Giorgio Cafiero

Giorgio Cafiero is the founder and CEO of Gulf State Analytics, a geopolitical risk consultancy based in Washington, DC. His research interests include geopolitical and security trends in the Arabian Peninsula and the broader Middle East. Cafiero is a regular contributor to several think tanks and publications, including the Middle East Institute, Atlantic Council, The National Interest, Al Monitor, and LobeLog. From 2014-15, he was an analyst at Kroll, an investigative due diligence consultancy. He received an MA in International Relations from the University of San Diego.

Iran’s Defiant Message on Syria

Oct 15, 2018

By firing missiles over Iraq into Syria, the Iranians delivered a powerful message to Washington at a time when the Trump administration ratchets up its aggression against the Islamic Republic. On October 1, Iran carried out six missile strikes against Islamic State (IS) targets in Abu Kamal, situated in eastern...

Yemen Crisis Spills Over into the Red Sea

Jul 31, 2018

The Houthi attack on a Saudi crude carrier has been interpreted as an indication that Iran may make good on its promise to disrupt shipping in the Strait of Hormuz. On July 25, Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacked a Saudi Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) near the Bab-al-Mandab strait, causing Riyadh...

Saudi Arabia's Futuristic Ambitions

Nov 01, 2017

Will Saudi Arabia’s ambitious vision for a desert megacity help bring about a new future for the kingdom? In October, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) unveiled Riyadh’s plans for NEOM, a futuristic desert city that he hailed as a “civilizational leap for humanity.” Situated next to the...

What's All This Talk About a Gulf-Israel Alliance?

May 22, 2017

In all probability, Israel’s relationship with the Gulf monarchies will remain unofficial and controversial. Since Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ascended to the throne in January 2015, there has been much discussion about an “unlikely partnership” or “tacit alliance” between Israel and the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members. Earlier this...

King Salman’s Return to Brunei Two Decades Later

Mar 20, 2017

Saudi Arabia and Brunei are likely to bring their bilateral relationship to new heights as both nations face the challenge of transforming their economies away from oil and gas. Earlier this month, King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud became the first Saudi monarch to visit the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, spending...

The Security and Geopolitical Dimensions of Italy-GCC Relations

Nov 16, 2016

Italy is likely to play an increasingly important role in the Gulf Cooperation Council’s long-term strategic planning. Within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Italy has one key partner—the United Arab Emirates (UAE); two economic partners—Kuwait and Qatar; and three third-party partners—Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman. As Italy grapples with an...

China’s Quest to Build a New Silk Road

Jun 17, 2016

Qatar has embraced a Look East approach, taking stock of the global shift in economic prosperity from North America and Europe to the Far East. In May, at the China-Arab Cooperation Forum in Doha, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi postulated that Qatar should take part in the realization of China’s Silk Road...

Will the Saudis Deploy Ground Forces to Syria?

Feb 10, 2016

If Saudi Arabia sends ground troops to Syria, it would be the first time that the kingdom has fought two wars at the same time in the Middle East. In September 2014, the White House emphasized the importance of obtaining support from Sunni Arab states prior to launching an air...

Saudi Arabia’s Anti-Terror “Coalition” is a House of Cards

Dec 23, 2015

With differing interests, the Saudi-led anti-terror coalition is unlikely to weaken the Islamic State. On December 15, Saudi Arabia’s young and inexperienced defense minister announced a military coalition made up of nearly three dozen mainly Sunni Muslim states, stretching from Morocco to Bangladesh. The Saudi-led alliance’s stated purpose is to...

The US and Iran’s Common Interests in Syria

Nov 07, 2015

The conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen cannot be resolved unless Iran is at the negotiating table. For decades, consecutive US administrations pursued a foreign policy in the Middle East designed to “contain” the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action by the...

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