Middle East

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Snapshot,
Michael Singh

Washington should be wary of pinning its hopes on Rouhani’s camp, much less on influencing the regime’s internal struggle.

Snapshot,
David C. Litt

Syria's civil war will end not with surrender but with a negotiated political solution, since no single actor or group of actors has the firepower to overwhelm its opponents. It's time, then, to start mapping out a peace deal.

Snapshot,
Tom Keatinge

The main reason ransom demands have increased so dramatically might be government involvement. On their own, insurers and negotiators want to minimize payouts; banks question multi-million cash withdrawals, and delivery to desolate locations is complex, time consuming, and expensive. Once a government gets involved, however, these barriers are removed.

Snapshot,
Tareq Baconi

Israel's new-found gas deposits are being touted as a lifeline for peace in the Middle East. But two recent energy deals in the region are likely to cause more conflict.

Interview,

The civil war in Syria will soon enter its fifth year, with no end in sight. On January 20, Foreign Affairs managing editor Jonathan Tepperman met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus to discuss the conflict in this exclusive interview.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

Leadership matters, especially in the Middle East, where institutions are weak and often nonexistent. But charisma and talent, on their own, won’t be enough to dig Saudi Arabia out of the profound generational problems that go beyond Abdullah, his successor Salman, or any leader who will preside over the Kingdom.

Snapshot,
Benedetta Berti

The reported January 18 Israeli airstrike against a Hezbollah–Iranian car convoy in southern Syria is the latest and boldest in a series of tit-for-tat operations that, since last February, have gradually eroded the old order and inched Israel and Hezbollah ever closer to a war that neither wants.

Snapshot,
Daniel Byman and Bilal Y. Saab

If the three-decade history of confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah is any guide, the latter will likely retaliate for this week's raid. But that is not inevitable. The Syrian conflict has transformed Hezbollah, arguably turning it into a more cautious foe of the Jewish state.

Snapshot,
Muhamed H. Almaliky

The new prime minister has inherited a country on the brink of collapse. Here's how he has done in his first months in power.

Snapshot,
Jonathan Laurence

Although the absolutism of French republican ideals has inspired democracies worldwide for centuries, it has only been France's gradual adjustment of those ideals to social and demographic realities—first to its Jewish population and in the future, perhaps, to the Muslim community or to the right—that afforded the country lasting political stability.

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