On May 14, 2015, President Obama met at Camp David with delegations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain. They discussed the security relationship between the the United States and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), particularly in addressing terrorist threats from the self-proclaimed Islamic State and al-Qaeda, transferring defense technologies, and negotating with Iran.
In an article for Politico, Philip Gordon discusses the recent nuclear framework negotiated by the United States and Iran. He argues that waiting for a 'perfect' deal would mean no deal at all–and a more dangerous Iran.
In an article in the Financial Times, Philip Gordon discusses the peace process as the new coalition takes office in Israel. He says it is Netanyahu, not Obama, who must show the courage to pursue Middle East peace.
The U.S. and Gulf Arab leaders gathering in Camp David are pursuing divergent courses in the Middle East, with differences over Iran nuclear talks likely to drive them further apart, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh.
Ray Takeyh, CFR’s senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies, discusses U.S. policy toward Iran in light of the ongoing nuclear program negotiations and regional security challenges, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
Yemen’s mounting internal divisions and a Saudi military intervention have spawned an escalating political, military, and humanitarian crisis. The upheaval has intensified already high tensions in the Middle East.
In an article in The Washington Post, Elliott Abrams compares Egypt’s Sissi and Chile’s Pinochet. Abrams argues that Sissi is both more repressive, and far less of an economic reformer, than was Pinochet.
Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen marks a more assertive foreign policy that is less inclined to rely on the United States and could intensify the sectarian rift with Iran across the region, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s demand that all sanctions must be lifted in exchange for an agreement indicates that Iran’s top decision-maker may not be involved in the negotiation process, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. In that case, there is little value in the agreement and little faith that Iran would fulfill its obligations.
On April 10, 2015, the Pentagon released its map of the self-proclaimed Islamic State's operations in Iraq and Syria. The map also marks areas controlled by other groups in the region, such as Iraqi Kurdish security forces, Iraqi Government, and Syrian Government.
In an article for Newsweek, Elliott Abrams discusses President Obama’s recent interview with Thomas Friedman of The New York Times and explains why the President’s guarantees for Israel’s security are less than reassuring.
The agreement reached Thursday to limit Iran’s nuclear program is more restrictive and more specific than analysts expected. It serves as strong evidence that persistence and tough diplomacy can create opportunities that mere obstinacy will never see.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
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