With U.A.E. withdrawal from Yemen, Saudi Crown Prince could lose an ally (Axios)

The United Arab Emirates is reportedly withdrawing most of its forces from Yemen to defend its home front in the event of an Iran conflict — a move that could also improve its standing with U.S. lawmakers critical of the war in Yemen. The big picture: The U.A.E.’s withdrawal of troops could lead to de-escalation in Yemen, […]

The Road to Trump’s Face-off with Iran (The New Arab)

I was flying over the Strait of Hormuz when I first learned Iran had downed a US drone just 12 hours earlier. My Emirates Airlines 777 was on the final approach to Dubai and I had turned on the BBC World live feed to catch up on the news after the 14-hour flight from Seattle. The first thing […]

The US isn’t winning any popularity contests among Arabs (TRT World)

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman may consider US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “dear friend,” but it turns out the US isn’t winning any popularity contests outside the royal palace. Pompeo is in the region to meet with what he described as America’s “great allies,” Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to build a “global coalition” […]

U.S.-Iran standoff perpetuates flaws of decades-old policies (Axios)

Current U.S. policy toward Iran has deepened the Middle East’s Sunni-Shia divide — embodied in the regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran — and risks repeating the failures of successive U.S. administrations. Why it matters: American presidents have often tried to view the Middle East in overly black-and-white terms — from Reagan in Lebanon and […]

Pakistan Claims Kashmir’s ‘Moral High Ground’ (Foreignpolicy.com)

KARACHI, Pakistan—“I feel like I am invisible,” the president of Kashmir told me a few months ago. “Wherever I go, no one wants to hear what I have to say.” On my frequent visits to the Pakistani capital over the last few years, I have often stopped in to see Sardar Masood Khan, whose official […]

Trump’s Raw Meat for the Islamophobes (The New Arab)

By Lawrence Pintak, Brian J. Bowe and Jonathan Albright When Donald Trump on Friday tweeted out-of-context clips from a speech by Ilhan Omar intercut with images of 9/11, it was part of a dangerous pattern of demonisation epitomised by his 2016 pronouncement, “Islam hates us.” It takes just a few minutes on the right social media string […]

Islamophobes Came for Americans on the Campaign Trail (Foreignpolicy.com)

“Think about it: Omar wears a hijab,” Fox News host Jeanine Pirro said on her show Saturday. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?” That insidious piece of Islamophobic innuendo, referring to the head covering worn by Rep. Ilhan Omar […]

War Averted. What Now for Kashmir? (The New Arab)

We are back to crass, self-interested politics in South Asia. What a relief. After a week on the brink of war between two nuclear-armed nations, political backbiting seems almost entertaining. But the world cannot afford to go back to business-as-usual, ignoring the Kashmir issue that sparked this confrontation and three previous conflicts. The fact the two sides are back […]

New Delhi and Islamabad Don’t Want Fire and Fury (Foreignpolicy.com)

As hostilities between India and Pakistan escalate, leaders in both countries are very aware of the risks of a nuclear catastrophe. BY LAWRENCE PINTAK  | FEBRUARY 27, 2019, 5:04 PM   Pakistan reported on Wednesday that it had downed two Indian jet fighters and captured one of the pilots, whom it paraded before TV cameras. India claims […]

After Khashoggi’s death, Turkey sees a path to greater influence (Axios)

Oct. 17, 2018 — As Saudi Arabia went on the defensive last week about Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged murder, Ankara seized the chance to repair relations with Washington by releasing U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson. “We feel much different about Turkey today than we did yesterday,” President Trump told reporters on Saturday, expressing his hope of “having a very, […]