Russia and Saudi Arabia: Old Disenchantments, New Challenges

The Joseph Biden administration can manage its recalibration of relations with Saudi Arabia without unwarranted fear that Riyadh will view Russia as a safe-harbor alternative to the United States on a myriad of state-to-state interactions that are most important to the Kingdom. While Russia’s transactional approach to foreign partners has at times given it advantages… Continue Reading Russia and Saudi Arabia: Old Disenchantments, New Challenges

Israel: New Prime Minister and U.S. Relations

New prime minister and an end to Netanyahu’s rule. A group of disparate parties from across the political spectrum agreed in June 2021 to form a power-sharing government to replace long serving Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is being tried in an Israeli court on corruption charges. On June 13, the Knesset (Israel’s unicameral parliament)… Continue Reading Israel: New Prime Minister and U.S. Relations

Iran in Latin America: Malign Alliances, “Super Spreaders,” and Alternative Narratives

Iran’s ability to shape the information environment and spread the narrative of the United States as an imperialist force—perpetrating violence and instability in Latin America—has grown in recent years. These ongoing and multifaceted campaigns of disinformation and carefully curated messages are coordinated with Russian and Venezuelan state media companies and thousands of allied Internet and… Continue Reading Iran in Latin America: Malign Alliances, “Super Spreaders,” and Alternative Narratives

Iran’s Nuclear Program: Tehran’s Compliance with International Obligations

Several U.N. Security Council resolutions adopted between 2006 and 2010 required Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) investigation of its nuclear activities, suspend its uranium enrichment program, suspend its construction of a heavy-water reactor and related projects, and ratify the Additional Protocol to its IAEA safeguards agreement. Iran did not… Continue Reading Iran’s Nuclear Program: Tehran’s Compliance with International Obligations

Congress and the Middle East, 2011-2020: Selected Case Studies

Congress shaped U.S. national security policy toward several critical crises and contingencies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) during the decade from 2011 through 2020—a period of upheaval, conflict, and change in that region. This volume presents several case studies. See Table of Contents.    

Israel: May 2021 Violence and U.S. Relations

The following matters are of particular significance to U.S.-Israel relations, and are discussed here. * Violence and unrest over Gaza and Jerusalem. * Domestic issues: An end to or continuation of Netanyahu’s rule? * Palestinians and Arab state normalization * Iran and other regional issues. * China: Investments in Israel and U.S. concerns. Learn more… Continue Reading Israel: May 2021 Violence and U.S. Relations

Lebanon

Seeking to avoid sectarian conflict, Lebanese leaders created a confessional system that allocated power among the country’s religious sects according to their percentage of the population. Since then, Lebanon’s demographics and political dynamics have shifted, exacerbating tension among groups, at times stoking sectarian violence, and creating political gridlock on issues that require dividing power, such… Continue Reading Lebanon

Bahrain: Unrest, Security, and U.S. Policy

Bahrain is a small island nation, ruled by a hereditary monarchy, that is in a partnership with other Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf called the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman). Bahrain is led by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who succeeded his father, Shaykh… Continue Reading Bahrain: Unrest, Security, and U.S. Policy

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

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)

Iran Sanctions

    Successive Administrations and Congresses have used economic sanctions to try to change Iran’s behavior. U.S. sanctions on Iran—primarily “secondary sanctions” on firms that conduct certain transactions with Iran—have adversely affected Iran’s economy but have arguably not, to date, altered Iran’s pursuit of core strategic objectives including its support for regional armed factions and… Continue Reading Iran Sanctions