• Policy Analysis
    LevantViolent Extremism

    Although Diminished, the Islamic State Remains an Ongoing Threat

    Despite the territorial defeat of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq a few years ago, which was heralded as a major achievement by the large in…

  • Viewpoint
    IraqViolent Extremism

    The Terrorist Attacks in Baghdad: A New Chapter in Iraq’s Instability?

    Abdulwahab Al-Qassab writes that the latest suicide bombings in Baghdad portend a feared return of the Islamic State after it was supposedly vanquished in Dece…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptViolent Extremism

    Egypt’s Counterterrorism Strategy in Sinai: Challenges and Failures

    Aug 28, 2020Khalil Al-Anani

    Looking at Egypt’s counterterrorism strategy against the Sinai insurgency, Khalil al-Anani writes that it is counterproductive and creates fertile ground for e…

  • 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…

  • 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 …

  • 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
    US Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly: October 24 – November 5

    Congress targets Turkey with sanctions and holds a hearing exploring the negative effects of Ankara’s regional policies; the White House sends an envoy to the …

  • Viewpoint
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Putting al-Baghdadi’s Demise in Perspective

    Oct 30, 2019Khalil E. Jahshan

    Khalil E. Jahshan looks at the deeper meaning of the United States’ killing of IS leader Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi and doubts if his demise will portend the end of …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Trump’s Syria Decision and the Damage to US Foreign Policy

    Oct 22, 2019Charles W. Dunne

    The fallout from President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision on October 6 to order US troops to stand aside as Turkey launched a long-planned incursion into north…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Congress Highlights Human Rights Abuses and Humanitarian Crises

    Sep 18, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery highlights congressional work on bringing attention to human rights abuses and humanitarian crises in the Middle East as the Trump Administra…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranInternational Law

    Is Congress Prepared to Respond to Netanyahu’s Annexation Plans?

    Sep 12, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    In a speech on September 10, Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to annex part of the occupied West Bank in an effort to turn out support for his Likud Party in the run…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptEnergy and Economics

    Positive Economic Growth in Egypt Belies Mounting Problems

    Opening up the political and economic systems in Egypt would allow for sustained private sector growth and a free flow of ideas—and criticism—that would keep t…

  • 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
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Jul 24, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    During a very busy week, Congress passed legislation in support of Israel and in opposition to arms sales for Saudi Arabia. Jared Kushner and company make plan…

  • 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

    Time, Transition, and Justice in Arab States

    Jun 1, 2019Noha Aboueldahab

    This paper is part of ACW's fourth book, titled The Arab World Beyond Conflict.What does it mean to pursue criminal accountability in the context of resurgent …

  • 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 …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Avoiding Punishing Lebanon Because of Hezbollah

    Apr 16, 2019Khaldon Roukie

    The United States continues to ostracize and pressure Hezbollah in Lebanon which is inadvertently helping the party grow and become more influential in the cou…

  • 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
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Jan 25, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Amid shutdown fight, the House passes Syria sanctions legislation; lawmakers have one week to decide whether they will amend a law that could jeopardize Israel…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Washington Policy Weekly

    Jan 18, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    I. Congress1) LegislationRequiring Annual Reports on Religious Intolerance in Saudi Education Materials. On January 15, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) intr…

  • Viewpoint
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Manbij Attack Exposes the Vulnerabilities of US Policy in Syria

    Jan 17, 2019Joe Macaron

    The US withdrawal from Syria may encourage Turkey and Russia to fill the vacuum, but IS’s Manbij attack may persuade Trump to stay a bit longer there.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    The Folly and Repercussions of Trump’s Decision on Syria

    Jan 2, 2019Radwan Ziadeh

    Withdrawing from Syria diminishes whatever influence the United States has cultivated there in favor of letting the Syrian regime, Russia, Turkey, and Iran cha…

  • Policy Analysis
    The Arabian Peninsula and The GulfJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    The Now-Halted War in Hodeida: Was It a Cover for Khashoggi’s Murder?

    Nov 15, 2018Imad K. Harb

    The resumption of fighting around Hodeida cannot be separated from the Saudi attempt to deflect the international community’s attention away from its responsib…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Sochi Agreement on Idlib Tests Russian-Turkish Relations

    Oct 19, 2018Joe Macaron

    The irregularities in implementing the Sochi Agreement regarding Idlib will put Russian-Turkish relations to the test and may doom the Idlib ceasefire.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 19, 2018

    Oct 19, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    The fallout from Jamal Khashoggi’s murder continues to reverberate in Washington, pitting Congress against President Trump; Treasury, Justice Departments set t…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 12, 2018

    Oct 12, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Senators pass a spate of Middle East-related bills before going on recess for the rest of the month; Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance rattles Washington, pittin…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 5, 2018

    Congress eyes a Syria strategy review and setting up a Palestinian Partnership Fund; new law could cost Arab allies; Rep. Speier hosts ex-Israeli security offi…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending September 23, 2018

    Sep 24, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    I. Congress1) LegislationResolution Requiring Congressional Authorization for Military Action. On September 13, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Walter Jones…

  • 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
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Battle for Idlib: Three Scenarios

    Sep 5, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    After using de-escalation zones to take over one rebel-held area after the other, Russia has its eyes now on Idlib.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending August 3, 2018

    I. CongressMembers of the House have the month of August off, so many will be preparing for reelection fights that are less than 100 days away. While there may…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    BahrainReligion; Political Islam

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 1, 2018

    I. CongressUS Representatives and Senators both had the week off for the Memorial Day recess.Democratic Lawmakers Question Administration’s Attempts at Biparti…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – Week Ending May 4, 2018

    Vermont Senators take the lead on humanitarian issues in Palestine, Egypt; Pompeo takes combative posture towards Iran in first Middle East trip; White House f…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending April 13, 2018

    Apr 13, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Much talk in Washington about strikes against the Syrian regime; confirmation hearing for Mike Pompeo as new Secretary of State; John Bolton enters the White H…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Where Is Syria Headed?

    Apr 3, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    The scenarios for Syria’s future after the fall of Eastern Ghouta now look very different from those drawn in 2012 or 2013, which depicted a peaceful political…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Many Complications of Returning Islamic State Fighters

    Mar 19, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    As the Islamic State (IS) transforms into a flat organization with autonomous cells around the globe, the foreign fighters returning to their home countries po…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending January 19, 2018

    Jan 19, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Congress scrambles to prevent a government shutdown; the government looks to cut funds to World Bank and UNRWA; Tillerson outlines Trump’s Syria policy.

  • Research Paper

    What Defines Terrorism? The Identity of the Victim or the Victimizer?

    Dec 20, 2017Azmi Bishara

    No great analytical effort is required to illustrate the widespread use of the terms “terrorism” and “counterterrorism” in today’s world. These terms dominate …

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    Implications of Saleh’s Assassination on Yemen’s Future

    Dec 8, 2017Joe Macaron

    For the Iranian regime, Yemen remains a low-risk investment at Saudi Arabia’s border; and the impression in Tehran is that Saleh’s assassination forced Riyadh’…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending December 8, 2017

    With the 69th Anniversary of “Human Rights Day” approaching, Congress explores the US’ role in promoting human rights, peace, and stability in the Middle East;…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending November 17, 2017

    Nov 17, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress sets its sights on Palestine’s Hamas and Islamic Jihad while also trying to strengthen Iran sanctions; groundbreaking Palestinian rights bill is intro…

  • Policy Analysis
    North AfricaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Emerging Security Challenges in North and West Africa

    The appearance of stability in the countries of north and west Africa belies a dangerous reality of the existence of many extremist groups feeding on poor soci…

  • 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…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 27, 2017

    Oct 27, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress moves to counter Iran and Hezbollah; administration officials visit the Middle East; Supreme Court dismisses second travel ban challenge.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 20, 2017

    Oct 20, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    I. Congress1) Legislation. This week, with the House of Representatives on recess and the Senate preoccupied with passing its version of a budget resolution, t…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 13, 2017

    Oct 13, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress debates Iran and its proxies; President Trump refuses to certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA and designates the IRGC a terrorist organization.

  • Policy Analysis
    Arab Americans/ Muslim Americans

    Countering Violent Extremism under the Trump Administration: Shortsighted and Counterproductive

    Oct 11, 2017Tamara Kharroub

    To counter violent extremism, the Trump Administration would better serve US interests and security by focusing on fostering democratic governance, investing i…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 06, 2017

    Congress looks to stabilize Iraq and Syria after IS; countering Iran takes center stage as Trump vows not to certify the JCPOA; travel ban back in the court sy…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    Migrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending September 29, 2017

    Sep 29, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress makes progress toward further sanctions on Hezbollah; Trump issues new limits on travelers and refugees coming to the US; Ambassador to Israel David F…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending September 1, 2017

    I. CongressThis was the final week of Congress’ August recess. Both the Senate and House of Representatives will return for legislative business on September 5…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    An Evaluation of President Trump’s Emerging Counterterrorism Strategy

    Aug 30, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    President Trump’s counterterrorism strategy that relies on military solutions is unlikely to succeed in a region with complex politics, dubious allies, and lon…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptDemocracy and Governance

    Egypt’s Extremist Groups and the Shrinking Political Space

    The Egyptian government’s repressive policies have contributed to the problem of extremism by constricting political space, severely cracking down on opponents…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    US Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – Week Ending August 11, 2017

    Aug 11, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    While Congress is away, think tanks and NGOs around the city recommend policy prescriptions for the program on Countering Violent Extremism amidst uncertaintie…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congressional Update – Week Ending August 4, 2017

    The Senate finishes legislative business and joins the House for August recess; pro-Israel bills loom large in Congress while Washington discusses the plight o…

  • 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.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 21, 2017

    Jul 21, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    House Appropriations Committee bolsters defense spending, cuts the State Department’s budget; Iran is back in the spotlight; Washington grapples with how to he…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 14, 2017

    Jul 14, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    The House eyes funding for the Departments of Defense and State; the Tunisian Prime Minister visits Washington; Qatar decries the humanitarian costs of the Gul…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 7, 2017

    Lawmakers have the week off for the Independence Day recess; the Iran-Russia sanctions bill hits another roadblock; terrorism finance experts discuss how the G…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 30, 2017

    Jun 30, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress faces a setback in Iran-Russia sanctions legislation; the Senate explores authorizing the use of military force against ISIL; experts discuss US role …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 30, 2017

    Jun 30, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    I. CongressCapitol Hill was very busy again this week in the run-up to the July 4 recess. In the House of Representatives, there were several markups on budget…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 23, 2017

    Jun 23, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress faces a setback in Iran-Russia sanctions legislation; the Senate explores authorizing the use of military force against ISIL; experts discuss US role …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LebanonUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 9, 2017

    James Comey's testimony shakes the Capitol; Congress holds hearings on ISIL, Hezbollah; battles continue over Saudi Arabian arms deal; Iran and Russia sanction…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 2, 2017

    I. CongressThe House and Senate were in recess this week for the Memorial Day holiday. The Senate will return to session June 5 and the House will get back to …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    H.R. 2712: Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2017

    May 31, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    On May 25, Rep. Brian Mast (R-Florida) introduced H.R. 2712, “a bill to impose sanctions with respect to foreign support for Palestinian terrorism, and for oth…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantReligion; Political Islam

    Trump’s Riyadh Speech: Same Intolerance, Different Packaging, No Strategy

    May 24, 2017Tamara Kharroub

    Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia received praise and acclaim but it is hard to see if the president has indeed changed his opinion about Islam and Muslims.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranReligion; Political Islam

    Congressional Update – Week Ending May 19, 2017

    May 19, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Syria bill imposing sanctions on Asad regime and its supporters passes the House, and US Treasury places sanctions on these individuals and entities. Several b…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Abbas’s Inconclusive Washington Visit and Netanyahu’s Tactics

    May 9, 2017Yousef Munayyer

    The outcome of President Abbas’s visit to Washington was inconclusive but it was a reminder that President Trump is an unpredictable partner in peace.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congressional Update Week Ending May 5, 2017

    May 5, 2017ACW's Research & Analysis Unit

    The House Foreign Affairs Committee approves legislation for additional sanctions on the Syrian regime and any government that deals with it or supplies it wit…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Avoiding a Second Fallujah in Mosul

    Apr 18, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    The victory in Mosul requires a comprehensive strategy that includes addressing the looming danger of civilian deaths, winning the hearts and minds of Sunni lo…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Perceptions of ISIL in the Arab World

    Apr 14, 2017Radwan Ziadeh

    Arab autocrats can no longer argue that Arabs are satisfied with authoritarian rule. New social movements have emerged after the Arab Spring advocating for hum…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    EgyptConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congressional Update – Week Ending April 7, 2017

    Apr 7, 2017ACW’s Research & Analysis Unit

    I. Congressional ScheduleThe House has adjourned for the two-week Easter recess and will reconvene on Tuesday, April 25. The Senate is expected to adjourn toda…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending March 31, 2017

    Mar 31, 2017Roxanne Perugino

    I. JASTA UpdateOn March 28, the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP hosted a webinar focused on recent developments related to the Justice against Sponsors of Terrori…

  • Policy Analysis

    Why Is the Battle against ISIL not Going Well?

    Mar 28, 2017Radwan Ziadeh

    On March 22nd, the foreign ministers of the Global Coalition to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) concluded their meeting in Washington, D…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Arab World after ISIL’s Defeat

    Current efforts to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) will, with time and sustained commitment, eventually lead to the physical destruction…

  • Policy Analysis

    Regaining Western Mosul: Consequences and Implications

    img { margin: 5px; padding: 5px;}Since October 2016, the Iraqi government, supported by the US military, has waged one of its most difficult battles to…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Trump Administration’s Hezbollah Problem

    Mar 2, 2017Imad K. Harb

    As paramilitary organizations go, Lebanon’s Hezbollah has achieved resounding success since its establishment by the revolutionary Iranian regime, which was ne…

  • Policy Analysis

    Democratization and Radicalization: Understanding Tunisia’s Model of Democratic Transition

    Feb 21, 2017Tamara Kharroub

    On February 1, 2017, German police arrested a Tunisian asylum seeker suspected of recruiting for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and planning a…