• Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfThe GCC

    The Biden Presidency and the Gulf Arab States

    Assessing the Biden Administration’s future relations with the Gulf, Kristian Coates Ulrichsen writes that it faces a set of difficult challenges on a number o…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarThe GCC

    The GCC Crisis at Three Years: No Lessons Learned

    Jun 2, 2020Khalil Al-Anani Kristian Coates Ulrichsen Marwan Kabalan Courtney Freer Karen E. Young

    The continuation of the GCC crisis undermines the idea of a supranational entity through which the six countries of the council could realize political, econom…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanThe GCC

    Jordan Maneuvers in GCC Politics to Protect Its Interests

    Despite its heavy dependence on the GCC for economic aid and employment for its workforce, Jordan has been able to pursue political positions not always in syn…

  • Policy Analysis
    OmanDemocracy and Governance

    Continuity in Oman’s Problems and Policy Prescriptions

    Apr 21, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Oman is likely to continue to follow the policy prescriptions of the late Sultan Qaboos, Imad K. Harb writes, but the new ruler, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, may …

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    The Fourth Saudi State Remains a Distant Vision

    Apr 3, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb argues that Mohammed bin Salman’s chaotic and authoritarian stewardship of Saudi domestic and international affairs may well impede the establishm…

  • 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
    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
    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…

  • 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 …

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Middle East States View Congress as a Second-Tier Actor

    Aug 14, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Middle East states view Congress as a second-tier actor in Washington and have calculated that flattering President Donald Trump is the most effective way to f…

  • 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
    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
    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
    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…

  • 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 …

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfUS Foreign Policy

    No American Traction on Resolving the GCC Crisis

    Dec 27, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    To maintain or reassert its leadership role in the Gulf region, the United States must effectively and forcefully address the reasons behind the start of the G…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarThe GCC

    The GCC Is Meeting Again: What to Expect?

    Regardless of what happens at the GCC summit on December 9, the likelihood is that the council as it functioned up until 2017 is not coming back anytime soon, …

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Has Saudi Arabia Become a Monarchy of Fear?

    Oct 24, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    With increasing authoritarian tendencies in the current Arab political order, the Khashoggi killing may point to Saudi Arabia as approaching being a monarchy o…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaThe GCC

    The Khashoggi Affair: Can Congress Force the President’s Hand?

    Oct 18, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Khashoggi’s murder prompted many in Congress to speak out forcefully; but for Republicans, a political battle with the president over relations with Riyadh may…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaThe GCC

    The Khashoggi Affair and the Future of Saudi Arabia

    Oct 12, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance has taken on the importance of a serious international incident whose repercussions are likely to remain with the kingdom for a…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Saudi Arabia’s Extrajudicial Arrests: Between Reforms, Modernization, and Human Rights Violations

    Aug 31, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    The White House deals another blow to Palestinians, cutting millions of dollars in aid; Trump Administration officials pan Washington to talk Syria, Yemen, Ira…

  • 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
    QatarThe GCC

    Can a GCC Reconciliation Summit at Camp David Succeed?

    President Trump is planning to host a GCC reconciliation summit in September to shore up Arab support for his Iran policies; but to succeed, he will need to re…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Mapping Saudi Arabia’s New Ruling Bargain

    Jul 3, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    “There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.” Machiavelli…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Needless Crisis in the Arabian Gulf

    The Trump Administration would do well to work with the Saudis and Emiratis to identify a face-saving way to back down and end the blockade of Qatar.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranThe GCC

    How the blockade on Qatar failed

    Jun 5, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    The GCC crisis has inflicted significant financial loss on Qatar, but it has failed to bring it down.

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarThe GCC

    One Year Later: A Necessary Reckoning in the GCC

    Jun 5, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Countries blockading Qatar must reflect on how their attempts to control the Gulf are destabilizing the entire region.

  • Policy Analysis

    Missed Opportunities and Failed Integration in the GCC

    The crisis that erupted on June 5, 2017, when three members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) turned on a fourth—for the second time in three years—has hig…

  • Policy Analysis

    Perspective: Can Washington Resolve the Impasse?

    Jun 1, 2018Majed M. al-Ansari

    The White House—and more specifically, President Donald Trump—played a negative role in the GCC crisis when it started. The president initially supported the S…

  • Policy Analysis

    Kuwait’s GCC Mediation: Incentives and Reasons for Failure

    Jun 1, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    Kuwait has been a mediator in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) since the first crisis of 2013-2014 between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and …

  • Policy Analysis

    A Difficult Position: US Mediation in the Gulf Dispute

    Jun 1, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    Strengthening and maintaining the Gulf Cooperation Council are among the top goals of any American administration that seeks to preserve peace and stability in…

  • 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

    Anti-Qatar Embargo Grinds Toward Strategic Failure

    Jun 1, 2018Gabriel Collins

    “The experience of the past thus clearly suggests that blockades or embargoes do not always produce the results originally sought when the decision for action …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranThe GCC

    Congressional Update – Week Ending April 27, 2018

    Apr 27, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Congress assesses counterterrorism cooperation with GCC states; Pompeo confirmed as Secretary of State; Macron, Merkel lobby Trump for JCPOA; Supreme Court hea…

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

    External Actors Complicate Resolving the Yemeni Conflict

    Although the Houthis and the Hadi government show no signs of compromise, Yemen’s conflict continues to drag on largely because external actors are pursuing ag…

  • 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
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    Strategic Considerations of the UAE’s Role in Yemen

    There are legitimate questions about whether the UAE is interested in keeping Yemen unified and sovereign under a national government recognized by the interna…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    The Aden Battle and Yemen’s De Facto Partition

    Feb 2, 2018Joe Macaron

    It is clear from ongoing developments in the Middle East that the United States and Russia will continue to play a role that meets their own national interests…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaThe GCC

    Costly Mistakes in Saudi Decision-Making in Yemen and Lebanon

    Dec 27, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Saudi Arabia’s mistakes and poor decision-making in Yemen and Lebanon have been at the heart of recent failures to deal with the two countries and have allowed…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarEnergy and Economics

    The GCC’s Future Is in the Balance after Its 38th Summit Meeting

    Dec 7, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The GCC should be preserved despite the failure of its 38th summit meeting in Kuwait and the establishment of a Saudi Arabian-Emirati new political and militar…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Is Mohammed bin Salman Overplaying His Hand?

    Nov 6, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Mohammed bin Salman may think that consolidating power in his hands will help the kingdom face its challenges, but he would do well to know that sidelining imp…

  • 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
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    The US and the GCC: A Steep Learning Curve for President Trump

    Sep 18, 2017Imad K. Harb

    In its first year in office, the Trump Administration must work on remedying its shortcomings on Gulf affairs and strive to safeguard the GCC’s unity as a stra…

  • Policy Analysis

    Can the Gulf Cooperation Council Survive the Current Crisis?

    The GCC is likely to survive the current crisis, at least on paper, but to become far less relevant as policymaking is driven by younger decision-makers who ha…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranThe GCC

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 28, 2017

    Jul 28, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress takes on budgets before the House goes on recess; Qatar and the GCC are front and center in Washington; Lebanon’s PM Visits DC.

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Improving Iraq-GCC Relations: No Time Like the Present

    Jul 27, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Iraq’ reintegration into the Arab world, particularly in terms of improving its relations with its Gulf neighbors, will support its stability as well as ensure…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The GCC Crisis: Media, Hacks, and the Emergence of “Cyber Power”

    Jul 25, 2017Tamara Kharroub

    Media tools have been employed heavily in the GCC crisis to suppress freedom of the press and expression, indicating a shift from military and soft power to a …

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Stupendous Hubris…and Its Damage

    Jul 18, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Revelations in the Post article stand the entire GCC crisis on a new footing, now that tangible information has been made public and confirms the Qatari govern…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Qatar-US Memorandum of Understanding: A Game Changer

    Jul 11, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The MOU is a game changer and provides a significant milestone on the road to a political solution that preserves GCC unity, stability, and prosperity.

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Absent Rationality in the GCC Crisis

    Jul 5, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Developments since last May have shown a careless disregard on the part of the Saudi Arabia-United Arab Emirates-Bahrain entente of the basic tenets of rationa…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Legal Analysis of the Demands Presented to Qatar

    Jun 26, 2017

    I. IntroductionOn June 23, 2017, Kuwait, acting as a mediator, presented Qatar with a thirteen-point list of demands on behalf of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfEnergy and Economics

    Impact of the GCC Crisis on Global Energy Markets

    Jun 21, 2017Joe Macaron

    While the diplomatic row among GCC countries had no immediate impact on energy trade, the uncertainty and longevity of the crisis might have long term reverber…

  • 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
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    How Did Syria Become a Victim of Regional and International Conflicts?

    Jun 19, 2017Radwan Ziadeh

    As a seventh round of peace talks is announced, the United States and Russia clash over Syria and the GCC crisis remains unresolved. What is the impact of conf…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 16, 2017

    Jun 16, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress holds a number of budget hearings; senators overwhelmingly pass sanctions that target Iran and Russia; the United States finalizes foreign military sa…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfThe GCC

    President Trump Failed His Gulf Test

    Jun 15, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The United States must show a full-fledged commitment to GCC unity and refrain from appearing to side with some of the council’s members against others.

  • 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
    Saudi ArabiaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Cautionary Notes to the GCC about Trump’s Visit

    May 15, 2017Imad K. Harb

    President Trump’s erratic behavior and lack of knowledge and his administration’s institutional problems require great caution from GCC leaders when he visits …

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfSecurity and Defense

    The US Military Posture in the Gulf: Future Possibilities

    Apr 4, 2017Imad K. Harb

    Since former President Jimmy Carter announced the establishment of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force in the Middle East in 1980—which later became Central …

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfThe GCC

    Developments in Yemen and American Strategic Calculations

    Feb 8, 2017Imad K. Harb

    It has been three years since Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference concluded its work to set the stage for a constitution for a six-region federated state. Thi…

  • Policy Analysis

    Oman’s Needed Adjustment During the Trump Presidency

    Jan 18, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The Sultanate of Oman has arguably always been an outlier regarding unified Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) action since the organization’s establishment in 198…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    EgyptThe GCC

    Congressional Update – April 11, 2016

    Apr 11, 2016

    I. Iran:On April 5, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) held a hearing on Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Test…