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Gulf and Arabian Peninsula

CrisisWatch Gulf and Arabian Peninsula

The President's Take


On the first working day of every month, Crisis Group refreshes CrisisWatch, our early-warning tool providing regular updates on the most significant conflicts around the world. It’s one of our most popular features because it is an inestimable resource for all who care about conflict and want to know both the dangers that lurk and the opportunities that arise. Beginning this month, I will add a brief commentary of my own.
 

This time, I am highlighting two conflict situations: the Korean peninsula, where the potential for a catastrophe of untold proportions comes hand-in-hand with a rare chance for de-escalation; and Israel-Palestine, where a conflict that remains dormant until it inevitably flares up was made more dangerous by the U.S. president’s pronouncements.
 

As to the former: North and South Korea have agreed to resume contacts in the context of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics; Pyongyang put some of its more provocative actions on the back burner; and Washington postponed its military exercises. These steps should be built upon to avoid an outcome as absurd as it would be tragic: having the U.S. risk a nuclear war in order to avoid one.
 

As to the latter: for some time now, one of President Abbas’s chief functions has been to maintain as many illusions as possible amid widespread Palestinian disillusionment – with the peace process, the U.S., non-violence, and the two-state solution. Through his actions and words, President Trump has been systematically stripping away even the pretense of an illusion. The danger is that he reap what he has sowed.
 

Robert Malley
President & CEO

 

 

View latest updates

Trends for Last Month January 2018

Deteriorated Situations

Yemen

Improved Situations

none

Outlook for This Month February 2018

Conflict Risk Alerts

none

Resolution Opportunities

none

Reports & Briefings

In The News

18 Feb 2018
The [Iraqi] government budget will form the bulk of [the World Bank] money, followed by private investment. Donors are seen as an added boost, not the bulk. The Arab Weekly

Elizabeth Dickinson

Senior Analyst, Arabian Peninsula
15 Feb 2018
[The international conference in Kuwait on Iraq's reconstruction] is a signal to [Prime Minister] Abadi going into elections. This gives him something tangible to take back to Baghdad. Foreign Policy

Elizabeth Dickinson

Senior Analyst, Arabian Peninsula
11 Feb 2018
We are seeing a renegotiation of the rules of the game [among Israel, Iran and Syria] with regard to the kind of military activity that each side tolerates in the other. The New York Times

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
8 Feb 2018
We suggest Iran stays politically and economically involved in Syria but that it should not have a permanent military presence. Arab News

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
3 Feb 2018
The narrative of a ‘legitimate government’ [in Yemen] fighting the ‘Iranian-backed Houthis’ obscures a complex local reality, and it hinders efforts to achieve peace. The Washington Post

April Longley Alley

Project Director, Gulf and Arabian Peninsula
26 Jan 2018
I think [Tehran] understands the [U.S. President Trump] administration’s policy at this stage is to put the spotlight on Iranians and portray them as the source of all evil in the region. The Wall Street Journal

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran

Latest Updates

Russia Can Keep the Peace Between Israel and Iran

But following the hostilities over the weekend, does Putin want to?

Originally published in The Atlantic

Also available in العربية

Israel, Hizbollah and Iran: Preventing Another War in Syria

Facts on the ground in Syria are defining the contours of the country’s political future and also the geography of a looming clash between Israel, Hizbollah and other Iran-allied militias. Russia should broker understandings to prevent a new front from opening.

Also available in العربية, עברית, Русский and other languages

Iraq’s Pre-election Turmoil

Given Iraq’s history of election-season instability, the upcoming presidential election could deepen existing tensions rather than unify the country. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2018, Crisis Group proposes several actions for the EU and its member states to work toward overcoming intra-Iraqi challenges.

Destroying the Iran Deal While Claiming to Save It

Insisting on a “better” agreement, and threatening to walk away, is a recipe for no deal at all.

Originally published in The Atlantic

Our People

Maria Fantappie

Former Senior Analyst, Iraq

April Longley Alley

Project Director, Gulf and Arabian Peninsula

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
AliVaez

Naysan Rafati

Analyst, Iran

Elizabeth Dickinson

Senior Analyst, Arabian Peninsula
dickinsonbeth