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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.

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…

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

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

October 31, 2018

Middle East and North Africa
The Saudis Are Killing America’s Middle East Policy

Mohammad bin Salman isn’t just ruining his own reputation—he’s spoiling Washington’s policies across the region.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud is seen during a meeting with U.N Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. March 27, 2018

October 15, 2018

Saudi Arabia
Déjà vu, Saudi Style

The longer I write about oil, the more I have become convinced that names and faces can change but the basic storylines repeat themselves. For students of history, it might be tempting to say that th…

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks as he welcomes Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 20, 2018.

August 6, 2018

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Reading The Trump Administration in Ramallah

Does the United States seek relations with Hamas in Gaza and to undermine the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leadership in the West Bank? Palestinians officials and insiders asked me this qu…

Trump Abbas 2