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Snapshot,
Michael Bröning

Expectations for the Arab League (which had never been high) are at an all-time low in the wake of last week's summit. If the organization wants to remain relevant, it should take a page from the African Union, which revised its charter after the Rwandan genocide and transformed itself from “the dictators’ club” -- as many called its predecessor, the OAU -- into a key player in contemporary African politics.

Snapshot,
William McCants

Although Saudi Arabia’s dislike of Brotherhood political activities abroad is well known, for decades the kingdom has tolerated the local Saudi branch of the Brotherhood. Its sudden reversal is an expression of solidarity with its politically vulnerable allies in the region and a warning to Sunni Islamists to tread carefully.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain have withdrawn their ambassadors from Qatar, claiming that Doha was violating a clause in the Gulf Cooperation Council charter not to interfere in the domestic affairs of fellow members. The decision, unprecedented in the council's history, hints at significant changes to come for the GCC and the balance of power in the Gulf.

Snapshot,
David Roberts

What explains Qatar's foreign policy adventurism? For one, the U.S. security guarantee gives it room to play in the region. In addition, some policies -- particularly those that facilitate discussions between the United States and its enemies (Hamas, the Taliban) -- are aimed at making Qatar uniquely important to Washington.

Snapshot,
David Roberts

Although Qatar has been an active player in the Middle East for some time, its intervention in Libya represented a dramatic break with its behind-the-scenes diplomacy of the past. Qatar hopes to turn its aid to the Libyan rebels into a role as an invaluable go-between for Western countries looking to engage post-Qaddafi Libya.

Essay, Sep/Oct 2010
Robert Malley and Peter Harling

With protests raging across the Middle East, how should Washington respond? In an essay from the September/October issue, Robert Malley and Peter Harling argue that the Obama administration must recognize that there is not a clean divide between a moderate pro-American camp and an extremist militant axis.

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