• Policy Analysis
    TurkeySecurity and Defense

    Drumbeats of Turkey’s Next Military Invasion of Syria

    Oct 20, 2021Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkish officials continue to repeat their warning that a military operation in northern Syria may be imminent, blaming both Washington and Moscow for not fulf…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptSecurity and Defense

    Growing Relations between Egypt and Russia: Strategic Alliance or Marriage of Convenience?

    Sep 27, 2021Khalil Al-Anani

    On August 22nd, Egypt’s Minister of Defense and Military Production Mohammad Zaki made a trip to Russia with a high-level military delegation. Zaki attended th…

  • 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
    Security and Defense

    Momentum Builds for War Powers Reform

    On August 3rd, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) held its long-awaited open hearing on authorizations for use of military force (AUMFs). This marks…

  • 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…

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelSecurity and Defense

    The Changing Nature of Israel-Hamas Warfare

    Jun 15, 2021David B. Des Roches

    The recent conflict between Israel and Hamas was, on the face of it, a brief and limited exchange falling far short of other wars. There was no ground offensiv…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Takes First Step to Reform War Powers

    Mar 29, 2021Marcus Montgomery

    For the first time in nearly two decades, it appears that Congress will finally take concrete steps to rein in US foreign military adventures and put an end to…

  • Policy Analysis
    SomaliaSecurity and Defense

    Increasing Contestation over the Red Sea and Horn of Africa

    Growing international and regional involvement in the Red Sea-Horn of Africa theater has made this area a potential hot spot that is somewhat reminiscent of Be…

  • Policy Analysis
    Security and Defense

    Military Institutions and Poor Governance in the Arab World

    Nov 16, 2020Imad K. Harb

    The latest Arab Opinion Index (AOI) from the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) in Doha, Qatar, reveals an interesting combination of views ab…

  • Policy Analysis
    US Foreign Policy

    A Prognosis for American Involvement in the Middle East

    Nov 14, 2020Kenneth Katzman

    There is little doubt that the American approach to the Middle East has been undergoing significant change and will continue to do so. This trend might represe…

  • Policy Analysis
    Security and Defense

    As US Counterterrorism Policy Focus Wavers, a Thorough Review Is Needed

    Oct 28, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    The struggle to defeat global terrorism has been a dominant issue in the last four presidential elections, but not so in 2020. As the race between Donald Trump…

  • 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
    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
    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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Security and Defense

    Washington Abuzz with Questions about Middle East Policy

    Jun 17, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Despite continued anti-racism protests and heightening coronavirus infections throughout the United States, it was also a busy week in Washington for those int…

  • Policy Analysis

    China in the Middle East: Capitalizing on Washington’s Distractions

    May 29, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    Charles W. Dunne analyzes how China's efforts to expand and defend its interests in the Middle East may come at the expense of the United States, which has tra…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    May 28, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery reports on a congressional push for additional pro-Israel legislation, the Democrats' attempt to learn more about Mohammed bin Salman's invol…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    Will Saudi Arabia Face Another Tumultuous Summer in Washington?

    May 20, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery discusses why Saudi-US relations could experience a difficult summer following President Trump's firing of a State Department inspector who w…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    SyriaUS Foreign Policy

    The Trump Administration Sees a Path Forward in Syria

    May 13, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery explains that after a long period of indecisiveness, the United States appears to have charted a path forward in Syria, one that depends on q…

  • 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
    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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Apr 23, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    In this week's report, Marcus Montgomery offers information on senators' efforts to further US-Israeli cooperation on fighting COVID-19; President Trump's conf…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Mar 26, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery reports on Republican senators’ drive to withdraw US troops from Saudi Arabia over the oil price plunge; the State Department’s push to relea…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Washington Seeks Way Forward in Iraq and Syria

    Mar 18, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery highlights the questions facing the United States in Syria and Iraq as well as Democratic House members' objections to Israel's use of Americ…

  • 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
    SyriaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Idlib Developments Usher in a New Phase in Syria’s War

    Mar 6, 2020Radwan Ziadeh Imad K. Harb Marwan Kabalan Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Syrian civil war entered a new phase when Bashar al-Assad’s regime began an assault on the northwestern Idlib province, eliciting a Turkish response. ACW a…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Struggle over Syria’s Idlib

    Feb 28, 2020Radwan Ziadeh

    The Syrian regime’s killing of scores of Turkish soldiers in Idlib province will aggravate Turkish-Russian relations and take the crisis in Syria in a complete…

  • 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.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Palestine/IsraelUS Foreign Policy

    “Your Proposal Attempts to Make a Genuine Two-State Solution Impossible”

    Feb 12, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Congressional Democrats, Palestinians, and the broader international community still see too many problems with Trump’s proposed plan for Palestinian-Israeli p…

  • 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
    US Foreign Policy

    There’s No Consensus on US Middle East Policy; Time to Apply the War Powers Act

    Jan 23, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    Applying the War Powers Act is one way of addressing the absence of a coherent American policy in the Middle East and avoiding a new US military engagement in …

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    War Powers: An Overview

    Jan 15, 2020Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery discusses congressional efforts to prevent a potential war with Iran, providing important background information on the authorities that memb…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Washington Braces for Fallout from Operation That Killed Qassem Soleimani

    After the United States assassinated Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, Washington has been bracing for retaliation by Iran while considering calls for de-escalati…

  • 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
    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.

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Dec 18, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Congress approved the fiscal year 2020 defense budget and is working to fund the government before the December 20 deadline; lawmakers are questioning the Trum…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LibyaUS Foreign Policy

    The Conflict in Libya Resurfaces on Washington’s Agenda

    Nov 27, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery discusses the renewed interest in both Congress and the Trump Administration to address the ongoing conflict in Libya and asks whether the Un…

  • 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…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonProtests and Activism

    The Lebanese Uprising: No End in Sight for the Current Impasse

    Nov 20, 2019Joe Macaron

    Joe Macaron explains the different factors of the current impasse between the Lebanese ruling political class and the protesters, seeing no end in sight for th…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    TurkeyUS Foreign Policy

    President Erdoğan Comes to Washington

    Nov 13, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery posits that despite congressional opposition to his visit to the White House, Turkish President Erdoğan was sure to find a warm welcome from …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congress Eyes Sanctions after Turkey’s Incursion into Syria

    Oct 17, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery discusses how the US Congress aims to levy even harsher sanctions to force Turkey to cease its operation and withdraw from northeastern Syria…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Trump’s Syria Decision and the Turkish Operation

    Oct 10, 2019Radwan Ziadeh

    Without American forces on the ground, Washington will not be able to realize its objectives in Syria, especially in confronting the Iran-affiliated militias t…

  • Policy Analysis
    Security and Defense

    Trump Puts His Stamp on a Generational Shift at the Pentagon

    Oct 9, 2019Joe Macaron

    As Trump backs away from US commitments in the Middle East, a new generation of Pentagon leadership is being tested in how to navigate war and peace decisions …

  • Policy Analysis
    Security and Defense

    A Balance Sheet on America’s “War on Terror” in the Middle East

    Oct 2, 2019Charles W. Dunne

    Although al-Qaeda and the Islamic State may have lost much of their ability to mount major mass-casualty attacks in the United States and Europe, splinter grou…

  • 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
    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
    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
    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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    The United States’ Confused Iran Policy

    Marcus Montgomery disputes the Trump Administration’s repeated assertion that its “maximum pressure campaign” will bring Iran to the negotiating table and ques…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Are Democrats Alone in Challenging Saudi Arabia?

    Jul 31, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Bipartisan consensus in Congress on recalibrating US-Saudi relations has dissipated amid partisanship and apathy. As the Trump Administration moves forward in …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congress Deliberates US-Iraq Relations

    Jul 17, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery discusses Congress’s deliberations with the Trump Administration about US-Iraqi relations. One of the important considerations is whether Was…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    BahrainRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Congress Has Been Deafeningly Quiet on the Bahrain Meeting

    since Jared Kushner convened his economic workshop in Bahrain last month, nearly every prominent member of Congress has been silent on the plan, signaling skep…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    How Congress Is Trying to Prevent Another Middle East War

    Jun 26, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    With tensions escalating between the United States and Iran, Congress is trying to reassert its own war powers to prevent the Trump Administration from startin…

  • 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.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Would Trump Really Go to War with Iran?

    Jun 19, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    With multiple miscalculations and missteps that could develop, should we be worried about another war in the Middle East?

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Bad Press is Turning Congress’s Attention Back to Saudi Arabia

    Jun 12, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery writes that recent negative press coverage is raising Saudi Arabia’s visibility on Capitol Hill and hastening momentum among members of Congr…

  • 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

    The Legacy of the Pillared Arab State

    Jun 1, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    This paper is part of ACW's fourth book, titled The Arab World Beyond Conflict.IntroductionAmong other things, politics provides a means of managing conflicts.…

  • 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
    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

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    While Trump Sides with Haftar, the Rest of Washington Is Unsure

    May 22, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    While President Trump has sided with General Khalifa Haftar, many in Washington are skeptical of the would-be strongman and seek a political solution to the fi…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congress and White House Have Rival Plans for the Gulf

    May 15, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Many Arab Gulf states have enjoyed unwavering support from the Trump Administration in their confrontations with Iran, but Congress has other ideas, including …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    This Week in Washington: Trump’s “Deal of the Century”

    President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is tasked with achieving what has been an unobtainable peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinian…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    What Does Trump Want for the Middle East?

    The Trump Administration wants to defeat the Islamic State and push back against Iran, but it has no serious strategy for either. This makes President Trump’s …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Fallout from Trump’s Iran Strategy

    Apr 24, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Feeling emboldened by the Trump Administration’s maximum pressure campaign on Iran, some Arab Gulf states look to intensify proxy battles with the Islamic Repu…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    EgyptSecurity and Defense

    In Washington, the IRGC Is Now Like IS

    Apr 10, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    President Trump took the unprecedented step of listing the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization. A lack of specifics on how to enforce sanctions means that…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantEnergy and Economics

    Congress Balks at a Nuclear Riyadh

    The Trump Administration has been working quietly to facilitate a civilian nuclear program in Saudi Arabia, but Congress has qualms about any potential US-Saud…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantInternational Law

    Will Congress Legalize Trump’s Golan Heights Announcement?

    Mar 27, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    President Trump declared that the United States now recognizes the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, but questions remain whether Congress will make this law…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    American Campaigning Elevates Netanyahu’s Election Chances to New Heights

    Mar 26, 2019Yousef Munayyer

    A historical look at shifting US policy positions demonstrates the significance of recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. The warm embrace and cam…