As the Arab Gulf states prepare to engage with a new U.S. administration, their recent reconciliation announcement offers an opportunity to advance their interests as well as mutual interests with the United States. But the Gulf states' intent to end their feud will very likely not be sufficient unless the agreement is deepened through confidence-building measures and expanded by reaching a parallel understanding with Turkey.
Jan 27, 2021 RealClearDefense
As protests in Iraq grow, a “good news” narrative seems to be developing that they are a significant blow to Iranian influence. But the bigger story is not who is up and who is down between Washington and Tehran; it is that yet another Arab public has taken to the streets demanding change.
Nov 14, 2019 Foreign Policy
Without an orderly process for its national security decisions, the Trump administration has defaulted to the worst option regarding Syria. The sudden withdrawal of U.S. forces has left an opening for Russia to exploit. It also left the Kurds, a U.S. partner, to fend off a Turkish assault.
Oct 21, 2019 Fox News
Core qualities of statesmanship and statecraft have been notably lacking in charting the U.S. administration's Syria end game. This has compounded the unavoidable costs of withdrawal with charges of betrayal and a retreat under fire.
Oct 18, 2019 The Hill
U.S. leverage is much diminished by the Assad regime's recent gains but there are still opportunities for Washington and Russia to achieve a settlement that preserves some U.S. interests. These include maintaining the gains made against the Islamic State and constraining Iranian influence in Syria.
Jul 10, 2018 Foreign Policy
U.S. forces will soon withdraw from Syria, and the U.S. State Department put a hold on further stabilization assistance to areas liberated from the Islamic State. The U.S. and its partners should offer stabilization and reconstruction help, particularly in regions where much of the damage was the result of American-supported military operations.
Apr 9, 2018 Al-Monitor
The U.S. and others have a major interest in ending the Syrian civil war, helping the millions of displaced Syrians, and preventing the re-emergence of the Islamic State. But they are naturally reluctant to assist rebuilding a country run by Assad and supported by Russia and Iran. What are their options?
Nov 3, 2017 The Washington Post
Disputes within the Gulf Cooperation Council are inevitable given differing threat perceptions and political interests, but there is no reason for the U.S. to pursue policies that aggravate the differences and risk fueling greater instability. Instead, Washington could assure both sides that it will support any agreement they reach.
Jun 7, 2017 The National Interest
Will the U.S. missile strike in Syria constrain the Assad regime from future chemical weapons use? Rather than pass judgment, analysts should establish the benchmarks by which they will assess this decision once the facts are in.
Apr 19, 2017 The National Interest
Defeating ISIL is only possible if political conditions change in the Middle East, North and West Africa, and South Asia, and in ways that are exceedingly unlikely. The coalition should focus on reducing ISIL's ability to conduct attacks and on removing the underlying conditions that feed Sunni grievances.
Feb 5, 2017 U.S. News & World Report
Looking back on the past year, five RAND experts respond to a series of critical questions about the Iran nuclear deal, its implementation, and potential challenges ahead.
Jul 12, 2016
The face of leadership in the Persian Gulf is getting younger. There are reasons not to assume that the Gulf's young leaders will gravitate to democratization. But their rise does provide an opportunity for a much-needed update to U.S. strategy in the region.
Feb 15, 2016 Foreign Affairs
To reach peace in Syria, the International Syria Support Group should concentrate on securing an immediate cease-fire and arranging for its enforcement, followed by further negotiations on the shape of a reconstituted Syrian state.
Dec 18, 2015 Washington Post
It is tempting to describe Egypt's parliamentary elections as history repeating itself. Yet today's Egypt is not Mubarak's Egypt. Rather, it is a state transitioning from single-party rule to a new system whose pecking order is still being hashed out.
Oct 29, 2015 Foreign Affairs
It is no surprise that the final Iran nuclear deal was met with opposition in Israel and Saudi Arabia. For all the talk about whether or not this is a good deal, negotiating with Iran was the original sin from their perspective.
Jul 20, 2015 The National Interest
Diplomats have reached a nuclear agreement with Iran. Now, the United States faces important policy decisions that will help shape the days ahead and the relationship that emerges between Iran and the other parties involved.
Jul 14, 2015
It is not true that domestic politics can be quarantined from foreign policy. In fact, Egypt's domestic and foreign policies are becoming more entangled by the day. And that bleed-over should raise concerns.
Apr 30, 2015 Foreign Affairs
As the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood reclaiming power recedes, it will become difficult for the new authorities in Egypt to hold together a coalition that is built solely on its members' shared antipathy for the Islamist group.
Feb 21, 2014 Foreign Affairs
On the one hand, U.S. negotiators must convince their Iranian counterparts that the United States is serious about offering genuine sanctions relief in return for Tehran making concessions on its nuclear ambitions. On the other hand, the negotiating team must also assuage the concerns of allies and members of Congress.
Nov 22, 2013 U.S. News & World Report
While Egypt really is in trouble, what is needed is not a U.S. signal in the form of an aid cut off or another European mediation effort, it is for Egyptian liberals to stand up and condition their participation in government on genuine national reconciliation.
Aug 1, 2013 U.S. News & World Report
Critics advocate for acknowledging that what occurred in Egypt is a coup and shutting off the more than $1.5 billion that Egypt receives annually from the US government. But this position fails to appreciate the limits of the leverage Washington derives from its aid to Cairo and the potential consequences of halting it.
Jul 11, 2013 Christian Science Monitor
The Egyptian military, still bruised from its last stint in power, is likely to proceed with caution this time around. If it does intervene, it will likely seek some acquiescence from the Islamists and will want to quickly form an inclusive caretaker government.
Jul 2, 2013 Foreign Affairs
Rebel, or Tamarud, is a petition drive aimed at ousting President Morsi by collecting more signatures calling for his resignation than the number of votes he received in the 2012 elections. On June 30, the organizers will take to the streets in a rally that is likely to touch off clashes with security forces and Morsi's supporters.
Jun 28, 2013 The RAND Blog and GlobalSecurity.org
In this video, RAND Middle East analyst Jeffrey Martini discusses what past electoral performance and the current political context say about the Islamists' strength in Egypt and what it means for the United States.
Apr 8, 2013
If there ever was a honeymoon in Egypt's post-Mubarak politics, it is long over. The two main ideological camps—Islamists and secular-liberals—have shown a willingness to cooperate only when brought together by a common foe, writes Jeffrey Martini.
Dec 13, 2012 The RAND Blog and GlobalSecurity.org
In this two-minute video blog, RAND's Laurel Miller and Jeffery Martini discuss the challenges ahead for democracy after the Arab Spring as the countries in the Arab world rebuild, work to find a balance between civilian and military authorities, and include Islamist voices in the democratic process.
Nov 13, 2012
The Muslim Brotherhood is falling into the same trap of overreach exhibited by the Egyptian military when the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) held the reins of authority during the first 16 months of the transition, writes Jeffrey Martini.
Oct 18, 2012 The RAND Blog and GlobalSecurity.org
Lifting the Egyptian ban on headscarves on TV newscasts can be seen as a positive development. It ends state discrimination against those who wish to show their faith outwardly.
Sep 6, 2012
The changes underway in the Arab world may lead to various possible destinations that differ both from their points of departure and from liberal democracy, write Laurel Miller and Jeffrey Martini.
Aug 17, 2012 Democracy Digest
Mohamed Morsi's victory is a huge step in Egypt's political development, but his authorities were recently curtailed by the military and it is unclear how much power he will actually wield, writes Jeffrey Martini.
Jun 25, 2012 The RAND Blog
The Muslim Brotherhood now faces a choice. It can seat Mursi and continue to legitimate a post-Mubarak transition that seems designed to advance the narrow interests of Egypt's officer corps. Or it can return to the streets with the aim of unseating the military council, writes Jeff Martini.
Jun 22, 2012 Foreign Affairs
Just as before the disqualifications, the fundamental decision voters face is about the scope and nature of the change Egypt will undergo in the coming years. And there are still candidates representing almost every position on that spectrum, writes Jeffrey Martini.
Apr 19, 2012 Foreign Affairs
The SCAF's attempts to curtail dissent and the democratic process have fueled doubts about its true intentions. Will the military fulfill its promise to support democracy? Or will it seek to replace Mubarak's rule with its own or that of a friendly autocrat? write Jeffrey Martini and Julie Taylor.
Aug 25, 2011 Foreign Affairs, Sept/Oct 2011