Can Saudi Arabia Balance Social and Economic Change?

August 09, 2021

The World Bank issued a stark warning in its 2018 outlook for the Saudi economy: “The Kingdom likely faces a looming poverty problem.” The bank has since noted in its 2019 and 2020 outlooks that “while no official information is available on poverty, identifying and...

What Will It Take for MBS to Rehabilitate His Image?

April 28, 2021

On April 10, the Saudi Ministry of Defense announced the execution of three soldiers after what it called a “fair trial” in a specialist court. The men were convicted and sentenced to death for the crimes of “high treason” and “cooperating with the enemy.” Aside from the...

Mohammed bin Salman’s Neom: A Case of Giga-Narcissism

March 31, 2021

Despite rumors to the contrary due to the somewhat soiled reputation of a leader better known for, according to US intelligence, commanding the murder of a Washington Post journalist than his contribution to the future of humankind, Business Insider reassuringly reports that “work is pressing...

The Talented Mr. Bin Salman

March 04, 2021

Mohammed bin Salman is a charming fellow. The tall, dark and handsome Saudi prince known as MBS has seduced world leaders and eager pundits left and right. To his supporters, MBS became first in line to the Saudi throne by championing reform in a deeply conservative Gulf kingdom, taking on...

The Magnanimous Gesture of Mohammed bin Salman

February 15, 2021

Donald Trump famously cultivated a personal friendship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). To critics of the evil prince, Trump claimed that his loyalty was justified by the hundreds of billions of dollars of arms sales their friendship generated. The fact that those weapons served...

Mohammed bin Salman’s Shaky Legacy in a Troubled Saudi Kingdom

September 07, 2020

Una Galani is the associate editor of Reuters’ Breakingviews division, which the news agency describes as “the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight.” Last week, Breakingviews published her review of the book “Blood and Oil” by Wall Street Journal reporters Bradley...

Is Saudi Arabia Looking for an Exit from Yemen?

April 14, 2020

March 25 marked the fifth anniversary since a Saudi-led coalition of Arab states, with direct support from the US, launched its campaign of airstrikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The air campaign has gone hand-in-hand with an effort by Saudi and Yemeni forces opposing the Houthis to regain...

Saudi Arabia’s Wars on Three Fronts

March 30, 2020

The Saudi crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), finds himself in a difficult place, fighting three very different sorts of wars. The first — and the longest running — is the Saudi-led campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen that on 25 March passed its fifth...

Enforcing Allegiance in Saudi Arabia

March 11, 2020

On Friday, the media reported that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), had arrested two powerful members of the royal family, Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz, the sole remaining full brother of King Salman, and the former crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef. Al Jazeera describes the...

Why Is a US Company Helping Saudi Arabia Solve Its Housing Crisis?

January 28, 2020

While Saudi Arabia powers forward on mega projects favored by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the push to build more than 1 million affordable homes for the kingdom has had its struggles. The housing minister, Majid al-Hogail, outlined some of the difficulties in an interview in...

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