I met Robert Mugabe in the late 1970s. What he told me still haunts me. (Vox.com)

“We are not going to make the same mistake the rest of Black Africa has made,” Robert Mugabe told me in the late 1970s in an interview for Newsweek. “We are going to learn from their mistakes.” We met in Mozambique, the headquarters for his guerrilla army, which was then locked in a seemingly interminable […]

Pakistan is harnessing Western media in the wake of the Kashmir crisis (Axios)

Responding to India’s August annexation of Kashmir, Pakistani officials are using interviews, op-eds and social media to emphasize that Islamabad is taking a diplomatic, not military, response to the dangerous religious zealotry that is driving Indian policy. Why it matters: Pakistan is betting a global public relations campaign can help address the Kashmir crisis in the […]

Pakistan on Kashmir: “They have colonized the territory” (MEI.org)

The WhatsApp message came an hour after I landed in Islamabad. Sardar Masood Khan, the president of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, wanted to know if I was available to meet. I had interviewed him for Foreign Policy during the February 2019 India-Pakistan military confrontation over Kashmir, and he was eager for another conversation. His outreach was part of a […]

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 […]

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, […]

Nuclear Pakistan Sees The Saudi Game Against Qatar and Iran and Says, ‘No Thanks’ (The Daily Beast)

ISLAMABAD—The wheels are already coming off Donald Trump’s grand Muslim anti-terror coalition and there is a quiet sigh of relief here in the Pakistani capital. It all appeared so simple when viewed from the glittering palaces of Trump’s Riyadh summit. The U.S., Saudi Arabia and dozens of other Muslims nations versus Iran in a “battle […]