Topic:

Saudi Arabia

Hints of Gulf Rapprochement: Iranian Tactics Might Be Paying Off

| October 16, 2019

Fears of a potential military conflict with Iran may have opened the door to a Saudi-Iranian dialogue against the backdrop of a rethink of US military logistics, involving at least a gradual partial relocation to the US of command and control operations based in the Gulf for almost four decades.

Israeli Arabs Welcomed in Saudi Arabia: Diplomatic Breakthrough or Cynical Ploy?

| October 13, 2019

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s calls to invite Israeli Arabs to live and work in Saudi Arabia could be either a diplomatic breakthrough or a cynical ploy. If the former, it could indicate that at long last, the Arab world is awakening to the possibility that to fully enter the modern world, it must normalize relations with Israel.

Putin Clumsily Attempts to Exploit Gulf Tensions

| October 1, 2019

Vladimir Putin sees an opportunity in escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf, but his attempts to make the most of it have been clumsy and could be self-defeating.

Iran Escalates: The Attack on the Saudi Oilfields

| September 23, 2019

The attack on the Saudi oilfields took the security establishments of both the kingdom and the US completely by surprise. The strike led to a 50% drop in Saudi oil production, which in turn prompted a surge in oil prices in the global market. The attack was a daring and aggressive leap forward on Iran’s part, and it has serious regional and geopolitical implications.

Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities Puts US Commitments to the Test

| September 20, 2019

Neither Saudi Arabia nor the US is rushing to retaliate for a brazen, allegedly Iranian attack that severely damaged two of the kingdom’s key oil facilities. That is not to say that Saudi Arabia and/or the US will not retaliate in what could prove to be a game changer in the geopolitics of the Middle East.

Muslim Causes vs. National Interests: Muslim Nations Make Risky Bets

| August 14, 2019

Saudi attitudes toward the plight of thousands of illegal Rohingya in the kingdom fleeing persecution in Myanmar and squalid Bangladeshi refugee camps help explain Saudi support for China’s brutal clampdown on Turkic Muslims in its troubled northwestern province of Xinjiang.

The UAE Withdraws from Yemen

| August 4, 2019

A UAE decision to withdraw the bulk of its forces from Yemen shines a spotlight on hard realities underlying Middle Eastern geopolitics. The pullback suggests that the UAE is preparing for the possibility of a US military confrontation with Iran in which the UAE and Saudi Arabia could emerge as prime battlegrounds. It also reflects long-standing subtle differences in the approaches of Saudi Arabia and the UAE toward Yemen.

Public Decency Law Puts Saudi Reforms in Perspective

| July 15, 2019

A newly adopted Saudi law on public decency helps define Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s vague notion of “moderate Islam.” It lays bare the pitfalls of his social reforms as well as his preference for hyper-nationalism rather than religion as the legitimizing ideology of his rule and his quest for control of every aspect of Saudi life.

Russia Joins Gulf States in Coaching Sudan’s Military

| July 9, 2019

Russia has emerged as Saudi Arabia’s and the UAE’s silent partner in assisting the Sudanese military’s efforts to weaken, if not defeat, a months-long popular revolt that has already toppled president Omar Bashir.

Clerics and Entertainers Seek to Bolster MBS’s Grip on Power

| July 7, 2019

A public apology by a prominent Salafi scholar sheds light on Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s version of “moderate Islam,” which appears to be an effort to shape the Middle East and North Africa in his image and replace religion with hypernationalism.