy Analysis

    Iraq 20 Years since the 2003 US Invasion

    Mar 24, 2023

    On March 20, 2003, the United States led an invasion of Iraq supposedly meant to halt its development of weapons of mass destruction. Lacking the support of th…

  • Policy Analysis

    US Middle East Policy: The Trump-Biden Doctrine in Action

    Mar 22, 2023

    All US presidents, it seems, need their own foreign policy “doctrine.” President James Monroe famously started the trend in 1823, and many others—Truman, Eisen…

  • Policy Analysis

    Yemen and the Saudi-Iran Rapprochement

    Mar 22, 2023

    In the closing scene of the 1942 film Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart, walking off into the fog with his occasional nemesis as they plan their next move together, …

  • Policy Analysis

    Unfinished Business: Nation-Building in Iraq Since 2003

    Mar 21, 2023

    Nothing so perfectly expresses the failure of nation-building in Iraq as the cry of protesters in 2019, when they chanted, nureed watan, “we want a country.” T…

  • Policy Analysis

    Lebanon and Syria and the Saudi-Iran Detente

    Mar 21, 2023

    The recent China-brokered agreement between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran is expected to have a de-escalating effect on many issues in the Midd…

  • Policy Analysis

    China as Middle East Matchmaker

    Mar 16, 2023

    While the central role that China recently played in renewing diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia underscores the United States’ declining influ…

  • Policy Analysis

    Oman’s Interests and Role in the Conflict in Yemen

    Mar 14, 2023

    In the course of the conflict in Yemen, Oman’s role has evolved substantially and in various ways. Currently, expectations are high that the sultanate will be …

  • Policy Analysis

    Walking a Tightrope: Oman and Normalization with Israel

    Mar 7, 2023

    As the mechanisms of normalization between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan continue to take shape, other Arab states are ponde…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranProtests and Activism

    Iranian Protests and the Crisis of Free Speech

    Feb 23, 2023Kourosh Ziabari

    There is consensus among scholars and observers that the protests that erupted in Iran in September 2022 represent a defining moment in the contemporary histor…

  • Policy Analysis

    Washington Doubles Down on Middle East Ties

    Feb 15, 2023

    Reducing US commitments in the Middle East and pivoting to Asia has been a hot topic among foreign policy analysts and Middle East experts since the idea was p…

  • Policy Analysis

    Succeeding Khamenei: Can Iran’s Leaders Reinvent Their Islamic Republic?

    Feb 3, 2023

    Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is 83 years old. And while he has lived long enough to see the 44th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, the s…

  • Policy Analysis

    Child Soldiers in Yemen: Cannon Fodder for an Unnecessary War

    Feb 2, 2023

    Recruitment of children as actual or auxiliary soldiers in Yemen’s ongoing war is one of the most dire developments in the conflict since its initial eruption …

  • Policy Analysis

    Iraqi Prime Minister al-Sudani Upstages His Benefactors in the Coordination Framework

    Jan 31, 2023

    Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani, who was sworn in on October 27, 2022, has nearly completed the first 100 days of his tenure. In this short perio…

  • Policy Analysis

    Arab and Israeli Positions on Ukraine War Continue to Frustrate the US

    Jan 18, 2023

    The positions taken by many governments in the Middle East have proven a notable exception to the global groundswell of support for Kyiv.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranProtests and Activism

    Iran’s Protracted Protests Represent a Broad Rejection of the Status Quo

    Jan 17, 2023Kourosh Ziabari

    Over the past four months, the international community has been heaping praise on the Iranian people for their audacious uprising, which has been challenging t…

  • Policy Analysis

    Depoliticizing Iraq-Gulf Relations Through Soccer

    Jan 11, 2023

    Iraq is defying its reputation and fighting against all odds in its attempt to depoliticize its regional image through the use of soccer. Between January 6 and…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Qatar’s Successful World Cup Signals a New Era in the Gulf and Beyond

    The 22nd FIFA Men’s World Cup came to an end in Doha, Qatar on December 18 with one of the most thrilling finals in the nearly century-long history of the comp…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Biden Administration and the Middle East in 2023

    Jan 4, 2023

    The first two years of the Biden administration, although short, have offered insight into the ways in which the reality of governing can clash with declared h…

  • Policy Analysis

    Yemen in Limbo: No War, Yet Still No Peace

    Dec 15, 2022

    Afrah Nasser discusses the current stalemate in Yemen following the expiration of a UN-sponsored ceasefire agreement, looking at actions by all parties to the …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranProtests and Activism

    Have Iran’s Leaders Come to Another Crossroads?

    Dec 14, 2022Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg examines the ongoing protests in Iran and the country’s hardline response, stressing that the disturbances are unlikely to lead to the collapse…

  • Viewpoint

    Saudi Arabia Will Not Find Strategic Protection in China

    Dec 13, 2022

    Saudi Arabia has just spent three days hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping in a summit that some believe could be fateful for the kingdom’s future strategic a…

  • Policy Analysis

    What Lies Ahead for Saudi Arabia in the 118th US Congress

    Dec 7, 2022

    New challenges abound for President Joe Biden in 2023. The loss of a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives for the 118th Congress promises to lea…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    The US Midterm Elections Spell Further Trouble for the JCPOA

    In November, Americans went to the polls to cast their votes in the congressional midterm elections. In the end, voters dealt a major blow to Republican party …

  • Policy Analysis

    Iraq’s Foreign Policy Balancing Act Is Likely to Continue

    Nov 29, 2022

    Despite the support that Iraq’s new prime minister, Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani, has received from pro-Iran factions in the Iraqi Parliament, he is likely to purs…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Role of Women in Oman’s Social and Economic Progress

    Nov 22, 2022

    Oman is making gradual progress in the area of women’s rights. Women in Oman are voting, running for office, and serving in ministerial positions. Opportunitie…

  • Policy Analysis

    Challenges and Prospects Facing the New Government in Iraq

    Nov 8, 2022

    Twelve months of high drama in Iraqi politics finally ended on October 27, with the investiture of a new government headed by Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani. Two wee…