Middle East & Africa
Iraqis celebrate with a picture of the Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, after the general election in Baghdad on May 14, 2018.

I Fought Against Muqtada al-Sadr. Now He’s Iraq’s Best Hope.

The former militia leader who once terrorized U.S. forces has reinvented himself as an Iraqi nationalist and a pragmatist.

Hezbollah supporters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Aug. 14, 2007. (Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images)

Lebanon Is Protecting Hezbollah’s Cocaine Trade in Latin America

The country's institutions are not a counterweight to Hezbollah, but its enablers.

French Economy  Minister Bruno Le Maire addresses a conference  on February 15, 2018 at the Economy Ministry in Paris.

OFAC Off

The European Union needs to defend its economic sovereignty from U.S. overreach. Creating its own agency for sanctions enforcement would be a start.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (C), Bahrain's King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa (R) and Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah attend a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) informal summit in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah on May 31, 2016.(STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Kuwait and Oman Are Stuck in Arab No Man’s Land

The showdown with Qatar is forcing all Middle Eastern countries to pick sides — and leaving two of them in the lurch.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) at the Great Hall of the People on March 17, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang - Pool/Getty Images)

China Smells Opportunity in the Middle East’s Crisis

Beijing is using the region's ongoing woes to solidify its own geopolitical agenda.

A man watches a television news screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a railway station in Seoul on May 16, 2018. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

North Korea Is Following the Saddam Hussein Playbook

The big question for the world is whether the United States will now follow its old Iraq playbook, too.

The United Nations Security Council meets on August 19, 2015 in New York City. (Photo credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

At U.N., Russia and U.S. Wage Quiet War Over Appointments to Advance Broader Agendas

Tit for tat battle weakens the United Nations’ ability to enforce sanctions around the world.

Saudi Army artillery fire shells toward Yemen from southwestern Saudi Arabia on April 13, 2015. (Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S.-Backed Catastrophe Brewing in Yemen

A Gulf-led coalition is preparing to assault a key Yemeni port, risking a fresh humanitarian crisis.

Demonstrators protest near the prime minister's office in Amman, Jordan, on June 6. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)

Jordan’s Protests Are a Ritual, Not a Revolution

By trading geopolitical importance for aid and showing restraint when unrest erupts, the kingdom has managed to remain stable for decades.

G-7 leaders participate in a working session in Quebec, Canada, on June 8. (Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States and Europe Still Need Each Other

In the run-up to the G-7 summit, Trump seemed to forget a key lesson from history.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz welcomes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at Riyadh international airport on November 10, 2015. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Real Reason the Middle East Hates NGOs

Western promoters of democracy aren’t seen as a threat to individual rulers but as a reminder of colonial history.

Indian police clash with protestors on the beach at Idinathakarai village near the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in southern Tamil Nadu on September 10, 2012.

Democracies Need a Little Help From Their Friends

The war against foreign-funded NGOs — from India to Israel — is harming democratic governance, not enhancing it.

An Ethiopian U.N. peacekeeper patrols the Amiet Market in Abyei. The market has become the largest trading hub in the region and a symbol of peace between the Misseriya nomads from Sudan and the Ngok Dinka from South Sudan. Local leaders use the market to resolve issues of conflict and are working together to bring stability to the area, which has been contested for more than ten years.

Conflict in Abyei Could Reignite South Sudan’s Civil War

If the U.N. withdraws peacekeepers from a long-contested oil-rich enclave, it's likely to spark further fighting in an already unstable region.

H.H. Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, on February 24, 2018 in Doha, Qatar. (Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)

Qatar Won the Saudi Blockade

A Saudi-led coalition wanted to permanently ostracize its rival. One year later, Qatar has more influence in the West than ever.

A Syrian man holds the Iranian flag as a convoy carrying aid provided by Iran arrives in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor on Sept. 20, 2017. (LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran Wants to Stay in Syria Forever

Russia and Israel are ramping up pressure on Iran to withdraw. But Tehran is intent on recouping its investment of blood and treasure.

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