Middle East

In the spotlight

Tunisia’s Security Challenge

As Tunisia prepares to enter a new phase in its process of democratization, two key challenges face the country’s government: the economy and security.

The Future of Big Business in the New Egypt

Despite challenges and changes in relations between the Egyptian state and the private sector, big business will remain a powerful economic force.

With Talks Extended, Risks in Additional U.S. Sanctions Against Iran

The intent of U.S. policy should be to deter Iran’s nuclear advancement, not provoke it.

Are There Lessons to be Learnt From Algeria’s Past?

The tactics of decay and infiltration, used by the Algerian authorities when confronted with the Armed Islamic Group in the 1990s, could prove useful in countering the Islamic State’s threat in Syria and Iraq.

The Risk of Premature Sanctions

Congressional sanctions should be conceived in order to deter Iran’s nuclear ambitions, not provoke them.

What Will Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State Do Next in Syria?

Jabhat al-Nusra is clearly positioning itself in anticipation of developments on the ground. How does that reflect what it believes—or knows—the Islamic State is preparing to do?

Yemen's Houthis Proxy, Not Ally for Iran

Despite all the similarities that emerge at first glance, there are deep structural, political, and social differences between Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis (Ansar Allah) in Yemen.

The Ultimate Fatal Attraction: 5 Reasons People Join ISIS

Five distinct trends—not including theology or technology—explain the fatal attraction to the Islamic State. Understanding these trends is vital for winning the war against extremist ideologies.

Iraq’s Existential Crisis: Sectarianism Is Just Part of the Problem

The conflict has renewed interest in splitting Iraq along religious and ethnic lines, but steps are needed for the country’s long-term recovery.

U.S.-Arab Counterterrorism Cooperation

Many Arab governments are fueling the very extremism they purport to fight and looking for U.S. cover. Washington should play the long game.

Egypt’s Sisi and the Insurgency

The question is whether the scorched earth methods practised by Sisi and his government are helping to build legitimacy among the Egyptian population, or if they will fuel radicalisation and alienate large swaths of the public.

Can Oil and Gas Markets Adjust to a Rising Persia?

A nuclear deal with Iran could help revive the country’s energy sector, with serious effects on consumers and producers, especially in the Middle East.

Tunisia Treads Cautiously Over Energy Reform in Postrevolution Recovery

Tunisia ignited the Arab Spring nearly four years ago and has developed into a well-functioning society. But it remains in the grip of political instability and its economic recovery is frail.

Is Libya a Proxy War?

In many respects, the war of narratives underway in Libya is a mirror of the polarization that is underway in the Gulf itself and in the broader Arab world.

Egypt’s Repression of Civic Activists is a Serious Mistake

Washington’s policy toward Egypt suffers from a persistent underestimation of the negative impact undemocratic Egyptian politics have on U.S. interests in the country.

  • Event
    What Fuels Global Jihadism?
    Karim Sadjadpour, Maajid Nawaz December 16, 2014 Washington, DC

    The recent Senate report about the CIA’s use of torture against suspected terrorists renews important questions about the most effective and ethical means to counter the threat of global jihadism.

  • Event
    The Crisis in Jerusalem
    Michele Dunne, Shlomo Brom, Khalil Toufakji December 8, 2014 Washington, DC

    Violent attacks and counter attacks in Jerusalem have escalated as access to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount has changed, raising the profile of the religious aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict alongside its nationalist and territorial dimensions.

  • Event
    From Hizbullah to the Islamic State
    Lina Khatib, Frederic Wehrey, Joseph Bahout November 3, 2014 Washington, DC

    From humble beginnings in the 1980s, Hizbullah’s political clout and public perception have trended upward, thanks to a communications strategy that has adapted to changes in the local and regional environment.

  • Event
    The Islamic State and the Middle East’s Shifting Geopolitical Landscape
    October 29, 2014 Washington, DC

    This all-day conference examined the local and regional roots of the growing violence, fragmentation, and instability gripping the Middle East today.

  • Event
    Disrupting ISIL’s Money Trail
    Marwan Muasher, David S. Cohen October 23, 2014 Washington, DC

    With a broad international effort underway to degrade and defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), David S. Cohen outlined the United States’ strategy to undermine the organization’s financial foundation.

  • Event
    Libya’s Civil War
    Frederic Wehrey, Michele Dunne, Wolfram Lacher, Dirk Vandewalle, Faraj Najem September 24, 2014 Washington, DC

    Nearly three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is in the throes of a bitter civil war. Its political and security institutions are split along complex fault lines that defy easy categorization.

  • Event
    Middle East in Turmoil: Can It Recover?
    Karim Sadjadpour, Thomas L. Friedman, David Ignatius September 12, 2014 Washington, DC

    Today’s Middle East is grappling with failed states, civil wars, brazen autocracies, and terror groups such as ISIS. Is this the region’s new normal, and is there a viable U.S. strategy to reverse these trends?

  • Event
    Unlikely Allies: U.S.-Iranian-Saudi Cooperation in the Persian Gulf
    Frederic Wehrey, Karim Sadjadpour, Roham Alvandi September 10, 2014 Washington, DC

    The threat of radical non-state actors, such as the Islamic State, has created an apparent convergence of interests between Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.

  • Event
    The Future of Iraq
    Marwan Muasher, Lukman Faily July 1, 2014 Washington, DC

    The recent capture of Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul by the jihadi extremist group ISIS has plunged the country into chaos.

  • Event
    A Discussion With Evan Osnos and Thomas L. Friedman
    Evan Osnos, Thomas L. Friedman June 9, 2014 Washington, DC

    While many in the West continue to view China as a pillar of authoritarianism, its internal social and political dynamics are shifting rapidly.


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About the Program

The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.

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