Middle East & North Africa

21 Items

teaser image

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Building Sustainable Relationships, Energy, and Security in the Middle East

Spring 2020

While the Middle East Initiative is focused entirely on the MENA region, several other Center programs are also working on issues related to the Middle East, including Future of Diplomacy, Geopolitics of Energy, and the Managing the Atom.

What To Look For In Any Deal Between the U.S. and the Taliban

AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

What To Look For In Any Deal Between the U.S. and the Taliban

| Aug. 08, 2019

For many, like me, who worked on policy toward Afghanistan for years, recent leaks about an impending agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban bring mixed emotions. It is impossible to separate any deal from President Donald Trump’s persistent declarations that he wants to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan now. Such assertions weakened the hand of America’s negotiators and inevitably color any agreement – whatever its merits – with “America First” and the sense that the U.S. is cutting and running.  Nevertheless, if a deal materializes, it could represent the best opportunity in years to secure American interests and downsize U.S. military commitment in Afghanistan.

The US-China Trade War and its Implications for Saudi Arabia

AP/NASA TV

Analysis & Opinions - Global Policy

The US-China Trade War and its Implications for Saudi Arabia

| Feb. 12, 2019

As American and Chinese trade representatives continue to discuss the two countries’ ongoing trade war, the architects of Middle East’s ambitious renewable energy policies are watching closely for opportunities to expand their burgeoning green industries. Regional leaders from across industry, government, and academia have recently gathered at the World Future Energy Summit and the Jubail Energy Management Conference, and the trade war has been high on the agenda.

U.S. military vehicles on a road in Syria, showing the American flag.

Independent

Analysis & Opinions - Le Monde

International Whiplash over America’s Syria Policy

| Jan. 23, 2019

Confused messaging by the American government on Syria, with presidential tweets and dissonant statements from senior officials, has caused international whiplash in recent weeks. This hasty announcement and its botched implementation have already harmed American credibility and risk inflaming an already complex situation.

President Donald Trump and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia talk together during ceremonies, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Royal Court Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Official White House Photo Shealah Craighead

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

In Saudi Shakeup, Economics Tops Counterterrorism

| June 21, 2017

The latest big news out of the Middle East is that Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has ousted the crown prince and installed his 31-year-old son, Mohammed bin Salman, in that position. While the world waits to see more of the reaction from Saudis and others in the region, a few quick thoughts come to my mind.

An Iraqi army soldier with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Division stands guard along with a U.S. Army Soldier from the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at a market in Al Doura district of Baghdad, Iraq, April 5, 2007.

Sgt. Curt Cashour

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

Trump's Ban Undermines Iraqi Cooperation Against Islamic State

| Jan. 31, 2017

There are many good reasons to object to the Trump administration's new ban on allowing people from seven predominantly Muslim Middle East countries to travel to the U.S. and halting the acceptance of Syrian refugees.  I am among the many Americans ashamed that our great country could so easily push aside its history of caring for people with the most desperate needs in the world.  I also am among the national security analysts who don't see how this helps deliver on the promise of protecting the U.S. from terrorism, and worry that they will inflame the resentment and anti-Americanism that fuel attacks against our citizens at home and abroad. 

Oil pipelines, Jubail Desert, Saudi Arabia

Suresh Babunair/Wikimedia

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

For Saudis, Even a Small Oil Cutback Is a Big Deal

| Nov. 29, 2016

This week’s OPEC meeting about a global production cut is in crisis before it has even begun. Pre-summit discussions with non-member oil producers such as Russia were canceled. The Saudi Arabian government now warns that members may leave Wednesday’s talks in Vienna empty-handed -- an outcome that would be sure to trouble markets.