News Releases

Saudi Arabia Remains Indispensable U.S. Ally, Argues New CFR Book

As the United States confronts a volatile Middle East, Saudi Arabia is "a central player—sometimes in accord with U.S. policy, sometimes not—in Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, in the quest for stability in Iraq, in Persian Gulf regional security issues focusing on Iran, and in the global struggle to promote a peaceful vision of Islam over jihadist violence," writes Thomas Lippman in a new book, Saudi Arabia on the Edge: The Uncertain Future of an American Ally.

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U.S.-Saudi Relationship Increasingly Strained, says CFR Report

The U.S.-Saudi relationship has become strained by increasing mistrust and misunderstanding—most recently over Egypt and Bahrain—and gone are the old foundations of the informal alliance: the Cold War and U.S. operation of Riyadh's oil fields. This is the judgment of F. Gregory Gause III of the University of Vermont, in Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East. The two countries can no longer expect to act in close concert, and the United States should recast the relationship as transactional, one based on cooperation when interests dictate, he argues.

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State Department Needs “Clear Guidelines” on Engaging with Nonstate Armed Groups

Recent data on organized violence shows that conflicts between a state and one or more nonstate armed groups vastly outnumber interstate conflicts. As a result, argues former international affairs fellow Payton L. Knopf in a new CFR Working Paper, the State Department needs clear guidelines as to why, when, and how its diplomats should conduct outreach to these groups.

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In New Book, CFR’s Steven Cook Writes Egypt’s 2011 Revolt Was “If Not Predictable, Inevitable”

CFR senior fellow Steven Cook traces the “stirrings of Egyptian nationalism” back to the 1880s and culminates with the events in Tahrir Square in early 2011. He chronicles the end of the British occupation, the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the rise of Nasser and his quest to become a pan-Arab leader in the 1960s, Egypt's decision to make peace with Israel and ally with United States, the subsequent assassination of Sadat in 1981, and the revolution that overthrew Mubarak.

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