Under Mohammed bin Salman, Riyadh has morphed into an independent force striking out aggressively at home and adventurously abroad, dragging Washington with them.
In Saudi Arabia, a young prince with limited experience in governance is making an unprecedented bid for control. If he succeeds, the impact could very well change Saudi Arabia and its regional role for years to come.
The sweeping arrest of royals and officials in Saudi Arabia has removed many of the last checks and balances to executive power in the country.
The arrests of key Saudi figures should be understood in the context of interaction between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s short window for domestic power consolidation and the kingdom’s unsettled regional position.
The Iran Deal may not be perfect but the decision by the Trump Administration weakens oversight mechanisms and causes rifts between America and its European allies.
Egypt temporarily lifted its state of emergency this month, but while this may have seemed to be a victory for the people it was actually a triumph for the security state.
The gap between U.S. rhetoric and action on Assad’s departure has long characterized Washington’s policy toward the Syrian leader.
The United States can neither transform Syria nor walk away from it. Washington needs to accept the reality that its role will likely be limited.
Syria’s coming battles will determine the final relationship between the central government in Damascus and the Syrian Kurds, even when this is not their immediate or sole purpose.
The recent Hamas-Fatah reconciliation may reflect shifting dynamics in negotiations on Gaza, both regionally and internationally.
Every one of the very real challenges Iran poses in the world would be made more difficult to manage if Iran were freed of the nuclear limits agreed in the JCPOA, and every one of them would be made more difficult if the United States isolates itself from its partners.
U.S. and Afgani leaders have agreed to ask Qatar to close the Taliban's political commission office. This would be a mistake that would prevent further negotiations to end the war in Afghanistan. The office has previously proved its usefulness in a prisoner exchange.
Fundamentally, it seems irrational to leave an agreement that’s working today out of a fixation on potential growth of Iran’s nuclear program more than a decade from now, when such growth could happen tomorrow if we unravel the agreement.
Concern over ballistic missiles should not be the impetus for withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. Ballistic missiles were intentionally left out of the deal because of the lack of international consensus.
The rise of electric vehicles appears unstoppable, but they need much more to cause a serious disruption in the transport sector.
The smart way to get tough on Iran would be to commit to the nuclear deal, enforce it to the hilt, and work with global partners on a long-term strategy to deal with Iran’s challenge.
The role of sharia in the Saudi state is likely to undergo significant changes.
Regional connectivity projects give Afghanistan a substantive trading alternative to Pakistan and provide a powerful mechanism for trade and economic development.
India’s traditionally neutral position in the Middle East has ended with the landmark Israel visit. The future balancing of India’s westward pivot will be determined by a new regional order led assertively be Saudi Arabia, and one which sees Iran as enemy number one.
The recent dynastic shake-up in Saudi Arabia was not only about power, patronage, and personality, but about the future trajectory of the kingdom.