The Great Debate

Deprived of ‘checkbook diplomacy’ in Yemen and Syria, Saudi Arabia flounders

By David Hartwell
June 26, 2015
Houthi militant sits amidst debris from the Yemeni Football Association building, which was damaged in a Saudi-led air strike, in Sanaa

A Houthi militant sits amidst debris from the Yemeni Football Association building, which was damaged in a Saudi-led air strike, in Sanaa May 31, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

While Syria burns next door, Lebanon’s fabric is fraying

By Mohamad Bazzi
June 11, 2015
Lebanon's Hezbollah members carry Hezbollah flags during the funeral of their fellow fighter Adnan Siblini, who was killed while fighting against insurgents in the Qalamoun region, in al-Ghaziyeh village, southern Lebanon

Lebanon’s Hezbollah members carry Hezbollah flags during the funeral of their fellow fighter Adnan Siblini, who was killed while fighting against insurgents in the Qalamoun region, in al-Ghaziyeh village, southern Lebanon May 26, 2015. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

Saudi Arabia faces many threats, and Iran isn’t at the top of the list

By Mohamad Bazzi
May 28, 2015
Shi'ites chant slogans during a rally following Friday's suicide attack at a Shi'ite mosque, at Qatif

Shi’ites chant slogans during a rally following Friday’s suicide attack at a Shi’ite mosque, at Qatif, in east Saudi Arabia May 23, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

Why Pakistan is friends with everyone – and no one

By Paula Newberg
May 26, 2015
India's PM Modi shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Sharif as Nepal's PM Koirala and Afghanistan's President Ghani watch during the closing session of 18th SAARC summit in Kathmandu

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (front L) shakes hands with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (front C) as Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala (back 2nd L) and Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani (front R) look on at the 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit in Kathmandu, November 27, 2014. REUTERS/Niranjan Shrestha/Pool

Who are Yemen’s Houthis?

By Reuters
May 20, 2015

Yemen has been in the midst of a violent conflict as rival factions compete for power in the impoverished nation on the Arabian Peninsula.

The issue that could bring Iran and Saudi Arabia to the negotiating table

By Mark Fitzpatrick and Jacqueline Shire
May 15, 2015
Obama hosts working session of six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council at Camp David in Maryland

President Barack Obama hosts a working session of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council at Camp David in Maryland, May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

‘Yemen has a lot of bad actors’: Iran and Saudi Arabia face lesson on limits of power

By Joseph Trevithick
May 13, 2015
Anti-Houthi fighters of the Southern Popular Resistance stand on a tank in Yemen's southern port city of Aden

Anti-Houthi fighters of the Southern Popular Resistance stand on a tank in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden, May 10, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

How an Iran nuclear deal means cheaper oil and why Tehran is OK with that

By Jan H. Kalicki
May 12, 2015
Facilities at phases 2-3 of the South Pars gas field are illuminated at night in Assaluyeh on Iran's Persian Gulf coast

Facilities at phases 2-3 of the South Pars gas field, owned jointly by Iran and Qatar, are illuminated at night in Assaluyeh on Iran’s Persian Gulf coast, May 27, 2006. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

Snubbed by Saudi Arabia, what can Obama salvage from Arab summit?

By Peter Van Buren
May 12, 2015
U.S. President Obama walks with Saudi King Salman to a meeting at Erga Palace in Riyadh

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) walks with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to a meeting at Erga Palace in Riyadh January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

There will be no winners in Syria’s war, but there can be an end

By Noah Bonsey
May 5, 2015
Free Syrian Army fighter covers his ears as his fellow fighter fires weapon during clashes with forces loyal to President Assad in old city of Aleppo

A Free Syrian Army fighter covers his ears as his fellow fighter fires a weapon during clashes with forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo, April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Hosam Katan