The Washington Institute (23)

The Muslim Brotherhood's Fatal Mistake

On August 14, 2013, in what came to be known as the Rabaa massacre, Egyptian security forces stormed Muslim Brotherhood-led sit-ins at public squares in Cairo and Giza, killing hundreds of people protesting the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, the Brotherhood's leader and Egypt's first elected president. ...

On Libya Policy, Trump Defers to Europe

As Ghassan Salamé, the fifth Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya, seeks to stimulate the Libyan peace process, several new international dynamics will affect his efforts. In late July, for example, French president Emmanuel Macron, who aspires to play a leading diplomatic role ...

Murmurs of a Second Cultural Revolution

On August 2, President Donald J. Trump signed a bill targeting the missile- and terrorist-related activities of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps , as well as its domestic misdeeds, including torture, human rights violations, and restriction of free speech. The IRGC, aside from being a ...

Qatar's Domestic Stability and the Gulf Crisis

This past May, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates led an unprecedented diplomatic, commercial, and air-space blockade against their neighbor Qatar. Following what appeared to be amicable relations days before, these actions were supposed to deliver the shock and awe that would force immediate ...

The Race for Deir al-Zour Province

CLICK ON ANY MAP TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD A HIGH-RESOLUTION VERSION. After the eventual fall of Raqqa -- the capital of the Islamic State -- all eyes will scan southeast toward Deir al-Zour province, where a competition looms between U.S.-backed rebels and Syrian-regime forces, with the Kurds likely ...

Predicting the Shape of Iraq's Next Sunni Insurgencies

New insurgent attacks by the Islamic State were springing up in Mosul before the ashes were even cold from the climax of the liberation battle in June 2017. With the Islamic State holding just one square mile of western Mosul, the group marked the start of the Eid religious festival by launching a ...

A Beauty Queen Helps Israel's Egyptian Community Find Its Voice

Winning the Arab Miss Israel contest in 2009 was a double-edged sword for Naglaa Suleiman. The daughter of an Egyptian father and Arab-Israeli mother, Suleiman moved to Israel with her family at age five and grew up in Nazareth. The notoriety she gained as Miss Arab Israel at age 16 caught the ...

Rouhani's Road Already Taken

On August 14, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, appointed Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi as the new head of the regime's Expediency Council. He also named five new members, including Muhammad Baqer Qalibaf, the mayor of Tehran and a main rival of Hassan Rouhani in the recent presidential ...

President Trump's Syria Conundrum

The Trump Administration has been consistent on one thing: its priority in Syria is ISIS. Even though it retaliated for Assad's use of chemical weapons, its focus has been ISIS -- not Assad, and not Iran -- in Syria. Going back to the presidential campaign, Trump was certainly consistent in saying ...

Iran's National Army Reorganizes

Despite shows of public consensus, Iran's postrevolutionary decades have been rife with internal competition, including in the military ranks. In particular, clashes of interest have occasionally flared between the Islamic Republic of Iran ground force -- the land arm of Iran's national armed ...

The Shortest Route to Mideast Peace Is Through Saudi Arabia

The recent flare-up at the Temple Mount, also known Haram Al Sharif, in Jerusalem reminds American foreign policy makers of the sensitivity of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Israel increased security on the Haram Al Sharif last month after a shooting at the holy site left two Israeli policemen dead, ...

Focus on Clear Goals to Contain Iran in Iraq and Syria

With the liberation of Mosul from ISIS and the impending conquest of the "Caliphate" capital, Raqqa, the U.S. is at a decision point in the Middle East. But it does not yet have a coherent strategy, as has been pointed out by Emile Simpson in a savvy piece in Foreign Policy, "This Is How Great Wars ...

Not Money Alone: The Challenges of Syrian Reconstruction

CLICK ON GRAPHICS TO VIEW/DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES VERSIONS The war in Syria has not ended, but all interested actors must begin mulling the country's reconstruction now if such an effort is to have any chance of success. This is the case despite uncertainties about the status of de-escalation zones, areas ...

Turkey Has Lost Its Biggest Cheerleader: The U.S. Military

Turkey's relations with the EU and place within NATO have come under increased scrutiny over the past year, especially during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's campaign to win a constitutional referendum this April, which many saw as a power grab. Now, a row over the access of German ...

Turkey Has Lost Its Biggest Cheerleader: The U.S. Military

The following exclusive Q&A with Washington Institute fellow Soner Cagaptay was originally published as part of an article in the Cipher Brief. Cipher Brief: What is the status of Turkey-EU relations now, and especially Turkish relations with Germany, as the crisis over German political access to ...

When Governance Is a Must, Not a Luxury

Whether a gamble or a calculated move, the Kurds will head to the polls on September 25 to choose between independence and staying in Iraq. That a vote for statehood will win is a certainty. The Kurds see the stars aligned for the next push toward independence -- the Kurdistan Regional Government ...

Will Iran Retaliate Against U.S. Sanctions?

Yesterday President Donald Trump signed into law the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which includes actions against Iran's ballistic missile program and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards and its affiliated entities. Coming at a time of political ferment in Iran, the new U.S. ...

U.S. Security Assistance to Lebanon at Risk

Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Shia militia, is winding down its offensive against Sunni Islamist militants in Arsal, a Lebanese town near the Syrian border. In recent weeks, Hezbollah backed by Syrian airpower, pressed into the outskirts of Arsal from the Syrian side to drive out Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, ...

The Institute of Peace Is Successful Against ISIS -- The U.S. Must Fund It

Many Americans have never heard of an organization called the U.S. Institute of Peace, nor of a federal budget proposal to eliminate it. But as a U.S. diplomat I have seen -- in Iraq, for example -- that our country increasingly needs this specialized institute. Its work to reduce violence abroad ...

NATO's Role in Fighting Post-Caliphate ISIS Looms Large

With the Islamic State defeated in Mosul and on the ropes in Raqqa, NATO is trying to assess what its role could or should be in the post-caliphate phase of the counterterrorism fight to come. The alliance has an important role to play, but it should stick close to its traditional mission and ...

The Smart Way to End 'Pay to Slay'

Congress is finally considering legislation to stop the Palestinian Authority from incentivizing violence. The PA has long provided families of Palestinians who carried out attacks against Israelis with financial rewards tied to the amount of time they serve in Israeli jail, as well as to those ...

Tillerson Can End the Qatar Standoff

Defeating Islamic State is the Trump administration’s most important national-security priority. But removing ISIS from Mosul and Raqqa may end up meaning little absent the ability to secure, reconstruct and govern these and other cities... Read the full article on the Wall Street Journal ...

Iran's Space Program Emerges from Dormancy

According to a news report citing a U.S. Strategic Command initial assessment, Iran's attempt to place its first operational satellite into orbit on July 27 using a Simorgh space launch vehicle experienced catastrophic failure shortly after liftoff. The case marks the first Iranian acknowledgment of ...