Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations

The current structure of Palestinian governing entities dates to 1994. In that year, Israel agreed with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to permit a Palestinian Authority (PA) to exercise limited rule over Gaza and specified areas of the West Bank, subject to overarching Israeli military administration that dates back to the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Under… Continue Reading Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations

Afghanistan: Background and U.S. Policy

  In light of the approaching withdrawal deadline and the stalling of intra-Afghan talks, the United States appears to have intensified its efforts to broker an intra-Afghan agreement. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly wrote to Afghan government officials in March 2021 to express “urgency” that they form a united front and participate in planned… Continue Reading Afghanistan: Background and U.S. Policy

Iran’s Foreign and Defense Policies

Iran’s national security policy is arguably the product of overlapping and sometimes competing priorities such as the ideology of Iran’s Islamic revolution, perception of threats to the regime and to the country, and long-standing national interests. The incoming Biden Administration has indicated that it will seek to rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement if Iran comes… Continue Reading Iran’s Foreign and Defense Policies

Women in the Middle East and North Africa

Many experts have found that women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) fare worse than those in other parts of the world on a range of social, economic, legal and political measures. Some attribute this underperformance to prevailing gender roles and perspectives (including discriminatory laws and beliefs), as well as challenges facing the… Continue Reading Women in the Middle East and North Africa

United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven principalities or “emirates.” Its population is assessed at nearly 10 million, but about 90% of the population are expatriates from within and outside the region who work in its open economy. The UAE is a significant U.S. security partner that hosts about 3,500 U.S. military… Continue Reading United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy

The Rise and Fall of ISIS in Libya

This Army War College monograph places events in Libya since 2011 into their historical and social context and argues a form of radical Islamism, linked to long-standing national defiance of outside control, remains a factor even after the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This entrenched radicalism means extremist Islamist groups… Continue Reading The Rise and Fall of ISIS in Libya

Policy Response to Islamic State Extremist Fighter Battlefield Migration

This Army War College monograph analyzes and provides policy response options for US national security and Army planners concerning the potential for post-territorial caliphate battlefield migration by the sizable contingent of battle-hardened Islamic State foreign fighters situated within various remaining enclaves that remain in Syria and Iraq.  Purchase this Volume

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