The Middle East program provides cutting-edge analysis of the emerging political, economic, and social trends in the world's most volatile region, offering insights and recommendations about the Middle East, its history, the sources of its current instability, and where it might be headed. Washington, DC, continues to import oil from the Persian Gulf, guarantee Israel's security, and preserve regional stability, even as regional leaders question its political will to remain a power in the region.
The long-awaited plan presented by President Donald J. Trump paves the way for broader Israeli annexation of occupied territories, has no real chance of Palestinian support, and risks provoking violence.
The killing in Baghdad of Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani escalates an already tense contest in Iraq between U.S. and Iran-backed forces, makes the battle against the Islamic State more difficult, and is likely to feed further regional upheaval.
A U.S. military operation that eliminated Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is welcome but fails to allay worries about the security vacuum caused by the removal of U.S. troops from northern Syria.