Over time, the Kuwait-Saudi border has developed a unique, flexible approach of firm physical boundaries but open economic boundaries. This approach allows both countries to resolve border disputes, such as an oil-related dispute from 2009 to 2019, but more investment could further strengthen Kuwait-Saudi ties.
The Iraqi-Syrian border continues to be geopolitically restless. Kurdish parties have taken advantage of central government weaknesses to increase their autonomy in these areas.
To survive its ongoing financial crisis, Lebanon needs a new economic system that addresses massive income inequality. Paired with political and institutional reform, tax reform can help.
The UAE has an opportunity to professionalize the military by building its strategic planning and force development capabilities and by committing to international principles of professional military conduct and greater transparency and accountability.
Following the August Beirut port explosion, the Lebanese Armed Forces must rebuild trust with the civilian population. The LAF can serve as a critical pillar in Lebanese government efforts to strengthen national security and identity in the midst of the crisis, in light of security sector assistance from the United States and other Western partners.
Along the border between Tunisia and Libya, informal trade agreements led to a tight-knit border economy. But political changes in both Libya and Tunisia have fundamentally altered the economic and security landscape.
In southern Syria, the regime, opposition, foreign powers, and local groups navigate a contentious zone of conflict. Any shift in this delicate balance could mean yet another escalation.
The religious sphere in Rural Damascus Governorate is poised to become a political battleground as both the regime and the exiled opposition seek to court a new rising group of religious leaders.
Along the Egypt-Sudan border, tensions have been rising for several decades despite limited efforts at cooperation. Both countries need to reexamine their border policies to prevent further escalation.
Egyptian and Turkish military businesses have used their institutional privileges to dominate their respective economies, but they have key differences. Turkey’s military businesses are centrally managed while Egypt’s use multiple complex conglomerates.
Smuggling goods across the border between Algeria and Tunisia has created a parallel economy for marginalized border populations. Law enforcement and smugglers alike must navigate these gray zones in state authority.
Mahra in eastern Yemen has relied on a tribal code of conduct to escape the worst excesses of the country’s civil war. Localized forms of conflict management could help the rest of Yemen too.
The Iraqi-Syrian border near Qaim and Bukamal has become a magnet for conflict, as Iraqi and Syrian state actors compete with Iranian-backed nonstate militias for influence and power.
For Nigeria’s corrupt political elites, Dubai is the perfect place to stash their ill-gotten gains and enjoy luxury real estate worth millions. But unless authorities stop turning a blind eye, the long-term costs to Nigeria's economy and Dubai's reputation could be high.
The escalation and spillover of Libya's conflict has posed mounting security challenges for Tunisia and exposed shortfalls in the country's defense transformation, in the areas of capability gaps, interagency coordination, intelligence sharing, strategic planning, and in the military's relationship with foreign security patrons.
The United States, Russia, and Iran have chosen markedly different approaches to security assistance in the Middle East, with dramatic implications for statebuilding and stability.
Russia has returned to the Middle East as a major power player. Yet its toolkit is modest, providing an opening for the United States to correct its recent policy changes.
The Islamist political party Ennahda has decided to focus on politics over preaching. This shift has forced it to rebuild its legitimacy on argument rather than religion.
Understanding Algeria’s various Islamist communities—including militant groups, moderate factions, and grassroots movements—offers a window into the country’s uncertain sociopolitical future.
The Syria-Hezbollah relationship has long been defined by resilience amid shifting power dynamics, and this looks set to continue with the latest developments in Syria’s civil war.