Russian plane downing and the Syria DMZ deal

Charles Lister responds to two developing stories out of Syria in this MEI Flash briefing.

Specter of jihadism continues to haunt Maghreb

The factors that have made it possible for jihadi groups to thrive in the first place—economic inequality, lack of professional opportunities, social alienation, political marginalization, oppression, and indiscriminate violence—persist today in all Maghreb countries and are likely to continue. Put together, the region’s security could become even more precarious, and the fight against jihadism might be a long one.

Khashoggi disappearance sends shock waves

In this week's briefing, MEI experts discuss the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khasshogi from the Saudi consulate in Turkey, the arrests of an opposition leader and prominent journalist in Pakistan, and Iran’s decision to join the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Saudi nuclear program at a crossroads

Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program is at a crossroads in which its leaders need to decide what model to follow. Short of adopting the UAE model of forgoing enrichment and reprocessing, the country should commit to not pursue these technologies as long as its program does not justify it economically and technically.

Video: The Challenge of Landmines and IEDs

Watch this short history of how the Middle East became littered with landmines and unexploded ordnance, what countries have tried to do to protect civilians from them, and why the problem is suddenly getting much worse.

Saudi foreign policy and domestic constraints

For all his impulsiveness, the Saudi Crown Prince’s domestic priorities place serious constraints on his foreign policy.

Out of the desert: ISIS's strategy for a long war

The collapse of ISIS's caliphate has been a triumph for the anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq and Syria, the group has since rolled out a strategy to assure its future resurgence. In this policy paper, Hassan Hassan argues that insurgent groups like ISIS will continue to operate along the Syria-Iraq border, and that if left unchecked, the group is likely to re-emerge.

Lebanon’s wind power story

Wind power development is one solution that, if expedited, can help Lebanon achieve its target under the Paris agreement and help it play its role in the global fight against climate change.

Shifts in the Middle East Balance of Power

While the Cold War ended almost three-decades ago, this event spawned a shift in the balance of power that the Middle East has yet to recover from. MEI's Ross Harrison lays out how this has produced the current regional structure that is the source of most of the problems the region contends with today.

The new economics of Qatar-Turkey relations

Qatar has found in Turkey a reliable trade and investment partner to help mitigate the most painful elements of the economic blockade. Qatari capital can help reinforce the loyalty of an influential regional ally today, but Doha must exercise caution in its longer-term management of relations with Washington and Ankara.