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.
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The US Must Support Sudan's Path to Democracy

In the aftermath of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain formalizing diplomatic relations with Israel on August 13 and September 11, respectively, many experts predict that Sudan will be the next Arab state to follow suit. The main reason for this pertains to the fact that the Trump administration has been putting pressure on Khartoum to abandon the Arab Peace Initiative (API) and open up... Continue Reading

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How Will the UAE Cope With Growing Environmental Insecurity?

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is “living through an unrivalled drop in carbon output.” According to the International Energy Agency, global use of energy will drop 6% in 2020, an amount that equals India’s total energy demand. Worldwide demand for electricity has already fallen 5%, which is the largest amount since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The dramatic decline in... Continue Reading

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Should Hezbollah Be Disarmed?

Amid Lebanon’s ongoing anti-government protests, various demonstrators have held signs demanding “No weapons but legal weapons. 1559, make it happen.” This is a clear reference to Hezbollah, a hybrid organization, political party, social movement and a regional player with global reach. There is a long history of Hezbollah and the disarmament issue being part of Lebanon’s political... Continue Reading

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Iran’s Defiant Message on Syria

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 Syria near the Iraqi border. Iran’s state-owned television showed one missile... Continue Reading

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Yemen Crisis Spills Over into the Red Sea

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 to unilaterally suspend oil shipments through the maritime artery. Saudi Arabia’s decision to... Continue Reading

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Saudi Arabia's Futuristic Ambitions

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 Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, the NEOM zone is close to major maritime trade... Continue Reading

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

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 month, the Arab Gulf states outlined in... Continue Reading

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King Salman’s Return to Brunei Two Decades Later

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 one day in this Southeast Asian Muslim-majority country 20 years after his... Continue Reading

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The Security and Geopolitical Dimensions of Italy-GCC Relations

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 ongoing financial crisis, officials in... Continue Reading

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China’s Quest to Build a New Silk Road

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 Initiatives. Considering Qatar as a key partner to promote the One Belt, One Road... Continue Reading

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