Saudi Arabia: Big Step Forward, Another Back

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by Thomas W. Lippman So, with its decision to let women drive, is Saudi Arabia finally modernizing its oppressive rules of social behavior and relaxing its tight restrictions on political and social life? Yes and no. Economic necessity and the… Continue Reading  

Kissinger’s Dangerously Flawed Views on Iran

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by Eldar Mamedov There are few people in the universe of US foreign policy with the standing and prestige of Henry Kissinger. He is still actively giving his opinions and recommendations on critical diplomatic issues. All the more concerning, then,… Continue Reading  

Muqtada al-Sadr’s Saudi Visit and Iraq’s Shifting Shia Politics

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by Shireen Hunter   Last week, the Iraqi Shia cleric and the leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada al-Sadr paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia and met with Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, the power behind the throne. In… Continue Reading  

Assad vs Regime of Warring Jihadis

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by Graham E. Fuller How should we understand U.S. President Donald Trump’s cruise missile barrage last week against a Syrian airbase? In one sense, it might be a tactical triumph for his administration: cruise missile attacks are popular with the… Continue Reading  

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard: How Revolutionary?

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by Henry Johnson Ayatollah Khomeini once declared that if it weren’t for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), there would be no revolutionary Iran. In many ways, he was right. From its humble roots among disorganized militias fighting the Shah,… Continue Reading