Showing posts with label Arab World. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arab World. Show all posts

25 April 2017

*** Has AQAP Traded Terrorism For Protection?

As I've often said before, some of the most interesting stories to come across my desk are those from abroad that the U.S. mainstream media has failed to pick up. A recent article by Norwegian news outlet Verdens Gang (VG) only reminded me of that fact when it reported it had been in contact with an unidentified member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The piece, written by Erlend Ofte Arntsen, raised some interesting points - not least of which was the suggestion that the Yemeni al Qaeda franchise has set aside its mission of conducting attacks in the West.

Above image: Al Qaeda has shifted most of its attention to strengthening and equipping its local branches and foreign partners, rather than carrying out spectacular attacks overseas. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Finding Dale

VG reporter Erlend Ofte Arntsen connected with the anonymous AQAP member through an intermediary at al-Masra newspaper, a publication that belongs to Ansar al-Sharia Yemen. AQAP has historically used the name "Ansar al-Sharia" in its local endeavors in an attempt to hide their links to al Qaeda and promote them as mainstream. Because of this, an al-Masra employee would be a logical channel through which to meet a person claiming to be an AQAP leader.

Fearing ISIS in the Shadows

Vera Mironova

The six-month Mosul operation will soon come to an end. Civilians and soldiers alike are eager to turn over a new page after years of ISIS control over the city. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this will come to pass. The security problems that will follow are already visible in other Iraqi cities of Iraq, such as Falluja and Ramadi, which had been liberated from ISIS prior to the Mosul operation.

Last month, a high-level government meeting on the "post-ISIS situation" took place. But beneath the surface, even the idea of before and after, of a "post-ISIS moment" seems uncertain. This is because ISIS insurgencies and sleeper cells at various stages of activation exist across many areas that are now considered to have been liberated. If, in liberated East Mosul they are still mostly dormant, in Fallujah and Ramadi they are already active. Only last week there were clashes between ten ISIS militants dressed in police uniforms and Iraqi security forces in Tikrit, Iraqi security forces’ military bases were attacked in Hamrin and Sadyah, and ISIS insurgents were trying to take control of Amriat Faluja (a town near Falluja). And although efforts to ferret them out are ongoing, the Iraqi security forces’ record of success has been mixed at best.

OPEC’s Misleading Narrative About World Oil Supply

Leonardo Maugeri

At a time when energy market headlines focus mainly on OPEC cuts, observers may be forgiven for concluding that a supply crunch and higher prices are imminent. On the contrary, there is still too much oil in global markets. In this context, OPEC production cuts (which notably fall short of the original target envisaged by the organization) appear to serve mainly as a psychological support to oil prices.

Analyzing trends from my proprietary database of more than 1,200 global oilfields helped me to make a bold prediction in 2012 regarding a coming oil supply boom. In January, my similar field-by-field analysis indicated that world oil production capacity and actual production were still growing—while prospects for demand growth were not sufficiently high to absorb the excess supply. In particular, actual oil production (which includes crude oil and other liquids such as condensates, NGLs, and more according to the standard definition used by most statistics) was almost 99.5 million barrels per day (mbd)—leaving a voluntary and involuntary spare capacity (the result of local civil wars and other geopolitical factors) of more than 4 mbd.

24 April 2017

Contain, Degrade, and Defeat: A Defense Strategy for a Troubled Middle East

The decade and a half the United States has spent fighting the "long war" in the Middle East has yielded many tactical successes but left a lasting victory elusive. The inconclusive nature of these struggles has sapped support for the U.S. policy of shouldering the burden of providing security and stability in the region. Although many believe U.S. involvement in the region has resulted in more violence, disorder, and radicalization of local Arab populations, the current situation in the Middle East illustrates that inaction has been highly destabilizing.

In this new CSBA report, Eric Edelman and Whitney McNamara expand upon the histories, cultures, and foreign policies that have brought the United States to its current juncture in the Middle East. This is the last of four reports that provide detailed regional recommendations based upon the defense strategy outlined in Andrew F. Krepinevich's Preserving the Balance: A U.S. Eurasia Defense Strategy.

Despite the growing importance of different regional theaters in which the United States must operate, it seems almost certain that the dual challenges of Iran's regional rise and the persistent threat of violent jihadists will continue to demand the time, attention, and resources of national security decision-makers. The Middle East presents an enormous set of difficulties for policymakers against a backdrop of long-lived conflict and turmoil that is likely to persist for a generation - or perhaps longer. The United States has historically been successful in accomplishing its strategic objectives in the region, and it can be again if it develops a clear strategy that aligns ways, means, and ends and builds up capable partners in the region to contain Iran's ambitions and defeat violent jihadists. Without such a strategy, both challenges will otherwise threaten the governments of America and its partners.

23 April 2017

** Osama bin Laden’s Secret Masturbation Fatwa


In January, the U.S. government released 49 new documents seized in 2011 from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Among the items — the fourth and final batch of bin Laden documents made public since 2012 — is a letter addressed to a senior colleague in North Africa in which the now-deceased al Qaeda leader raises “a very special and top secret matter”:

It pertains to the problem of the brothers who are with you in their unfortunate celibacy and lack of availability of wives for them in the conditions that have been imposed on them. We pray to God to release them. I wrote to Shaykh/Doctor ((Ayman)), [al-Zawahiri], and I consulted with Shaykh ((Abu Yahya)) [al-Libbi].

Dr. Ayman has written us his opinion … As we see it, we have no objection to clarifying to the brothers that they may, in such conditions, masturbate, since this is an extreme case. The ancestors approved this for the community. They advised the young men at the time of the conquest to do so. It has also been prescribed by the legists when needed, and there is no doubt that the brothers are in a state of extreme need.

U.S. Strategy for al Qaeda and ISIS: It’s Groundhog Day

By James Dubik

The current situation in Syria reminds us again that we are failing in our post-9/11 wars. We have accomplished neither the strategic objectives set forth by the Bush administration nor those of the Obama administration. Both administrations have had notable successes and achieved periodic tactical and operational progress, but neither created sustained strategic success. The jury on the current administration is still out, but on the campaign trail the President suggested we can defeat ISIS with military force alone—bombing the *@#! out of them. To put it kindly, this approach misses the mark. America has led a concerted leadership decapitation campaign against both al Qaeda and ISIS for a decade and a half. Such a campaign is necessary, but not sufficient. How much longer will we take this approach before we learn that we are waking up to the same day over and over again?

We must reset our thinking. The first, and most important step, is to admit we have not understood the kind of war we’re in, and we’ve tried to make it something it is not. Then we must read our enemy’s documents and actions to see them as they are: Al Qaeda, ISIS, and their ilk are waging (and have been from the start) a global revolutionary (and therefore ideological) war, a form of insurgency which is initially local and regional but already has global implications. We have waged, with few exceptions, a counterterrorist war. Our first approach was expansive: going after the terrorists and the states that sponsored them. Our second approach, the one we’re still using, is minimalist and gradualist: a combination of precise targeting of key individuals and selected groups coupled with reliance on surrogate ground forces. Neither works because both approaches miscast the enemy. We are waging one kind of war; our enemies are waging another. As long as we stay in this mode, our failure is near guaranteed.

22 April 2017

The Crime-Terrorism Nexus

By Florence Gaub and Julia Lisiecka for European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS)

In the case of the so-called Islamic State (IS), Florence Gaub and Julia Lisiecka think the crime-terrorism nexus runs deep. Indeed, the organization recruits more former criminals, and funds itself more through petty – not organized – criminal activities than other groups. This tendency, however, also offers law enforcement officials an opportunity to pursue IS in a way that goes beyond the usual radicalization narrative. It does require zeroing in on hitherto neglected petty criminals, though.

That there is a link between terrorism and crime is common knowledge: terrorism itself is a crime, often funded by organised criminal activity. But in the case of Daesh, the link goes much further. The organisation recruits more former criminals, and funds itself more through petty – not organised – criminal activities than other groups. Yet this also offers law enforcement officials an opportunity to pursue it from another angle beyond the usual radicalization narrative. This requires a zeroing in on hitherto neglected petty criminals, however.

From zero to hero

European criminals are one of Daesh’s main targets for recruitment. It is estimated that between 50- 80% of Europeans in Daesh have a criminal record – substantially higher than al-Qaeda, where the same statistic stands at around 25%. The German federal police, for instance, found that two-thirds of German Daesh fighters had criminal backgrounds, one-third of whom had previously been convicted (other estimates put the number of convicted at nearly 60%). The vast majority of these were repeat offenders: 98% had committed more than one crime, and more than half had committed three or more offenses (mostly acts of violence, as well as property crimes and drug-related felonies). In fact, on average, 7.6 crimes had been committed per person. According to Belgian sources, the criminal records of jihadists mostly consist of theft and assault, and usually begin with small-scale shoplifting.

Rolling Back the Islamic State

by Seth G. Jones, James Dobbins

Research Questions 

What are the Islamic State's ideology and objectives? 

What possible strategies and primary instruments of power should the United States and its allies employ against it? 

What specific steps should be taken to defeat and prevent the reemergence of the Islamic State in the countries where it controls territory and population, such as Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, and Nigeria? 

What other steps should be taken around the globe to counter the Islamic State's capacity to recruit fighters, raise funds, orchestrate a propaganda campaign, and inspire and direct attacks? 

The Islamic State is a byproduct of the 2003 American intervention in Iraq and the subsequent American departure in 2011. At its peak in late 2014, the group held more than 100,000 square kilometers of territory with a population of nearly 12 million, mostly in Iraq and Syria. Beginning in 2015, the Islamic State began to lose territory as it faced increasingly effective resistance. Still, the Islamic State continues to conduct and inspire attacks around the world. This report assesses the threat the Islamic State poses to the United States and examines four possible strategies to counter the group: disengagement, containment, rollback "light" (with a reliance on local forces backed by U.S. special operations forces, Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence assets, and airpower), and rollback "heavy" (adding the employment of American conventional forces in ground combat). The authors conclude that the United States should pursue a light rollback strategy. They also recommend additional steps, such as rebalancing counterterrorism efforts to address grievances, loosening restrictions on U.S. military operations, increasing U.S. military posture in Africa, and tightening restrictions in the Islamic State's internet access.

21 April 2017

** Life After Islamic State ‘They Taught Us How To Decapitate A Person’

By Katrin Kuntz

For over two years, Islamic State controlled the Iraqi city of Mosul, including its schools. Now that the U.S.-led coalition has pushed the Islamists out, the city’s teachers face a dilemma: How do you reshape the minds of children who were taught to fight and kill?
 (Text) and Andy Spyra (Photos) in Mosul, Iraq

On a morning in late March, 20 children are standing between bombed houses and burned-out cars in front of an elementary school on a street in eastern Mosul. When you ask them what they learned inside, they talk about killing. Their teacher was Islamic State (IS), which had a stronghold here. “Daesh, Daesh,” the children shout, using the Arabic pejorative for IS, with strong, excited voices, as if the sound concealed an unbelievable secret.

The children are between the ages of 6 and 13. Their backpacks are too large for their bodies, they wear sandals and their T-shirts have holes. Some ate eggs that morning, others didn’t. As the children wait for the gate to open, they call out and laugh. Their happiness is real, but if you look through it, you can see the war in their small, hardened faces.

IS conquered Mosul in June 2014. When it tried to create a state, it didn’t stop at acquiring land, people, a doctrine and a flag. It also pushed into every crevice of social life — it controlled the economy, administered justice and created lesson plans that fit its views. The goal of IS was to create a worldview, which also led it to take over Mosul’s schools.

** The United States, Syria and Russia A strategy toward the Middle East requires more than short-term tactical moves.

By George Friedman 

Last week’s American attack on a Syrian air base raises three important questions. First, what is the U.S. strategy in the Middle East? Second, what is the U.S. strategy toward Russia? Finally, what is the Russian strategy in general? The three strategies intersect, but at this moment none of them are apparent. Therefore, it is useful to try to understand each of them individually and then consider how they all fit together.

Let me begin with an obvious political point. Candidates for president say one thing during their campaigns and then behave differently when elected. We have seen this play out many times. Thomas Jefferson entered into a deal to buy the Louisiana Territory before getting congressional authorization, thereby supporting the dictator Napoleon, and Franklin D. Roosevelt promised to stay out of war during the 1940 election while secretly making plans to enter the war. U.S. presidents have a long tradition of not keeping their election pledges. Part of it is cynicism, part of it is that the reality of being president compels shifts in behavior. Only those wanting to be shocked will be shocked that President Donald Trump’s actions differ from his campaign promises.

Syrian residents of Khan Sheikhun hold placards and pictures on April 7, 2017 during a protest condemning a suspected chemical weapons attack on their town earlier this week that killed at least 86 people, among them 30 children, and left hundreds suffering symptoms including convulsions, vomiting or foaming at the mouth. OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP/Getty Images

20 April 2017

World War II Had Many Spies, But None That Matched This Pathan

He helped Bose who was seeking help from Germany and Japan to free India escape from the country via Kabul, and that was all even Bose knew of this man, who in reality was betraying Bose to the British.

Bhagat Ram Talwar, the only quintuple spy of World War II, whose spymaster Peter Fleming gave him the code name Silver, was spying for Britain, Italy, Germany, Japan and the USSR, all at the same time without any of them having a whiff of it. While the best of spies with all their skill stayed put in one city, this deceptive Pathan shuttled between Kabul and India, 24 times, that too on foot.

Mihir Bose’s The Indian Spy, the true story of the most remarkable secret agents of the World War II, recounts all of the life of this mastermind, who managed to deceive almost everybody, yet remain unscathed.

Some of the characters one comes across in the excerpt below which talks of how Talwar took the Nazi’s for a ride are, Uttam Chand , Talwars’ former jail mate in Peshawar who had moved to and set up a shop in Kabul and helped him hide Bose by hosting him in his own house, and Carl Rudolf Rasmuss, a member of the German Diplomatic Club and former German Trade Commissioner in Calcutta.

Here is an excerpt:

During Silver’s absence from Kabul, Uttam Chand had become more involved with the foreign powers there. Rasmuss had asked his help in getting hold of gold sovereigns—Shankar Das, the Indian merchant helping the Italians, could not obtain enough—to pay bribes to Afghan officials and also the tribal leaders, and soon Uttam Chand was buying some 2,000 gold sovereigns 1 as well as Indian currency for the Germans from various brokers in Kabul. He also took to visiting the Russian Minister telling him more about Bose and Silver, passing on various titbits of information about how the Japanese were trying to bribe Afghan officials, and how the Kirti party was not happy about Silver maintaining relations with the Axis powers.

19 April 2017

Pakistani Taliban Emir Calls for Unity, Jihad, and Global Caliphate

By Bill Roggio

Mullah Fazlullah, the emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (TTP), said that his group’s ultimate goal is “to implement the law of Allah on the Earth” and called on Muslims to unite and wage jihad to achieve that end. Fazlullah, one of the most extreme commanders in a group filled with extremists, also said that attempts made by Pakistan’s military intelligence service to break up the TTP have largely failed and his group has reorganized following a tumultuous period.

Fazlullah made the statements in a video released yesterday by Umar Media, the propaganda arm of the TTP. Umar Media also provided an English language transcript of Fazlullah’s speech. He outlined the group’s primary goal in his opening statement.

“The aim of Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan [TTP] is to implement the law of Allah on the Earth of Allah. And this will be the result of our Jihad. For Islamic ideology we have to accord sacrifices. By the grace of Allah, those who believe that implementation and uprising of Shar’iah [Islamic law] is their actual goal and absolute ambition, know that the implementation of this Shar’iah is impossible without practicing Jihad and Jihad is impossible without unity,” Fazlullah said.

Throughout the speech, Fazlullah quoted the Koran to provide religious justification for the TTP’s war against the Pakistani military and government, and said that it is the obligation of clerics to rally Muslims to the cause.



For special access to experts and other members of the national security community, check out the new War on the Rocks membership.

The execution of Assad’s April 4 chemical weapons attack was a textbook use of these weapons. This suggests that the decision to use them was military in nature, not a complicated exercise in signaling to the outside world. Reported Russian military activity in the area clearly implicates Moscow as one of two things: either an impotent and clueless backer of the Syria regime, incapable of monitoring the activities of an air force it is co-located with, or party to a war crime

At President Donald Trump’s order, a barrage of cruise missiles collided with the Syrian air base that was purportedly the source of the chemical attack on Kahn Sheikhoun. This use of force has been widely praised and hailed as a potential turning point in the Syrian conflict. However, the use of limited cruise missile strikes to change state behavior has a poor historical track record. It is too early to tell if the strikes will contribute to the immediate goal of deterring future chemical weapon use in Syria or even a second goal now articulated by some members of the Trump administration: forcing Russia to reevaluate its support for Bashar al Assad.

The Great Game in West Asia

The 11 short articles in this text examine 1) the competing interests between Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey and other actors in the South Caucasus region; 2) the exercising of soft power by the Güllen Movement, Turkey and Russia in the area; and 3) the state-building struggles of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan following the collapse of the Soviet Union.



Mehran Kamrava, Anatol Lieven, Mahmood Monshipouri, Gareth Winrow, Hamid Ahmadi, Jeffrey Mankoff, Meliha Benli Altunışık, Bayram Balci, Richard Giragosian, Alexander Kupatadze, Anar Valiyev 



Chuck Spinney explains why both parties love the Syria poison gas story

By Franklin “Chuck” Spinney

Summary: Trump has received much applause for bombing Syria. Republicans, Democrats, journalists, and geopolitical gurus all cheered. Here insightful defense analyst Chuck Spinney asks inconvenient questions about the lack of evidence and illogic of the “Assad did it” story. This is a follow-up to Before believing the new Syria sarin attack story, ask if the 2013 story was true

If there was a centerpiece to Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign for President of the United States, it was her struggle to convince the American people that Donald Trump was congenitally incapable of reacting rationally when surprised by a dangerous international crisis. She struggled futilely to contrast her experience and gravitas to Trump’s reckless impulsiveness. 

In a rational world, the recent Trumpian brain fart of firing 59 cruise missiles (worth about $90 million) at a nearly empty — and forewarned — Syrian airfield should be a candidate case study to test Clinton’s psychological theory. But it won’t be. Mr. Trump merely did what Ms. Clinton called on him to do a few hours prior to the attack; see this video. Moreover, the political response to Trump’s attack has been one of widespread bipartisan support, with particular enthusiasm among senior Democrats. For example, see … 

18 April 2017

*** The Islamic State Loses An Important Ideological Weapon

Last week, the Islamic State released the eighth edition of its Rumiyah monthly magazine. Its cover story: an article lionizing Rumiyah's former editor, Ahmad Abousamra, who was killed in January by a U.S.-led coalition airstrike near Tabqa, Syria.

Graphic above: The Rumiyah magazine profile of Ahmad Abousamra reads "Among the Believers Are Men." But though there are still many men associated with the Islamic State, fewer and fewer of them are as gifted a propagandist as Abousamra. (Rumiyah)

Other experts have already done a commendable job of retracing Abousamra's steps as he transformed from a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston's computer science program to a propagandist of terrorism. (I encourage readers interested in his past to look at the profiles compiled by CNN's Paul Cruickshank and the Long War Journal's Thomas Joscelyn.) Rather than repeating their good work, I'd like to use Abousamra's case to look at the importance of propagandists to extremist groups such as the Islamic State - and the impact their removal from the battlefield can have in the fight against terrorism.
Spreading the Word

As I noted a few weeks ago, propagandists have always played a crucial role in terrorist groups' recruitment and radicalization efforts. In fact, early anarchists viewed terrorism itself as a form of propaganda, spread with the help of the media. Advances in the printing press and telegraph enabled anarchists to transmit their messages worldwide; decades later, jihadists became the early adopters of the internet. The Islamic State is no exception, and it has used social media to give its propaganda an unprecedented global reach.

But technology is a tool that is only as effective as the message it conveys. Many different actors have tried to use social media to promote their ideologies or sell their products, but very few have seen the success that the Islamic State has. Part of the group's appeal can be attributed to the apocalyptic nature of its beliefs and the excitement it has generated by telling followers they can help bring about the final battle between good and evil. Yet such claims are hardly unique: There are plenty of other cults with similar views, some of which have even tried to bring about the end of days. What set the Islamic State apart were its dramatic victories on the battlefield in 2014, which lent credibility to the group's promises to conquer the world. But even so, those wins were greatly amplified by the skill of the propaganda team the Islamic State had assembled under Abu Muhammed al-Furqan, the man in charge of the group's media diwan, or department.

17 April 2017

Bombs, Bullets, and Leverage

The sheer number of conflicts in the Middle East is daunting. Battles are raging in Syria and Iraq, in Yemen, and in Libya. There is a low-grade insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, and Shi`a communities in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are seething. The Western Sahara raises tensions between Algeria and Morocco. Tiny Jordan hosts millions of refugees from three neighboring states, and it labors to prevent radical Islamist movements from two of them from inspiring radicals in the Hashemite Kingdom. The entire Middle East seems on fire.

But paying attention to the number of Middle Eastern armed conflicts is the wrong approach. What is most striking about the Middle East’s conflicts isn’t their number, it’s their duration. Many have gone on for decades or more, with little sign of resolution. While some see the region’s ongoing armed conflicts as a sign the Middle East is simply hopeless, the conflicts are in fact a reminder of something else: the military tools that many have relied on in the Middle East are often poor instruments with which to solve the region’s problems.

The wide array of military-led republics in the Middle East would certainly have you believe otherwise, as would many of the monarchies that would prefer a world in which politics play a small role. Yet, the “win” column for military victories is small. Arguably, the Jordanian army defeated a Palestinian state-within-a-state in 1970, and Israel ended a similar Palestinian presence in southern Lebanon in 1982 (inadvertently ushering in an 18-year Israeli intervention). Each solved a particular problem for an individual government, but neither brought a conflict to a close.

16 April 2017



When dealing with Iran, President Donald Trump aspires to make it clear that he does not adhere to the policy of his predecessor. On February 2, 2017 then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn put Iran “on notice” in reaction to an Iranian missile test and an attack on a Saudi warship by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. On the following day Trump tweeted, “Iran is playing with fire — they don’t appreciate how ‘kind’ President Obama was to them. Not me!”

“It’s one of the worst deals ever made.” This is how Trump repeatedly described President Barack Obama’s hallmark foreign policy achievement – the nuclear deal with Iran.

These statements indeed signal a major departure from Obama’s approach to Iran. The Obama administration’s chief objective was to reach a deal with Iran that would restrict its nuclear program and protect the deal after implementation starts. To that end, it seems Obama was willing to put up with Iran’s non-nuclear provocations in the region, as well as its support for terrorism. To shy away from Obama’s policy, though, Trump does not have to back out of the deal, but he does have to shift America’s view of the Iranian challenge. His strategy should be much more comprehensive, with the goal being to weaken Iran and its allies while bolstering America’s role and alliances in the region. Instead of subordinating American interests to an Iranian nuclear threat, Trump should advance three parallel efforts: huddle, block, and tackle.

Exploiting Disorder: al-Qaeda and the Islamic State

Executive Summary

The Islamic State (IS), al-Qaeda-linked groups, Boko Haram and other extremist movements are protagonists in today’s deadliest crises, complicating efforts to end them. They have exploited wars, state collapse and geopolitical upheaval in the Middle East, gained new footholds in Africa and pose an evolving threat elsewhere. Reversing their gains requires avoiding the mistakes that enabled their rise. This means distinguishing between groups with different goals; using force more judiciously; ousting militants only with a viable plan for what comes next; and looking to open lines of communication, even with hardliners. Vital, too, is to de-escalate the crises they feed off and prevent others erupting, by nudging leaders toward dialogue, inclusion and reform and reacting sensibly to terrorist attacks. Most important is that action against “violent extremism” not distract from or deepen graver threats, notably escalating major- and regional-power rivalries.

The reach of “jihadists” (a term Crisis Group uses reluctantly but that groups this report covers self-identify with; a fuller explanation for its use is on page 2) has expanded dramatically over the past few years. Some movements are now powerful insurgent forces, controlling territory, supplanting the state and ruling with a calibrated mix of coercion and co-option. Little suggests they can be defeated by military means alone. Yet, they espouse, to varying degrees, goals incompatible with the nation-state system, rejected by most people in areas affected and hard to accommodate in negotiated settlements. Most appear resilient, able to adapt to shifting dynamics. The geography of crisis today means similar groups will blight many of tomorrow’s wars.

15 April 2017

UAE´s Increasing Role in China´s Security Calculus

By Christina Lin 

In this publication, Christina Lin argues that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is becoming increasingly prominent in China’s strategic calculus and it’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) strategy. Lin specifically highlights 1) the role Dubai now plays as an important financial and trading hub for Beijing; 2) Abu Dhabi's growing significance as an oil supplier for China; and 3) the mounting convergence of the UAE with Egypt and China on security matters, particularly against violent jihadism.

In recent years, there has been much focus on China’s budding ties with large Arab countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. However, among the Arab Gulf states, the smaller United Arab Emirates (UAE) is quietly gaining stature in Beijing’s strategic calculus and its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) strategy.