With no effective Libyan government and no capable police or security services, militias present themselves to outside powers as counter-terror partners. The challenge is dealing with extremism in a way that does not empower these militias at the expense of an inclusive, civic state.
A “Gold Standard” nuclear cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia may not be the best way for the United States to balance against Russia and China or restore its influence over nonproliferation policy in the Middle East.
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.
Implementation of the NSG guidelines—including by Pakistan—should significantly reduce the likelihood that Saudi Arabia will enrich uranium anytime soon.
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.
As one of the region’s largest countries, Iran has sought to fill the power vacuums after the U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, coupled with ongoing Arab upheavals.
Turkey’s offensive in Afrin helps to dispel doubts, after the failed coup attempt of July 2016, about Ankara’s ability to project force across the border.
Tunisia has increasingly relied on the military to bring security to its border region with Libya. But the current approach risks worsening the security situation and playing into the hands of jihadis.
Turkey’s incursion into Afrin marks a significant move in Ankara’s campaign against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
The Islamic State’s defeat in Syria will not automatically bring displaced people home. A broader political settlement that reflects regional and national realities will be required.
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.
Some Yemeni tribes regard the Houthis as a bigger threat than al-Qaeda. But as the war drags on, the tribes’ ability to push both groups out of Bayda governorate diminishes.
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.
Incidents involving Iran have been among the most sophisticated, costly, and consequential attacks in the history of the internet.
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.