Scroll to the top

Middle East

Ian Explains: How is America's "Pivot to Asia" playing out?
Ian Explains: How is America's "Pivot to Asia" playing out? | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Why can't the US seem to focus on the Asia-Pacific region instead of the Middle East?

In November 2011, President Barack Obama laid out his vision for America’s expanded role in the Asia-Pacific region, which soon became known as the "pivot to Asia.” American foreign policy, Obama announced, would be shifting its focus away from costly wars in the Middle East and towards strengthening partnerships in the Asia-Pacific to curb a rising China. In short, America’s 21st-century foreign policy would be pointed firmly to the East.

Fast-forward to 2023, and America’s “Pivot to Asia” is a little more complicated. The Israel-Hamas conflict, which could quite easily spiral into a larger regional war with the US and Iran, is only the latest example. And though not in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine remains one of the biggest and most expensive US foreign policy priorities. This is not, in short, the 21st-century foreign policy vision that President Obama had in mind.

Read moreShow less

Yael Richert speaks during special event to address sexual violence during Hamas terror attack on October 7 held at UN Headquarters in New York on December 4, 2023. During the event, speakers described their personal experience seeing women violated during terror attack and condemned women’s advocacy groups, specifically UN Women, to be silent on this.

Photo by Lev Radin/Sipa USA via Reuters

As the Israel-Hamas war rages in Gaza, the Israeli government and the UN are locked in an escalating feud of their own. Israel has accused the UN of anti-Israel bias in the past, but the tensions have reached new heights in recent days. Here’s what’s going on:

Read moreShow less

Vehicles drive past posters of presidential candidate and current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ahead of the presidential elections to be held inside the country next week, in Cairo, Egypt, December 5, 2023.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Sorry to be a spoiler here, but: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is going to win this weekend’s election, and it won’t be close.

During his decade in power, the ex-general has unleashed a ferocious crackdown on civil society, crushed the political opposition, and empowered his military pals to keep control over the commanding heights of the economy.

Read moreShow less

FILE PHOTO: The President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speak at a press conference in Berlin on November 17th, 2023.

ddp/Andreas Gora via Reuters

Just days after the Swedish foreign minister said he was confident his country would join NATO “within weeks,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has thrown up another roadblock.

If you’re counting, the process has now dragged on for more than 18 months, as Turkey and Hungary are the two NATO member holdouts blocking Sweden’s formal accession to the alliance.

Read moreShow less
Biden's Israel policy hurts his 2024 reelection chances from all angles
Is the Israel-Hamas war hurting Biden's 2024 prospects? | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Why is Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas war hurting his reelection bid?

Well, look, there is virtually no position he can take on Israel and not alienate a significant piece of his own support base in the United States. He is presently stapled to the Netanyahu government and policy, which is really antagonizing more than 50% of committed Democrats, people who say they're going to vote for Biden. On the other hand, strongly pro-Israel Biden, Israel being America's most important ally in the Middle East, is seen as soft on that policy vis-a-vis the Republicans. The only way this is a winning issue for Biden is if it's no longer anywhere close to the headlines when the election hits.

Read moreShow less

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with United Arab Emirates' President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Saint Petersburg, Russia, October 11, 2022.

Sputnik/Pavel Bednyakov/Pool via REUTERS

Vladimir Putin is on the move Wednesday, visiting Saudi Arabia and the UAE before returning home to host Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi in Moscow a day later.

The context: The Gulf monarchies have largely bucked Western pressure to isolate Moscow over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Iran, meanwhile, is a crucial supplier of drones and other arms for Putin’s war.

Read moreShow less

Palestinians, injured during an Israeli bombing, arrive at the Nasser Hospital.

Ahmed Zakot/dpa via Reuters

As Israel’s offensive against Hamas expands in southern Gaza, the UN is warning of “apocalyptic” conditions.

Earlier in the conflict Israel had urged Palestinians to evacuate to Southern Gaza as the IDF pounded targets in and around Gaza City in the north.

Read moreShow less

Subscribe to our free newsletter, GZERO Daily

Listen now | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer - the podcast
Watch Puppet Regime - award-winning comedy series

Most Popular Videos


Subscribe to GZERO's daily newsletter