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January 13, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
Pompeo’s Departure Is Restoring the State Department’s Swagger

The U.S. secretary of state appears to have one foot out the door—and that’s exactly what U.S. diplomats have been waiting for.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks during a news conference in the Press Briefing Room at the State Department in Washington, U.S., January 7, 2020.

January 4, 2020

Iran
The Suleimani Assassination and U.S. Strategic Incoherence

The decision to kill Qassem Suleimani will likely force President Trump to devote additional resources to the Middle East at a time of growing concern about North Korea, Russia, and China.

Iran and U.S. Strategic Incoherence

December 18, 2019

Middle East and North Africa
The Post-American Middle East

The United States has dialed down both its presence and role in a region that it has dominated for nearly a half-century.

Post-American Middle East

December 4, 2019

Turkey
Trump Is Happy to Seem Weak Next to Erdogan

The benefits of their personal relationship are clear for the Turkish president. But the U.S. president has his reasons, too.

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan during a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 13, 2019.

December 3, 2019

Syria
There’s Always a Next Time to Betray the Kurds

The Kurds have no choice but to always trust the United States—and to suffer the inevitable consequences.

A Kurdish Peshmerga soldier holds a Kurdistan flag during a deployment in the area near the northern Iraqi border with Syria

December 3, 2019

Saudi Arabia
Mohammed bin Salman Is Having a Fire Sale of His Political Power

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince will take money from investors in the national oil company—but he’ll be giving up far more than he thinks.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a session of the Shura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia November 20, 2019.

October 14, 2019

Syria
The United States Is Done Caring About Syria

A major new report about the Syrian war raises the question of whether Washington ever cared about it in the first place.

A child inspects a site hit by what activists said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar el-Asaad at Arbin town in Damascus countryside, Syria July 21, 2015.

September 24, 2019

Saudi Arabia
This Is the Moment That Decides the Future of the Middle East

If the United States is done fighting for Saudi Arabia’s oil, it's done fighting for the entire region.

U.S. President Donald Trump dances with a sword as he arrives to a welcome ceremony at Al Murabba Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017.

September 12, 2019

Iran
Israel Is Doing All the Dirty Work Against Iran

The United States came up with “maximum pressure”—but the Israeli government is the only one carrying it out.

Israeli soldiers charge a mortar shell

December 3, 2018

Women and Women's Rights
Women Will be Left Behind by Mobile Education—Just Like Everything Else

We’ve been told smartphones will save education—and even better, on the cheap. From hackathons for refugee students to helping women in developing countries earn university degrees, we’ve been sold t…

Nigerian pupils work on computers in Abuja, on May 30, 2007. Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA)