Middle East

Understanding the Wave of Normalization in the Middle East

Recent developments in the Middle East signify major, and positive, changes in regional dynamics and balances. Four Arab countries—the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco—have established, or are in the process of establishing, diplomatic relations with Israel;...

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Iraq in Transition: Competing Actors and Complicated Politics

The Republic of Iraq has faced considerable challenges after the American-led invasion in 2003 to oust Saddam Hussein, ranging from insurgency to endemic corruption and poor government services. Baghdad has emerged as the epicenter of a broader geopolitical struggle...

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Continuity and Change in Iraq’s Sunni Politics: Sunni Arab Political Trends, Factions, and Personalities Since 2014

The year 2014 was a horrible one for Iraq. The national election held in April was preceded by two ominous trends: an increasingly strong, armed insurgency from the Sunni Arab population and an increasingly sharp sectarian conflict within the...

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A Plan to End the War in Syria: Competing with Russia in the Levant

The United States has an interest in allowing the Russian Federation to “win” an outright victory in Syria, so long as it secures from Moscow an agreement that is favorable to the Syrian Kurds, builds in negative consequences for...

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The Abraham Accords: The View from the Gulf

On September 15, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump hosted the leaders of Israel and Bahrain, as well as the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates at the White House to sign normalization agreements, ending the UAE and Bahraini...

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The Idlib Model: Securing American Counter-Terrorism Interests in Syria

The United States is struggling to define its Syria policy and is not yet fully grappling with how the battlefield has changed since Turkey’s invasion in October 2019. With so few troops on the ground, Washington does not have...

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Egypt’s Military Limitations: Cairo’s Options to Defend Eastern Libya

In late June, with the United Nations-backed General National Accord (GNA) government reversing several years’ worth of gains made by the Khalifa Hafta-led Libyan National Army (LNA) in a matter of weeks, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi issued a...

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Beyond COVID-19, Part 13: Chaos in Hong Kong, A Georgian Anniversary, and Military Moves in Libya

Maia and Aaron are back with us this week! Last week, we took a little detour to discuss the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan. It’s worth a read if you’d like to learn more about Taiwan’s COVID-19...

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Beyond COVID-19, Part 12: Taiwan’s International Stock Rises as Turkey’s Falls

Mid-May is upon us. I would like to thank our readers who have loyally read our weekly discussions throughout the pandemic. I hope you all are healthy and safe, and continue to stay the course in staying at home....

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Beyond COVID-19, Part 11: Political Shake-up in Ukraine and Baseball Returns in Asia

Congratulations to our readers: you made it to May! Celebrate the small victories, and do something special for yourself today (aside from reading today’s titillating conversation, of course). Some states are beginning a slow re-opening, but please continue to...

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