Middle East Programs

Working with our allies and partners in Europe and the wider Middle East to protect US interests, build peace and security, and unlock the human potential of the region.


Counterterrorism Study Group

The Counterterrorism Study Group is a forum for former counterterrorism officials to review the latest threats, to understand emerging trends and future predictions, and to explore creative new proposals for improving the effectiveness of current policies and operations.


Podcast series

Listen to the latest episode of the China-MENA podcast, featuring conversations with academics, government leaders, and the policy community on China’s role in the Middle East.


Gulf Security Task Force

The Gulf Security Task Force is revisiting the question of how to best protect US interests in this sensitive, always relevant region. Our goal is to provide US decision-makers with an updated, fact-based strategy for protecting US interests in the air and maritime domain from the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea, and ensuring Gulf partners’ ability to assume this responsibility, with the assistance and leadership of the United States.

Content

MENASource

Dec 2, 2022

Saudi Arabia lost at the 2022 World Cup. But its sports sector is winning.

By Lujain Alotaibi

The sports sector is one of the vital pillars of Saudi Vision 2030 and the Ministry of Sport’s dedication is tangible in Saudi Arabia, where one can witness the enhanced facilities and increased citizen participation in sports.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

China-MENA Podcast

Nov 22, 2022

China-Israel Relations

By Atlantic Council

Assaf Orion joins us to discuss the complex Sino-Israeli relationship, Israel’s perspective on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese-operated port of Haifa in Northern Israel, China’s meddling in Israeli domestic affairs and its role in the Israel-Palestine question, and Israel’s perspective on China's grand strategy on MENA.

China East Asia

Report

Nov 18, 2022

Reviving diplomacy: A new strategy for the Yemen conflict?

By Gerald M. Feierstein

The fundamental challenge in achieving a sustainable resolution of the current conflict in Yemen is that the issues at stake are fundamental to Yemen’s identity and history.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

MENASource

Nov 16, 2022

The UAE just received twenty drones from Turkey. What’s the backstory?

By Ali Bakir

On September 21, Turkey reportedly delivered twenty of its Bayraktars to the UAE. A senior Turkish official confirmed that his country had delivered some drones and that Abu Dhabi was indeed seeking more.

Europe & Eurasia Middle East

MENASource

Nov 10, 2022

How OPEC+ oil cuts accelerate China’s push for multipolarity in the Middle East

By Ahmed Aboudouh

The OPEC+ decision to cut oil production creates momentum and encourages China to accelerate the exploitation of the multipolar moment rising in the Middle East.

China East Asia

New Atlanticist

Nov 10, 2022

Punish Riyadh or play it cool? How the United States can renegotiate its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

By Kirsten Fontenrose

A deep-dive look at the US-Saudi relationship reveals some surprising points for cooperation—and that the Saudi-Russia oil tie-up may be less than it seems.

Economy & Business Energy & Environment

In the News

Nov 4, 2022

CBDC Tracker cited by Reuters on the UAE’s CBDC pilot program

Read the full article here.

Digital Currencies Digital Policy

MENASource

Oct 27, 2022

It’s time to salvage US-Saudi relations. And no, it’s not just because of oil.

By Hani Findakly

The US-Saudi alliance is ninety years old and, while nations act in their perceived interests, a breach of this alliance has potential negative consequences for both sides and the region.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

MENASource

Oct 27, 2022

The UAE is making a precarious shift in its Libya policy. Here’s why.

By Emadeddin Badi

As an influential actor in the Libyan landscape for over a decade, it comes as no surprise that changes in Emirati policy have had a direct impact.

Libya Middle East

Event Recap

Oct 27, 2022

UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam Al Mheiri: Middle East at the heart of new climate reality

By Madeline Hart

An Atlantic Council conference on climate change and security in the Middle East brought together high-level officials from across the region to explore innovative solutions.

Climate Change & Climate Action Energy & Environment

Experts

Events