Comparative Conferences: Sochi vs. Warsaw

Hassan Rouhani, Vladimir Putin, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan

by Mark N. Katz The recent Warsaw Conference on the Middle East was notable for America’s inability to rally European governments to the anti-Iranian cause that the Trump administration, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have been strongly pushing. This… Continue Reading  

Is U.S. Withdrawal from Syria Pushing Gulf Arabs Closer to Russia?

Vladimir Putin (ID1974 via Shutterstock.com)

by Mark N. Katz At this point, it is not clear when—or even if—the Trump administration will carry out the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria that President Donald Trump said he would undertake.  Trump’s initial statement that the United… Continue Reading  

What Will Be the Impact of Trump’s Withdrawal from Syria?

Donald Trump (Michael Vadon via Flickr)

by Mark N. Katz No matter how it starts, once a U.S. military intervention has begun, it has usually been liberals who have questioned it and called for withdrawal while conservatives have backed it and sought to keep it going.… Continue Reading  

Moscow’s Middle East Balancing Act Is Getting Harder

Vladimir Putin

by Mark N. Katz So far, Moscow has managed to maintain good relations with opposing sides in several Middle East conflict situations, including Iran vs. Israel, Israel vs. Syria and Hezbollah, Israel vs. the Palestinians, Iran vs. Saudi Arabia and… Continue Reading  

New Caspian Accord Resolves Some Issues, Not All

Old Soviet Volga car and abandoned oil rig on the shore of Caspian sea, Azerbaijan (Shutterstock)

by Mark N. Katz Ever since the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, the five states bordering the Caspian Sea (Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran) have been unable to reach agreement on a legal regime for the body… Continue Reading