Middle East and North Africa
Financial sanctions have become a key tool of U.S. foreign policy. Measures taken against Iran and North Korea make clear that this new financial statecraft can be effective, but true success will require persuading global banks to accept a shared sense of risk.
See more in Iran; Sanctions; North Korea
Bruce Rutherford's Egypt After Mubarak is an ambitious effort to explain how the Muslim Brotherhood, the judiciary, and the business sector can work in parallel, if not exactly together, to influence Egypt's political future.
See more in Egypt
If it hopes to bring peace to the Middle East, the Obama administration must put Palestinian politics and goals first.
See more in Palestine; Israel
To avoid some of the mistakes from past Israeli-Palestinian peace processes, the Obama administration should consult Martin Indyk's insider account.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; History and Theory of International Relations
To be successful in the Middle East, the Obama administration will need to move beyond Iraq, find ways to deal constructively with Iran, and forge a final-status Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
See more in History and Theory of International Relations; Middle East and North Africa
The real decision-maker in Iran is Supreme Leader Khamenei not President Ahmedinejad. Blaming Iran's problems on President Ahmadinejad inaccurately suggests that Iran's problems will go away when Ahmadinejad does.
See more in Iran
U.S. troops in Iraq may guarantee security, but they will not bring about political reconciliation, the key to stability.
See more in Iraq; Wars and Warfare
The situation in Iraq is improving. With the right strategy, the United States will eventually be able to draw down troops without sacrificing stability.
See more in Iraq; Nation Building
Israel should pull back settlements and give up its '67 gains in order to secure its '48 victory.
See more in Israel; Palestine
The real key to Washington's pro-Israel policy is long-lasting and broad-based support for the Jewish state among the American public at large.
See more in Israel
Washington can promote political reform best by backing off.
See more in Democratization; Middle East and North Africa
Stopping three decades of unnecessary bungling.
See more in Iraq; United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft
Robert Kagan's Return of History ignores the Iraqi elephant in the room.
See more in Wars and Warfare; Iraq
Today, tomorrow, or yesterday?
See more in United States; Iraq
While the crisis in Darfur simmers, the larger problem of Sudan's survival as a state is becoming increasingly urgent. Old tensions between the Arabs of the Nile River valley, who have held power for a century, and marginalized groups on the country's periphery are turning into a national crisis. Engagement with Khartoum may be the only way to avert another civil war in Sudan, and even that may not be enough.
See more in Sudan
The Bush administration's new strategy in Iraq has produced short-term gains at the expense of the long-term goal of a stable, unitary Iraq.
See more in Wars and Warfare; Iraq; Nation Building
The Bush administration wants to contain Iran by rallying the support of Sunni Arab states and now sees Iran's containment as the heart of its Middle East policy: a way to stabilize Iraq, declaw Hezbollah, and restart the Arab-Israeli peace process. But the strategy is unsound and impractical, and it will probably further destabilize an already volatile region.
See more in Iran; Conflict Prevention
The current debate over the United States' failures in Iraq needs to go beyond bumper-sticker conclusions -- no more preemption, no more democracy promotion, no more nation building -- and acrimonious finger-pointing. Only by carefully considering where U.S. leaders, institutions, and policies have been at fault can valuable lessons be learned and future debacles avoided.
See more in Iraq; Wars and Warfare; United States
In a departure from its traditional foreign policy, Turkey is now becoming an important player in the Middle East. Turkey's growing concern over Kurdish nationalism has brought Ankara closer to the governments of Iran and Syria, which also contend with restive Kurds at home. Although troubling, this shift could be an opportunity for Washington and its allies to use Turkey as a bridge to the Middle East.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Turkey
Writing in Foreign Affairs, CFR's Ray Takeyh says resuming diplomatic and economic ties with Tehran could bolster Iran's pragmatists and sideline its radicals.
See more in Iran; Diplomacy and Statecraft