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June 25, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
What Is U.S. Policy on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

The United States has long tried to negotiate a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but several factors, including deep divisions between and within the parties and declining U.S. interes…

A Palestinian uses a ladder to climb over the wall separating the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the West Bank.

March 10, 2020

Saudi Arabia
Why Current Saudi-Russia Oil Price War Is Not Déjà Vu

It’s happened several times before: geopolitical tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia have led to a dramatic drop in oil prices in years past. But the breakdown in Saudi-Russian cooperation in oi…

A gas station worker wearing a protective face mask sits next to a petrol station, after Saudi Arabia imposed a temporary lockdown on the province of Qatif following the spread of coronavirus, in Qatif, Saudi Arabia March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

February 25, 2020

Iran
The Islamic Republic’s Power Centers

Who calls the shots in Iran on economic policy, security, and domestic calls for reform? A look at the government’s organization chart indicates how complicated the answer is.

Close up of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei giving an address

January 28, 2020

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Trump’s Lopsided Mideast Peace Plan

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 viole…

June 19, 2019

Iran
Iran, the Strait of Hormuz, and Hard Power

I woke up this morning thinking I would write a blog explaining just how challenging it would be for Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz for a prolonged period of time. This is not to say that there c…

Explosions that damaged two tankers south of the Strait of Hormuz on June 13, 2019 come a month after four vessels were targeted in "sabotage attacks" off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

May 6, 2019

Defense and Security
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

Conceived as the principal defenders of the 1979 revolution, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has evolved into an institution with vast political, economic, and military power.

Members of the Revolutionary Guards attend a parliamentary session in Tehran.

April 12, 2019

Israel
What Israel’s Election Means for Peace

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu campaigned on his tough diplomacy and his relationship with U.S. President Donald J. Trump. What happens now for the Palestinian peace process?

Benjamin Netanyahu election rally

August 25, 2015

Middle East and North Africa
Did Mahmoud Abbas Just Resign?

There’s a bit of confusion about the recent "resignation" of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. What actually happened? Abbas wears three hats, as his predecessor and mentor Yasser Arafat did: head o…

March 1, 2019

North Korea
Global Conflict This Week: Negotiating with North Korea

Developments in conflicts across the world that you might have missed this week.

Trump-Kim summit

February 13, 2019

Middle East and North Africa
The Middle East Doesn’t Admire America Anymore

What a late-night meal in Italy taught me about U.S. power in the Arab world.

A woman stands next to an inflatable tank with U.S. President Donald Trump outside an art exhibition 'MonuMental' by the pseudonymous artist, Saint Hoax in downtown Beirut, Lebanon October 12, 2018