• 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 and Politics

    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
    Palestine/IsraelUS Foreign Policy

    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…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Migrant Workers’ Health and COVID-19 in GCC Countries

    Jul 7, 2020Yara M. Asi

    Yara M. Asi writes that poor health care provisions and crowded living conditions of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries have made them e…

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Unabated War and Descent into Chaos in Yemen

    Jun 30, 2020Nabeel A. Khoury

    Nabeel Khoury argues that despite the many mistakes made by Yemen's political leaders and factions and the regional and international communities, the country'…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    The Arms Trade in the MENA Region: Drivers and Dangers

    Jun 17, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    Charles W. Dunne argues that international arms sales remain a huge business in the Middle East, making it the most militarized region globally. However, he wr…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarThe GCC

    The GCC Crisis at Three Years: No Lessons Learned

    Jun 2, 2020Khalil Al-Anani Kristian Coates Ulrichsen Marwan Kabalan Courtney Freer Karen E. Young

    The continuation of the GCC crisis undermines the idea of a supranational entity through which the six countries of the council could realize political, econom…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    US Middle East Policy in Free Fall

    May 28, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Gulf Arab states have little choice but to rely for their security needs on the Trump Administration despite its feckless policy in the Middle East and poor ca…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanThe GCC

    Jordan Maneuvers in GCC Politics to Protect Its Interests

    Despite its heavy dependence on the GCC for economic aid and employment for its workforce, Jordan has been able to pursue political positions not always in syn…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Iran Is Running a Custom-Made Strategy in the Levant

    May 18, 2020Joe Macaron

    Although economic pressures are forcing the Iranian regime to cut its losses in the Levant, it would be a mistake for the Trump Administration and its allies t…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqViolent Extremism

    The US and Iraq Must Shore Up the Fight against the Islamic State

    May 8, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    Charles W. Dunne argues that the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq faces numerous setbacks, including the coronavirus, and that the upcoming US-Iraq Stra…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    MbS’s New “Vision 2020”: Reform and Repression

    May 5, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) will most likely weather the political, economic, and health storms generated by COVID-19. Prompted by th…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Worrisome American Response to Iran in the Gulf

    Abdulwahab Al-Qassab examines the muted US response to Iranian provocations in the Arabian Gulf, surmising that it reflects poorly on the reputation of the Uni…

  • Viewpoint
    YemenConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Unified Yemen May Soon Cease to Exist

    Apr 27, 2020Imad K. Harb

    With President Hadi too weak to respond to the self-rule declaration by the UAE- supported Southern Transitional Council, and Saudi Arabia too economically tro…

  • Policy Analysis
    OmanDemocracy and Governance

    Continuity in Oman’s Problems and Policy Prescriptions

    Apr 21, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Oman is likely to continue to follow the policy prescriptions of the late Sultan Qaboos, Imad K. Harb writes, but the new ruler, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, may …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    Did the Saudi-Led Oil Deal Diminish Republicans’ 2020 Electoral Chances?

    Apr 15, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Because the health of the US economy is critical for Donald Trump's reelection hopes, Marcus Montgomery asks if the recent Saudi-led OPEC+ cuts will contribute…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    The Fourth Saudi State Remains a Distant Vision

    Apr 3, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb argues that Mohammed bin Salman’s chaotic and authoritarian stewardship of Saudi domestic and international affairs may well impede the establishm…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    The COVID-19 Pandemic Prompts Debate over Iran Sanctions

    Marcus Montgomery details splits in official Washington about how to deal with Iran at this delicate time of the coronavirus outbreak: some want to offer sanct…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    COVID-19 and Iranian-American Relations

    Apr 1, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    As US-Iran relations suffer from continuing political and ideological differences, the coronavirus calamity could provide an opportunity for deescalation and c…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Confusion in Iraq: A Fractious Political Process and Free-Wheeling Militias

    Abdulwahab al-Qassab highlights Iraq's current political problems and calls upon Iraqi politicians to put aside their differences and concentrate on how to avo…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Trump, Congress Lay Out Election Year Foreign Policy Priorities

    Mar 11, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery discusses how the Trump Administration is pressing forward with its campaign against Iran as many in Congress are trying to constrain the pre…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Russia Has Limits on Its Influence in the Middle East

    Mar 10, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    Charles W. Dunne argues that despite Russia’s success in Syria and stealthy gains in the Middle East since 2015, the limits on its capabilities have become inc…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    The Uncertain Victory of Iran’s Hardliners

    Feb 26, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    The backing of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei will allow Iran’s conservatives to use their victory in the parliamentary elections to prevent reformists from deman…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The United States and Iran Continue to Maneuver in Iraq

    Gregory Aftandilian contends that after the very tense period of December 2019-January 2020, the United States and Iran are seeking to restore their credibilit…

  • Research Paper

    Actors, Structures and Qatari Foreign Policy

    Feb 10, 2020Marwan Kabalan

    In a research paper on Qatar’s foreign policy, Marwan Kabalan concludes that a small state’s geopolitical factors and relative capabilities remain central in a…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    What is Congress Willing to Do to Avoid War with Iran?

    This week, the House of Representatives took further decisive steps to try and prevent President Donald Trump from embroiling the United States in another war …

  • Policy Analysis
    YemenConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Yemen: Order of Battle Trumps Peace

    Feb 3, 2020Nabeel A. Khoury

    Military clashes in Yemen will not advance the interests of the warring parties, cautions Nabeel Khoury, who sees that victory there is only pyrrhic amid the d…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonUS Foreign Policy

    US, Iran Prolong Détente in Lebanon with a Status Quo Cabinet

    Jan 29, 2020Joe Macaron

    Joe Macaron contends that the new Lebanese government of Hassan Diab is a continuation of the old oligarchic status quo and appears to prolong the US-Iran déte…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Gulf Arab States Still Worried about a US-Iran War

    Gregory Aftandilian argues that Gulf Arab states increasingly view the United States as an unreliable and erratic ally and are urging restraint by Washington a…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Washington’s Strategy in the Post-Soleimani Middle East

    Jan 15, 2020Joe Macaron

    Joe Macaron writes that the post-Soleimani Middle East offers both challenges and opportunities but the Trump Administration does not seem to have a strategy t…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Soleimani’s Assassination Backfires Big Time

    Jan 7, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Washington’s killing of Qassem Soleimani violates the red lines that the United States and Iran had previously respected in order to avoid escalation, and make…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    The Coming American Defeat in Iraq

    Jan 6, 2020Marina Ottaway

    The vote by Iraq’s Parliament to force the withdrawal of American troops from the country marks the beginning of the end of the 2003 US intervention.

  • Viewpoint
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    A Middle East Calamity Is about to Unfold

    Jan 3, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Killing Soleimani has put the Middle East at the edge of a dangerous abyss and hastened an inevitable confrontation between the United States and Iran.

  • Viewpoint
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    The Khashoggi Verdict: Whitewashing a Murder

    Dec 26, 2019Imad K. Harb

    Saudi Arabia's reputation remains on the line despite the whitewashing and the convoluted twists of Khashoggi’s killing. For now, at least, in Jamal’s case “ju…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The United States and Iran Readjust to New Realities in Iraq and Lebanon

    Dec 18, 2019Joe Macaron

    After 15 years of rivalry in Iraq and Lebanon, the United States and Iran are adjusting their policies based on a new reality of popular uprisings that challen…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Burgeoning Arab-Israeli Normalization? Not Quite What You Think

    Dec 11, 2019Yousef Munayyer

    Efforts to normalize relations between Arab leaders and Israel will continue to collide with the overwhelming rejection of normalization by the peoples of the …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Washington Grapples with How to Respond to Turbulent Middle East

    Dec 11, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery examines the administration’s reassessment of its posture in the Middle East as officials grappled this week with how best to use military as…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfThe GCC

    GCC Reconciliation Is Coming, but Pesky Issues Remain

    Dec 8, 2019Imad K. Harb

    A limited reconciliation between parties to the GCC crisis is likely to take place during the upcoming summit in Riyadh. However, certain thorny and serious po…

  • Viewpoint
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfThe GCC

    Challenges to Resolving the GCC Crisis

    Khalil E. Jahshan discusses the challenges inherent in a reconciliation between Qatar and the neighboring countries that embargoed it and precipitated the unse…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranDemocracy and Governance

    Is Iran on the Edge of a Precipice?

    Nov 27, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg questions whether the latest protests in Iran will produce a wider political movement, one that has the support of an urban professional and bu…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    With Iraq’s Mounting Chaos Spreading, Time for a US Policy Reboot

    Nov 27, 2019Charles W. Dunne

    Charles W. Dunne argues that in light of Iraq’s current crisis, the United States must take bold steps to help stabilize the country, enhance anti-corruption a…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqProtests and Activism

    Will Iraq’s Protests Lead to Radical Change?

    The ongoing protests in Iraq indicate that the country’s youth, who are overwhelmingly Shia, have become disillusioned with status quo politics of control by I…

  • From our Affiliates
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfThe GCC

    Is a resolution of the GCC crisis imminent?

    Nov 18, 2019Ibrahim Fraihat

    Ibrahim Fraihat argues that the September 14 attack on Aramco has had a significant effect on Riyadh and has forced Saudi Arabia to revise its policies toward …

  • From our Affiliates
    YemenRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Riyadh Agreement on Yemen: Arrangements and Chances of Success

    Nov 18, 2019Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    The Riyadh Agreement’s success will depend in large part on the local parties’ conviction that it serves their purposes at this time more than continued war do…

  • Policy Analysis
    AlgeriaProtests and Activism

    Protests in the Arab World: The Second Wave

    Nov 8, 2019Marina Ottaway

    Marina Ottaway argues that protesters in Algeria, Sudan, Lebanon, and Iraq appear to be more sophisticated than those of the 2011 uprisings and understand that…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    The Limited Utility of the Iran Sanctions

    Nov 4, 2019Kenneth Katzman

    Kenneth Katzman writes that a range of observations and data support the assertion that to date, the Trump Administration’s maximum pressure campaign against I…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Putting al-Baghdadi’s Demise in Perspective

    Oct 30, 2019Khalil E. Jahshan

    Khalil E. Jahshan looks at the deeper meaning of the United States’ killing of IS leader Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi and doubts if his demise will portend the end of …

  • Viewpoint
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq’s Cruel Killings Will Not Stop Mass Protests

    Oct 8, 2019Imad K. Harb

    Protests have again rocked Iraq’s streets as thousands of young people voiced their opposition to rampant corruption and sectarian politics. While the demonstr…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Disturbing Developments in Iraq’s Security Establishments

    Interference by Iran and Iraqi political groups in the functioning of the Iraqi armed forces and security services has resulted in deteriorating discipline amo…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Learning to Say “No” To Saudi Arabia on Iran and Yemen

    Sep 25, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg writes that against the background of the White House’s escalating conflict with Tehran, Washington seems unwilling or unable to break its habi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Attacks on Saudi Oil Installations are a Game Changer

    The latest attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations are a game changer in Saudi domestic politics and in regional and international affairs.

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iraq’s Dilemma: The Uncertain Future of the Popular Mobilization Forces

    Sep 13, 2019Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    Although Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces were instrumental in defeating the Islamic State, their political influence has had a profound impact on the future…