End of War, but Not of Conflict

State (re)building in war-torn countries can only happen in a conducive political process on all levels ranging from the local to the international, which is exactly what seems lacking in MENA

A Different Kind of Rationality

/ Tahrir Forum

Iran continues its military presence in Syria even after the fight is won—a move which is underpinned by the Islamic Republic’s core deterrence and defense foreign policy against possible Israeli or US military action.

Preserving Kurdish Autonomy

/ Tahrir Forum

Divisions among the states vested in Syria are opening possibilities for Syria’s Kurds to secure greater protection for their autonomy.

Civil Society for the Displaced

/ Tahrir Forum

To meet the challenges of massive human displacement in the Middle East and North Africa, civil society actors need a common platform where they can advocate. The MENA Civil Society Network for Displacement or CSND sets out to be that.

The Inflection Point

Reduced American focus on the Middle East going forward is just one of many changes with which Arab leaders will have to grapple in the coming years, and it is disorienting

Jordan at the Crossroads

/ Tahrir Forum

Jordan’s economic, demographic and geographic characteristics have left the country vulnerable to mass protests and external pressure that can only be overcome by a comprehensive reform program.

Scramble for Syria

Iran’s support for the Al-Assad regime in Damascus has long provided it with a foothold in Lebanon, Palestine, and the rest of the region. But with its deepening role in the Syrian civil war, Tehran is losing hearts and minds in the Arab World.

Picking Up the Middle East Pieces

Donald Trump’s tough talk of defeating Islamic terrorists, ripping up the Iran nuclear deal, and barring Muslims from entering the U.S. suggests a sharp pivot in Middle East policy, but could be surprising continuity with Barack Obama’s approach to the region.

The Fall of Aleppo

/ Tahrir Forum

Syrian rebels are unlikely to rebound from defeat anytime soon, while Iran and Russia stand to gain immensely.

Aleppo Shakes Arab World’s Foundations

/ Tahrir Forum

Western impotence in Aleppo and the Syrian civil war, and the approaching victory of the Russian-Iranian alliance, is another sign of sweeping changes in the region’s political order.

Syria Becomes Ever More Complicated

/ Tahrir Forum

Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran effectively have to be seen as a single geo-strategic arena in which hundreds of local and national actors engage one another—and many have links to other regional players and global powers.

Ten Observations on the Wars in Syria

/ Tahrir Forum

The scale, intensity, and persistence of the last five years of nonstop and often barbaric violence reflect the fact that Syria today, as in the past four millennia at least, continues to be a central pivot in the geopolitics of the Middle East and its neighbors.

Why Syria Peace Talks Are Doomed

/ Tahrir Forum

The Damascus regime’s military offensive could ruin already slim chances for a negotiated peace in Syria. A divided opposition and rival great powers further complicate a tricky diplomatic initiative.

Obama’s Tarnished Legacy in the Middle East

President Barack Obama had to deal with a dysfunctional state system and fraying civil societies, as well as blowback from George W. Bush’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet his own actions and inactions throughout two terms of office contributed significantly to the great unraveling of the Middle East.

New Cold War Comes to Syria

/ Tahrir Forum

Russia’s intervention has intensified the Syrian civil war, drawing both Western and regional powers deeper into a seemingly intractable conflict.

Changes in Syria’s Armed Opposition

/ Tahrir Forum

The promise of Western military support and a shared opposition to Russia’s intervention are driving Syrian opposition forces to unite and—for many of them—move away from extremist rhetoric.