US Opinion and Commentary

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Showing Archived Posts

Five Reasons the Middle East Is Becoming More Dangerous for the US Navy

Posted October 24th, 2016 at 2:31 pm (UTC-5)
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While the United States is not yet in any risk of losing its maritime dominance in the region, ensuring freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and the Arabian Sea will require more thoughtful cooperation with our allies in other areas.

Stop the Saudi Slaughter

Posted October 24th, 2016 at 1:52 pm (UTC-5)
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Until our politicians act, U.S. complicity in the carnage will continue. Allowing Washington to arm Saudi Arabia’s assault on Yemen spells disaster for the humanitarian crisis there, as well as for the people of Saudi Arabia and the United States.

A Turning Point in Yemen?

Posted October 17th, 2016 at 10:47 am (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin The Saudi bombing that killed 140 people at a funeral in Yemen earlier this month has given the Barack Obama administration new diplomatic ammunition to push for a halt to an increasingly bloody and counter-productive war. Meeting in London Sunday with his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, and a UN envoy, Secretary of […]

Saudi Backing of Iranian Exile Group Inflames Mideast Conflicts

Posted July 11th, 2016 at 12:35 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Iran and Saudi Arabia are experts at infuriating each other, with dismal consequences for the region they co-inhabit. Facing off in proxy conflicts from Yemen to Syria, they are also practitioners in a propaganda war that now extends to open Saudi support for an Iranian exile group that seeks the overthrow of […]

The Giant al Qaeda Defeat that No One’s Talking About

Posted May 2nd, 2016 at 4:32 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Arab Emirates, under the banner of a Saudi-led coalition, late last month delivered a major blow to the most lethal Al Qaeda group on the planet—Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the primary Islamic extremist group operating in Yemen.

Would a Mideast Marshall Plan Work?

Posted April 22nd, 2016 at 12:14 pm (UTC-5)
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“We face, as the Marshall Planners did not in their dealings with Western Europe, the challenge of intervening in countries in which ethnic strife is high, democratic traditions are few, and America’s presence is a source of suspicion…”

Yemen Teeters on ‘Fringes of Famine,’ Top US Aid Official Says

Posted February 16th, 2016 at 11:51 am (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin With global attention focused on the humanitarian crisis in Syria, an increasingly dire situation in Yemen is not receiving sufficient notice. Some 21 million of the country’s 26 million people need outside aid, according to Andrew Pitt, director of North African and Arabian Affairs at the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID). By […]

Meeting An Unprecedented Migrant Challenge

Posted January 14th, 2016 at 2:14 pm (UTC-5)
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“My colleagues and I in the State Department’s Population, Refugees and Migration bureau cannot recall another time as challenging.” Anne C. Richard

Saudis Should Reveal a Political Endgame for Yemen

Posted October 8th, 2015 at 4:55 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin As Saudi planes continue to bombard one of the world’s poorest nations, it is time for the Barack Obama administration to use its leverage as the Kingdom’s major arms supplier to put pressure on Riyadh to enter negotiations on a political solution to the conflict in Yemen. Testifying this week before the […]

The False Promise of Aerial Policing

Posted October 7th, 2015 at 1:32 pm (UTC-5)
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In baseball, three strikes and you’re out. Yet the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Russia continue to swing and miss. The idea of aerial policing is dangerous and deeply flawed, yet mysteriously it has become a panacea for states seeking to apply force in the modern era.

Force 2025 and Beyond: How the Army is Preparing for Its Future

Posted July 31st, 2015 at 2:21 pm (UTC-5)
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Global instability, coupled with the reduction in military capabilities of many of our allies, has emboldened potential adversaries and magnified the risk to U.S. interests around the world. The Army is meeting this challenge — to change itself and improve land power capabilities — through a strategy called Force 2025 and Beyond.  

Glimmer of Hope for Yemen, Gloom Elsewhere in the Middle East

Posted June 5th, 2015 at 2:28 pm (UTC-5)
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As proposed peace talks on Yemen raises optimism while prospects for diplomatic progress elsewhere in the Middle East is dimmer.

How Pakistan Plays the Middle East

Posted May 7th, 2015 at 2:50 pm (UTC-5)
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The Middle East landscape does appear increasingly complex, but for Pakistan the game remains much the same. It will always leverage opportunities to its own advantage, and its loyalties will usually go to the highest bidder.

A Fourth Arab Country Melts Down

Posted March 25th, 2015 at 1:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Reports on Wednesday that the president of Yemen has fled his country underline the latest crisis to strike the state system in the Middle East. Three other Arab nations – Libya, Syria and Iraq – are already fractured among religious, ethnic and tribal groups, with fighting exacerbated by outsiders bankrolling and arming proxies. The Barack […]