October 16, 2021
The future of US engagement in the Middle East hangs in the balance.
Two decades of forever war in Afghanistan and continued military engagement in Iraq and elsewhere in the region have prompted debate about what constitutes a US interest in the Middle East. China, and to a lesser degree Russia, loom large in the debate as America’s foremost strategic and geopolitical challenges.
Questions about US interests have also sparked discussion about whether the United States can best achieve its objectives by continued focus on security and military options or whether a greater emphasis on political, diplomatic, economic, and civil society tools may be a more productive approach.
October 14, 2021
It may not have been planned or coordinated but efforts by Middle Eastern states to dial down tensions serve as an example of what happens when big power interests coincide.
October 11, 2021
Gulf states are in a pickle.
They fear that the emerging parameters of a reconfigured US commitment to security in the Middle East threaten to upend a more-than-a-century-old pillar of regional security and leave them with no good alternatives.
October 9, 2021
Two separate developments involving improved relations between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and women’s sporting rights demonstrate major shifts in how rivalry for leadership of the Muslim world and competition to define Islam in the 21st century is playing out in a world in which Middle Eastern states can no longer depend on the United States coming to their defence.
October 7, 2021
Societal struggles and reform often take unexpected turns in vast swaths of land stretching from the Middle East into Central Asia.
Take education for example.
October 3, 2021
The report has sparked public debate in Israel about whether the Jewish state, which is long believed to have multiple nuclear weapons but consistently stopped short of confirming or denying the assertion, should finally do so to lay down a marker for Iran.
October 1, 2021
When Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed Abdulrahman Al-Thani this week described the Taliban’s repressive policies towards women and brutal administration of justice as “very disappointing” and taking Afghanistan “a step backwards,” he was doing more than holding Qatar up as a model of Islamic governance and offering the militants cover to moderate their ways.
September 28, 2021
A series of setbacks in recent weeks raises the spectre of the UAE’s decades-long, multi-million-dollar nation branding campaign fraying at the edges
September 26, 2021
A year of diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel has proven to be mutually beneficial. The question is whether the assumptions underlying the UAE’s initiative that led three other Arab countries to also formalise their relations with the Jewish state will prove to be correct in the medium and long term.
September 23, 2021
Saudi and Emirati efforts to define ‘moderate’ Islam as socially more liberal while being subservient to an autocratic ruler is as much an endeavour to ensure regime survival and bolster aspirations to lead the Muslim world as it is an attempt to fend off challenges rooted in diverse strands of religious ultra-conservatism.