Arab Spring Ten Years On

This series examines the changes and challenges countries in the Middle East and North Africa are experiencing, one decade after the Arab Spring.


Wed, Sep 15, 2021

Renewed hostilities in Daraa offer lessons and opportunities in Syria. But will Washington pay attention?

Prolonged unrest in the south highlights rifts within the pro-Bashar al-Assad camp, notably between Iran and Damascus on one side and Russia on the other, potentially presenting a unique opportunity for diplomacy.

MENASource by Alexander Langlois

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Mon, Sep 13, 2021

Defusing Saudi Arabia-UAE tensions through economic rebalancing

By identifying the economic imbalances contributing to the breakdown, recalibration is possible to rebuild a more balanced relationship that circumvents the zero-sum game that has given rise to the Riyadh-Abu Dhabi dispute.

MENASource by Hani Findakly

Wed, Sep 8, 2021

It’s been twenty years since 9/11. The US Army still hasn’t learned to speak Arabic or Dari.

The August withdrawal ended close to twenty years of combat operations in Afghanistan, while the US aims to end seventeen years of combat mission in Iraq by the end of this year. After such lengthy conflicts, one might expect the US Army to be overrun with soldiers fluent in Arabic and Dari. Despite repeated deployments and enough time to educate current senior leaders in the ranks from grade school skills to bachelor’s degree-level, the overall rate of soldiers conversant in target languages remains abysmally low in combat arms, even among codified linguist positions.

MENASource by Jon Tishman

Afghanistan Iraq

Fri, Sep 3, 2021

Afghanistan demonstrates why it’s time for a clear Syria policy, starting with northeast Syria

If Afghanistan is to teach us anything, the Biden administration should not ignore Syria by having a non-existent policy. The longer the Syrian conflict continues, the more intractable and unmanageable it becomes.

MENASource by Reem Salahi

Middle East Syria

Thu, Sep 2, 2021

To honor two generations of service members, prevent the next GWOT ribbon

Today, executive and legislative actions signal a shift: America’s military footprint in the Middle East is shrinking and thousands of troops are coming home.

MENASource by Caroline Donnal

Afghanistan Iraq

Wed, Sep 1, 2021

On the way out like Afghanistan? The Biden administration’s Syria policy labyrinth

The United States’ narrow objectives and continuous wait-and-see approach are not sustainable and the likelihood is that America’s rivals in Syria would work towards a US departure.

MENASource by Abdulrahman al-Masri

Middle East Syria

Tue, Aug 31, 2021

Biden and Bennett turned the page on US-Israel ties. But not many were paying attention.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s first visit to the White House on August 27 occurred just as President Joe Biden was absorbing the horror of the Kabul airport suicide bombing, lending poignancy to their efforts at resetting relations between the United States and its closest Middle East ally.

MENASource by Jonathan H. Ferziger

Israel Middle East

Fri, Aug 27, 2021

Saudi Arabia is trying to make America jealous with its budding Russia ties

Moscow’s ongoing relationship with Tehran—which Russia will not give up for the sake of improved relations with the Kingdom—is likely to induce Riyadh to keep its improving ties with Moscow within bounds.

MENASource by Mark N. Katz

Europe & Eurasia Middle East

Wed, Aug 25, 2021

Lebanese politicians look for handouts instead of reforms

Lebanese politicians are allowing for Lebanon’s collapse while hoping for as much international aid as possible with as little strings attached.

MENASource by Paul Gadalla

Lebanon Middle East

Mon, Aug 23, 2021

My family was part of the US evacuation of Kurds in 1996. The US must do the same for Afghans.

The US has the means and know-how to save Afghan lives with air evacuations as they have done previously through Operation Pacific Haven in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and other campaigns, like Operation New Life in Vietnam during 1975 and Operation Open Arms in Kosovo during 1999.

MENASource by Hezha Barzani

Afghanistan Iraq