• 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 …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Future Implications of the Islamic State’s Demise in Syria

    Sep 20, 2017Radwan Ziadeh

    Syria’s developments regarding the Islamic State’s expected demise and the Astana meeting should not be taken to signal an end to the country’s war which has l…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Stretched over Two Borders, Hezbollah is Making Israel Anxious

    Aug 8, 2017Joe Macaron

    In the long run, the risks of confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah may largely depend on how the US-Russia deal will unfold in southern Syria.

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Mohammed bin Salman’s Elevation and the Way Forward

    Aug 1, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman faces serious challenges in affirming Saudi Arabia’s domestic stability and addressing the fallout from the GCC crisis and the…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    The Independence Referendum: A Pyrrhic Victory for Barzani

    Jul 10, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Kurdish decision to hold a referendum on independence from Iraq may bring happiness to the Kurds but will come at a heavy price for the Kurdish leadership.

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The GCC in Turmoil: Repercussions of the Gulf Crisis on Iraq-GCC Relations

    Iraq and the GCC have a long history of cooperation as well as enmity. How has the relationship between Iraq and GCC nations developed and what is the impact o…

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

    The Yemen Conflict and Its Elusive Political Solution

    Overshadowed by the conflict in Syria, Yemen continues to suffer from an internal civil war, a regional proxy war, and a grave humanitarian crisis. Unfortunate…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Turkey and the Gulf Crisis: Erdoğan’s Most Difficult Game

    Jun 19, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Ankara’s policy toward the Gulf crisis is shaped by economic and strategic concerns as well as fear that the same allegations against Qatar could be directed t…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    What’s at Stake for the United States in the GCC Crisis?

    Jun 8, 2017Joe Macaron

    A lot is at stake for US national security in the Gulf, including the possibility of living with a divided GCC, the potential expansion of Iranian influence, a…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Why Qatar? Explaining Contentious Issues

    Jun 6, 2017Imad K. Harb

    What should concern all members of the GCC today is working together not only to simply iron out differences but to provide an agenda for successful collective…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Egyptian-Saudi Relations: Managing a Difficult Marriage

    Saudi Arabia and Egypt need each other at this uncertain time and this inter-dependence keeps them together in a symbiotic relationship despite occasional stra…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Bird’s Eye View of the 1967 War: Palestine Remains the Central Issue

    Jun 5, 2017Imad K. Harb

    After fifty years of the 1967 war that changed the map of the Middle East and destroyed the Arab republican nationalist regimes, the Question of Palestine rema…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Dangers of Arab Normalization with Israel

    Jun 1, 2017Dana El Kurd

    Arab normalization with Israel is a shortsighted policy on the part of governments, organizations, and individuals. Such a policy poses a risk to both the Pale…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Turkish-Egyptian Relations: Nowhere to Go but Up

    May 30, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Egypt and Turkey, both staunch US allies, have found themselves locked in a war of words—and worse—for nearly four years since the overthrow of President Moham…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Precariousness of the De-Escalation Zones in Syria

    May 10, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Confusion engulfs the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria as Russia advocates for them and the Syrian opposition expresses doubt about their efficacy.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Will Erdogan’s Victory Usher Dramatic Changes in Turkish Foreign Policy?

    Apr 25, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Since becoming Turkey’s president in July 2014, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has pursued a protracted campaign to win constitutional changes that would grant him more …

  • Research Paper
    MoroccoConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Four-Approach Dilemma of the Western Sahara Conflict

    Apr 25, 2017Mohammed Cherkaoui

    While awaiting the perennial renewal of the mandate for the UN monitoring force (MINURSO, or Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) in Western Sahara at…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Turkey-Russia Rift Heralds an Autonomous Kurdistan in Syria

    Apr 5, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    As the Syrian civil war grinds on into a seventh year, a Kurdish autonomous region controlled by the People’s Protection Units becomes more probable in norther…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    The Difficult Tasks for the Arab League

    Mar 22, 2017Imad K. Harb

    As the Arab League limps through its eighth decade, its problems increase in number and intensity while the Arab state system continues to be burdened with pol…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantInternational Law

    Turkey-Europe Tensions: Where are They Headed?

    Mar 21, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    The escalation of tensions between Turkish and Dutch authorities seems to have played well in domestic political calculations in Turkey and the Netherlands. Tu…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Turkey-Iran Relations: A Sectarian Future?

    Mar 8, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Syrian war and ensuing crisis in Iraq have put Turkey and Iran in an unprecedented sectarian rivalry. Competition over Iraqi Kurdistan will be a major test…

  • Policy Analysis
    Regional Relations and Geopolitics

    How Will Trump Run Washington’s Favorite Killing Machine?

    Mar 2, 2017Joe Macaron

    In 2016, US unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) dropped on average three bombs every 60 minutes in the global fight against radical extremists. Nothing defined Pre…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Erdoğan’s Gulf Tour: Reassurance without Substance?

    Feb 21, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Contemporaneous visits to the Gulf region by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani indicate urgent regional diplomacy in …

  • Policy Analysis

    Turkish-Iraqi Relations: Old Trends and Future Possibilities

    Relations between Iraq and Turkey have been cordial and cautious since Iraq became independent of Ottoman suzerainty after WWI, when British forces invaded and…

  • Policy Analysis

    After Aleppo: The Political and Regional Implications of the New Middle East “Troika”

    Dec 28, 2016Joe Macaron

    Since August 2016, new regional power dynamics have been emerging in the wars in Syria. The trend has manifested itself in the fall of Aleppo and the December …

  • Policy Analysis

    Sidelining Asad: Questioning the Future of Russian-Iranian-Turkish Convergence in Syria

    Dec 27, 2016Imad K. Harb

    The battle of Aleppo has finally been decided in favor of the Syrian regime and its Russian, Iranian, and militia cohorts. But for all intents and purposes, th…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    What is Next for Turkey after the Fall of Aleppo?

    Dec 15, 2016Mustafa Gurbuz

    After the fall of Aleppo, Turkey’s capacity to maneuver in the region will suffer tremendously. Indeed, the fall of Aleppo has increased tensions among Syrian …

  • Policy Analysis

    The GCC at 35: Regional Concerns and Strategic Hedging

    Dec 15, 2016Imad K. Harb

    Last week, the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) concluded its 37th summit meeting in Manama, Bahrain, amid many hopeful pronouncements as well as atte…

  • Policy Analysis

    The New Regional Order amid the Aleppo Rubble

    Oct 20, 2016Joe Macaron

    It became obvious in recent weeks that the US-Russian channel regarding Syria has run its course and can no longer be the bedrock of serious diplomatic efforts…

  • Policy Analysis

    The US fatal mistake in northern Syria

    Aug 31, 2016Joe Macaron

     The moment the Turkish incursion into Syrian Territory began on August 24, the stage was set for a looming direct military confrontation between Ankara a…

  • Policy Analysis

    Courting the Houthis did not Yield Peace Deal in Yemen

    Jun 22, 2016Joe Macaron

    United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed briefed the Security Council on June 21, 2016 marking 60 days of relentless diplomatic efforts …

  • Policy Analysis

    Wanted: A US Strategy in the Middle East

    Apr 11, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    In 2006, as Israel and Hezbollah were engaged in what would be a 34­day war, the longest of any Arab­Israeli war since 1948, US Secretary of State Condoleezza …

  • Policy Analysis

    The Iran Nuclear Deal and its Implications for the Region

    Jul 31, 2015Yousef Munayyer

    The agreement reached by the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, and the US), the EU and the Islamic Republic of Iran over the latter’s nuclear progr…