Persian Gulf

Biofuel U.S. Navy Warplane Makes Successful Flight

Despite growing interest and investment, countering unmanned aircraft remains a significant challenge given the nature of the threat, the rapid evolution of drone technology, and the dynamic nature of modern warfare. This PolicyWatch is adapted from the author’s February 2018 monograph “Counter-Drone Systems.” The full report can be accessed here. Drones are operated by numerous state… Keep reading →

China Plans New Energy Strategy

Amid uncertainties about the incoming U.S. administration’s approach to the Middle East and the nuclear deal, Tehran and Beijing appear to be entering a new era in their strategic partnership, including the potential transfer of advanced weapon systems down the road. Last week, Chinese defense minister Chang Wanquan concluded a three-day trip to Tehran, the… Keep reading →

Tamar, The Natural Gas Production Platform Off The Israeli Coast, Is To Begin It's Natural Gas Production

A new Israeli diplomatic office in the UAE is a rare public indication of a broader trend. Last week, the United Arab Emirates gave Israel formal permission to establish a diplomatic office in Abu Dhabi under the auspices of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), a multilateral body with 144 member states. Although officials from… Keep reading →

The Growing Economy Of Dubai

The Assad regime and Hezbollah back Iran’s view of the announced parameters, but most other Arab officials and commentators are openly skeptical. Most analysts have focused on Israeli and American, rather than Arab, reactions to the Iran nuclear framework agreement announced last week. Yet there were significant and highly divergent reactions across the Arab region… Keep reading →

Iraq's Minister of Oil and President of

“The potential of air strikes on Yemen by Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil producer in OPEC, could throw world oil markets into volatility.” While Yemen contributes less than 0.2 percent of global oil output, its location puts it near the center of world energy trade. The nation shares a border with Saudi Arabia, the world’s… Keep reading →

An Iranian war-boat fires a missile duri

Blowing up a mock U.S. carrier was likely the Supreme Leader’s way of prodding the depressed oil market and reaffirming his role as the true arbiter of Iran’s nuclear future. On February 25, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched its long-overdue “Great Prophet 9” naval exercise in the Strait of Hormuz by attacking a… Keep reading →

Secretary of Defense Gates Middle East Diplomacy Trip

Washington’s relationship with Riyadh has always been focused on mutually-beneficial policies, while politely ignoring considerable societal differences. There have certainly been periods of ideological conflict, but the House of Saud and the Obama Administration currently find themselves very far apart on several important issues. And while leadership in Washington thus far appears relatively unconcerned –… Keep reading →

Many Feared Dead As Egyptian Security Forces Clear Cairo Protest Camps

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude had risen for five consecutive days as of yesterday afternoon – “the longest stretch of gains since April” – on news of escalating unrest in Egypt, as Brent hit a four-month high. A police crackdown on protests in Egypt has left more than 500 dead. [Bloomberg] Iran has… Keep reading →

USS Fletcher Helps Maintain U.N. Blockade on Iraq

Once again, the US Navy is moving more warships to the Persian Gulf. This time, though, we’re not sending an extra aircraft carrier or another task force. This is arguably a de-escalation of possible tensions with Iran. In a nutshell, the Navy is replacing big ships with small ones. The three new ships – Tempest,… Keep reading →