Despite the speculations over the effects of Saudi succession, the kingdom’s foreign policies are likely to remain unchanged and have been remarkably consistent since the reign of King Fahad bin Abdul Aziz.
The current Saudi succession from King Abdullah to his half-brother Salman is not the most crucial—the one to follow is. Things might change once deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef gets closer to the top position in the Kingdom.
Carnegie scholars assess the Middle East in the year ahead, including potential game changers that could have a big impact for the future of the region.
The roller coaster on which Arab countries have ridden since the 2011 uprisings has given a particularly rough ride to indigenous human rights organizations. Embattled since their founding in the 1980s and 1990s, and often accused of carrying out foreign agendas, groups in several countries are now fighting for their very existence.
By seizing Sanaa and its security apparatus, the Iran-linked Houthis have imposed a new political reality in Yemen. But to secure their influence, they will eventually need to seek accommodation with Saudi Arabia.
The contribution of Gulf Arab countries in the fight against the Islamic State should not be overstated and should be caveated with an awareness of the risks and costs—for both the Gulf regimes at home and U.S. interests in the region.
The emergence of the Sham Legion, a moderate Islamist rebel group, may be a significant political development because, until its formation, only more conservative and Salafi-oriented brigades had managed to merge into ideologically coherent countrywide alliances.
Saudi Arabia and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood have had a difficult relationship, one that has been further complicated by the Syrian civil war.
The institutional split within the Syrian opposition's Free Syrian Army may reflect foreign countries' disputes, but it also reflects the opposition's organizational chaos and personal rivalries.
The remarkably nonsectarian and democratic statement signed by rebel factions in southern Syria in February was likely only a ploy by rebel commanders to get more foreign support by declaring their opposition to extremism.
The Supreme Military Council (SMC) issued a statement announcing that it had expelled its own chief of staff, Salim Idris. But confusion reigned—and soon thereafter, an SMC commander called the decision a “coup."
The rebel groups' armed offensive in southern Syria helps clarify where they think the real renegotiation of power in Syria is taking place: on the battlefield.
Despite the radicalization and despair that has set in on the opposition side, some combination of international pressure and real political opportunity could still have an influence on the insurgency’s ideological choices.
Most of Syria’s large rebel groups have explicitly distanced themselves from the Geneva talks.
One of the most elusive questions around Gulf donations to rebel brigades in Syria is how they arrive and understanding the logistics is key to any efforts to cut off the funds to extremist-linked groups.
In the wake of stern warnings of greater unilateralism from Saudi officials and commentators, many observers have been left wondering about the future course of Saudi strategy in Syria.