• Policy Analysis
    The Horn of AfricaEnergy and Economics

    Horn of Africa’s Security Concerns and Economic Crises

    The current Russia-Ukraine crisis has overshadowed another troubled region of the world, namely the Horn of Africa, which encompasses Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti,…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Israel-Iran Shadow War in Syria intensifies Amid International Developments

    The ongoing military conflict between Israel and Iran (along with Iran-backed Shia forces like Hezbollah) in Syria show no signs of easing despite the Russia-U…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Sisi Intensifies Arms Imports to Secure External Support for His Policies

    Feb 28, 2022Khalil Al-Anani

    Egypt has become the third largest arms importer in the world, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The institute’s “Trends i…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    High Stakes at the Vienna Nuclear Talks with Iran

    Dec 8, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    The ongoing indirect US-Iran negotiations in Vienna on the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) have thus far made little progress. Already…

  • Policy Analysis
    Regional Relations and Geopolitics

    Is There a Macron Doctrine in the Middle East?

    Dec 2, 2021Joe Macaron

    Under President Emmanuel Macron, French foreign policy in the Middle East went through a transformative shift, revealing a clear break with his two predecessor…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Policy Analysis
    Security and Defense

    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…

  • 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…

  • 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
    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…

  • 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
    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…

  • 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…

  • 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
    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

    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

  • 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
    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…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptSecurity and Defense

    The US-Egypt Political-Military Relationship: A Critical Assessment

    Mar 13, 2019Charles W. Dunne

    Once a pillar of American regional planning in the Middle East, Egypt’s relationship with the United States is likely to be reevaluated by the new House of Rep…

  • 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…

  • Policy Analysis
    Democracy and Governance

    How Principled Is US Realism in the Middle East?

    Feb 22, 2019Charles W. Dunne

    US authority, credibility, and interests in the Middle East are paying the price for the administration's confusion and abandonment of principles in its foreig…

  • Policy Analysis
    Energy and Economics

    Trump’s Doomed Quest for a Middle East Strategic Alliance

    Feb 5, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    Trump's Middle East Strategic Alliance is doomed because not all states there agree that Iran poses the biggest threat. A larger obstacle is the president's re…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Will an Anti-Iran Military Alliance Be Formed in 2019?

    The administration’s “Arab NATO” proposal to confront Iran is unlikely to succeed because of Trump’s serious credibility deficit and disunity in the GCC.

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    The United States and the Turkish-Kurdish Conundrum in Northern Syria

    Jan 11, 2019Mustafa Gurbuz

    Future US-Turkey relations depend on Ankara’s demands in northern Syria regarding the Kurds and how its relationship with Moscow develops.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    What will the Middle East look like in 2019?

    Jan 1, 2019Marwan Kabalan

    In 2019, old conflicts in the Middle East will persist and new ones might erupt.

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Libyans Should Decide Their Own Future: An Interview with Hani Shennib

    Nov 20, 2018Imad K. Harb

    The failure to address the root causes of the Libyan conflict is the main reason why Libya has not arrived at a peaceful resolution to its ongoing troubles.

  • Policy Analysis
    Palestine/IsraelConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Why is Netanyahu so desperate for a ceasefire with Hamas?

    Nov 20, 2018Ibrahim Fraihat

    The ceasefire in Gaza has destabilized Netanyahu's government, yet he has no other choice but to commit to it.

  • Policy Analysis
    International Law

    John Bolton vs. Bureaucratic Washington: Implications for the Middle East

    Oct 11, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    How effectively Bolton steers the NSC through the gauntlet of Washington’s bureaucracy will go a long way in determining US policy toward the Middle East and N…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    US Involvement in Yemen: Changing Course Required as Disaster Worsens

    Sep 26, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    With no end in sight, no exit strategy, and little to show for its involvement so far, the US should revise its strategy soon or face mounting international an…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaDemocracy and Governance

    Libya Cries Out for More International Commitment

    Sep 7, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Despite the UN’s efforts to assist Libya, it remains up to the country’s leaders themselves to agree to a political settlement and begin to restore the authori…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    US Defense Budget Prioritizes Securing Israel over Deterring Iran

    Aug 24, 2018Joe Macaron

    The 2019 US defense budget reveals that the Trump administration has no clear way forward for Syria or Yemen and that its commitment to Israel exceeds the US d…

  • Viewpoint
    Security and Defense

    An Arab NATO? The Folly of Trusting Trump

    Jul 31, 2018Imad K. Harb

    The Trump Administration is said to be pushing for establishing a Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA). Discussions for the plan will be conducted during a su…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqEnergy and Economics

    Controlling the Nasib Crossing Is a Game Changer for the Syrian Regime

    Jul 19, 2018Joe Macaron

    The imminent opening of the Nasib crossing on the Syrian-Jordanian border could revitalize commercial activities in the Levant; but challenges lie ahead, inclu…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanSecurity and Defense

    It May Be Time to Restructure American Assistance to Jordan

    Jun 15, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Since May 30, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has seen a wave of massive, largely peaceful protests that have King Abdullah II in a bind. The current turmoil h…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantReligion and Politics

    The Damascus-Aleppo Highway and Stabilizing Northwest Syria

    Jun 7, 2018Joe Macaron

    While Russia, Turkey and Iran are stabilizing northwest Syria along the Damascus-Aleppo highway, they are also normalizing an irregular situation that could ul…

  • 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…

  • Policy Analysis

    MEASURES OF STALEMATE IN THE GCC CRISIS

    Jun 1, 2018Imad K. Harb

    The current existential crisis in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) began in May 2017 with a hacking operation of the Qatar News Agency website and the public…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Jordan’s Four Worst-case Scenarios on Its Syrian Border

    Mar 30, 2018Joe Macaron

    Jordan faces four worst-case scenarios as the US-Russia ceasefire agreement is gradually collapsing in southwestern Syria. Amman’s options to limit the damage …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Who is John Bolton? A Political Profile of the Next National Security Advisor

    Mar 23, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    With the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor, the United States risks turning the National Security Council into an echo chamber of hyper-n…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaSecurity and Defense

    Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the Yemeni Hemorrhage

    Mar 20, 2018Imad K. Harb

    It is necessary to point out that the Saudi-led intervention in March 2015 has exacerbated human suffering and underscored the differences between Yemen’s elit…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    A Saudi Comeback to Lebanese Politics?

    Mar 14, 2018Joe Macaron

    Nearly 100 days after his mysterious “captivity” in the Saudi capital, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri visited Riyadh again on February 28. The timing c…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    US Syria Policy: Juggling Contradictory Interests

    US policy in Syria, as articulated by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, remains focused on the Islamic State, but it does little to bring about other stated go…