The Islamic State, or ISIS, is the first terrorist group to hold both physical and digital territory: in addition to the swaths of land it controls in Iraq and Syria, it dominates pockets of the Internet with relative impunity. But it will hardly be the last.
The events of the past five years have put an intense strain on the relationship between the United States and its traditional partners in the Arab world, particularly the countries that belong to the Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies Elliott Abrams argued that incitement by Palestinian leaders and media—not poverty and hopelessness—has been the motivating forces behind recent violence against Israel.
There has been no shortage of scrutiny of what Russian President Vladimir Putin is up to in Syria and why, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass. Much of the analysis, though, has been narrowly focused on the short term and may be too negative in assessing his actions’ likely long-term consequences.
In his Senate testimony before the Committee on Armed Services, CFR's George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies Stephen Sestanovich argued that the United States should challenge responsible Russians to see how strange their country's military policy in Syria looks to the outside world.
Edward P. Djerejian interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman
Russia's military buildup in Syria could set back the self-proclaimed Islamic State and lay the groundwork for a political transition, but could also lead to a confrontation with the United States, says expert Edward Djerejian.
The U.S.-Saudi relationship, long bound by common interests in oil and security, is showing strains over what some analysts see as waning U.S. involvement in the Middle East and a more assertive Saudi foreign policy.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »