Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by the Al Saud family since its founding in 1932, wields significant global influence through its administration of the birthplace of the Islamic faith and by virtue of its large oil reserves. Close U.S.-Saudi official relations have survived a series of challenges since the 1940s. In recent years, shared… Continue Reading Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations

Nonstate Actors and Anti-Access/Area Denial Strategies: The Coming Challenge

This monograph explores the emerging challenge of nonstate actors’ anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) strategies and their implications for the United States and its allies by looking at two regions, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, with case studies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis in Yemen, and separatist… Continue Reading Nonstate Actors and Anti-Access/Area Denial Strategies: The Coming Challenge

Iran Sanctions

Successive Administrations have used economic sanctions to try to change Iran’s behavior. U.S. sanctions, including “secondary sanctions” on firms that conduct certain transactions with Iran, have adversely affected Iran’s economy but have had little observable effect on Iran’s pursuit of core strategic objectives such as its support for regional armed factions and its development of… Continue Reading Iran Sanctions

U.S. Killing of Qasem Soleimani: Frequently Asked Questions

The January 2, 2020, U.S. killing in Iraq of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) Commander Qasem Soleimani, generally regarded as one of the most powerful and important officials in Iran, has potentially dramatic implications for the United States. For Congress, it raises possible questions about U.S. policy in the Middle East, broader U.S. global… Continue Reading U.S. Killing of Qasem Soleimani: Frequently Asked Questions

Turkey and the United States on the Brink: Implications for NATO and the US-Turkish Strategic and Military Partnership

This monograph analyzes the current political tensions between the United States and Turkey and suggests ways to manage them. The two countries have been strategic allies since at least the end of World War II—Turkey became a North Atlantic Treaty Organization member and participated with its military forces in the Korea War, and during the… Continue Reading Turkey and the United States on the Brink: Implications for NATO and the US-Turkish Strategic and Military Partnership

U.S.-Iran Conflict and Implications for U.S. Policy

Since May 2019, U.S.-Iran tensions have heightened significantly, especially since U.S. military forces killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force (IRGC-QF) and one of Iran’s most important military commanders, in a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad on January 2, 2020. The U.S.-Iran tensions have the potential to escalate into… Continue Reading U.S.-Iran Conflict and Implications for U.S. Policy

Oman: Politics, Security, and U.S. Policy

The Sultanate of Oman has been a strategic partner of the United States since 1980, when it became the first Persian Gulf state to sign a formal accord permitting the U.S. military to use its facilities. Oman has hosted U.S. forces during every U.S. military operation in the region since then, and it is a… Continue Reading Oman: Politics, Security, and U.S. Policy

Turkey: Background, U.S. Relations, and Sanctions

Some specific Turkish actions have raised questions about Turkey’s commitment to NATO and overall strategic orientation. In 2019, Turkey’s incursion into northeastern Syria and acceptance of components for a Russian S-400 surface-to-air defense system have brought bilateral tensions to crisis levels, and contributed to Trump Administration sanctions on Turkey and the possibility of additional sanctions… Continue Reading Turkey: Background, U.S. Relations, and Sanctions

Iran: Internal Politics and U.S. Policy and Options

U.S.-Iran relations have been mostly adversarial—but with varying degrees of intensity—since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. U.S. officials have consistently identified Iran’s support for militant Middle East groups as a significant threat to U.S. interests and allies, and Iran’s nuclear program took precedence in U.S. policy after 2002 as that program advanced. In 2010,… Continue Reading Iran: Internal Politics and U.S. Policy and Options