MENA Region

Dissolving the Leviathan in Lebanon

cc Mahdi Shojaeian, modified,

The mismanagement of Lebanon is almost criminally negligent. But perhaps that’s the point.

Qatar Emerges as Power Broker in New Afghanistan

US representative Zalmay Khalilzad (left) and Taliban representative Abdul Ghani Baradar (right) sign the agreement in Doha, Qatar on February 29, 2020. [State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain], cc US State Department, modified,

Doha has spent years building political capital with the Taliban. Now it will have an opportunity to spend it.

Middle East Gamechanger? Gauging the China-Iran Deal

cc Official website of Ali Khamenei, Supreme leader of Iran, modified,

Though short on details, the recent China-Iran deal could one day be looked back on as a seminal moment in the geopolitics of the Middle East.

Great Power Competition Comes to the Middle East: Iraq and the China-Iran Agreement

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and State Councilor of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi Signing the Iran–China 25-year Cooperation Program in Tehran, cc Tansim News, Erfan Kouchari, modified,

The recent China-Iran agreement presents Baghdad with a profound geopolitical choice: the United States or China?

Is the US Repeating Old Mistakes in Libya?

cc U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released -, VIRIN 090202-N-0506A-324, modified,{}#/media/File:Muammar_al-Gaddafi,_12th_AU_Summit,_090202-N-0506A-324.jpg

The United States is once again stepping foot into Libyan affairs after years of disregard for the oil-rich country. Will Washington manage to overcome old mistakes and help end Libya’s endless civil war?

Turning Inward: GCC Sovereign Wealth Funds Reinvent Themselves in the COVID Era

Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud participates in the Counter-ISIL Ministerial Joint Ministerial Plenary Session, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on July 21, 2016. [State Department Photo/Public Domain],

But the path to a post-oil future won’t be easy.

COVID-19 Brewing a Perfect Storm of Political Crisis in Lebanon

cc Flickr, modified, tongeron91

How far can Lebanon’s institutions be stretched before they simply collapse? This year could have an answer.

Biden Shows Saudis the Exit in Yemen Civil War

cc Flickr Felton Davis, modified, May 7th - Yemenis walk past rubble after deadly airstrikes in and near the presidential compound, in Sanaa,

But amid the total humanitarian and strategic disaster of Riyadh’s war policy, it will still be hard to walk through it.

The EU’s New ‘Eastern Question’: Refugees, Gas, and Neo-Ottoman Imperialism

Visit of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Azerbaijan, 2020, wikicommons modified,

The ‘Eastern Question’ has re-emerged to haunt EU policymakers, and a proper answer requires a true understanding of region’s historical specificities.

The Wagner Group: Origins and Early Deployments

cc,, modified,

First in a two-part series, this backgrounder traces the origins and earliest deployments of Russia’s infamous mercenary outfit: the Wagner Group.

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