Iraq Security Forces Conduct Operations in Lead-up to US Drawdown

The shuttering of a vital U.S. diplomatic outpost in Iraq sends all the wrong signals about America’s resolve to push back against Iran’s malign activities. On September 28, the State Department ordered the temporary closure of its consulate in the oil-rich southern Iraqi province of Basra after the complex was targeted by rocket fire. The… Keep reading →


The Bahraini government’s legal move against the main opposition group escalates its differences with Washington but could also provide an opportunity for diplomacy. On July 20, Bahrain’s Justice Ministry submitted a legal request that, if accepted by a local court, will bar the country’s main Shiite opposition group, al-Wefaq, from operating for the next three… Keep reading →

Prince Charles Visits Qatar - Day 2

The withdrawal of several ambassadors from Qatar is a setback to U.S. diplomacy with Gulf allies and another item for President Obama’s upcoming meeting with the Saudi king. Earlier today, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates recalled their ambassadors from Qatar, choosing a high-visibility tactic to emphasize long-simmering tensions within the Gulf Cooperation… Keep reading →

Crude Oil Carrier Hijacked By Somali Pirates

The possibility of a rapprochement in nuclear talks between the US and Iran – though they did not produce a deal – had fueled a degree of oil market optimism about Iran’s reinstatement as a global oil supplier. But even if negotiations had proved successful, political and logistical hurdles would likely have stalled any significant return… Keep reading →