What Does 60˚C Mean for the Middle East?

November 30, 2021

Global warming is an established ongoing threat, and the Middle East is warming at twice the global average. This summer, Oman, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iraq have experienced temperatures surging above 50˚C. It is quite plausible that temperatures could rise closer to 60˚C over the coming...

Russia Joins the Red Sea Scramble

February 09, 2021

Russia has come back to the crowded Red Sea. On November 11, 2020, the Russian government announced its agreement with Sudan to establish a naval base at the city of Port Sudan. While the Russian navy already enjoys access rights to the port, the concession with Khartoum envisages the creation of...

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...

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...

Jamal Khashoggi: The Martyr Who Made Backlash Possible

October 19, 2018

In his last ever article, Jamal Khashoggi lamented the lack of an “independent international forum” and “transnational media” in the Arab world. In his final, posthumous column published by The Washington Post, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi complained about the public’s general...

Saudi Aramco IPO Stalls

September 24, 2018

Mohammed bin Salman's reputation as someone the world can do business with has suffered significant damage. When then-deputy crown prince and now crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS as he is known, mused in early 2016 that he believed it was “in the interest of the...

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...

Churchill Sets an Example for Today’s Western Leaders

March 12, 2018

Theresa May’s fig leaf approach to standing by basic democratic principles is the latest incident in a long-standing Western willingness to pay a heavy price for sleeping with the devil. To understand that the Western emphasis on human rights is at best a fig leaf to do business with...

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...

Can Moscow Mediate Between Tehran and Riyadh?

October 25, 2017

The Middle East is in a process of a geopolitical makeover that could affect the region for decades to come. The recent Russian initiative to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia has come as a surprise and has left many questions about what Moscow could do in order to bridge the gap between...

Load More