Columnist

Oubai Shahbandar

Oubai Shahbandar is a Fellow in New America's International Security Program. He is a former Department of Defense senior adviser, and currently a strategic consultant specializing in technology, energy and Arabian Gulf security

Twitter: @OS26

Latest published



Russian veto of UN chemical weapons investigation is cover-up for Assad war crimes

Science knows no geographical boundaries and is beholden to no political agenda. Unfortunately, the Russian government has opted to politicize the indisputable facts gathered by the UN’s joint inquiry into the use of the banned nerve agent sarin by the Syrian regime.

November 17, 2017

How Trump may have set a trap for Iran

To understand why the Iranian government is worried about President Donald Trump taking a harder line with sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards, we first must take a look back at how the 2015 nuclear deal intersected with the IRGC and its regional activities and interests. 

October 15, 2017

Iran’s nuclear deal must be fully enforced or scrapped

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday succinctly captured the essence of the global danger posed by the Iran nuclear deal, when he told the UN General Assembly that the agreement was “one sided” and an “embarrassment.”

September 20, 2017

Horrific echoes of Assad from the bloodshed in Myanmar

A military official in Myanmar described it as a “clearing operation.” The Nobel Peace laureate, State Counsellor of Myanmar and the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, refers to it as counter-terrorism.

September 04, 2017

Can Gen. Joseph Votel avoid the mistakes of his predecessors?

In a recent interview, Gen. Joseph Votel, chief of US Central Command — which oversees military operations from the Horn of Africa to Central Asia — discussed his vision for the Middle East’s future amid various armed conflicts.

July 27, 2017

Closer US monitoring of illicit Qatar finance a good first step

The announcement by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) that it will deploy officials to Doha to more closely inspect terror-related illicit finance is clearly due to the pressure exerted by the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ), comprising Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.

July 21, 2017

Qatar’s links with Al-Qaeda network in Iran

A key demand by the Arab Coalition to Qatar has been to significantly curtail Doha’s alleged ties with Tehran’s external security and intelligence entities, specifically the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

June 27, 2017