Nabeel Khoury

  • Yemen: The Battle for al-Hodeida Between War and Peace

    There are three possible outcomes to the ongoing battle for Hodeida. First, the Saudi-led coalition succeeds in ousting the Houthi fighters from airport, seaport, and city. Second, the Houthi forces succeed in thwarting the land assault, but remain surrounded from the south and the east. Third, both sides accept a UN sponsored compromise, placing airport and seaport under an international force to keep the flow of humanitarian assistance going and provide a lifeline to civilians across the country. In all three options, the war continues grinding agonizingly on, though obviously the compromise option would not only provide relief to the civilian population of Hodeida, but also serve as a possible stepping stone to a broader peace agreement in the war-torn country.

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  • Khoury Quoted in AFP on Moqtada al-Sadr


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  • Iraq: The Reinvention of Muqtada al-Sadr

    Muqtada al-Sadr—often dubbed a firebrand cleric—has come a long way from the days in 2003 when he was an outcast and a hunted man, to the victor in the 2018 Iraqi elections. Early results suggesting a surprising lead for Sadr are a personal vindication for him, certainly, but a challenge for Iraq’s political elite which for years was at a loss as to how exactly to deal with him, and a governance challenge for Iraq moving forward after the election to the next phase, the formation of a government.

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  • Lebanese Elections: This is Not a Political Earthquake

    In 1989, back in the day when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia mediated regional conflicts, the fifteen-year Lebanese civil war ended with the Taif Accord, a reference to the Saudi town where the accord was signed. That agreement changed the Christian/Muslim representation in parliament from a 6:5 ratio in favor of Christians to an equal split.  The powers of the presidency, always allotted to the Maronite Christians according to the 1943 Lebanese National Pact (NP), were watered down—the president, for example, was no longer the commander in-chief.  The leadership of the armed forces went instead to a supreme military council.

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  • Why It’s A Bad Idea To Abandon The White Helmets In Syria

    Barack Obama had an opinion in 2011 on who should win the contest between the Syrian opposition and Bashar al-Assad’s regime when he said Assad should “step aside.” He did not, however, wish to back up that opinion with troops on the ground or significant assistance to the opposition. As a result, Russia and Iran were emboldened and stepped in to shore up the Assad regime and protect their interests in Syria. Obama did, however, step up the fight—albeit largely with air power—against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and laid down a strategy for victory in Mosul and Raqqa.

    Enter Donald J. Trump, who has followed Obama’s strategy, only with no particular feeling or much interest in the matter.

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  • Khoury Quoted in The Daily Mail on Syrian Chemical Weapons Investigation


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  • Khoury in AXIOS: U.S.–NATO Action in Syria Needed to Contain Assad, Counter Russia


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  • Khoury Quoted in Newsweek on Saudi Arabia's Vegan Prince's New Project


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  • Khoury Quoted in Arab News on a Resolution on Yemen’s Civil War


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  • The War in Yemen: No End in Sight

    US President Donald J. Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman’s shared animosity toward Iran is apparently getting in the way of ending the war in Yemen that has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and put millions more on the brink of starvation.

    While Yemen was very much on the agenda when Trump met the crown prince at the White House in Washington on March 20, there was scarce mention following their meeting of any productive effort to end the war in that country.

    “I just don’t see between these two men in charge that they’re going to be able to do the right thing [in Yemen,] which is to put diplomacy first,” said Nabeel Khoury, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

    “Saudi Arabia and the United States, the two big powers that can actually make things happen in Yemen, are looking past Yemen,” he added.

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