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Saudi Arabia's Road to Implosion

The House of Saud is unable to stop a deterioration of the social fabric so severe that fragmentation is a primary danger.

Between Russia and China, a Demographic Time Bomb

With numbers, power and history, could Beijing press to revise the "unequal treaties" with Moscow?

Should Syria Decentralize?

A more federal system of governance could help the state's many regions and peoples live under one roof.


The Next American Majority

Our policy of demographic revolution—and its potentially profound economic and social effects.

Pitfalls of an Aging China

Rising social costs, shrinking labor pools, nonperforming loans, a distorted economy and more—an in-depth look at the huge challenge facing Beijing.

Israel's New Politics and the Fate of Palestine

Geography and demography now trump democracy in Israel. The country pays lip service to the two-state solution while steadily appropriating the land it wants in the occupied territories.

The Folly of Nation Building

War is costly. Nation building is costlier. And nation-building projects almost never succeed, as this analysis demonstrates.

Iraq's Federalism Quandary

Iraq faces major questions about the power-sharing agreements between Baghdad and Iraq's various regions. A solution may require granting greater autonomy to the country's Kurds than to other regions.

Reviving the Peace Process

Obama can take credit for several foreign-policy triumphs, but he has failed to revive the moribund Mideast peace process. Arguments for why it can’t be done crumble against the imperative of American presidential leadership.


Japan Still Sleeps

Ambitious projections that Tokyo will provide for more of its own security are overly hasty—and perhaps wishful thinking.

Books & Reviews

The Man They Called Ibn Saud

Michael Darlow and Barbara Bray’s biography probes the life of Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, a giant of a man with a powerful force of personality, forged the often-warring tribes of the Arabian Peninsula into the country of Saudi Arabia.

Eyes and Ears of the Arab Spring

The English-language news channel of Al Jazeera consistently is first on the scene of Mideastern developments, and its journalists provide smart analysis of global events. It may be today’s most influential television-news operation.

Schemes That Set the Desert on Fire

After WWI, Britain and France made the Arab world the object of history, not its subject. James Barr’s new book shows that the Middle East was born crazy. Later misunderstandings and manipulations were laid atop well-worn grooves.

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April 25, 2014