The Daily Devil’s Dictionary: Saudi Arabia Fights “Satire”

September 17, 2018

As it modernizes, Saudi Arabia under Mohammad bin Salman takes the lead in suppressing satire. Some human activities are less compatible than others with the policies of visionary leaders. Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) has recently made clear his intention of reshaping Saudi Arabia’s...

What’s at Stake in Yemen?

July 13, 2018

In Yemen, the pressure is on both sides to move toward a negotiated settlement. There are three different views on the Yemen War depending on who’s making the pronouncements. The first sees the US as supporting a naive and destructive effort by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to...

China’s Clout in the Middle East

May 02, 2018

The hardening of Middle Eastern fault lines is likely to make it difficult for China to remain aloof. Subtle shifts in Chinese energy imports suggest that Beijing may be able to exert influence in the Middle East in alternative ways that do not involve military or overt economic pressure. The...

Saudi Arabia Turns Qatar into an Island

April 16, 2018

Qatari conservatism is likely what Prince Mohammed would like to achieve, even if that is something he is unlikely to admit. There’s a cutting-off-the-nose-to-spite-the-face aspect to a Saudi plan of turning Qatar into an island. In the latest episode of the Qatar crisis, Riyadh intends to dig...

How Far Will Crown Prince Mohammed Go?

March 21, 2018

Prince Mohammed’s social reforms and promised economic change in Saudi Arabia provide him significant arrows in his multimillion-dollar PR blitz. In his effort to improve Saudi Arabia’s badly tarnished image and project the kingdom as embracing an unidentified form of moderate Islam, Crown...

The Daily Devil’s Dictionary: “Unity” All Around?

January 22, 2018

How do you translate e pluribus unum into Arabic and Farsi? The risk of war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the most powerful Muslim nations, has never been greater. Their rivalry can be understood in two ways. The first is simply as two powerful nations facing each other on either side of the...

The Qatar Crisis Is Like a Game of Chess

January 10, 2018

The Qatar crisis, even without Turkey joining the fray, was putting fragile peace arrangements in the Horn of Africa at risk. The Qatar crisis has expanded to the Horn Africa, potentially fueling simmering regional conflicts. Renewed fears of heightened tension in the Horn — a region...

Prince Al-Waleed Challenges the Saudi Crown Prince

December 28, 2017

A legal battle with Prince al-Waleed that publicly puts to the test the government’s assertions could upset the apple cart. Incarcerated for almost two months in a gilded cage at Riyadh’s luxurious Ritz Carlton Hotel, Saudi billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal appears to be putting up a...

The Arabs Trade Jerusalem for Iran

December 18, 2017

Anger at President Trump’s move on Jerusalem could potentially turn against Arab leaders. Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel potentially sets the stage for a controversial American effort — backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — to resolve the...

The Daily Devil’s Dictionary: Saudi Arabia’s “Sources of Legitimacy”

November 21, 2017

The uncertain keys to manufacturing legitimacy in the desert. Today’s 3D Definition: Sources of Legitimacy Business Insider looks at the political and economic facets of the changes taking place in Saudi Arabia: “According to Chatham House's Vision 2030 and Saudi Arabia's Social Contract...

Load More