“While direct confrontation between Washington and Tehran remains improbable in the foreseeable future, there are questions about what implications the current escalation might have for Lebanon and Syria, especially since Soleimani was the main architect of Iranian expansion in the Levant. However, Iran might face limitations for any retaliatory actions in Lebanon and Syria it may consider”. Click here to read my latest op-ed.
“Will Iran continue on the path of proxy war with the U.S. or takes the confrontation to another level?” asked Macaron. “Both sides do not seek a traditional war, miscalculations can lead to direct confrontation given the growing mistrust and lack of direct communication between each side.” Click here to read the full article.
Hariri’s resignation, far from resolving the crisis, has pushed the country further into political turmoil. In the short term, it is likely that Lebanon will face a political dead-end, until various forces weigh up their options. A quick resolution will largely depend on whether Hezbollah will remain in denial on the opposite side of a significant part of his own constituency or will show flexibility and ultimately recognise the new realities of the Lebanese uprising. Click here to read my op-ed.
It is a leaderless uprising without a clear roadmap for demands or a mechanism to implement them. This is the most exciting and most worrisome aspect of this uprising. But the Lebanese street has awoken, and their demands won’t easily be put to rest. Click here to read my latest piece for Real Clear World.
As the showdown between Washington and Tehran escalates elsewhere in the Gulf, Iran is giving high priority to secure, control and re-open al-
Bukamal border crossing, the only Syrian-Iraqi border crossing under its control, to solidify its influence in the Levant and mitigate the impact of US sanctions. The question remains, however, whether Iran will pull off this move and how the Trump administration might react? Click here to read my latest for al-Monitor.
By now it is clear that “trying to have it all” might not be the best strategy for Turkey to pursue. In the foreseeable future, it might have to decide whether its priority is a deal east or west of the Euphrates River, and most importantly whether it should give up Tel Rifaat, Manbij or Idlib and at what price. If the US doubles down on its stance on the S-400, Turkey may also be forced to choose between US sanctions that undermine the Turkish economy or a Russian offensive in Idlib that weakens Turkish influence in Syria. Click here to read my latest op-ed.
While the US decison to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is primarily being explained away with geopolitics, it, in fact, has much more to do with US domestic politics. With this move, President Donald Trump aims to cement the gradual shift in partisan support of Israel from the Democrats to the Republicans and rally evangelical Christians around his presidency. Click here to read my latest op-ed.
The latest buzzword in Lebanon is combating corruption. Nearly every political party, most notably Hezbollah, is preaching this mantra. The Lebanese public and international donors are complaining about political corruption, as the country grapples to survive a grave economic and fiscal crisis. Yet there are questions concerning the depth and seriousness of these efforts. Click here to read my latest on Lebanon.
The Trump administration’s strategy of linking a flawed Israeli-Palestinian deal to an Arab-Israeli alliance to deter Iran might undermine these two US objectives in the Middle East and might even backfire against US allies and interests in the region. Click here to read my latest op-ed.
Over the past two decades, three high-ranking US officials have gone to Cairo to lay out their vision for the US foreign policy in the Middle East. Each time, they have criticized their predecessors and each time nothing good has come out of it. Click here to read my latest op-ed.