Should the United States Sell Fighter Jets to the Gulf?

The timing and phasing of recent U.S. arms deals in the Middle East underscore the complicated balance for the United States of addressing the concerns and needs of multiple partners in the region who frequently view each other with suspicion. The White House approved the sale of fighter aircraft to Qatar and Kuwait in late […]

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Iran Tightens Military Ties with China

Iranian and Chinese security officials signed a military-cooperation agreement this week to establish a joint commission to boost defense ties. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution and the subsequent severing of U.S. military assistance, Tehran has relied on Chinese arms to supplement its defense industry. This week’s agreement, however, will significantly bolster ties that for decades […]

Iranian-backed Houthis Fire a Shot at the U.S. Navy

While the United States was fixated on the second presidential debate on Sunday night, one of its ships was under fire in the Middle East. Details remain few, but reports suggest that the Houthis, a Yemeni militant group backed by Iran, fired two anti-ship missiles at the USS Mason as it patrolled the Bab el-Mandeb […]

Discerning Iran’s Role in Expanding Houthi Rocket Capabilities

Yemen’s Houthi rebels tested a new rocket last Thursday, marking the fourth new projectile they unveiled this year. Dubbed the Somoud, or “steadfastness,” the projectile’s launch was broadcast late last week across Arab and Iranian media. While observers were quick to point fingers at Tehran, based on its established track record of arming the Houthis, […]

Assessing the Latest Iranian Ballistic Missile: The Zulfiqar

Iran’s Armed Forces on Thursday concluded their celebration of “Sacred Defense Week” – the annual commemoration of the first week of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War. The week featured military parades showcasing the latest in domestically produced weapons, chief among them ballistic missiles – of which Iran has the Middle East’s largest arsenal. This year, Tehran’s […]

Understanding Iran’s Deployment of the S-300 System

Iranian outlets this week reportedly revealed that components of Iran’s first Russian-made S-300 missile system were positioned around the Fordow fuel enrichment plant – an underground bunker which, until recently, was used for uranium enrichment. The long-range surface-to-air (SAM) system represents Iran’s newest and most advanced air-defense platform. Its deployment to Fordow sheds light on […]

Covering the Bases: Reassessing U.S. Military Deployments in Turkey After the July 2016 Coup d’État

Download the full report here (PDF). The Republic of Turkey has been a reliable staging point for U.S. forces for more than six decades. Turkish bases have historically provided the U.S. military easy access to multiple theaters without having to build new infrastructure or forge new agreements. Today, American forces in Turkey are targeting the […]

Hezbollah’s Strategy in Syria Won’t Help Against Israel

Over the last three years of the Syrian Civil War, Hezbollah has increasingly operated as a regular army rather than in its traditional, decades-long role as a guerrilla force. The Shiite group has operated Syrian tanks and artillery, jeeps with recoilless rifles, and is even rumored to have acquired its own 75-tank armored brigade. As […]