• 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…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Is an American-Iranian Dialogue Coming?

    Sep 4, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg writes that with increasing tensions in the Middle East and the strengthening position of Iranian hard-liners, Rouhani and Zarif might have mor…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Crumbling Saudi-Emirati Alliance in Yemen May Change US Gulf Policy

    Sep 4, 2019Charles W. Dunne

    The UAE's backing of Yemen’s southern separatists has angered Saudi Arabia and helped lead to a reevaluation of American policy toward the conflict. More volat…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Targeting Iran on Multiple Fronts: Israeli Calculations

    Aug 29, 2019Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    The recent Israeli attacks in three Arab countries are not expected to lead to a major confrontation, at least at this time

  • Policy Analysis
    SomaliaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Will Somalia Share Yemen’s Fate?

    Aug 28, 2019Imad K. Harb

    The UAE’s support of the secessionist leaders of Somaliland and Puntland in realizing their costly dream of independence is likely to throw Somalia and the sur…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Conflict in Aden: Implications of the Pro-Hadi Forces’ Defeat

    Aug 26, 2019Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    There remain serious obstacles on the road to secession by Yemen's Southern Transitional Council, especially the contrary aims and programs in the various sout…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Should the United States Include Israel in the Gulf Maritime Coalition?

    Aug 21, 2019Joe Macaron

    Washington’s decision to include Israel in the US-led maritime Gulf coalition might expand the theater of conflict between Israel and Iran, weaken Gulf allies,…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Changes in UAE Policy: Reasons and Motivations

    Aug 20, 2019Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    he UAE considers this as the right moment to distance itself from confrontation, anticipating US-Iranian negotiations that might leave it to harvest the fruits…

  • Viewpoint
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iraq Enters the Israel-Iran Proxy War

    Israeli strikes against the Popular Mobilization Units in Iraq may have created another battleground in the proxy war between Israel and the Islamic Republic o…

  • Policy Analysis
    BahrainConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Drama since Manama: Kushner’s Failed Initiative

    Aug 15, 2019Yousef Munayyer

    Jared Kushner’s latest trip to the Middle East appears to have failed in charting a way forward for the Trump Administration’s illusive peace deal between Pale…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    In Saudi Arabia, Covering the Khashoggi Murder Is a State Affair

    Aug 13, 2019Connor Echols

    Over the last decade, stories about the potential for freedom of the press in the Arab world have alternated between hopeful and hopeless. The 2011 Arab uprisi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Safe Zone Agreement in Northern Syria Improves Turkey’s Position

    On August 4, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened a military operation against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria. His declared objective was to…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Arabian Gulf Must Not Sleepwalk toward War

    Aug 7, 2019Imad K. Harb

    The volatile situation in the Arabian Gulf has put the region on edge and increased anxiety about intra-Gulf peace, safety of navigation in the strategic Strai…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Hamas Plans a Comeback to Damascus: US and Regional Implications

    Jul 31, 2019Joe Macaron

    Hamas is looking to realign itself with Syria as the Trump Administration floats ideas about Palestinian-Israeli peace; however, it appears that the Syrian reg…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Trump’s Sanctions on Hezbollah Threaten Lebanon’s Stability

    Jul 30, 2019Nabeel A. Khoury

    Current conditions in the Middle East and American sanctions against Hezbollah could upset the delicate balance of power in Lebanon and potentially lead to an …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    The Symbolism behind the Latest US Sanctions against Hezbollah

    Jul 17, 2019Joe Macaron

    The latest US sanctions against Hezbollah--and their impact on domestic Lebanese politics--are largely symbolic. In reality, the Trump Administration may have …

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Saudi Arabia May Be on Its Own in Yemen

    Jul 15, 2019Imad K. Harb

    The UAE’s withdrawal from Yemen highlights the serious problems facing the war effort there. This situation puts Saudi Arabia in a difficult position and force…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Hard Choices Facing Tehran and Washington

    Jul 10, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    If the Trump Administration decides to adhere to a strategy of pushing for regime change in Tehran, Iran’s leaders might eventually embrace a fraught nucleariz…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Child Soldiers in Yemen: One Element of a Humanitarian Disaster

    Jul 8, 2019Annelise Adrian

    ACW intern Annelise Adrian reports on the use of child soldiers in the Yemen war by both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebel group. This is one of the…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelEnergy and Economics

    An Economic Analysis of Kushner’s Failed Plan

    Jul 3, 2019Ibrahim Shikaki

    “Peace to Prosperity” brings little that is new to the table, follows an ill-suited fundamentalist market ideology, and ignores the Israeli occupation as the m…

  • Policy Analysis
    BahrainConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Manama Meeting and Its Winners and Losers

    ACW fellows argue that neither Kushner’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan nor the Bahrain meeting addressed the political aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Saudi-Emirati-Egyptian Alliance Steering US Middle East Policy

    Jun 26, 2019Charles W. Dunne

    With the American retreat from the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt are presenting themselves as reliable allies. However, they are pursuing an ag…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Iran: How Trump is Emboldening the Hawks and Hardliners

    Jun 25, 2019Imad K. Harb

    US hawks, their Gulf allies and Israel will see Trump's preference for avoiding military confrontation as capitulation.

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Mecca Summits: Spinning the Wheels on Iran

    Jun 11, 2019Imad K. Harb

    By devoting its three Mecca summit meetings to vilifying and criticizing Iran, Saudi Arabia missed a good opportunity to address the many problems facing the G…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq’s Militias and the US-Iran Impasse

    The Iraqi government has a difficult time managing its mutual relations with Iran and the United States because of the influence of Iran-supported militias in …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranInternational Law

    On the Lebanese-Israeli Border, US and Iran Are Negotiating

    Jun 5, 2019Joe Macaron

    A breakthrough in Beirut is helping American mediation in the land and maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel, but many obstacles still prevent a q…

  • Policy Analysis

    Identity Politics 2.0: Cyber Geopolitics and the Weaponization of Social Media

    Jun 1, 2019Tamara Kharroub

    This paper is part of ACW's fourth book, titled The Arab World Beyond Conflict.In the months leading up to the attacks against the Rohingya Muslim minority in …

  • Policy Analysis

    Middle East Sectarianism: A Symptom to a Cause

    Jun 1, 2019Marwan J. Kabalan

    This paper is part of ACW's fourth book, titled The Arab World Beyond Conflict.Sectarianism and sectarian conflict in the Middle East are often presented as ce…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Dilemma of “Normalization”: Can Islamists Participate without Polarizing Politics?

    Jun 1, 2019Shadi Hamid

    This paper is part of ACW's fourth book, titled The Arab World Beyond Conflict.The dislike, or even hatred, of mainstream Islamist parties1 is assumed to lead …

  • Policy Analysis

    Identity and Inclusion: Rethinking Citizenship in Arab Societies

    Jun 1, 2019Linda Bishai Elly Rostoum

    Linda Bishai and Elly Rostoum decry exclusivist identity politics in the Arab world and propose this remedy: a transition to democratic practices that respect …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Inclusive Economic Growth in Arab States

    Jun 1, 2019Bessma Momani

    This paper is part of ACW's fourth book, titled The Arab World Beyond Conflict.IntroductionThe global economy is undergoing considerable structural shifts that…

  • Policy Analysis

    A Collaborative Regional Reconstruction Strategy in the Arab World

    Jun 1, 2019Sultan Barakat

    Arab states can no longer pretend that poor economic, social, and environmental conditions and other consequential challenges affect only some of them and not …

  • Policy Analysis

    Time, Transition, and Justice in Arab States

    Jun 1, 2019Noha Aboueldahab

    This paper is part of ACW's fourth book, titled The Arab World Beyond Conflict.What does it mean to pursue criminal accountability in the context of resurgent …

  • Policy Analysis

    Chronic Insecurity in the Middle East: Causes and Consequences

    Jun 1, 2019Mehran Kamrava

    This paper is part of ACW's fourth book, titled The Arab World Beyond Conflict.Even before the discovery of oil in southwestern Iran at the start of the 20th c…

  • Policy Analysis

    Government Survival Strategies in the Middle East

    Jun 1, 2019Sarah Leah Whitson

    This paper is part of ACW's fourth book, titled The Arab World Beyond Conflict.Regional and global geopolitics, intrigues, and rivalries often attract the most…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantEnergy and Economics

    Deep Socioeconomic Disparities Exacerbate Arab Tensions

    Jun 1, 2019Rami G. Khouri

    This paper is part of ACW's fourth book, titled The Arab World Beyond Conflict.The far-reaching turmoil that plagues most Arab countries today reflects problem…

  • Policy Analysis
    BahrainMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    The Kushner Bahrain Ordeal: Why Are the Palestinians Boycotting?

    May 31, 2019Khalil E. Jahshan

    The proposed US “Peace to Prosperity” workshop in Bahrain is destined to fail because it ignores Palestinian participation and avoids linking economic prosperi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranThe GCC

    Arab Leaders Trying to Decipher US Iran Policy

    May 30, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    The Trump Administration’s contradictory statements and signals about its approach to Iran are increasing the confusion for GCC states and Iraq as tensions mou…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranThe GCC

    “Maximum Pressure” on Iran Stresses US-Iraq Ties

    May 29, 2019Charles W. Dunne

    The US policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran intensifies pressure on the US-Iraq relationship, too. Baghdad is eager to step out of the fray, and Washington nee…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaSecurity and Defense

    How a Legal Loophole is Helping Trump Sell Arms to Saudi Arabia

    May 28, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    President Trump is using tensions with Iran to bypass Congress and push through weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates

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

    Is Partition Becoming a Reality in Yemen?

    May 22, 2019Imad K. Harb

    If Yemen’s southern secessionists succeed in establishing a UAE-controlled rump state, Saudi Arabia will have to contend with either continuing the conflict in…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    A US-Iranian Clash Presents Dangers and Opportunities for Russia

    May 10, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    Russia stands to benefit from the current standoff between the United States and Iran because President Putin has built good relations with all parties, which …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Is War Coming to the Arabian Gulf?

    Given current conditions and the parties’ limitations, the chance of a military confrontation with Iran is remote—although the sharp rhetoric and counter-accus…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    As Congress Scrutinizes Yemen, Spotlight Shines on Saudi Arabia and Its Partners

    Apr 9, 2019Charles W. Dunne

    Congress's vote to end US support for the war in Yemen reflects growing anger at Saudi Arabia. That anger is also extending to two of the kingdom’s closest all…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq Torn between Iran, the United States, and the Islamic State

    Since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, Iran has implemented policies to ensure its regional influence and control of Iraqi affairs. Recent American isolationi…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Mutually Connected Fronts between Israel and Iran

    Mar 18, 2019Joe Macaron

    Although a direct confrontation between Israel and Iran is improbable at this time, the two countries share three potential war fronts in Lebanon, Syria, and t…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Zarif Throws Down the Gauntlet Carefully

    Mar 12, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    By threatening to resign, Zarif made it clear that he would continue his international engagement efforts and, in so doing, defend the place and legitimacy of …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    The Iranian Revolution at 40: The Politics of Supreme Leader Succession

    Feb 26, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    As Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei advances in age, he must be careful about how his actions domestically and internationally will affect the inevitable succession…

  • Viewpoint
    Saudi ArabiaInternational Law

    The Khashoggi Affair: Saudi Denial 2.0

    Feb 14, 2019Khalil E. Jahshan

    Saudi Arabia continues to deny its leadership’s responsibility for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, despite all the evidence that has emerged since his assassin…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iran Should Worry about New Iraq-Jordan Relations

    The recent economic agreement between Iraq and Jordan sends signals to Iran that Iraq may find Arab alternatives to its relations with the Islamic Republic.

  • Viewpoint
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    The Gulf States: Wasted Wealth and Unreliable US Policy

    Feb 12, 2019Adel Marzooq

    Developments over recent years have proven without a doubt that what Washington is unable to do in the Middle East far exceeds what it can and wants to accompl…