• Policy Analysis
    JordanUS Foreign Policy

    Jordan and Trump’s Peace Plan

    Jordan’s relations with Israel have hit a low point following the unveiling of the Trump peace plan because of fears over annexation of Israeli settlements in …

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Russian-Turkish Tensions in Syria May Help Mend the US-Turkish Divide

    Mar 20, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg studies the intricacies of Turkey's involvement in Syria and accommodation with Russia as it simultaneously hopes to enlist the assistance of t…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Muted Arab Attempt to Restore Influence in Syria

    Mar 18, 2020Joe Macaron

    Will Arab countries be able to renew their influence in Syria given the ever-present inter-Arab rivalry and unfavorable geopolitical factors?

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Egypt-Turkey Strained Relations: Implications for Regional Security

    Mar 18, 2020Khalil Al-Anani

    Egyptian-Turkish tensions over influence, Libya, the eastern Mediterranean, and the Gulf region have increased regional insecurity and require de-escalation an…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Complications for Turkey in Idlib

    Mar 17, 2020Mustafa Gurbuz

    Ankara’s options in Idlib are extremely limited as it must enforce moderation on the part of the extremists as well as address the refugee crisis.

  • From our Affiliates
    SyriaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Moscow Summit: Will the Ceasefire Hold in Idlib?

    Mar 11, 2020Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    The failure of previous arrangements regarding Syria suggests that the latest ceasefire agreement between Turkey and Russia may only be temporary. Read this an…

  • 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
    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…

  • From our Affiliates
    SyriaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Three scenarios for the battle for Idlib

    Feb 19, 2020Marwan Kabalan

    Major decisions have to be made by Turkey, Russia, and the United States in the coming weeks that may determine the next phase of the Syrian conflict.

  • Policy Analysis
    Regional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Dangerous Consequence of Marginalizing the Arab “Moderates”

    Feb 18, 2020Joe Macaron

    By prioritizing Arab-Israeli normalization in order to deter Iran, the Trump Administration is enabling Arab authoritarians and reinforcing the dangerous possi…

  • 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…

  • 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
    Protests and Activism

    The battle of ‘resistance’ vs ‘revolution’ in the Middle East

    Jan 17, 2020Rami G. Khouri

    The clash between the 'resistance' and 'revolutionary' movements will define the Middle East in the future.

  • From our Affiliates
    LibyaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Turkey’s Growing Role in Libya: Motives, Background, and Responses

    Jan 9, 2020Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    There are fears that external interventions in Libya may prolong its conflict and threaten the future and territorial integrity of the country. Read this analy…

  • 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.

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Is Turkey Playing with Fire in Libya?

    Jan 6, 2020Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkish troops aim to buttress Libya's Government of National Accord, but escalating tensions in the Mediterranean may actually harm both Ankara and Tripoli.

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Libya-Turkey Memorandum of Understanding: Local and Regional Repercussions

    Jan 2, 2020Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    The signing of the Libyan-Turkish memorandum of understanding on maritime sovereignty in the Eastern Mediterranean has coincided with increased tensions both w…

  • 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 …

  • 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
    EgyptRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Closer Egyptian-Russian Relations Causing a Headache in Washington

    Gregory Aftandilian states that US officials are warning Egypt not to move ahead with the purchase of advanced Russian jet fighters; however, developing ties b…

  • 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
    SyriaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Russia’s Gains in Syria Could Be a Blessing in Disguise

    Nov 6, 2019Joe Macaron

    Joe Macaron argues that while Russia may fill the vacuum left by the withdrawal of American troops from the Turkish-Syrian border, it could have challenges dea…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Russia-Turkey Deal for Syria Will Go Nowhere

    Nov 5, 2019Mustafa Gurbuz

    Mustafa Gurbuz analyzes the problems in implementing the initial phase of the latest Turkish-Russian agreement in Syria, concluding they indicate that the deal…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    By Electing Kais Saied, Tunisians Recast Their National Politics

    Oct 17, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    The Tunisian electorate has handed the independent candidate Kais Saied a huge victory. With 73 percent of the vote against Nabil Karoui’s 27 percent, he now h…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Confusion in Turkey’s Regional Foreign Policy

    Oct 8, 2019Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkish foreign policy choices in Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia are plagued with contradictions that may lead to self-defeating outcomes.

  • 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
    North AfricaDemocracy and Governance

    Tunisia Struggles to Project Foreign Policy Independence

    Aug 22, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    Tunisia’s leaders would do well to balance their hopes for democracy and human rights with the pragmatic exigencies of an independent foreign policy that prote…

  • 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
    LevantIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Partition and Spheres of Influence in Syria

    Aug 5, 2019Radwan Ziadeh

    Radwan Ziadeh opines that Syria can no longer be considered a homeland for all Syrians and that its partition has become a reality. Restoring its societal make…

  • Policy Analysis
    North AfricaDemocracy and Governance

    Tunisia’s Fragile Democracy after Essebsi

    Aug 2, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg argues that Tunisia’s Essebsi leaves behind a political crisis that is partly rooted in a convoluted constitutional language that does not clea…

  • 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
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Various Players Maneuver for an Uncertain Future in Syria

    Russia, Iran, Turkey, and Israel are positioning themselves to play a role in Syria’s uncertain future now that the Assad regime is defeating the opposition in…

  • 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
    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
    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
    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
    LibyaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Libya and the Outsiders: Games of Power

    May 22, 2019Federica Saini Fasanotti

    Despite President Trump’s ill-advised contact with Khalifa Haftar as the general attacked Tripoli, it is still possible for the United States to play an import…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Haftar’s Losing Hand and Scenarios for Libya

    May 17, 2019Karim Mezran

    To achieve peace and stability, Libyans must find common ground and shared goals to devise a cohesive plan for resolving domestic grievances in a constructive …

  • 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
    EgyptConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Worrisome Competition in the Red Sea Subsystem

    The Red Sea subsystem involves many capable regional and international actors with competing agendas that, if not reconciled, could increase tensions and lead …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Trickiness of Syria’s Return to the Arab League

    Mar 29, 2019Imad K. Harb

    It is important for Arab states to continue to withhold Syria’s membership until Damascus agrees to a political process that leads to a transition from Assad’s…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    The Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum Reinforces Current Regional Dynamics

    Jan 25, 2019Joe Macaron

    The recently announced Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum is not likely to aid cooperation or economic integration because the policies of its member states mirro…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Arab Rehabilitation of the Assad Regime

    Jan 16, 2019Radwan Ziadeh

    Assad will be able to regain his political legitimacy after winning his battle militarily only if he rehabilitates his regime’s standing in the Arab world.

  • Viewpoint
    QatarEnergy and Economics

    Qatar Withdraws from OPEC: Business, Politics, or Both?

    It strains credulity to believe that Qatar’s decision to withdraw from OPEC was taken in total isolation from the regional conflict and tensions with neighbors.

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Israel and Gaza: From the Brink of War to the Brink of Elections

    Nov 27, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    After new elections in Israel, there is little reason to expect anything other than another right-wing Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • Viewpoint
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Russian Gains Are American Losses in the Arab World

    Oct 30, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Putin’s assessment of a receding American international influence paves the way for an even larger Russian role in the Arab world.

  • Research Paper
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Regional States and Egypt’s Democratic Transition

    Oct 25, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates were the most influential external actors in Egypt’s transition to democracy and its reversal after the 2011 …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Trump Administration’s Objectives in Syria

    Aug 28, 2018Imad K. Harb

    American officials’ latest pronouncements on Syria are intended to help insinuate some important preferences as the conflict there arguably nears its end on Ru…

  • Policy Analysis
    BahrainRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Exclusionary Turn in GCC Politics

    The emergence of a hyper-hawkish geopolitical axis running from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi has widened existing fractures within the GCC and inflicted potentially lon…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantInternational Law

    Israel Returns to Basics in Syria: “Better the devil you know”

    Aug 15, 2018Joe Macaron

    After nearly seven years of unrest next door, Israel opted to coexist with the Assad regime and to return to the stability in the occupied Golan Heights that l…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Putin Arbitrates Iran’s Presence in Syria

    Aug 10, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    Rumors of a rocky Russian-Iranian alliance have been greatly exaggerated. Putin as arbiter in Syria will only do what serves Russia’s influence there.

  • Viewpoint
    Saudi ArabiaJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    The Latest Example of Erratic Saudi Foreign Policy

    Aug 9, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Once again, impulsive, ill-advised, and harmful foreign policy decisions are negatively impacting Saudi Arabia’s global standing. The kingdom has expelled the …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Middle East Concerns of American Strategic Planners

    US strategic planners involved in the Middle East have concentrated on protecting vital sea lanes and assisting partner countries against threats, but without …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    The Dangerous Dynamics of Iraq’s Constitutional Vacuum

    With parliamentary results unfinished and a caretaker government barely running the affairs of state, Iraq is facing a dangerous constitutional vacuum at a ver…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Raging—and Surprising—Battle for Southern Syria

    Jul 5, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    The Syrian regime began its assault on the southern city of Daraa toward the end of June, assisted as elsewhere in Syria by Russian warplanes and Iran-supporte…

  • Policy Analysis
    North AfricaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Political Calculations…from the Western Sahara to the Arabian Gulf

    The timing of Morocco’s decision to sever relations with Iran and to close the Iranian embassy in Rabat “immediately” on May 1, 2018, has raised questions abou…

  • Viewpoint
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Crack in the Russian-Iranian Alliance in Syria?

    May 23, 2018Joe Macaron

    In a rare instance since the Russian intervention in Syria in September 2015, the policy differences between Moscow and Tehran have become public. This raised …

  • Viewpoint
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Dangerous Israeli-Iranian Escalation in Syria

    May 11, 2018Joe Macaron

    In the most dangerous escalation since the establishment of the Golan Heights ceasefire line in 1973, Israel and Iran exchanged fire in southwestern Syria unde…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Lebanon’s Elections Provide No Serious Change

    May 10, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Lebanon has just finished a feverish election campaign for its 128-seat Chamber of Deputies. This round followed a nine-year period in which this basic democra…

  • Viewpoint
    EgyptConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Deploying Arab Forces in Syria is not Advisable, nor Possible

    May 10, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    Over the last few months, President Donald Trump has made announcements that regional states should bear more of the burden of ridding Syria of the so-called I…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Mohammed bin Salman Is Wrong on Palestine

    May 2, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Critics allege that impetuousness and impatience are driving Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s actions and statements. What could also be drivi…

  • Viewpoint
    LibyaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Haftar’s Illness and Libya’s Troubles

    Apr 20, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Libya’s confusing political environment just became a little more so with the reported illness of strongman General Khalifa Haftar. He is commander of the so-c…

  • Research Paper
    Democracy and Governance

    The Arab World at a Crossroads: Rebellion, Collapse, and Reform

    Mar 8, 2018Dr. Shafeeq Ghabra

    A return to stability in the Arab world requires awareness by the respective governments of popular grievances and needs a plan for implementing corrective pol…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Like Quicksand, Many Issues Threaten to Engulf Lebanon

    Feb 13, 2018Imad K. Harb

    As it approaches the highly anticipated round of legislative elections on May 6, Lebanon finds itself bereft of a cohesive political center that can withstand …

  • Policy Analysis
    OmanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Determinants of Oman’s Strategic Position on the Gulf Crisis

    Jan 23, 2018Imad K. Harb

    As Oman seeks to steer a neutral course in the ongoing GCC crisis, Omani decision-makers worry that what happened with Qatar may be justified against their own…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Putin in Egypt as the United States Retreats

    From the perspective of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, warming relations with Moscow sends a signal to Washington that the US-Egyptian bilateral relationship …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Future Possibilities for the Kurds in Post-IS Syria

    Nov 28, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    With the defeat of the Islamic State in Syria, Kurdish activities and aspirations are yet again exposed to the calculations and machinations of all the parties…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Bilateral Disagreements Aside, Jordan and Israel Agree on Syria

    Jordan and Israel view military activities by Sunni extremists groups and by Hezbollah as threats and are using their developing ties with Russia to try to mit…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Amid Regional Chaos, US Seeks Improved Saudi-Iraqi Ties

    Nov 6, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Despite many pitfalls, the Trump Administration is quite keen on helping to improve relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq in an effort to contain Iranian inf…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Ankara’s Ambiguous Policy toward a Divided GCC

    Oct 30, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    As a key player in the GCC crisis, Turkey has tried to support Qatar while avoiding potential deterioration in Ankara-GCC relations, which would result in nega…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    The Challenges of Turkey’s Operation in Syria’s Idlib

    Oct 19, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey is concerned about who controls neighboring Idlib Province in Syria but is equally interested in thwarting the Syrian Kurds’ plans for autonomy south of…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Does Turkey Really Want to Punish Iraqi Kurdistan?

    Oct 3, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey may feel that it has to impose punitive measures against Iraqi Kurdistan over the referendum but countervailing Turkish domestic political conditions ma…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Iraq’s Kurds Vote to Secede, but Problems Loom

    The widespread disapproval of the Kurdish referendum inside Iraq, the region, and internationally points to potential serious developments for the Kurds and a …

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Strategic Implications of Reopening the Baghdad-Amman Highway

    Sep 29, 2017Joe Macaron

    While pivotal for Jordan’s and Iraq’s economies, the recent re-opening of the Amman-Baghdad highway has strategic and security implications for faraway powers …