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Brookings Saban Center

  • Elections in Lebanon and Iraq offer a glimmer of hope—how the US should prepare for the long term
    Yesterday afternoon, I testified before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa about recent elections in Iraq and Lebanon. My full testimony is available here; below are some highlights. Video of the hearing, which als…
    - 4 days ago 23 May 18, 6:08pm -
  • Netanyahu’s risky romance with Trump
    On Monday, a U.S. secretary of state—the hawkish Mike Pompeo—basically adopted the Israeli prime minister’s stance toward Iran, highlighting its malign influence in the Middle East and ordering up a tall list of demands that the Islamic Repub…
    - 5 days ago 22 May 18, 6:52pm -
  • Why be a pawn to a state? Proxy wars from a proxy’s perspective
    Just as states exploit proxies for their own ends, so too do proxies exploit states—but the cost for them is often heavy. Proxy forces, like the U.S.-backed Kurdish “People’s Protection Unit” (YPG) in Syria, the Iranian-backed Houthis in Ye…
    - 5 days ago 22 May 18, 4:54pm -
  • The Trump administration’s Plan B on Iran is no plan at all
    The suspense is over. Two weeks after President Trump ruptured the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran to a chorus of questions about the administration’s “Plan B,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday outlined a new U.S. strategy for contending…
    - 6 days ago 22 May 18, 5:00am -
  • Why engage in proxy war? A state’s perspective
    A proxy war occurs when a major power instigates or plays a major role in supporting and directing a party to a conflict but does only a small portion of the actual fighting itself. Proxy war stands in contrast not only to a traditional war—when…
    - 6 days ago 21 May 18, 5:22pm -
  • What Iraq’s election results mean for U.S. policy there
    Iraq’s parliamentary elections on Saturday were supposed to herald a new chapter for the country, one where it finally moves forward to remedy endemic corruption, violent instability, and social and political polarization. The first election since…
    - 9 days ago 18 May 18, 3:39pm -
  • Political amnesia in Washington: From the Nakba to the occupation
    This week’s protests at the Gaza border were the largest—and deadliest — since Palestinians began what organizers have dubbed the “Great March of Return” some six weeks ago. The protests culminated on May 15, the 70th anniversary of the Nak…
    - 9 days ago 18 May 18, 2:42pm -

Wilson Center

  • The Future of Iraq: A Conversation with the Former Governor of Kirkuk
    The Kurdistan Regional Government’s referendum on independence from Iraq did not go as planned. The disputed territory of Kirkuk was at the center of the conflict and was reclaimed by the central government last October.Why did t…
    - 45 days ago 12 Apr 18, 3:54pm -
  • Pulling Back the Curtain on the Dark Net
    The majority of internet content – as much as 96 percent – exists beyond the reach of your Google searches in a place known as the “dark net.” This hidden part of the web, which is not indexed by standard search engines and…
    - 48 days ago 9 Apr 18, 6:44pm -
  • The Turkish War on Afrin Jeopardizes Progress Made Since the Liberation of Raqqa
    The Turkish operation in Afrin is not just another battle in a small corner of Syria, but represents a new stage in the Syrian civil war and anti-ISIS campaign. President Erdoğan’s two-month battle to capture Afrin signals that Tur…
    - 59 days ago 29 Mar 18, 2:48pm -

Washington Institute

  • Israel's Sinai Dilemma
    In a February article for the New York Times, David Kirkpatrick wrote that Israel has conducted strikes against Islamic State elements in the Sinai no less than a hundred times since 2015. The story describes how jihadist forces operating in the p…
    - 34 days ago 23 Apr 18, 5:47pm -
  • Sisi's Reelection and Egypt's Next Political Establishment
    On April 2, the Egyptian election commission declared that President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi had won a second term with 97 percent of the vote. During his first term, he focused on suffocating the political environment and sidelining his opponents, s…
    - 55 days ago 2 Apr 18, 9:14pm -
  • Beyond Security: Steps Toward Warmer Egypt-Israel Relations
    Nearly four decades after Egypt and Israel signed their peace treaty, security cooperation between the former foes is arguably stronger than ever. Limited economic cooperation also prevails through Qualifying Industrial Zones, areas in which Egypt…
    - 59 days ago 29 Mar 18, 8:16pm -
  • It's a 'Cold Peace' with Israel; Egypt Prohibits Full Normalization
    On March 26, 1979, under the auspices of the United States, Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty. But the bilateral relationship has been characterized as a "cold peace." For the nearly four decades since, the two countries have exchanged ambass…
    - 63 days ago 25 Mar 18, 1:33pm -
  • How True Is 'The Crown' on The Suez Cover-Up?
    As 2017 turned into 2018, the entertainment press in America and Britain suddenly began to run articles explaining the Suez crisis of 1956. "Where is the Suez Canal?" asked a headline in the British tabloid Daily Express, and "Why did Britain Go t…
    - 87 days ago 1 Mar 18, 4:47pm -
  • Easing the Minds of Egyptian Generals Is Key to Continued Cooperation with Israel
    Cooperation between Israel and Egypt has increased to a high level in recent years, evidenced by recent reports on military coordination in Sinai. Yet this somewhat secret alliance has not been easy for some Egyptian generals to reconcile, given t…
    - 92 days ago 24 Feb 18, 1:41pm -
  • Foreign Fighters in Libya: Consequences for Africa and Europe
    On February 16, Aaron Zelin and Michael Franken addressed a Policy Forum at The Washington Institute as part of the long-running Stein Counterterrorism Lecture Series. Zelin is the Richard Borow Fellow at the Institute and author of its rece…
    - 95 days ago 21 Feb 18, 8:18pm -
  • President Trump, Condemn This Sham Egyptian Election
    Four years after a bloody coup ended Egypt's difficult transition to democracy, the most populous country in the Arab world is heading toward its fourth presidential vote. The Trump administration should call this exercise what it is: a sham and d…
    - 5 Feb 18, 4:48pm -
  • New Palestinian and Egyptian Designations Highlight Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood
    Speaking at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, State Department Counterterrorism Coordinator Nathan Sales announced on January 31 that Washington has placed new terrorist designations on Palestinian a…
    - 31 Jan 18, 5:47pm -
  • Civil Society on Trial in Egypt: Revisiting the NGO Workers Case
    More than four years after the conviction of forty-three Egyptian and foreign NGO workers, the affair remains an irritant for U.S.-Egypt relations. For many in Washington, the felony convictions of all seventeen Americans tried—including the son…
    - 30 Jan 18, 2:42pm -
  • How Can Saudi Arabia and Egypt Help Confront Toxic Ideologies?
    On January 18, Joseph Braude and Samuel Tadros addressed a Policy Forum at The Washington Institute. Braude is an advisor to Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Tadros is a senior fe…
    - 22 Jan 18, 8:48pm -
  • Israel's Gas Disappointment
    The development of Israel's offshore natural gas resources, once seen as a wonderful economic blessing, has slowed to a painful crawl in recent months. On December 13, the government announced that it was awarding licenses for just six of the twen…
    - 21 Dec 17, 3:18pm -
  • Beyond Islamists and Autocrats:
    The optimism that briefly followed the 2010-11 Arab Spring has long since faded, with a string of political crises, internal crackdowns, and wars casting a long shadow over the prospects for true democratization. The formidable threats posed by Ir…
    - 27 Nov 17, 9:52pm -
  • How Egypt Can Help Hamas and Fatah Implement Their New Deal
    On October 12, the Fatah movement and Hamas reached a new set of understandings in Cairo, with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas describing them as a "final agreement to end disunity." While the deal may help stabilize and bring some h…
    - 18 Oct 17, 8:01pm -
  • Egyptians Surprisingly Open to Key Trump Policies, New Poll Shows
    As President Trump rolls out his plan for confronting Iran, a credible new poll in Egypt reveals that this posture enjoys a remarkable degree of public support in the most populous Arab country. A mere 1% of Egyptians rate Iran's regional policies…
    - 12 Oct 17, 7:33pm -
  • Cairo Bombing Exposes the Muslim Brotherhood's Jihadist Tilt
    Hasm, an Egyptian militant group aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), has claimed responsibility for the September 30 bombing at the embassy of Myanmar in Cairo. While no one was injured, the attack indicates that MB-aligned groups are acting…
    - 2 Oct 17, 7:45pm -
  • From Moscow to Marrakech: Russia Is Turning Its Eyes to Africa
    If you thought Vladimir Putin would settle for only Syria in cementing Russia's footprint in the Middle East, you're in for a surprise. From Morocco to Egypt, Moscow has been expanding influence through arms and energy deals, tourism promotion, an…
    - 21 Sep 17, 6:10pm -
  • The Hamas Announcement: Reconciliation or Reorientation?
    In response to an Egyptian initiative, Hamas announced on September 17 that it will dissolve the "Administrative Committee" it created in March as a shadow government to administer the Gaza Strip. The formation of that committee had spurred Palest…
    - 20 Sep 17, 4:28pm -
  • Middle East Maritime Security:
    A number of developments are transforming the Middle East maritime security environment, with profound implications for regional trade and security. Historically, protection of (SLOCs) sea lines of communication--a process integral to projecting p…
    - 14 Sep 17, 9:03pm -
  • Congress, Don't Meet with the Muslim Brotherhood
    Amr Darrag, a senior member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, will be speaking at Georgetown University on Thursday, and he is trying to extend his speaking gig into a lobbying tour, as other Brotherhood-aligned delegations have done in the past. U.S…
    - 13 Sep 17, 2:48pm -
  • Free Trade Zone in the Context of Growing Russia-Egypt Ties
    Russia and Egypt will hold an intergovernmental commission meeting on trade and economic cooperation in September. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov hopes the meeting will advance bilateral discussion about an industrial trade zone in East Po…
    - 25 Aug 17, 5:08pm -
  • Washington's Unfocused Decision on Aid to Egypt
    Washington's decision on August 22 to delay or cancel nearly $300 million in aid to Egypt caught Cairo by surprise. For many months, the Egyptian government had assumed that the warm rapport between U.S. president Donald Trump and his Egyptian cou…
    - 23 Aug 17, 3:37pm -
  • Is War in Gaza Unavoidable?
    Earlier this summer, it seemed like war in the Gaza Strip was inevitable. Israel had accepted Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas' request to cut off electricity for the approximately two million Gazans who live under Hamas rule. Abbas hope…
    - 22 Aug 17, 4:16pm -
  • The Muslim Brotherhood's Fatal Mistake
    On August 14, 2013, in what came to be known as the Rabaa massacre, Egyptian security forces stormed Muslim Brotherhood-led sit-ins at public squares in Cairo and Giza, killing hundreds of people protesting the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, the Brother…
    - 21 Aug 17, 3:15pm -
  • A Beauty Queen Helps Israel's Egyptian Community Find Its Voice
    Winning the Arab Miss Israel contest in 2009 was a double-edged sword for Naglaa Suleiman.The daughter of an Egyptian father and Arab-Israeli mother, Suleiman moved to Israel with her family at age five and grew up in Nazareth. The notoriety sh…
    - 17 Aug 17, 2:04am -
  • A Killer Goes Free in Cairo
    On June 23, Egypt's President Sisi granted clemency to some 500 convicted criminals, a common practice of Arab leaders on the eve of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the month-long Islamic fast of Ramadan. Among those discharged was Hisham Talaat Mustafa,…
    - 7 Jul 17, 3:38pm -
  • The Muslim Brotherhood Is the Root of the Qatar Crisis
    Monday marks the end of the 10 days that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt gave Qatar to comply with 13 far-reaching demands. For starters, Qatar is being told to cut off relations with Iran, shutter Al Jazeera, and stop g…
    - 2 Jul 17, 4:57pm -
  • How a Soap Opera Explains Egyptian-Israeli Relations
    Egyptian-Israeli relations have been steadily improving in the past few years, with the two countries facing the same threat from ISIS on the Sinai border. Coupled with Egypt's current economic hardships, increased cooperation between the two side…
    - 29 Jun 17, 9:25pm -
  • Defusing the Electricity Crisis in Gaza -- For Now
    On June 22, the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) came back online, following a shipment of diesel fuel from Egypt earlier in the week, offering a temporary reprieve from the crisis that had left Gaza residents with as little as three hours of electricity pe…
    - 22 Jun 17, 8:22pm -
  • Counter-radicalization and de-radicalization in Egypt and Libya: Returnees and Foresight
    June 13, 2017At the beginning of May, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein expressed concerns over Egypt’s policies to combat extremism, highlighting that a state of emergency, the massive numbers of detentions, and…
    - 13 Jun 17, 8:53pm -
  • Assurances from Washington, Fears in Cairo
    June 13, 2017“I just want to let everybody know that we are strongly supporting President Sisi; he has done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We stand with Egypt, and we support the people of Egypt.” With these words, the U.S.…
    - 13 Jun 17, 8:21pm -
  • LBJ and the June 1967 War:
    On June 1, Dennis Ross, Nicholas Rostow, and Michael Mandelbaum addressed a Policy Forum at The Washington Institute. Ross is the Institute's William Davidson Distinguished Fellow and author of Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from…
    - 9 Jun 17, 7:43pm -
  • The Cynical Conspiracy War on Egypt's Christians
    When news broke of Friday's devastating attack on Coptic Christians in Upper Egypt, in which at least 28 were murdered and 23 injured aboard a monastery-bound bus, prominent Egyptian Islamists offered a predictably libelous response: The Egyptia…
    - 27 May 17, 6:56pm -
  • Trump Should Meet With Sisi in Saudi Arabia
    U.S. President Donald Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia Saturday with a packed agenda. He will conclude a $109.7 billion arms agreement with Riyadh, discuss opportunities for enhanced U.S.-Saudi economic cooperation, and address the leaders of over 50…
    - 19 May 17, 2:12pm -
  • Egypt's Failed War on Terror
    Earlier this month, President Trump hosted his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, at the White House. At their meeting, Trump assured Sisi that "together...we will fight terrorism." That is good news for the Egyptian president. After year…
    - 10 May 17, 4:00pm -
  • When International Guarantees Utterly Failed
    As we approach next month's 50th anniversary of the 1967 war, we should not forget one of the enduring lessons learned from the run-up to the conflict. Namely, that agreements need to stand on their own merits and cannot be based on abstract inter…
    - 4 May 17, 1:34pm -
  • Does Egypt Need an FTA with the United States?
    During Egyptian president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi's recent visit to the United States, he stressed his country's dire economic situation, among other priorities, and the corresponding need for U.S. help in stabilizing the economy. To this end, he and…
    - 24 Apr 17, 5:03pm -
  • Regional Consequences of Trump's Travel Ban
    On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, indefinitely prohibiting all Syrian refugees from entering the United States and banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority co…
    - 20 Apr 17, 1:44pm -
  • Despite Attacks Egypt Maintains Conventional Military Strategy
    Sunday's horrific terrorist attacks on Coptic churches in Tanta and Alexandria during Palm Sunday services, in which dozens have been killed and many more injured, should convince the Egyptian military to update its strategy against jihadis based…
    - 9 Apr 17, 1:35pm -
  • Egypt's Awkward Reset with Washington
    Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi started the week as Washington's guest of honor. President Trump warmly praised Sisi for doing "a fantastic job" in the Oval Office on Monday, and Sisi tied up Georgetown traffic for the next three days as he…
    - 7 Apr 17, 8:36pm -
  • Enhancing Egyptian-Israeli Ties under the Trump Administration
    Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi is at the White House on Monday with the high hopes of receiving strong support from U.S. President Donald Trump. One of the major issues that the Egyptian President will surely stress to attain this favor is…
    - 2 Apr 17, 2:02pm -
  • President Trump Talks Terror with Egypt's Sisi
    Seven years have passed since an Egyptian head of state visited the White House, but the April 3 Oval Office meeting between Presidents Trump and Abdul Fattah al-Sisi promises to be a warm homecoming. Although the two leaders have met only once pr…
    - 30 Mar 17, 5:49pm -
  • Can Trump Cut a Deal With Egypt?
    The relationship between Egypt and the U.S. will look sunnier on Monday, when President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi visits President Trump in Washington. Under the Obama administration, Mr. Sisi's authoritarianism made him persona non grata. The key ques…
    - 30 Mar 17, 1:42pm -
  • Sisi and the Copts: Grim Prospects for a Troubled Relationship
    March 20, 2017On December 11, a massive explosion shattered St. Mark’s Cathedral in Abbasia, central Cairo, claiming the lives of more than 25 worshipers and wounding scores of others. The event cast even more anxiety and strain over the situ…
    - 20 Mar 17, 5:18pm -
  • Sisi's Domesticated Foreign Policy
    When then-Defense Minister Abdel Fatah al-Sisi responded to mass protests in July 2013 by ousting the country's first elected president, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi, Cairo's Gulf allies rushed to keep Egypt afloat economically. Within…
    - 8 Mar 17, 10:07pm -
  • Burning Questions for Trump on the Middle East: We Still Don't Know Where His Gut Instincts Are
    Middle East chatter is filled with talk about how the budding romance between Israel and Sunni Arab states will transform the region. Will these newfound "allies," as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called them in Washington last month,…
    - 7 Mar 17, 6:33pm -
  • Al-Azhar and the President: Breaking Down the Relationship
    March 6, 2017On January 24, during a speech for National Police Day, President Sisi – to everyone’s surprise – brought up the issue of the high divorce rate in Egypt and its dangerous impact on family security and stability, calling for a…
    - 6 Mar 17, 6:44pm -
  • What an Egyptian-Iranian Thaw Would Mean for U.S. Foreign Policy in the Region
    The Trump administration has adopted an aggressive approach towards Iran. It seeks to establish a unified front of Arab Sunni states against Iranian ambitions and actions in the region. This united front shall confront Iranian meddling in the Gulf…
    - 4 Mar 17, 3:27pm -
  • Bab al-Mandab Shipping Chokepoint Under Threat
    On February 9, the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence issued an alert warning commercial vessels about the risk of mines in the Bab al-Mandab Strait: "The U.S. Government has reason to believe in late January, mines were laid by Houthi rebels in Ye…
    - 1 Mar 17, 4:39pm -
  • The Future of Egyptian-Israeli Relations: Cairo More Committed to Peace Than Normalization
    According to a recent report in the British Telegraph, Israel withdrew its ambassador from Cairo quietly some time ago due to security concerns. Over the many years of exchanging diplomatic missions, while Egyptian diplomatic missions have always…
    - 18 Feb 17, 3:18pm -

WashingtonInstitute

Iraq Goes to the Polls: Progress and Pitfalls
When Iraq's national elections open on May 12, they will mark a shift away from the large ethnic and sectarian blocs seen on previous ballots, with candidates more attuned to the demands of the wider body politic. Yet the results could work against I…
- 12 days ago 15 May 18, 6:18pm -
Toward a More Moderate and Tolerant Islam: A Conversation with Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa
H.E. Mohammed Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League, advocates for tolerance and moderation during this discussion with Dr. Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The former Saudi justice…
- 12 days ago 15 May 18, 3:06pm -
The JCPOA Decision: Managing Reactions, Evaluating Sanctions
What are the commercial, economic, and diplomatic implications of President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal? Presenting are Blumenstein-Katz Family Fellow Katherine Bauer, Morningstar Senior Fellow and Director of Research Pa…
- 13 days ago 14 May 18, 10:24pm -
Hanin Ghaddar Scores a Victory for Press Freedom
Friedmann Visiting Fellow Hanin Ghaddar discusses her conviction for "defaming" the Lebanese military" and the international campaign that forced the government to reverse her sentence. She scored a victory for freedom of expression and is more commi…
- 17 days ago 10 May 18, 9:41pm -
Amb. James Jeffrey: Patriot, Policy Leader
One of the most experienced diplomats in the United States, Amb. James Jeffrey got his first taste of U.S. foreign policy as an infantryman in Vietnam. His commitment to serving his country led to a career in the Foreign Service and, today, to his po…
- 17 days ago 10 May 18, 9:38pm -
Abramson Young Leaders Support Institute Research
The Abramson Young Leaders Program in New York City provides young professionals with the opportunity to discuss Middle East policy in depth with Institute experts far from the hub of policymaking in Washington, D.C. Three participants discuss why…
- 17 days ago 10 May 18, 9:21pm -
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman: Gaza, Syria, and Other Challenges
From the emergence of a direct Iranian front across the frontier with Syria to recurrent mass protests along the Gaza border, recent events underscore the complexity of Israel's security situation. To discuss Israel's strategy for dealing with these…
- 30 days ago 27 Apr 18, 7:47pm -
Snap Elections, Syria Incursions: Turkey's Challenges and Risks
President Erdogan announced that Turkey would hold snap elections in June, even earlier than most analysts had predicted. With only two months to go before the vote, the country will soon enter a political whirlwind punctuated by dramatic domestic de…
- 31 days ago 26 Apr 18, 5:30pm -
Confronting Iran and the Future of the JCPOA
The apparent use of chemical weapons by the Iran-backed government of Syria has injected a dramatic new twist in the unfolding story of the U.S. relationship with Iran and Washington's impending decision on whether to remain a party to the Iran nucl…
- 44 days ago 13 Apr 18, 5:28pm -
Hanin Ghaddar on Lebanese Military Tribunal Overturning Her Conviction
In this statement, Friedmann Visiting Fellow Hanin Ghaddar addresses the Lebanese Military Tribunal's decision to reverse its January ruling sentencing her to six months in prison in absentia for “defaming” the Lebanese military.
- 46 days ago 11 Apr 18, 5:50pm -
Evolution of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces
The enduring security cooperation between Israel and the PA is remarkable, not only because of their current diplomatic deterioration, but also given the chaos, corruption, and terrorism that marred the PASF's early years. The question is whether the…
- 48 days ago 9 Apr 18, 2:48pm -
Rethinking Security Force Assistance in the Middle East
Training and equipping the security forces of partner states has been a central element of U.S. foreign policy since World War II, as manifested most recently by the Army's decision to deploy the first of six planned Security Force Assistance Brigade…
- 69 days ago 19 Mar 18, 4:02pm -

AEI

Hudson Institute

Middle East Forum


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