Nabeel Khoury is a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and a visiting associate professor with the Middle East North Africa program at Northwestern University. He spent twenty-five years as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service in numerous posts from Morocco to Iraq. He has contributed to the Middle East Journal, Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Middle East Policy.
Jean Paul Sartre’s "No Exit", a play that was long ago staged in Arabic to entertain Beirut’s literati, captures the current dilemma: The way out of the morass is obvious but the political class in Lebanon, long trapped by their own selfishness and vicious internecine struggles, simply cannot leave their self-created inferno. READ MORE
An investigation of the chaos in Iraq and Syria. READ MORE
The first of the Houthi wars started, in 2004, while I was the chargé at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa. A decade later, the Houthis have taken over Yemen’s capital, pushing the fragile country toward an uncertain fate. READ MORE
America’s toppling of Saddam Hussein unleashed new forces in the Middle East. The latest fallout: the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. READ MORE
After three years of hesitation, Turkey has signaled its readiness to play a more active role in Syria and to join the recently formed coalition against ISIS. READ MORE
The Obama administration’s current efforts against ISIS are of a tactical nature and will not serve to defeat or dislodge it from the areas it now occupies. READ MORE
After three years of bashing Sunni opponents and lending assistance to Iran and Bashar Al-Assad’s regime in Syria, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s chickens have now come home to roost. READ MORE
In late February, the U.S. State Department protested a $195 million Iran-Iraq arms deal. In a recent trip to Baghdad, that small arms deal with Iran seemed like a small matter indeed to most. READ MORE
Yemen remains the only country to have gone through the Arab Uprisings with neither a descent into civil war nor an abrupt course reversal. The good news is that Yemenis from all factions and regions are still talking; the bad news is that a couple of large bumps on the road need to be dealt with before the political dialogue reaches fruition. READ MORE
I recall the good old days in Yemen from 2004 to 2007—that is, relatively speaking. I was then the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, which pretty much enjoyed the run of the country. Sanaa is now classified as an unaccompanied post, meaning it is too dangerous for diplomats to bring families with them. READ MORE
It has become a cliché among Levant scholars that Lebanon is a microcosm of the Middle East, and therefore a key to understanding the region. True enough. In Lebanon, the impact of the Syrian war is shaking the very foundation of the Lebanese social contract. READ MORE
The Secretary General of Hezbollah's speeches are always purposeful and addressed to specific audiences. On this occasion, he wanted to buck up his Shia supporters and warn Arab states and his internal Lebanese adversaries not to be encouraged by any Western initiatives to think they could defeat his party. READ MORE
For action to be taken on Syria, it is not the options or the feasibility that are lacking; it’s the political will and the realization that action not taken now is simply an action deferred. As the problem grows, the U.S. will find itself compelled to act. READ MORE
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