Persian Gulf

Vice Adm. John Miller, the commander of the U.S. 5th Fleet, answers questions from sailors in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on Jan. 26, 2015.

Former 5th Fleet Commander: Iran Attacks on Saudi Oil a ‘Significant Escalation’

Retired Vice Adm. John Miller says the United States and Saudi Arabia should ratchet up the war in Yemen to hit back at Iran.

Members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard flash a victory sign during naval exercises in the Gulf on April 22, 2010.

Iran Owns the Persian Gulf Now

The Trump administration’s nonresponse to Iranian aggression has sent an unmistakable message.

The British warship HMS Montrose is seen docked in the Cypriot port of Limassol on Feb. 3, 2014.

Britain’s Power Play in the Persian Gulf

The United Kingdom hopes to get European countries to join it in a maritime coalition to protect vulnerable tankers near Iran.

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.

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