Stories by Lawrence Pintak

Expert Voices

Pakistan is harnessing Western media in the wake of the Kashmir crisis

Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S. Asad Majeed Khan.
Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S. Asad Majeed Khan. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

Responding to India’s August annexation of Kashmir, Pakistani officials are using interviews, op-eds and social media to emphasize that Islamabad is taking a diplomatic, not military, response to the dangerous religious zealotry that is driving Indian policy.

Why it matters: Pakistan is betting a global public relations campaign can help address the Kashmir crisis in the short term and realign South Asian politics in the long term — paving the way for economic gains and better relations with the West.

Expert Voices

With U.A.E. withdrawal from Yemen, Saudi Crown Prince could lose an ally

Silhouette of an Emirati soldier looking out of a military plane at the strait of Bab al-Mandab.
An Emirati soldier looking out of a military plane at the strait of Bab al-Mandab. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images.

The United Arab Emirates is reportedly withdrawing most of its forces from Yemen to defend its home front in the event of an Iran conflict — a move that could also improve its standing with U.S. lawmakers critical of the war in Yemen.

The big picture: The U.A.E.'s withdrawal of troops could lead to de-escalation in Yemen, but for Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman (MBS), a key Arab friend of the Trump administration, it is the latest indicator that he is rapidly running out of allies.

Expert Voices

U.S.–Iran standoff perpetuates flaws of decades-old policies

Mike Pompeo and John Bolton on stage behind Donald Trump, speaking at a lectern
President Trump at the July 2018 NATO summit with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Current U.S. policy toward Iran has deepened the Middle East's Sunni-Shia divide — embodied in the regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran — and risks repeating the failures of successive U.S. administrations.

Why it matters: American presidents have often tried to view the Middle East in overly black-and-white terms — from Reagan in Lebanon and Bush in Iraq to Obama’s dreams of Arab democracy. With this mindset still in play, the risks of economic harm and military escalation continue to mount.