The history of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula catalogues every dimension of frustration in combatting terrorism. But is it possible that the United States and its Gulf allies are finally getting the measure of AQAP?
The increased influence of Arab Gulf states in regional affairs such as the fighting in Syria and the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen has raised the stakes for relations between the six nations and poses significant consequences for stability.
A military alliance of Muslim-majority nations to fight terrorism poses no danger to U.S. interests. In fact, the Saudi-led initiative could be helpful in several ways beyond current levels of cooperation.
The face of leadership in the 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.
The U.S.-Iran nuclear accord has induced a sense of abandonment in Riyadh. The Saudis may fear that Washington might one day replace its alliance with Saudi Arabia with a new partnership with Iran; or perhaps more realistically, that it might come to depend less on Riyadh given improving ties with Iran.
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.
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.
Whatever overlapping interests they may have in dangerous groups like Lashkar-e Taiba, the Saudis and Pakistanis have much bigger reasons for seeking each other's friendship. These reasons may be largely transactional, but the transaction has been a mutually beneficial one for nearly 40 years.
Instability in Yemen does not benefit Iran, Saudi Arabia, or the United States. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is a major threat to all three countries. And neither side in the Yemeni conflict has the capability to impose central authority in Yemen by itself.
Nuclear negotiations should not be held hostage to all of the things Iran may be doing right or wrong. The conflicts in the Middle East are much more complex than “Iran on the march” theories would have us believe.
As ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reaches for control of the holy sites in and around Mecca and Medina and the wealth that comes with them, the U.S., NATO, and others should consider providing significant equipment and know-how to shore up the border defenses of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan.
The recent increase of sectarian terrorism is best understood as a product of the ancient Sunni-Shiite divide, the growth of modern-day extremist groups, the Iranian-Saudi rivalry, and the growing phenomenon of fractured states.
RAND researchers Alireza Nader, Dalia Dassa Kaye, and Jeffrey Martini discuss November's extension to nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. Moderated by Lynn Davis, director of RAND's Washington Office, these experts cover reactions from and implications for Iran, Israel, and the wider region
While it is not surprising that the alleged letter from President Obama to Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei has upset domestic critics of the nuclear negotiations, the alleged correspondence has also unsettled Israel and Saudi Arabia, which fear a “bad” deal with Iran and even secret collusion between Washington and Tehran. But such concerns seem unfounded.
In this June 2014 Congressional Briefing, a panel of Middle East experts discuss concerns about Iran of two key U.S. partners; the internal dynamics and motivations of the Iranian government; and U.S. policy options to craft a sustainable nuclear agreement with Iran.
What might the Middle East and U.S. policy look like in the days after a deal with Iran? Experts posit that a final nuclear agreement is reached with Iran and then examine the potential responses of two U.S. partners in the region: Israel and Saudi Arabia.
President Barack Obama’s upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Abdullah offers an opportunity to engage in a much needed dialogue about the future of the conflict in Syria and to hear what a strong ally and friend has to say about stability in the region.
The Geneva agreement is only a first step toward a comprehensive deal but it is an important achievement. Iran's ability to move toward a nuclear weapons breakout capability has been halted in return for limited sanctions relief.