The U.S.-Saudi relationship is based on mutual expectations that are unlikely to be met. It will endure but it is likely to remain far more fraught and complex and, in the years ahead, increasingly less beneficial for the United States.
The sorry position of the United States in the Middle East today ought to be sending President Trump a powerful message. The region bristles with American air and naval bases and major deployments, but despite all this military strength, the “go to” power in the region today is Russia.
U.S. military assistance in the Middle East (and more broadly) is in need of serious reform.
Carnegie Moscow Center’s Director Dmitri Trenin and Rethinking Russia discussed his new book “What Is Russia Up To in the Middle East?”, Moscow’s role and place in the region, the future of Syria and the Islamic State as well as Russia’s Syria collaboration with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the U.S.
India must recognize the reality of regional conflicts in the Middle East and limit their impact on India’s ability to secure its goals in the region.
From Moscow, Ankara, and Warsaw to Washington, DC, and New Delhi, nationalist leaders are pitting their base against their neighbors. For Israel, in particular, choosing to scapegoat minorities is beyond ironic.
As the Trump presidency passes its one-year mark, it provides an opportunity to take stock of the administration’s Middle East policy. Trump’s short term failures, and even his successes, may lead to unintended consequences that will weaken the U.S. position in the region.
Ankara’s activity in Syria raises the alarming prospect of military confrontation.
Two months after the political turmoil in Lebanon, which placed its prime minister under the world’s scrutiny, Lebanese politics seem to have resumed.
Turkey’s incursion into Afrin marks a significant move in Ankara’s campaign against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
When it comes to Iran, Donald Trump’s foreign policy looks like a scene out of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
An economy in tatters, rampant corruption, and rising food prices are prompting ordinary Iranians to take to the streets.
Trump’s decision on Jerusalem only came after multiple US decisions that redefined Resolution 242, which affirms the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”.
The Trump administration has an opportunity to reset its Iran policy in a way that puts Washington back in the lead and Tehran on the diplomatic defensive.
It is appropriate for U.S. officials to support Iranian demands for the rule of law, transparency, economic opportunity, and personal freedom. But it is important to recognize that they are bystanders in a dynamic process whose outcome will be determined squarely within Iran itself.
As protests continue across Iran, there are many questions about the strength of the regime, the protesters’ goals, and how regional and international actors will respond.
If past protests called for a reformation of the Islamic Republic established in 1979, some of the current slogans are calling for its overthrow. While few expect the protests to succeed, the legitimacy of the Islamic revolution is being challenged for the first time.
Protest movements in the Middle East face enormous repressive hurdles and rarely have happy endings.
Now that the situation in Syria is moving towards a political settlement and reconstruction, many more parties will have a say in what happens.
U.S. and Egyptian interests are increasingly divergent and the relationship now has far less common purpose than it once did.