Persian Gulf

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Princess Haya bint Al Hussein attend the Royal Ascot race in England on June 19, 2014.

The Fairy Tale Is Over for Dubai’s Royal Family

Sheikh Mohammed's wife has fled her home—and that may just be the beginning of his troubles.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Mohamed ben Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in Abu Dhabi on June 24.

Pompeo’s Hollow Plan to Beef Up Security in the Gulf

Experts are skeptical that U.S. allies will get on board.

Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani attends Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's meeting with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran, Iran on Sept. 18, 2016.

The Islamic Republic of Recklessness

You might not think high-risk aggression is in Iran’s national interest, but leaders in Tehran have long disagreed.

A picture from the Iranian News Agency ISNA reportedly shows fire and smoke billowing from Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker in the Gulf of Oman. The Trump administration blamed Iran for attacking two tankers on June 13.

U.S. Blames Iran for Latest Tanker Attack

Pompeo says no other country could have orchestrated the explosions with “such a high degree of sophistication.”

A Sudanese protester walks past burning tires as military forces tried to disperse a sit-in outside army headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan, on June 3.

Arab States Foment Sudan Chaos While U.S. Stands By

American officials are unhappy over the role of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE but say their hands are tied.

Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (C), Mohamed Bin Thaaloob al-Derai, President of UAE Wrestling Judo, and Kickboxing Federation (L) and International Judo Federation President Marius Vizer (R) chat during the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Judo tournament in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi on October 27, 2018.

How the Gulf States Got in Bed With Israel and Forgot About the Palestinian Cause

Benjamin Netanyahu is building ties with anti-Iran Arab leaders from Riyadh to Doha and betting that a peace deal is no longer a necessary prerequisite for normalizing diplomatic ties.

Construction of the Faisal Mosque in the foothills of Margalla Hills of Islamabad, Pakistan, began in 1976 after a grant from Saudi King Faisal, whose name the mosque bears. (Muhammed Semih Ugurlu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Extremism Is Riyadh’s Top Export

Saudi Arabia is fighting for a dangerous monopoly on Islamic thought.

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman at the U.N. headquarters in New York on March 23. (Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images)

Trump Needs to Start Worrying About Saudi Arabia’s Reform Efforts

The United States has a profound interest in helping Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman avoid his own worst impulses.

Pro-government forces gather south of the Hodeida airport in Yemen on June 15. (AFP/Getty Images)

Yemen on Brink of Catastrophe as U.N. Envoy Pushes for Truce

U.S. backing of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates could be enabling the disaster.

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.

Foreign ministers during the international conference for Iraq reconstruction in Kuwait City, on Feb. 14. (Yasser al-Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images)

The Post-Islamic State Marshall Plan That Never Was

The $30 billion pledged toward reconstruction in Iraq was more than some expected, but still short of the total needed to rebuild the country.

Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz meets Chinese President Xi Jinping after a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on March 13, 2014 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

What Would a Saudi-Iran War Look Like? Don’t look now, but it is already here

After eight years at Foreign Policy, here are the ten most popular Best Defense posts

A girl walks among rubbish in a slum in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Nov. 9, 2016. (Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump Nominee Concedes Saudi Siege of Yemen Could Be Violating U.S. Law

Sen. Todd Young lifts a hold on the president’s pick for the next State Department legal advisor, after extracting a promise to review Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen.

A doctor treats a Yemeni child infected with cholera at a makeshift hospital operated by Doctors Without Borders in Yemen’s Hajjah province on July 16. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Yemen’s Man-Made Cholera Outbreak Is About to Break a Record

In Haiti, it took seven years for the number of cholera cases to surpass 800,000. In Yemen, it’s taken several months.

A picture taken on June 5, 2017 shows a man walking past the Qatar Airways branch in the Saudi capital Riyadh, after it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia following a severing of relations between major gulf states and gas-rich Qatar. Arab nations including Saudi Arabia and Egypt cut ties with Qatar accusing it of supporting extremism, in the biggest diplomatic crisis to hit the region in years. / AFP PHOTO / FAYEZ NURELDINE        (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

A Field Trip to the Front Lines of the Qatar-Saudi Cold War

The showdown in the Gulf shows no signs of ending. And there don’t seem to be any clear winners emerging.

HAMBURG, GERMANY - JULY 14:  A partially-finished passenger plane of the A320 series stands in an assembly hall at the Airbus factory on July 14, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. Both Boeing and Airbus saw their 2nd quarter deliveries of completed aircraft fall by 8% and 7% respectively compared to one year ago.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

If Trump Is Serious About Curbing Iran, He’ll Kill Boeing’s Plan to Sell It Planes

The more Iran’s economy is bolstered by large-scale Western business deals, the harder it will be for the United States to deploy sanctions effectively.

tillerson

Tillerson Tries Hand at Shuttle Diplomacy to End Gulf Feud

The secretary of state will spend this week shoring up Kuwaiti efforts to end the GCC-Qatar showdown.

On this episode of The E.R., Max Boot joins us to discuss his new book "The Road Not Taken."

The Showdown in the Gulf Gets Nasty

Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies have given Qatar until Monday to comply with a list of demands that are unreasonable at best. So where does it go from here?

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