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May 8, 2017

Saudi Arabia
BP05082017 Why the Myth of Sunni-Shia Conflict Defines Middle East Policy—and Why It Shouldn’t

Is the Muslim world divided over an ancient sectarian conflict? Not really: It's twenty-first-century power politics.

February 27, 2017

Saudi Arabia
BP02272017 Should the U.S. Maintain its Alliance With Saudi Arabia? Unfortunately, We’re Stuck With Them

Our unhappy marriage with Saudi Arabia will probably endure—because the Saudis can’t be trusted on their own.

December 15, 2015

Refugee-Syria-617-431 Ten Most Significant World Events in 2015

Every year has its share of significant events. Two thousand fifteen is no exception. Here is my list of the ten most significant events of the year. You may want to read what follows closely. Severa…

December 11, 2015

Protesters demonstrate against the Saudi-led air strikes outside the United Nations offices in Sana'a, Yemen, on November 2, 2015. Fiddling in Yemen: A Messy War’s Lessons for Global Conflict Management

Coauthored with Callie Plapinger, intern in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations. As the world watches Syria burn, a tiny glimmer of hop…

February 26, 2015

United States
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter delivers remarks to troops at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait February 23, 2015 (Ernst/Courtesy Reuters). This Week: Mosul Offensive, Netanyahu’s Address, and Turkey’s Incursion

Significant Developments ISIS. Ashton Carter, wrapping up his first overseas trip as secretary of defense, met with top U.S. military and diplomatic officials in Kuwait on Monday to review the U.S…

January 29, 2015

United States
Safi Yousef (2nd R), father of Islamic State captive Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh, speaks at a news conference where he asked for Islamic State to pardon and release his son, in Amman January 29, 2015 (Hamed/Courtesy Reuters). This Week: Hezbollah Attack, ISIS Rollback, and Jordan Hostage Standoff

Israel-Lebanon. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said today that Israel had received reports via the UN indicating Hezbollah does not plan further military strikes following its attack yesterday…

November 13, 2014

United States
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L), EU envoy Catherine Ashton (C) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meet in Muscat November 10, 2014 (Kamm/Courtesy Reuters). This Week: Iran Negotiations, Jordan-Israel Crisis Talks, and New Syria Truce Proposal

Significant Developments Iran. Negotiators from Iran and the P5+1 countries hinted at a possible extension of the November 24 deadline for a nuclear deal, after three days of talks in Oman failed to…

October 30, 2014

United States
Supporters of the Nida Tounes (Call of Tunisia) secular party movement wave flags and shout slogans outside Nidaa Tounes headquarters in Tunis October 28, 2014 (Souissi/Courtesy Reuters). This Week: Islamist Defeat in Tunisia, Increased Violence in Jerusalem, and Counter-Offensive in Kobani

Significant Developments Tunisia. The Tunisian election commission confirmed the victory of the secular party Nidaa Tunis in the country’s parliamentary elections held Sunday. It was Tunisia’s secon…

October 8, 2014

United States
A Turkish Kurdish protester throws a tear gas canister back at Turkish soldiers near the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the Turkish town of Suruc in southeastern Sanliurfa province October 4, 2014 (Sezer/Courtesy Reuters). This Week: Turkey’s Dilemma and Egypt’s Beheadings

Significant Developments Turkey-Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called on the U.S.-led coalition to supply arms and training to opposition ground troops in Syria, arguing th…

July 10, 2014

United States
An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod July 8, 2014 (Ratner/Courtesy Reuters). This Week: Israel and Hamas Fight while Baghdad and Kurdistan Argue

Significant Developments Israel-Palestine. Israel entered its third day of Operation Protective Edge today as rockets rained down on many parts of Israel. More than fifteen rockets were fired into T…