• 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.

  • 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
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Iraq’s Changing Political Landscape: The Beginning of a New Era?

    Electing a new president and choosing a new prime minister may provide some hope for positive changes in Iraq’s current political conditions.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Haley Leaves the UN: Using Israel as Her Way to the White House

    Oct 17, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    On her ambitious quest to the presidency, Nikki Haley missed no opportunity to use her post at the United Nations to defend Israeli policies and to bash and pu…

  • 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
    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
    International Law

    Trump’s Unprincipled “Principled Realism” Benefits Trump, Not the World

    Oct 5, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    Trump’s speech at the UNGA set out the basic dividing line that separates the Trump Administration from the normative, institutional, and legal consensus that …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantInternational Law

    A September to Forget: Trump, Netanyahu, and Abbas at the UNGA

    Oct 3, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    The major addresses by Trump, Netanyahu, and Abbas at the UN General Assembly failed to achieve any advances on the question of Palestine. The Palestinians con…

  • Policy Analysis
    International Law

    Trump’s UN Performance: Does the US Have a Strategy?

    Sep 28, 2018Joe Macaron

    The Trump Administration's performance at the United Nations General Assembly raises questions about whether Washington has a clear and consistent strategy to …

  • 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
    International Law

    Trump Brings His “America First” Agenda to the United Nations

    Sep 25, 2018Joe Macaron

    For the second time since assuming power last year, President Donald Trump comes to the United Nations (UN) with his “America First” agenda, his Administration…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Time to Reboot American-Iraqi Relations

    Sep 13, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    As the conflict in Syria draws to its inevitable bloody close, the United States can't afford to ignore Iraq. In fact, it is time to reboot US-Iraqi relations.

  • Viewpoint
    LevantInternational Law

    The Trump Administration’s “Peace Plan” Threatens Global Peace and Security

    Sep 12, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    On September 10, 2018, the United States ordered the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington, DC. A statement by the Depa…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    The Trump Administration’s Grandstand on Idlib

    Sep 7, 2018Joe Macaron

    As Russia and the Syrian regime gear up for the Idlib offensive, the United States is giving Moscow a free hand short of using chemical weapons.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Defunding UNRWA: Ramifications for Countries Hosting Palestinian Refugees

    Disbanding UNRWA will not only be disastrous for registered Palestinian refugees, but it will also have a serious and adverse impact on the countries hosting t…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Washington Adopts Israel’s Positions: The Refugee Chapter

    Aug 29, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    President Trump has presided over making American policy toward Israel and Palestine more in line with Israeli positions; now with respect to the Palestinian r…

  • 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
    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
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congress is Rattled by the US Role in Yemen—But Will It Matter?

    Aug 22, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Criticism from Capitol Hill has been largely symbolic because few in the Republican majorities in the House and Senate have opted to challenge the president on…

  • 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
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Dangerous Confusion in US Iran Policy

    Aug 7, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    The latest Trump Iran tweet and announcement revealed a lack of a coherent Iran policy in the wake of the US withdrawal from the JCPOA regulating Iran’s nuclea…

  • 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
    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
    International Law

    In Helsinki, Trump and Putin Will Bargain over Syria and Iran

    Jul 12, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    To avoid policy disaster at the Helsinki summit, Trump and his team must develop a clear idea of what they want from Putin on the Middle East and be prepared t…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    The Kushner-Greenblatt “Deal of the Century”: A Dealmaker Morphs into a Dealbreaker?

    Jun 29, 2018Khalil E. Jahshan

    What was most insulting to Kushner’s Palestinian audience was his attempt to wittingly or unwittingly reduce their political aspirations and yearning for natio…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Jared Kushner’s Misguided Appeal to the Palestinian People

    President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, gave an interview to the Palestinian Al Quds newspaper on June 24 (original Arabic, Engl…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Hodeida and the Changing American Position

    After opposing Saudi-UAE plans to take the vital Hodeida port, the Trump Administration is now supporting the operation to show it will actively oppose so-call…

  • 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
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    The End of an American Era in Palestine and Israel

    Jun 6, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    This is the end of an era in US relations with Palestine and Israel, and the transition to a new era may resemble a moment from the past—the first intifada.

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Pompeo Digs a Deeper Hole for US Iran Policy

    Jun 5, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    Pompeo's May 21 speech indicates that where Iran is concerned, the US is returning to a policy of "zero enrichment" backed up by economic warfare. But the Whit…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarThe GCC

    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
    QatarThe GCC

    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
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Iraq will Remain a US-Iran Point of Contention

    The United States’ more belligerent position toward Iran, in the wake of the Trump Administration’s recent withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, is likely to …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    One year on, Trump remains the cause of – and solution to – the Qatar crisis

    May 23, 2018Andreas Krieg

    When it turned out the statements released by Qatar's news agency were the product of an external cyber-attack, and not the actual words of the country's emir,…

  • Viewpoint
    IranEnergy and Economics

    Pompeo Peddles Disaster for American Interests

    May 22, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Another spectacle of a confused American foreign policy was on display on May 21, 2018 at the Heritage Foundation, where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo deliver…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantInternational Law

    The United States Abdicates Its Responsibilities in the Middle East

    May 17, 2018Imad K. Harb

    It is impossible to see how the massacre of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza or the moving of the American embassy to Jerusalem will help chart a way out…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Has Trump Opted for a Longer US Presence in Syria?

    Trump has walked back his declaration to bring US troops in Syria home “very soon” in light of pressure from advisors and allies, but he risks embroiling the U…

  • 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
    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…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A Mysterious Strike Renews Israel-US Coordination in Syria

    Apr 10, 2018Joe Macaron

    The Israeli strike on Iranian assets in Syria last Monday and the imminent US strike on Syria renew the US-Israeli coordination there for the first time since …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Super-Hawks on Iran May Make the US the Biggest Loser

    Apr 10, 2018Daniel Brumberg

    The super-hawks President Trump appointed in his administration may very well get the United States into a conflagration with Iran despite international satisf…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Doubts Surrounding Trump’s Work on GCC Reconciliation

    Apr 9, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Conditions in the Gulf and in Washington do not augur well for Trump-led successful negotiations to resolve the GCC crisis, although all players are making the…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Is This the End of AIPAC’s Reign?

    Apr 3, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    The month of March in Washington DC is known for cherry blossom and AIPAC's annual conference. From 4-6 March, the 2018 AIPAC policy conference took place in D…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Pompeo Unlikely to Press for Human Rights in the Arab Region

    In contrast to Tillerson, who raised human rights and democracy concerns in some Arab states, Pompeo is unlikely to do so given his ideology and desire to stay…

  • 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…

  • Viewpoint
    US Foreign Policy

    Bolton Is In; Fasten Your Seatbelts

    Mar 23, 2018Imad K. Harb

    It is hard to see how the Trump Administration can conduct a purposeful and reasoned foreign policy with the chaos engulfing its essential institutions. The fi…

  • Viewpoint
    Saudi ArabiaUS Foreign Policy

    Trump’s Transactional Relationship with Saudi Arabia

    The March 21, 2018 press conference between US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) must rank among the most surreal…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Firing Tillerson Leaves US Diplomacy in Limbo

    Mar 15, 2018Joe Macaron

    Tillerson’s firing comes at a critical time in US foreign policy. New dynamics are emerging in the Trump Administration and the successor Mike Pompeo should ba…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Who is Mike Pompeo? A Political Profile of the Nominee for US Secretary of State

    Mar 13, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    When considering his policy positions, temperament, and personal relationship with President Trump, Pompeo is almost the polar opposite of outgoing Secretary o…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Tillerson’s Departure: Implications for Middle East Policy

    Mar 13, 2018Imad K. Harb

    President Donald Trump’s sacking of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has important ramifications for US policy in the Middle East, and specifically toward the …

  • 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…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Trump’s UNRWA Decision Buys into Israel’s Argument

    Mar 8, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    US funding cuts to UNRWA open the door for further US policies that espouse Israeli far-right positions regarding the status of Palestinian refugees and the ri…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Repercussions of Trump’s Jerusalem Policy Change: An Interview with Khalil E. Jahshan

    President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his administration’s decision to move the American embassy there have probably t…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Will Trump Further Militarize the Arab World?

    Feb 28, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Under the leadership of President Donald Trump, the Arab world may be poised for increased militarization as he pushes for military sales and it experiences nu…

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    US Allies Upstage Tillerson’s Mideast Tour

    Feb 27, 2018Joe Macaron

    Israel and Turkey dominated Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first expanded high level trip to the Middle East as US foreign policy faces new regional challe…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Is There a US Policy Toward the Kurds in Iraq and Syria?

    Recent tensions between the United States and Turkey over US support for the Syrian Kurds have brought to the forefront the issue of US policy toward the Kurdi…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Mahmoud Abbas’s Disappearing Options

    Feb 15, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    Abbas’s options have significantly narrowed after Trump’s position change on Jerusalem; but his limited choices are not beneficial for anyone given the ambigui…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A change in the American rules of engagement in Syria

    Feb 9, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    The American forces in northeastern Syria intervened in the Deir Ezzor area to protect and defend their local ally, the Syrian Democratic Forces. An estimated …

  • Policy Analysis
    QatarSecurity and Defense

    The US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue: Messages and Implications

    Feb 8, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    The most consequential outcome of the US-Qatar strategic dialogue is the US official declaration of “readiness to work jointly with Qatar to deter and confront…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptUS Foreign Policy

    The Middle East Nuclear Picture: Peaceful Programs or Not, Cause for Concern

    Feb 2, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    Focusing solely on the Iranian nuclear program has made Washington oblivious to some significant nuclear developments in other parts of the Middle East.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Tillerson’s Syria Policy: Ambitious but Short on Detail

    Jan 23, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    While the United States remains concerned about many different and complicating factors in Syria, Tillerson’s pronouncements represent an ambitious policy that…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanInternational Law

    Trump Has Upended the Foundation of the Middle East Peace Process

    Jan 18, 2018Yousef Munayyer

    After the Jerusalem decision, questions remain about whether Trump and his circle will realize the folly of their policies and the tremendous damage they will …

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanUS Foreign Policy

    Will Trump’s Jerusalem Move Unravel US-Jordanian Relations?

    Jan 11, 2018Joe Macaron

    President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is testing US-Jordanian relations and shifting how Amman views its regional role.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    The Middle East in 2018: A Trump Administration To-Do List

    Jan 9, 2018Charles W. Dunne

    US Middle East priorities in 2018 include Iran, the fate of the two-state solution, and managing instability in Iraq and Syria. US policy confusion and lack of…

  • 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
    LevantInternational Law

    Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration: The Oslo Era’s Final Act

    Dec 13, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    Trump’s declaration about Jerusalem isolated the United States, unified the Arab and Muslim worlds, and may have given the Europeans a chance to play a role as…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Missing Considerations of the Counterterrorism Alliance

    Nov 29, 2017Imad K. Harb

    The first meeting of the Islamic Military Counterterrorism Coalition, which took place in Riyadh, may have provided recognition of MbS’s leadership of the Musl…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    US Military Planning in the Middle East: Increasing Challenges, Vague Strategies

    Nov 28, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Uncertainties about US military policy, intentions, and ambitions in the Middle East together with many political challenges and developments increase the conf…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Arab Normalization with Israel Frames Trump Peace Plan

    Nov 22, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    President Trump’s peace plan in the Middle East embraces the “outside-in” approach for peace between Palestinians and Israelis with a risky Arab-Israeli normal…

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Trump Embraces the Saudi Vision of the Yemen Conflict

    President Trump has adopted the Saudi leadership’s position that the Yemen conflict is a case of Iranian and proxy adventurism that needs to be rolled back and…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Closure of the PLO Office in Washington: The “Ultimate Deal” Exposed

    Now that the Palestinians are potentially losing their diplomatic foothold in Washington, they may finally decide that the United States is withdrawing from ne…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    US Curbs Saudi Arabia’s Surge in Lebanon

    Nov 14, 2017Joe Macaron

    Clear statements from the White House and the Department of State appear to have curbed the Saudi surge in Beirut and toned down Riyadh’s rhetoric against the …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Policy Recommendations for the Trump Administration

    Nov 9, 2017Sumaya al-Majdoub

    The last session of the second annual conference of Arab Center Washington DC, held on October 26, 2017, concentrated on policy recommendations for the future.…

  • 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
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Raqqa’s Liberation and US Policy in Syria

    Oct 31, 2017Radwan Ziadeh

    The Islamic State’s defeat in Raqqa was met with widespread approval among all Syrians, but the Kurds’ control of the liberated city and its surroundings promp…

  • Policy Analysis
    US Domestic Politics and Elections

    Undermining Tillerson and the Demise of US Soft Power

    Oct 19, 2017Joe Macaron

    President Trump’s public undermining of his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is causing a paradigm shift in the international system. However, replacing Tiller…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranSecurity and Defense

    The Art of (Decertifying) the Deal: Trump’s Iran Strategy and the Nuclear Agreement’s Future

    Oct 17, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    The president’s decertifying the Iran nuclear deal does not terminate US participation in the JCPOA but opens the door to such a move, roils US relations with …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Will US, Saudi Pressure Deter Hezbollah in Lebanon?

    Oct 12, 2017Joe Macaron

    Given the current status quo in Lebanon, the best American and Saudi pressure can do is to make the country’s political environment unbearable for Hezbollah.

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Egypt’s Role in Arab Politics: Punching Below its Weight

    Oct 4, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Egypt’s traditional influence in the Arab world is a function of its ability to help resolve its problems. This influence is today on a downward trajectory as …

  • 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…