The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer
Sudan and the UAE: Pulling Sudanese strings

Sudan and the UAE: Pulling Sudanese strings

November 1, 2021

Sudan is the exception to the rule in the United Arab Emirates’ counterrevolutionary playbook.

Religious ultra-conservatism has a field day in Pakistan. It puts Saudi Arabia on the Spot

Religious ultra-conservatism has a field day in Pakistan. It puts Saudi Arabia on the Spot

October 30, 2021

Barely three months after the Taliban claimed victory in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the second most populous Muslim-majority state, is moving to join Kabul in becoming an outpost of religious intolerance and Muslim supremacy.

The pendulum gradually swings towards international engagement with the Taliban

The pendulum gradually swings towards international engagement with the Taliban

October 27, 2021

The Taliban and Pakistan, both viewed warily by the West and others in the international community, appear to be benefitting from mounting concerns about the humanitarian and security situation in Afghanistan.

Turkey and Iran find soft power more difficult than hard power

Turkey and Iran find soft power more difficult than hard power

October 24, 2021

The times they are a changin’. Iranian leaders may not be Bob Dylan fans, but his words are likely to resonate as they contemplate their next steps in Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Lebanon, and Azerbaijan. The same is true for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Iran poll contains different messages for Biden and Raisi

Iran poll contains different messages for Biden and Raisi

October 20, 2021

“It’s the economy, stupid.” That is the message of a just-published survey of Iranian public opinion.

However, the substance of the message differs for newly elected hardline Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the Biden administration as Mr. Raisi toughens his negotiating position and the United States grapples with alternative ways of curbing the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme should the parties fail to agree on terms for the revival of the 2015 international agreement.

Shaping US Middle East policy amidst failing states, failed democratization and increased activism

Shaping US Middle East policy amidst failing states, failed democratization and increased activism

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.

US military presence in the Middle East: The less the better

US military presence in the Middle East: The less the better

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.

Gulf security: It’s not all bad news

Gulf security: It’s not all bad news

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.

Reducing Middle East tensions potentially lessens sectarianism and opens doors for women

Reducing Middle East tensions potentially lessens sectarianism and opens doors for women

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.

Comparing textbooks: Even Afghanistan scores better than Pakistan

Comparing textbooks: Even Afghanistan scores better than Pakistan

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.

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