Simon Henderson is the Baker fellow and director of the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy at The Washington Institute, specializing in energy matters and the conservative Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
Articles & Testimony
American ships and bombers are arriving in the Gulf at a time when nerves are raw and various players are making risky escalation wagers.
Are there war clouds beginning to fill the skies of the Middle East? A tense ceasefire has just ended 48 hours of vicious fighting between Israel and Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip. And now an American carrier strike group is heading to the Persian Gulf, along with some U.S. Air Force bombers, to counter unspecified new activity by Iranian-aligned forces. The activity was spotted on Friday and, by Sunday evening, the carrier and its escorts were heading to the Gulf, with unnamed senior officials saying there are “new concerns in waterways where Iranian maritime forces operate.” That sounds like the Strait of Hormuz, through which Gulf oil reaches Asian markets. Any interference with the flow of that oil would send the price rocketing even in the United States...