Saudi Arabia has been careful not to appear overly oppressive of groups like Islamic State for fear of antagonising its own constituents.
Saudi citizens supporting Islamic State are not the result of a coherent plan directed by its rulers, but the overflow of a long-standing system used to maintain its domestic legitimacy.
Turkish troops patrol the Syrian border as airstrikes begin.
After months of pressure, the coalition against IS has a new team member. But what are its real motives?
Iraq has been fraying for decades.
Attempts to build a nation out of Iraq have failed spectacularly. Why is everyone still so intent on keeping it together?
Ka-ching! The sound most countries heard when news of the nuclear deal with Iran broke.
Euro Iran via www.shutterstock.com
Most countries welcomed the deal as they jockey to boost trade with the Islamic Republic and gain from the eventual end of sanctions.
Increased oil and gas revenues amid lifted sanctions are set to raise Iran’s economic fortunes, which ease Middle Eastern tensions.
EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh/AAP Image
Opponents of the Iran nuclear deal say it raises the nuclear weapons threat in the region. But Middle East tensions are actually likely to ease as Iran grows richer without being shackled by sanctions.
Taking a look at Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant.
Iran's path back to nuclear acceptability is now set out. Let the real work begin.
So there's now a real plan to sort out Iran's nuclear programme. What about all its other problems?
VOA via Wikimedia Commons
Endless spats over tactics, style and aims drove Islamic State away from al-Qaeda – and the two are deadly enemies to this day.
Faced with the catastrophe in Yemen, too many prefer to look away.
There's a massive war going on at the tip of the Arabian peninsula – but you'd hardly know it.
Schools should teach students about peace and pluralism to reduce radicalisation, not necessarily about every world conflict and religion. Australian teen Jake Bilardi with Islamic State fighters.
Introducing new curriculum requirements to teach young people about specific issues or requiring teachers to look out for signs of radicalisation are just as likely to have little or no impact if not supported by evidence.
The site of a bombing targeting the convoy of the Egyptian Prosecutor General, Hisham Barakat.
Egypt's Islamist discontents are incensed at the abuse of the judicial system – and hellbent on sabotaging the country's stability.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 27 worshippers at a Shia mosque.
At its core, Islamic State’s runaway success is not down to its military capability. Rather, it is due to Iraq’s political circumstances.
There are three key reasons why success for the West hasn’t followed. Together, these reasons point towards an urgent need to shift strategy to avoid a stalemate.
Home away from home for too many Syrians.
US State Department
Syrians are the single largest group of displaced people in the world. How to make sure that the plight of these refugees doesn't fuel future conflicts?
Up in smoke: a refinery near Homs.
With both Islamic State and Assad cutting off its fuel supplies, the Syrian opposition is struggling to survive.
Australia’s reaction to revelations that its citizens were fighting for IS follows a pattern of intellectual and state fear-mongering.
If governments are to maintain public support for their military ventures, war narratives must be kept simple and consistent. The underlying message must not change: the West is always the innocent victim of terrorism, never its perpetrator.
Iron grip: Hamas leader Khaled Mashal.
Reports of Hamas's human rights abuses against Palestinians are mounting, and popular support falling – but the movement is going nowhere.
Time to reflect.
Chatham House/Wikimedia Commons
Blair's time as peace envoy left a lot to be desired.
What possesses a Queensland teenager like Oliver Bridgeman to go to fight in Syria? Online propaganda is not an adequate explanation on its own.
Simplistic views of terrorist recruitment focus on online messages to Western youth. Foreign fighters are coming from many other countries, lured by many means, and we need more sophisticated responses.
Islamic State is not just in the Middle East – it exists in the West’s suburbs and computers.
The West is not only failing to win the war with Islamic State in the Middle East, it is actually much closer to losing it.