Middle East and North Africa
In June, Hassan Rouhani was elected president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Rouhani ran as a reform candidate, and many have interpreted his victory as a harbinger of a possible liberalization or rationalization of Iranian domestic and foreign policy. But the dominant figure in Iranian politics is not the president but rather the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Society and Culture
In my book Of Empires and Citizens, I argue that at the height of the period of authoritarian rule in the Middle East, Arab societies were divided between those people who benefited from their leaders' relationship with the United States, and therefore sought to preserve the dictatorships, and those who did not, and therefore sought democracy.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Politics and Strategy
The Obama administration should use strikes to start talks in Syria, says Gayle Tzemach-Lemmon.
See more in Syria; Politics and Strategy
The Obama administration relies on drones for one simple reason: they work. Drone strikes have devastated al Qaeda at little financial cost, at no risk to U.S. forces, and with fewer civilian casualties than many alternative methods would have caused.
See more in Somalia; Pakistan; Yemen; Drones
To stop Syria's meltdown and contain its mushrooming threats, the United States should launch a partial military intervention aimed at pushing all sides to the negotiating table.
See more in Syria; United States; Humanitarian Intervention
As two new books detail, Israel's ultra-Orthodox community has formed a partisan bloc able to manipulate the country's political system even as it makes little effort to hide its contempt for secular democracy. But it is not too late for Israeli centrists to push back.
See more in Israel; Religion
A decade ago, when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, the United States chose to immerse itself in the greater Middle East when it had little reason to dive in. But now that most Americans want little to do with the region, U.S. officials are finding it difficult to turn away, writes Richard N. Haass.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; United States; Wars and Warfare; Politics and Strategy
Anti-Americanism might have ebbed momentarily thanks to U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and support for the Arab Spring. But hostility is once again mounting in the Arab world. In Amaney Jamal's new book, she tries to determine why.
See more in Diplomacy and Statecraft; Middle East and North Africa
Two new books lament the outsized role of the military in Israeli national security decisionmaking, blaming the generals for favoring force over diplomacy.
See more in Israel; Defense and Security
The Arab uprisings of 2011, once a great source of hope for democracy enthusiasts, have given way to sectarian clashes and political instability.
See more in Democratization; Middle East and North Africa; United States
It's easy to be pessimistic about the Arab Spring, given the post-revolutionary turmoil the Middle East is now experiencing.
See more in Democratization; Middle East and North Africa
The United States' approach to counterinsurgency, championed by General David Petraeus, helped produce stunning results in parts of Iraq and Afghanistan.
See more in Defense Strategy; Middle East and North Africa
If there's one indisputable fact about this most polarizing of figures, it's that he is hard to get rid of -- and every retreat, even his most recent withdrawal from political life, lays the groundwork for an eventual counterattack.
See more in Grand Strategy; Israel
Halting Iran's progress toward a bomb will require the United States to make credible promises and credible threats simultaneously -- an exceedingly difficult trick to pull off.
See more in Proliferation; Iran
The September 11 killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans during an attack by an angry mob on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi has concentrated the world's attention on the problems of post-Qaddafi Libya.
See more in Democratization; Libya
The mood in Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Dohuk -- the three largest cities in Iraqi Kurdistan -- is newly buoyant these days, and with good reason.
See more in Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity; Iraq
Israeli authorities in the West Bank have long worried about stopping Palestinian terrorism.
See more in Israel; Terrorism
A nuclear-armed Iran would not make the Middle East more secure, argues Colin Kahl; it would yield more terrorism and pose a risk of a nuclear exchange.
See more in Iran; Weapons of Mass Destruction
U.S. and Israeli officials have declared that a nuclear-armed Iran is a uniquely terrifying prospect, even an existential threat. In fact, by creating a more durable balance of military power in the Middle East, a nuclear Iran would yield more stability, not less.
See more in Weapons of Mass Destruction; Iran; Proliferation
Debates about the possibility of containing a nuclear Iran often hinge on judgments of whether the regime there is rational. But as a wealth of recently released Iraqi documents about Saddam Hussein's tumultuous reign in Iraq show, even an arguably rational leader can be unreasonable -- and very hard to deter.
See more in Global Governance; Iraq