Unhappy Iraq, Buffeted from Within and Without

Haidar al-Abadi (Shutterstock)

by Paul R. Pillar Syria is getting most of the attention these days as a Middle Eastern cockpit of competition among outside powers, with one of the latest moves being the Trump administration’s indefinite extension of the U.S. military presence… Continue Reading  

Bahraini Narratives About the United States

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command via Flickr

by Giorgio Cafiero The eruption of Bahrain’s political crisis seven-and-a-half years ago marked a watershed in Manama-Washington relations. It also transformed how both Bahrain’s regime and its Shia-dominated opposition viewed the United States. For decades, Bahrain’s leadership has seen the… Continue Reading  

Are Iran and Iraq Headed toward Another Conflict?

Protesters in Basra

by Shireen T. Hunter    The latest protests in Iraq have taken a distinctly anti-Iran character, as shown by the attack on Iran’s consulate in Basra. According to reports in Iranian and some Iraqi news outlets, the Iraqi security authorities… Continue Reading  

Costs of the Clenched Fist

trump-fist

by Paul R. Pillar In his first inaugural address, one of President Barack Obama’s messages to America’s adversaries was that “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”  A few years later, the unclenching of… Continue Reading  

Scapegoating Iran Will Not Resolve Middle East Challenge

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by Shireen T. Hunter During his Middle East trip, President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to pursue an ambitious list of objectives. Paramount among these is to strengthen regional cooperation in defeating the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) and Islamist… Continue Reading