Persian Gulf

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Snapshot,
Denise Natali

Within Iraq and Syria, the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS relies heavily on Kurdish Peshmerga. But the Peshmerga haven’t been a total success story; Peshmerga forces are using coalition air strikes to engineer territorial and demographic changes that are antagonizing Sunni Arabs—the very communities the United States needs on its side to degrade ISIS.

Snapshot,
Mohsen Milani

Saudi Arabia is grossly exaggerating Iran’s power in Yemen to justify its own expansionist ambitions. Iran is not the cause of the civil war, nor are the Houthis its proxy. Chaos, not Iran, controls the Arab world's poorest nation.

Snapshot,
Charles Schmitz

Many suspect former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh of using the Houthis, his old enemies, to try to regain power. But in the end, he may end up as the conflict's biggest loser.

Snapshot,
Philippe Bolopion and Belkis Wille

The Saudi Arabia-led bombing campaign in Yemen is off to a dreadful start, at least when it comes to the civilian toll. And now that the United States has offered its support, it will be associated with the bloodshed.

Snapshot,
Andrew F. March and Mara Revkin

Debating whether ISIS is really "Islamic" or is better understood as an exotic apocalyptic death cult does not bring the world closer to understanding how the group governs. Indeed, whatever it believes about the apocalypse, it sees itself as creating a distinctive legal order for the here and now, one that is based on a literal (if selective) reading of early Islamic materials and a long-standing theory of statecraft and legal authority.

Snapshot,
Dalia Dassa Kaye

Fears that a deal will lead to a major readjustment in U.S. regional strategy are overblown. Even if the administration is interested in reorienting its regional policies, there are a number of obstacles that will stand in the way. In other words, as significant as a final nuclear agreement would be, it may not prove transformative.

Postscript,
Michael Bröning

The establishment of a truly representative Arab army operating under the auspices of a reformed Arab League would be a welcome addition to the region, but the proposed “unified Arab force”—helpful in glossing over tensions among Sunni states but detrimental to relations between the Arab League and Iran—is not.

Snapshot,
Aaron Stein

Although Turkey has sided with Saudi Arabia in Yemen, it won't be backing Riyadh in opposing the region's Shiite powers anytime soon. Rather, Ankara's strategy relies on carefully balancing Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Snapshot,
John Delury

The central lesson from North Korea is that even the best nuclear deal with Iran is merely a prelude to the real diplomatic drama. To ensure that Tehran does not go the way of Pyongyang, the nuclear accord must be followed by the creation of a framework for fundamentally new Iranian relations with the United States, the region, and the international community.

Snapshot,
Farshad Ghodoosi

The historic negotiations between P5+1 countries and Iran over Tehran's nuclear aspirations are a diplomatic breakthrough. Whether any future agreements will be subject to international law, however, remains to be seen.

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