After seven years, the United States is in the final stages of exiting Iraq. Only 50,000 U.S. troops will remain by the end of August, but the country is far from stable as political squabbling keeps the country gridlocked, the economy is in shambles and violence is once again rising.
Arab countries have made progress since the mid-20th century in a number of basic development goals; however, entrenched authoritarianism has obstructed sustained human development and domestic pressure for reform has been effectively muzzled by incumbent regimes.
A recent U.S. Senate resolution that addresses human rights and civil liberties in Egypt is meant to pressure the regime ahead of upcoming elections, but it is symbolic and not binding.
Although full democracy in the Arab world remains a distant goal, broader participation in the political process, with a marked effect on human development, can be achieved.
The possibility that Lebanon might benefit from exploiting massive off-shore natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean has provoked a debate about establishing a sovereign wealth fund to manage the accumulated revenues.
The uneasy yet robust energy supply and demand relationship linking the industrialized economies of the West and the oil producers of the Gulf region may be changing as both parties seek to distance themselves from what they perceive as an unhealthy dependence on oil.
Egypt has changed significantly in the past decades, as spheres of public activity that once were off limits -- free media and civil society advocacy -- have become legitimate in the eyes of the government, and even more important, in the eyes of Egyptian citizens.
Regional and international developments suggest that the challenges facing Hezbollah are mounting, but Hezbollah is not likely to relinquish its power without a fight.
The crisis in the eurozone may prove a blessing in disguise for Turkey, given its strong economic performance over the past years, and could even revitalize Turkey’s prospects for membership in the European Union.
A formal framework for communication and cooperation in the eastern Middle East could reduce the risks of conflict and encourage stability and economic development in this tense but critical location.
With the cooperation of the United States and other advanced nuclear countries, Saudi Arabia's budding nuclear energy program would directly challenge Iran's aspirations for regional leadership in nuclear power.
Fully engaging with and understanding Turkey is of critical importance for the United States, and blaming the European Union's continued reluctance to accept Turkey into its ranks oversimplifies the situation and could lead to unintended consequences.
The West should not restrict its democracy promotion efforts only to those countries that are perceived as already having the institutional, social, and economic framework needed for a true democracy.
Policy makers in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia should focus on improving the quality—rather than quantity—of jobs available to workers, in order to significantly improve the region’s economic outlook and global competitiveness.
While Turkey, led by Prime Minister Erdogan, pursues an activist foreign policy in the Middle East, troubles with an insurgent Kurdish minority threaten the stability of the AKP’s leadership.
As the political stalemate in Iraq continues to drag on, the major parties and politicians continue to attempt to wrangle the greatest amount of power for themselves even as they continue to break constitutionally mandated deadlines.
The recent flotilla incident involving Turkey and Israel marked the culmination of a significant shift in Turkish foreign policy, one in which Turkey emerged as an assertive regional actor.
Although Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri has told conflicting stories regarding the nature of his time in the United States, his defection represents the growing dissatisfaction of the Iranian people towards the regime.
Lebanon might have escaped another war, but tensions in the country and the region are high and getting higher, and any one of several issues could trigger local or regional conflagrations.
It is unlikely that sanctions alone, regardless of their magnitude, will deter Iran's nuclear activities if Iran's principal aim is to become a "virtual" nuclear weapon state.