US and Russia Compete to Privatize Syrian War

Russian private military contractors in Syria

by David Isenberg Periodic media attention has focused on private military security companies in the past couple of years. Erik Prince has occasionally popped up from his underground warren to pitch his latest self-serving scheme to enrich himself. For instance,… Continue Reading  

How the Saudis Took Donald Trump for a Ride

Donald Trump showing Mohammed bin Salman how much business Saudi Arabia generates in the US (Shealah Craighead/White House)

by Ben Freeman and William D. Hartung It’s another Trump affair — this time without the allegations of sexual harassment (and worse), the charges and counter-charges, the lawsuits, and all the rest. So it hasn’t gotten the sort of headlines… Continue Reading  

Oman: Between Iran and a Hard Place

The port city of Sur in Oman

by Camille Lons Oman doesn’t like to take sides. In an increasingly polarized region, the oft-ignored Sultanate stands out for its efforts to seek common ground, finding paths to peace that sometimes elude larger powers. small size and its strategic… Continue Reading  

Why Iran Should Disentangle Itself from Middle East Conflicts

Peasant Brawl by Adriaen van Ostrade

by Shireen T. Hunter    Throughout the last seven decades, Iran’s direct or indirect involvement in Middle-East-related issues has been a source of difficulties for its foreign relations and domestic politics. The most consequential of these issues has been the… Continue Reading  

Yemen and the Defense Department’s Articles of Faith

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by Eric Eikenberry On Tuesday, CENTCOM Commander General Joseph Votel told Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in an Armed Services Committee hearing that the United States does not monitor the Saudi-led coalition air raids it provides with in-flight refueling and targeting… Continue Reading