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



Foreign policy punditry unfair to Trump

It is the height of irony that White House officials are now calling for a tougher line on Russia.

January 11, 2017

Can Russia succeed in getting Assad to behave?

The much-heralded Syrian “cease-fire” that Russia shepherded through last week is already on a fast track to being annulled.

January 04, 2017

In Syria, history teaches us that Russia’s overconfidence will backfire

Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s fall from grace was a long one. Once one of Russia’s most preeminent and richest oligarchs, he was exiled into the Siberian gulag by President Vladimir Putin for his support for domestic reform.

December 28, 2016

The Persian ‘domino effect’

The mastermind of Aleppo’s capture, Qassem Soleimani — head of Iran’s Al-Quds Force — was recently pictured strolling through the rubble of the occupied city, seemingly admiring the fruits of his labor.

December 21, 2016

In defense of Bahrain

Bahrain has been much maligned by detractors as of late. Every year, the Manama Dialogue places a spotlight on this plucky Kingdom as the world’s media and senior leaders gather in its capital. On Dec.

December 15, 2016

Dialogue of the deaf

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, in his farewell tour of the Middle East, addressed the Manama Dialogue on Saturday to lay out the Department of Defense’s priorities in the world. However, what struck me most was what was left unsaid in his wide-ranging, 40-minute speech.

December 12, 2016

Crafting a new Mideast strategy in the post-Obama era

At the Manama Dialogue, where world leaders gathered in Bahrain with strategists, military officers, defense officials, and industry leaders, the talk centered on two overriding themes: Iran and the new direction of American foreign policy.

December 11, 2016

How the ‘alt-media’ (mis)covers Syria

The Western media is rife with references to this new phenomenon known as the “alt-right,” a neologism meant to describe an ostensible collection of ethnic nationalists and a non-politically correct movement that masks a more sinister fascist undercurrent.
 
December 07, 2016

After the fall of Aleppo, comes the deluge

Russian-built warplanes reportedly dropped thousands of leaflets, which read “Leave or Die,” on the hundreds of thousands of inhabitants in besieged Aleppo, “You know that everyone has left you alone to face your doom."

December 01, 2016

Returning men of action to the White House

Legendary diplomat and strategic thinker Henry Kissinger once famously quipped that “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.” Sadly, in the age of the Obama administration, America has passively neglected its friends and forgotten who its enemies truly are.

November 23, 2016