There is No Society: Islamic Action and Activism under the Thumb of the Saudi State

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as "sidewall skiing" (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia. Photo Credit: Reuters Graveyard of Clerics: Everyday Activism in Saudi Arabia (2020)by Pascal MenoretStanford University Press, 250 pp., $24.00 Saudi Arabia is a country of extremes: extreme heat, extreme wealth, and as Pascal … Continue reading There is No Society: Islamic Action and Activism under the Thumb of the Saudi State

Why Israel-Sudan Normalization is Unlikely to Last

Sudan has become just the third Arab country to normalize ties with Israel since 1994. Will normalization last? Photo Credit: Anthony Beck/Pexels Just over a month after it was announced, the normalization deal between Israel and Sudan has come under fire.  Sudan’s representatives said they would exit the accords if the U.S. cannot guarantee Sudan’s … Continue reading Why Israel-Sudan Normalization is Unlikely to Last

Arms for Oil: How North Korea and Iran Facilitate Each Other’s Security Strategies

North Korea launches a short-range missile, July 26, 2019. Photo Credit: BBC  The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) have established a relationship that serves both of their security strategies. Their cooperation is a functional means to withstand their mutual economic isolation as well as a threatening move against their … Continue reading Arms for Oil: How North Korea and Iran Facilitate Each Other’s Security Strategies

The Abraham Accords: A Peace Deal in Name Only

Photo Credit: Bing.com President Trump’s acclaimed ‘peace deal’ in the Middle East may be historic, but only time will tell if it will bring any semblance of peace to the region. On Tuesday, September 15, President Trump sat with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayani, and Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin … Continue reading The Abraham Accords: A Peace Deal in Name Only

This Time is Different: Can Iraq Rein in the PMF?

Parade of Kata'ib Hizballah fighters. Photo Credit: Geopolitics News As the U.S. threatens to close its embassy in Baghdad, questions loom over the long-term status of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). The PMF possess enough influence and firepower to prevent meaningful action by the Iraqi state to undermine them. Their independence from the official security … Continue reading This Time is Different: Can Iraq Rein in the PMF?

Reclaiming Security: The Time Has Come for a Progressive Israeli Security Agenda

Demonstration against Israeli Government in Jerusalem, July 25 2020. Photo Credit: Gershon Diner, Mehazkim NGO public domain stockpile. Introduction The past year has been one of an almost unprecedented turmoil for Israeli politics. The small state had gone through three consecutive elections prior to the emergence of the coronavirus crisis. The latter eventually led to the … Continue reading Reclaiming Security: The Time Has Come for a Progressive Israeli Security Agenda

The Future Direction of Hezbollah

Hezbollah military parade in Nabatiyeh, Lebanon, late 2014. Photo Credit: Al Jazeera/Getty. In the past year, Hezbollah has come to face a paradigm shift in the Middle East. As economic turmoil raises domestic tensions and regional instability continues to threaten Lebanon, the group must continue to meet its fundamental policy needs. Key determinants of Hezbollah’s … Continue reading The Future Direction of Hezbollah

The Russo-Turkish Alliance: With Friends Like These…

Putin and Erdogan inspect Turkish troops in Ankara. Photo Credit: The Kremlin. In the Erdogan-Putin era of great power chauvinism, geopolitical ambitions run rampant. The ambiguous Russo-Turkish alliance, however, sits on shaky ground. Moscow and Ankara were rivals for years in the Syrian conflict, openly providing support to opposing sides. But the countries are now … Continue reading The Russo-Turkish Alliance: With Friends Like These…

Instability in Gaza: Assessing Hamas’s Grip on Power

A Hamas election rally. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons. In late August, the Gaza Strip was rocked by a pair of suicide bombings that killed three police officers and injured multiple civilians.[i] Overt challenges to Hamas’s supremacy are rare, but they are not without precedent. Hamas was the victim of targeted explosions in 2015 and 2017, … Continue reading Instability in Gaza: Assessing Hamas’s Grip on Power

US-Houthi Collaboration Can Defeat AQAP and ISIS in Yemen

Houthis protest against Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in September 2015. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Henry Ridgwell. In September 2019, the United States held direct negotiations with Houthi rebels for the first time in four years. The United States should continue to negotiate with the Houthis to influence them toward combating two mutual enemies: AQAP and ISIS … Continue reading US-Houthi Collaboration Can Defeat AQAP and ISIS in Yemen