The Middle East in 2021

January 05, 2022

Can Self-Help Diplomacy Lower Political Heat in the Middle East?

December 13, 2021

Since the end of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the United States has been the unchallenged dominant power in the Middle East and North Africa. As such, it often saw its role, for better or worse, as fixing the region’s many problems. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iraq and Saddam Hussein, Iran,...

Will Saudi-Iran Talks Lead to Anything?

December 08, 2021

Saudi Arabia and Iran have engaged in four rounds of talks over the last six months, the most recent of which with the hardliner Ebrahim Raisi already inaugurated as president. A fifth meeting is expected to take place before the end of 2021. The success of the negotiations will depend, to an...

Macron Promotes Fraternity in the Middle East

December 07, 2021

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron, despite being preoccupied with next spring’s presidential election, dropped in on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to celebrate the conclusion of a massive sale of French military equipment to Saudi Arabia’s neighbor and co-sponsor of the war...

Biden’s Lost Battle With Mohammed bin Salman

November 18, 2021

Ryan Grim and Ken Klippenstein at The Intercept cite the tense relationship between US President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the explanation of the high gas prices that have rattled consumers’ confidence and troubled the administration. Every politician and political...

Can Football Find a Way Out of a Moral Maze?

October 11, 2021

Are we freighting football with too much responsibility? After all, the game we recognize today started as a frivolous competition for English factory workers to let off steam at the end of a miserable, emotionally unrewarding and ungratifying work week in the 19th century. Yet this futile ball...

Saudi-UAE Relations in 2021

October 07, 2021

In July, tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates made major headlines. Dr. Andreas Krieg, a lecturer at the School of Security Studies at King's College London, discusses some of the dynamics and key issues shaping Riyadh-Abu Dhabi relations.

9/11 and the American Collective Unconscious

September 10, 2021

A little more than a month ago, the most newsworthy controversy surrounding the imminent and highly symbolic 20th anniversary of 9/11 concerned the message by families of the victims that Joe Biden would not be welcome at the planned commemoration. They reproached the US president for failing to...

The Aftershocks of the Saudi and American Debacle in Afghanistan

September 09, 2021

Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan have a complex relationship. Their ties date back to the 19th century when Afghanistan became the first Muslim country to recognize the second Saudi state of 1824 to 1891. In 1930, Ibn Saud recognized King Nadir Shah’s rule in Afghanistan, in 1932, the two...

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...

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