Gary Grappo

Gary Grappo is a former US ambassador and a distinguished fellow at the Center for Middle East Studies at the Korbel School for International Studies, University of Denver. He possesses nearly 40 years of diplomatic and public policy experience in a variety of public, private and nonprofit endeavors. As a career member of the Senior Foreign Service of the US Department of State, he served as Envoy and Head of Mission of the Office of the Quartet Representative, the Honorable Mr. Tony Blair, in Jerusalem. Grappo held a number of senior positions in the US State Department, including Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Baghdad; US Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman; and Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. From 2011-13, he was President and CEO of The Keystone Center. He currently serves as CEO of Equilibrium International Consulting, providing analysis and policy guidance on foreign affairs to businesses, institutions and the media. Grappo is chairman of the Board of Directors at Fair Observer.

Sultan Qaboos Brought Light and Modernity to Oman

Jan 13, 2020

Despite knowledge of his illness, I was stunned and saddened by the death on January 10 of Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman. I had come to know Sultan Qaboos, who ruled Oman for 49 years, as an American diplomat. I served two assignments in Oman, as deputy chief of...

Who Wins and Loses in the Middle East?

Jan 10, 2020

Following Iran’s missile attacks on a two US airbase, one outside Baghdad and the second near Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, US President Donald Trump almost triumphantly announced that Iran is now standing down in their the two countries’ intensified conflict following the killing of Quds Force commander, General Qassem Soleimani,...

The Stage Is Set for the Middle East in 2020

Jan 03, 2020

The last several weeks have seen a dangerous escalation in US-Iran tensions in the Gulf. Following the pro-Iranian, Iraqi militia Kataib Hezbollah’s (KH) attack on a US facility that killed an American contractor and injured others, the US responded with several airstrikes on KH’s camps in Syria and Iraq, killing...

US Position on Legality of Israeli Settlements Not Good for Peace

Nov 25, 2019

On November 18, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US would no longer view Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal. The decision breaks with a 1978 State Department finding that settlements were “inconsistent with international law.” The new policy is also at odds with the view of...

Facing the Consequences of Trump’s Decision to Abandon the Kurds

Oct 25, 2019

The sad tragedy of US President Donald Trump’s precipitous decision to suddenly abandon the Kurds of northern Syria is that it may have been inevitable. Turkey had long warned the Americans that it viscerally opposed its partnership with the People’s Protection Units (YGP) — a Syrian Kurdish militia. Seen by...

Jamal Khashoggi Continues to Haunt the World’s Conscience

Oct 02, 2019

On October 2, 2018, Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi expatriate journalist, walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. What then transpired resembled a 1920s American gangland-style killing, complete with the victim’s final pleadings, the executioners’ harsh words and the chilling sound of a bone saw dismembering the body. We are fittingly...

Another Middle East War Is Internationalized

Sep 18, 2019

“If we don’t go to the Middle East, the Middle East will come to us.” That prophetic comment was once shared with me by an American general defending US policy — now questioned by many in the country, including President Donald Trump — to remain actively engaged actively in the...

The World Without American Leadership

Aug 14, 2019

People around the world, including Americans, have argued that the world can get along without US leadership. Today, they may want to scan the global landscape. While acute crises and violent conflict may not seem imminent at the moment, the view isn’t a hopeful one. For Americans, naively content in...

Why Aren’t Americans Paying Attention to Pope Francis’ Progressive Ideas?

Jul 17, 2019

In his papal encyclical, “Laudato Si’” (“Praise Be”), issued in May 2015, Pope Francis reminded humanity of its responsibility for stewardship of the planet, including addressing the challenge of our times, climate change. Had the pope stuck to the environmental message, it would have been history-making enough for the papacy....

For Iran, Options Are Few and Prospects Are Grim

Jun 18, 2019

After last week’s tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman, Tehran will need to undertake a sober assessment of its options, which are few, and its prospects, which only get worse. Last week’s attacks on two oil tankers outside the Strait of Hormuz show that for now Tehran is choosing...

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