Has the Gulf Cooperation Council Failed?

June 25, 2020

The concept of the Gulf Cooperation Council as a necessary sub-regional institution is coming into question.

How Abu Dhabi Is Playing Saudi Arabia

September 17, 2018

For now, Mohammed bin Zayed is happy to play the director allowing his young star the limelight. On June 6 in Jeddah, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and his Abu Dhabi counterpart, Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ), convened the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council. Abu...

Fire and Fury in the Gulf

February 07, 2018

Although the Qatar crisis may have passed its most dangerous moment, it has had significant negative consequences for both the Gulf and Washington.  Amid the fire and fury of Michael Wolff’s explosive account of the Trump presidency so far, readers hoping for greater insight into some of the...

How Are Sovereign Wealth Fund Decisions Made?

December 22, 2017

Over the last eight years, considerations of politics and national security have come to play an influential role in the decision-making of Gulf sovereign wealth funds. In 2015, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) — Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF) — declared its intention to invest...

Israel: A Strategic Partner for the UAE?

November 22, 2017

Officials in Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv appear to see a low-profile, Emirati-Israeli strategic partnership as being not only viable, but also immensely valuable. Despite the city of Dubai’s remarkable success in transforming itself into a sprawling Western-style financial hub, the United Arab...

Pakistan and Qatar: Constraints and Dilemmas  

September 21, 2017

Pakistan has no plans to join Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE in severing ties with Doha. Since June 5, Pakistan has faced what amounts to Hobson’s choice. Saudi Arabia has been asking its fellow Sunni Muslim ally: Are you with Qatar or with us? While Islamabad has expressed...

Walking the Tightrope in Kuwaiti-Iranian Relations

August 25, 2017

Today, Kuwaiti officials face a very different regional landscape than they did earlier this year. In July, Kuwait expelled 15 Iranian diplomats and submitted a formal letter of protest to the Lebanese government as the fallout from the “Abdali affair” reverberates around the state. Fourteen...

Can Muqtada Al-Sadr Defuse Tensions Between Riyadh and Tehran?

August 08, 2017

Seeing Iraq regain stability serves as a source of panic for some in the region. Iraq’s influential Shia leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, paid an unexpected visit to Saudi Arabia on July 28 and 29, where he met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and other senior officials. The meeting took...

Managing Reputations in the Gulf

July 29, 2017

The media and public diplomacy war between Qatar and its Gulf detractors is escalating. Expect to see some hidden skeletons revealed. Lurking below the surface of the Gulf crisis are rival, yet troubled attempts by Qatar and its detractors to use sports to boost soft power and/or launder...

The Middle East is Getting Cold

July 27, 2017

For decades, Saudi Arabia and Iran have confronted each other through military involvement in proxy wars. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Middle East has been wracked by war, conflict, insurgencies and uprisings. The Middle East of today resembles a chessboard, where many different...

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