Saudi Arabia’s efforts at reforming its armed forces may be more about politics and PR than substantive change.
Its economic future in question, Tehran is looking to maintain and increase its influence in Iraq by investing in schemes and projects linked with loyal paramilitary forces.
Gulf states are increasingly turning to conscription to heighten nationalist identities and instill a spirit of sacrifice.
The Saudi state manipulates religious discourse to legitimize its power and undermine independent voices that may pressure the state for political reform.
Recent tensions with the Philippines regarding mistreatment of domestic workers highlight Kuwait’s dependence on foreign labor for lower-paying jobs.
Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption campaign shows how the public prosecution is used to provide a veil of legality for pursuing targets.
While countries in the Maghreb and the Gulf are increasing their security cooperation, they lack a long-term strategic understanding.
Four experts examine the causes of Iran’s protests and what implications they may have for Iran’s regional ambitions, domestic political rivalries, and future for human rights.
Since the death of Ali Abdullah Saleh, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are again trying to find a powerful figure in Yemen around whom they can both unite.
As Riyadh’s rivalry with Tehran in the Levant turns to Lebanon, its increasing pressure on Hezbollah threatens to severely destabilize the country.
Saudi Arabia’s recent waves of arrests reveal the political system’s increased use of security measures to control the public while promising limited reforms to stave off instability.
The UAE’s desire to counter Iran and maximize influence over Saudi domestic affairs is keeping it involved in Yemen, where its interests are not always in line with Saudi Arabia’s.
Efforts by Kuwait’s parliamentary opposition to expand rights for the bidoon community stem primarily from a desire to drum up political support from tribes.
Escalating tensions surrounding the Kurdish independence referendum are encouraging Iran to accelerate efforts to diversify trade to Iraq.
Recent succession and foreign policy moves in Saudi Arabia may get in the way of the kingdom’s planned economic reforms.
The rapid escalation of tensions over the past few weeks carries significant implications for unity, security, and balance of power in the Gulf.
Iran’s weak economic recovery eroded Rouhani’s voter base, but municipal victories for his reformist and centrist allies may help his agenda and boost chances for future electoral victories.
Free zones are a major contributor to the Dubai economy, but they could undermine the Emirate’s judicial and constitutional system.
The UAE’s focus on its defense industry indicates its aims to become a more credible military actor by enhancing use of equipment and exporting arms globally.
Though Qatar has been reforming its laws on migrant labor, little is being done to address the system’s underlying deficiencies.