Persian Gulf

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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,
Bilal Y. Saab and Robert A. Manning

Following a plunge in the price of oil, Saudi Arabia was expected to cut back its production and help stabilize the market. But in a break with tradition, Riyadh has refused to play ball. That decision will have far-reaching consequences, some of which carry big risks for the Kingdom.

Snapshot,
Robert A. Pape, Keven Ruby, and Vincent Bauer

The ongoing U.S. air campaign against ISIS succeeded in blunting the group's drive toward Kurdish and Shia territory. But it has failed to prevent ISIS' consolidation of control over the Sunni areas in Iraq and Syria. Here's how the United States can accomplish both.

Snapshot,
Thijs Van de Graaf and Aviel Verbruggen

If oil demand peaks, the members of OPEC, whose economies hinge on export revenues from crude oil, are in trouble. But OPEC countries can pursue at least four different strategies to counteract the decline in demand—although none of them will be easy, and none guarantees success.

Snapshot,
Jim Krane

The Gulf monarchies have developed a growing taste for their chief export, one that could undermine both of their long-held roles: as global suppliers and as stable polities in an otherwise fractious Middle East.

Snapshot,

We poll experts on whether they think the United States should significantly step up its military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Video,
Justin Vogt and Anand Gopal

Anand Gopal, former Afghanistan correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, sits down with Justin Vogt, deputy managing editor of Foreign Affairs.

Snapshot,
Jacques E. C. Hymans

Many have warned that even if a Iran accepts a nuclear deal, it will continue to develop nuclear weapons in secret. In reality, however, Iran simply doesn't have the capability to build the bomb without getting caught.

Snapshot,
Khalil al-Anani

On November 10, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a militant movement that operates out of the northern Sinai Peninsula, pledged allegiance to ISIS. The new merger underscores just how unstable Egypt remains—and how the military government may be losing its grip.

Response, Jan/Feb 2015
Lawrence J. Korb; Rick Brennan

Korb argues that Iraqi politicians and American generals are to blame for the bungled withdrawal from Iraq. Brennan replies.

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