Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting on November 14, 2017, in Riyadh. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Strongmen Are Weaker Than They Look

Authoritarians are on the rise around the world, but history shows they’re mostly helpless.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry (left) and Saudi Energy Minister Khaled al-Falih (right) shake hands after a signing ceremony of a memorandum understanding on carbon management between Saudi Arabia and the U.S., on Dec. 4, 2017 in Riyadh. (Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

Don’t Give Saudi Arabia An Easy Path to Nukes

To prevent proliferation, any U.S.-Saudi nuclear deal needs to be tough.

Foreign ministers during the international conference for Iraq reconstruction in Kuwait City, on Feb. 14. (Yasser al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images)

The Post-Islamic State Marshall Plan That Never Was

The $30 billion pledged toward reconstruction in Iraq was more than some expected, but still short of the total needed to rebuild the country.

(Taylor Callery illustration for Foreign Policy)

Deep Pockets, Deep Cover: The UAE Is Paying Ex-CIA Officers to Build a Spy Empire in the Gulf

They hired Americans to professionalize their intelligence service. But how far can former U.S. spies go?

Bahraini men hold up a national flag and a placard reading in Arabic "Jerusalem is the compass of the revolutionaries" during a demonstration in the village of Diraz on July 10, 2015. (Mohammed al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images)

From Bahrain to Jerusalem

A Bahraini delegation's trip to Israel is the latest sign of the Gulf monarchies' burgeoning alliance with the Jewish state.

On this episode of The E.R., Max Boot joins us to discuss his new book "The Road Not Taken."

What’s Next for the Middle East?

Career diplomats talk Syria, Iran from a local perspective.

The interior of the Louvre Abu Dhabi on Nov. 7. (Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images)

The Louvre Isn’t Just a Museum. It’s a Power Tool.

Emmanuel Macron went to the Middle East this week to unveil the Louvre Abu Dhabi — and affirm France as a global power.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and the landscape near the planned city of Neom.
 (Foreign Policy illustration/Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images/NEOM)

Saudi Arabia Is Betting Its Future on a Desert Megacity

Can Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious plans jumpstart social and economic reform, or are they an expensive miscalculation?

A picture taken on June 5, 2017 shows a man walking past the Qatar Airways branch in the Saudi capital Riyadh, after it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia following a severing of relations between major gulf states and gas-rich Qatar. Arab nations including Saudi Arabia and Egypt cut ties with Qatar accusing it of supporting extremism, in the biggest diplomatic crisis to hit the region in years. / AFP PHOTO / FAYEZ NURELDINE        (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

A Field Trip to the Front Lines of the Qatar-Saudi Cold War

The showdown in the Gulf shows no signs of ending. And there don’t seem to be any clear winners emerging.


The Iranian Cyberthreat Is Real

As Trump increasingly boxes in Tehran, U.S. allies should be worried about the potential for a devastating cyberattack from the Islamic Republic.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets US President Donald Trump  prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7.
Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, with disagreements ranging from wars to climate change and global trade. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / IAN LANGSDON        (Photo credit should read IAN LANGSDON/AFP/Getty Images)

Rational Security on the E.R.: The “Wray of Sunshine” Edition

Can the president’s nominee for FBI director be heard over the noise that surrounds him?

Real estate tycoon Donald Trump flashes the thumbs-up as he arrives on stage for the start of the prime time Republican presidential debate on August 6, 2015 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN / AFP / MANDEL NGAN        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Global Consequences of Trump’s Incompetence

From China to the Gulf to Europe, the world's power players are moving ahead without America.

The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani speaks during a press conference following a summit on the post-Kadhafi held at the Elysee Palace in Paris on September 1, 2011. France hosts a "Friends of Libya" conference to allow states that stood by during the uprising that ousted Moamer Kadhafi to belatedly back Tripoli's fledgling revolutionary regime. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Palace Intrigue at the Heart of the Qatar Crisis

The Saudis don’t believe the young emir of Qatar is really running the country — and they’re looking for regime change.

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