For Saudi Arabia, Iran Looms, Israel Beckons and the Taliban Cause Goosebumps

August 26, 2021

Prince Khalid bin Salman may not have planned it that way, but the timing of his trip to Moscow last week and message to Washington resounded loud and clear. By not postponing the visit, the Saudi deputy defense minister signaled that he was trying to hedge his kingdom’s bets by signing a...

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...

Saudi Seeks to Replace UAE and Qatar

June 14, 2021

Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to outflank the United Arab Emirates and Qatar as the commercial, cultural and/or geostrategic hub in the Gulf. The Saudis recently expanded their challenge to the smaller Gulf states by seeking to position Saudi Arabia as the region’s foremost sports...

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...

How the End of the Gulf Crisis Affects Sudan

April 09, 2021

Sudan has been at the center of the diverging interests of wealthy Gulf states for many years. Having been close allies of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar had longstanding business, military and political interests in the country...

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...

There Is No Strain in US-Saudi Relations

June 17, 2020

The US decision to withdraw two of its four Patriot anti-missile batteries from Saudi Arabia, along with the 300 soldiers that operated them, has led to speculation about what lies behind the move. Some analysts have linked it to the kingdom’s oil policy, arguing that the decision is intended to...

Can the Saudi Call for Ceasefire in Yemen Work?

April 13, 2020

On April 9, the government of Saudi Arabia unilaterally called for a two-week ceasefire in the five-year conflict that has ravaged Yemen, the Middle East’s poorest nation. The UN, the European Union and the US Congress have long called for a suspension of hostilities and a return to...

Saudi Repression Strong as Ever But Aims Lower

November 26, 2019

Thanks to the gruesome murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, everyone who may have previously been indifferent to the brutally repressive nature of the Saudi regime should have no illusions about its absolute commitment to repression. Before the Khashoggi assassination, readers...

The Strained Saudi-Emirati Alliance

November 12, 2019

Since 2011, geopolitical influence in the Middle East has shifted toward wealthy Gulf states. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar's ambitious foreign policy agendas have shaped the region, as has the division between them.

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