• Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Elections Are Over. Now What?

    Oct 21, 2021Rend Al-Rahim

    Iraq’s fifth parliamentary election since the 2003 US invasion is procedurally over. The polling stations have closed, but the fight over the results has just …

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Erbil Conference: Iraq Rejects Normalizing with Israel

    On September 24th, some 300 Iraqi tribal and political leaders, mostly from Iraq’s six Sunni-majority governorates, met at a conference in Erbil, capital of th…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Elections in Iraq: Getting Closer to Democracy?

    Oct 6, 2021Rend Al-Rahim 

    Iraq’s parliamentary elections, set for October 10, 2021, represent the sixth national poll since 2003. Iraqi President Barham Salih described them1 as “critic…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenUS Foreign Policy

    Biden’s Yemen Conundrum

    Oct 5, 2021Nabeel Khoury

    US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan traveled to Riyadh on September 27 and was accompanied by US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking. The visit highl…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    A New Strategic Architecture Is Emerging in the Gulf

    Sep 24, 2021Imad K. Harb

    As the Gulf crisis of 2017 recedes into memory, following the reconciliation in January at the “solidarity and stability” summit in Saudi Arabia’s al-Ula on th…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iran’s Hard-liners Pursue a Complex Resistance Strategy

    Sep 23, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    While the election of Ebrahim Raisi to the Iranian presidency and the appointment of Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as foreign minister signal a clear victory for th…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    A Saudi-Iranian Rapprochement Still Has a Long Way to Go

    Talks in Baghdad between officials of Saudi Arabia and Iran, which have been held periodically since April, have fueled speculation that these two regional pow…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    “Shoulder to Shoulder with Sorrow”: Afghan Refugees, Past and Present

    Sep 9, 2021Yara M. Asi

    For weeks, images and stories of Afghans leaving their homeland have flooded all forms of media. Recent events only emphasized just how difficult life is for t…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Arab Women Political Prisoners Jailed by US Middle East Allies

    Sep 9, 2021Sahar Khamis

    When President Joe Biden was sworn in on January 20th as the 46th president of the United States, America’s friends in particular hoped that his administration…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iran Prepares for a New “Great Game” in Afghanistan

    Sep 2, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Until the horrific August 26 attack outside Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, Iran’s bottom line on a new Afghan political order was in fact similar …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Kadhimi Tries to Boost His Domestic Standing

    Sep 1, 2021Imad K. Harb

    As a basic principle, foreign policy serves as an extension of a country’s domestic politics and an instrument wielded by policy-makers to enhance their domest…

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Turkey’s Relentless Bid for Afghanistan

    Aug 31, 2021Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Taliban’s astonishing seizure of all of Afghanistan dashed the Turkish government’s earlier hope to take charge of Kabul Airport. Turkey’s President Recep …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    Lebanon’s Energy Crisis Fuels US-Iran Tensions

    Aug 25, 2021Joe Macaron

    In the midst of an economic collapse and an energy crisis, Lebanon has found itself in a tug of war between the United States and Iran. On August 19, Hezbollah…

  • Viewpoint
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    After Afghanistan, a New Biden Middle East Doctrine Takes Shape

    Aug 19, 2021Imad K. Harb

    If there are lessons to be learned from the disastrous end of the American war in Afghanistan, they would be most applicable to the countries of the Arab Middl…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Is Washington Rethinking Its Partnerships in the Middle East?

    There appears to be a slow but noticeable shift in Democratically-controlled Washington as to the countries with which the United States seeks to work closer a…

  • Policy Analysis
    KuwaitDemocracy and Governance

    Kuwait Muddles through Its Confusing Politics

    Nearly a year has passed since the death, on September 29, 2020, of Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah, the respected elder statesman of Gu…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    US Middle East Influence in Afghanistan’s Shadow

    Jul 15, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Will the departure of some 3,000 American troops from Afghanistan be a harbinger of a more fundamental realignment of US Middle East security policy? Presently…

  • Viewpoint
    Saudi ArabiaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Is a Saudi-Emirati Rift on the Horizon?

    Jul 7, 2021Imad K. Harb

    The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) appears to be approaching another unwelcome rift, this time between its two most vocal and influential members, Saudi Arabia…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Oman’s Diplomatic Agenda in Yemen

    Jun 30, 2021Giorgio Cafiero

    A flurry of diplomatic activities and high-level meetings between Omani officials and their counterparts from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, the United Sta…

  • Viewpoint
    Iraq

    Iran’s Presidential Election as Viewed in Iraq

    All political developments in Iran have serious repercussions in Iraq, and the election of Ibrahim Raisi as president of the Islamic Republic is no different. …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Raisi’s Election Creates Opportunities and Pitfalls for Iran’s Islamic Republic

    Jun 25, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    In the weeks leading up to Iran’s June 18 presidential elections, one joke making the rounds was that Ebrahim Raisi, then a candidate and now the winner, was r…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenUS Foreign Policy

    Attaining the Difficult Peace in Yemen

    After displaying some optimism about reaching a cease-fire and peace deal in Yemen, the Biden Administration is facing the stark reality that these objectives …

  • Viewpoint
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Time to Address Impunity in Iraq

    On May 26, Iraqi security forces arrested General Qasim Muslih, commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Anbar province, basing their action on…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    A Tough Nut to Crack: Rebalancing the US-Saudi Relationship

    Jun 2, 2021Charles W. Dunne

    Out on the campaign trail in 2019, presidential candidate Joe Biden made it clear that when it came to a principled US foreign policy, he intended to be the an…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaUS Foreign Policy

    The Biden Administration and the GCC Rapprochement with Damascus

    May 27, 2021Joe Macaron

    With Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on his way to a fourth term in the Syrian presidential election held this week, Moscow is expected to resume its diplomat…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iran Plays a Diplomatically Cautious (and Smart) Game on Gaza

    May 22, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    It’s not every day that Hamas leaders openly plead for Tehran’s support. But this is apparently  what happened when, as the battle between Gaza’s militant grou…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Contingencies Undergird Saudi Foreign Policy

    A flurry of diplomatic outreach involving Iran, Syria, and Turkey, and a continuing warming of relations with other Gulf countries, have sparked questions over…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    The Israeli Factor in the US-Iran Nuclear Talks

    May 6, 2021Joe Macaron

    As US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was visiting Israel on April 11, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency orchestrated a mysterious explosion in Iran’s Natanz …

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfEducation and Development

    Arab Space Programs Level Up

    Apr 30, 2021Charles W. Dunne

    People in the Arab world have gazed at the stars with curiosity and genius for centuries. The first observatory was built in the 8th century by Abbasid Caliph …

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    The United States Ends its Combat Role in Iraq

    At the recent meeting of the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, negotiators decided to end the combat mission of US troops engaged in the fight against remnants of th…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    YemenUS Foreign Policy

    What Next for Yemen?

    Apr 26, 2021Marcus Montgomery

    This week the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism held a hearing to examine Washington’s policy …

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelUS Foreign Policy

    Will the Natanz Incident Produce Maximum Diplomacy?

    Apr 23, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Just two days after what appeared to be an Israeli-backed sabotage of Iran’s Natanz enrichment facilities, The Washington Post’s editorial board declared that …

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    Yemen’s Critical Moment

    Apr 21, 2021Nabeel A. Khoury

    Tim Lenderking, the American special envoy for Yemen, recently attended a meeting in Germany with representatives of the five permanent members of the United N…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Time to Rethink International Intervention in Yemen

    Apr 7, 2021Nadwa Al-Dawsari

    Ten years ago, youth-led peaceful protests spread in Yemen demanding political reforms and the removal of the corrupt regime of former President Ali Abdullah S…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfEnergy and Economics

    China’s Maritime Challenge to the United States in the Gulf

    Mar 30, 2021Gabriella Haedelt

    The Arabian Gulf has emerged as a theater of investment, international integration, and rivalry for global powers, especially after Chinese President Xi Jinpin…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    A Struggle of Wills over Iraq’s Identity

    The last few days witnessed serious efforts by some Arab countries to influence developments in Iran-friendly Iraq. On March 24, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohamm…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Hard-liners Fight for Iran’s Presidency and Foreign Policy

    Mar 17, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Former US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who during the Obama Administration played a pivotal role in negotiating the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, recently asserted…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq’s Complicated and Challenging Security Situation

    Many of Iraq’s pro-Iran militias were encouraged with Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States and the ensuing Democratic control of both houses …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    After Iran, Saudi Arabia Faces Scrutiny in Biden’s Washington

    As was demonstrated in Arab Center Washington DC’s (ACW) last report, President Joe Biden has to deal with a divided Washington when it comes to US policy towa…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    Repercussions of the ODNI Khashoggi Report: An Assessment

    Mar 3, 2021Khalil E. Jahshan Imad K. Harb Kristian Coates Ulrichsen Sarah Leah Whitson Rosie Bsheer

    On February 26, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released its report on the assassination of US resident and Washington Post columnis…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    President Biden Faces a Washington Divided over Iran

    Although President Joe Biden has expressed an interest in reorienting US foreign policy away from the Middle East, Iran continues to be an issue that his admin…

  • Viewpoint
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    Mohammed bin Salman in the Hot Seat

    Feb 26, 2021Imad K. Harb

    The Biden Administration’s release on February 26 of a declassified intelligence report implicating Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) in the assassi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    The US and Iran: From Brinkmanship to Negotiations?

    Feb 25, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    In his far-ranging February 21 interview with Iran’s Press TV, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated a bottom line: that Iran would step awa…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    The Biden Administration Contemplates a New Pivot to Asia

    Feb 23, 2021Charles W. Dunne

    Is the pivot to Asia for real this time?That is one of the key questions Washington policy analysts, pundits, and diplomats are asking themselves as President …

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    A Timeline of the Yemen Crisis, from the 1990s to the Present

    Feb 19, 2021Marcus Montgomery

    Early Years: Saleh and the Houthis1990’s – After the reunification of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh transitions from president of North Yemen—a post he had held si…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Egyptian-Saudi Relations: Strategic Ties with Some Political Strains

    Egypt and Saudi Arabia continue to be strategic partners in the Middle East, buoyed by shared interests and certain threat perceptions. Saudi Arabia values Egy…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqViolent Extremism

    The Terrorist Attacks in Baghdad: A New Chapter in Iraq’s Instability?

    Abdulwahab Al-Qassab writes that the latest suicide bombings in Baghdad portend a feared return of the Islamic State after it was supposedly vanquished in Dece…

  • Book Review
    Saudi Arabia

    ‘Archive Wars: The Politics of History in Saudi Arabia,’ by Rosie Bsheer

    Feb 3, 2021Imad K. Harb

    In her book, Rosie Bsheer argues that the Saudi state’s material politics shows how the regime wants to reengineer the social order in the kingdom away from re…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    Biden will Contend with Divergent Middle East Preferences on Iran

    Jan 27, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    The Middle East is experiencing a period of diplomatic and strategic readjustment that will create both challenges and opportunities for the Biden Administrati…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Iran between Avenging Soleimani and Engaging Biden

    Jan 27, 2021Joe Macaron

    Two events in January serve as reminders of how US-Iran dynamics are pulled in two different directions: the inauguration of President Joe Biden on January 20,…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenUS Foreign Policy

    Pompeo’s Departing Sabotage in Yemen

    Jan 19, 2021Imad K. Harb

    With less than two weeks in office before he checks out of Foggy Bottom, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated Yemen’s Houthi movement a foreign terrorist …

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    China’s Belt and Road Initiative and US Middle East Policy

    Jan 13, 2021Charles W. Dunne

    More than seven years after Chinese President Xi Jinping announced his country’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the vast infrastructure and economic developme…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The Gulf

    The GCC Reconciliation: An Assessment

    Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held their 41st summit meeting on January 5, 2021 in al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, and agreed to end the Gulf crisis that…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The Gulf

    Saudi Arabia Ends the GCC Crisis

    Jan 7, 2021Imad K. Harb

    It finally happened: the GCC crisis is seemingly over. The 41st summit meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) succeeded in surmounting the three-and-a-h…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    The Biden Administration’s Foreign Policy: Key Features and Likely Changes

    Jan 6, 2021Unit for Political Studies

    Having won the American presidential election, and despite incumbent President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede, Democratic candidate and President-elect Joe …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqClimate and Environment

    Mitigating Conflict over Water in the Euphrates-Tigris Basin

    Dec 15, 2020Yoseph Hamid

    The Middle East and North Africa (MENA)—the most water-scarce region in the world—has arguably borne the brunt of climate change in the planet. Nowhere is this…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfThe GCC

    The Biden Presidency and the Gulf Arab States

    Assessing the Biden Administration’s future relations with the Gulf, Kristian Coates Ulrichsen writes that it faces a set of difficult challenges on a number o…

  • Viewpoint
    Saudi ArabiaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    MbS Also Gets Nothing for Normalizing with Israel

    Nov 23, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Once again, Arab solidarity with the Palestinian cause suffered a setback. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) reportedly met with Israeli Pr…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenUS Foreign Policy

    Yemen May Be a Priority for Biden and the Democrats

    As President-elect Joe Biden assembles his team and sets his priorities for the next four years, there has been much speculation as to what he will focus on in…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Biden and Iraq: A Chance to Address Past Mistakes

    Nov 20, 2020Nabeel A. Khoury

    The Biden Administration is likely to change a few policies in the Middle East while keeping others essentially the same. Iran, long considered an adversary, i…

  • Viewpoint
    Morocco

    Does Arab Public Opinion on Palestine Still Count in 2020?

    Nov 18, 2020Khalil E. Jahshan

    Although public opinion research in the Arab world has evolved significantly in recent years, it does not seem to be taken seriously by American policymakers i…

  • Viewpoint
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfDemocracy and Governance

    Arab Public Opinion on National Security and Foreign Intervention

    Nov 17, 2020Joe Macaron

    The Arab League celebrated its 75th anniversary this year in the midst of regional politics that have never been more polarized, with continuous foreign interv…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Iran and the World Wait for Biden

    Nov 5, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Iranian leaders have insisted that the November 3rd US elections would have no real significance for Iran’s basic interests. But such assertions should not be …

  • Policy Analysis
    UAEUS Foreign Policy

    The Middle East Accords: An Arab Perspective

    Nov 2, 2020Imad K. Harb

    The recent agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Sudan will not help the cause of regional peace.On August 13, President D…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s Iraq: Challenges and Prospects

    Nov 2, 2020Abbas Kadhim

    The Iraqi Council of Representatives voted to confirm Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on May 7, 2020, after two aborted attempts to replace his predecessor, …

  • Policy Analysis
    UAEReligion; Political Islam

    The UAE’s Manipulative Utilization of Religion

    Sep 29, 2020Khalil Al-Anani

    The August announcement of normalizing relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has led to a backlash among Arabs and Muslims around the wor…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    Saudi Arabia Prefers Implicit Normalization with Israel

    Sep 18, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Signed at the White House on September 15, the new peace agreements between Israel on the one side and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain on the other …

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Egypt-Iraq-Jordan Alliance Tries to Change Middle East Dynamics

    Sep 16, 2020Curtis R. Ryan

    On August 25, 2020, the leaders of Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan met in Amman for the third in a succession of meetings marking ever-closer relations between the thr…

  • Viewpoint
    UAESecurity and Defense

    Comments on the UAE’s Acquisition of the F-35

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is said to have condoned the sale of the advanced American F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the United Arab Emirates afte…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    After the Beirut Blast: Hezbollah and Iran Walk a Tricky Line

    Aug 26, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg argues that Hezbollah and Iran are vested in preserving the current political system in Lebanon whose confessional institutions enable the part…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Riyadh Agreement 2.0 Changes Nothing in Yemen

    Aug 19, 2020Nabeel A. Khoury

    Nabeel Khoury contends that the lack of trust between Yemen’s Hadi government and southern secessionists is likely to at least delay the implementation of the …

  • Viewpoint
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Iraq’s Mustafa Al-Kadhimi Comes to Washington

    Abdulwahab Al-Qassab previews Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s upcoming visit to Washington and writes that the American capital may be too preoccupie…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelUS Foreign Policy

    The UAE-Israel Deal that Keeps Peace Away

    The UAE-Israel agreement to normalize bilateral relations serves immediate political purposes for the Israeli prime minister and President Donald Trump without…

  • Policy Analysis

    The UAE-Israel Deal: Exploring the Motives

    Aug 17, 2020Khalil E. Jahshan

    Khalil E. Jahshan explores the political reasons behind the agreement to officially normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, stating th…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfWomen & Gender Issues

    Barriers to Women’s Workforce Participation in the Gulf Arab States

    Aug 11, 2020Alainna Liloia

    Alainna Liloia argues that a societal shift in the Gulf states is needed for greater support to working women so they can make their own personal and professio…

  • Policy Analysis
    UAE

    Reflections on Mohammed bin Zayed’s Preferences Regarding UAE Foreign Policy

    Assessing the UAE’s foreign policy, Kristian Coates Ulrichsen contends that Mohammed bin Zayed’s personalistic rather than institutionalist style exposes his c…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaSecurity and Defense

    Can Saudi Arabia and the UAE Develop National Arms Industries?

    Jul 22, 2020David B. Des Roches

    With a speed rarely seen in history, the Gulf Arab states have evolved from mere afterthoughts of colonialism to advanced countries. Located in a strategic reg…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/Israel

    By Hedging, the UAE Abandons the Palestinians

    Jul 17, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb writes that the UAE’s hedging strategy explains its headlong openness on Israel. It is thus abandoning the Palestine question just as the Israeli …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue: Important Achievements, but Much Remains to Be Done

    Jul 14, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    Charles W. Dunne reports that the first round of the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue in June made progress on security issues, but many challenges remain for the tw…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iran’s Hard-liners Grapple with the Trap of Securitizing the State

    Jul 13, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg argues that Iran's hard-liners have savored the victory of last February's parliamentary elections and are now preparing for the 2021 president…