What Next for Gabon?

Ali Bongo (Foreign and Commonwealth Office via Flickr)

by Giorgio Cafiero Gabon, an oil-rich Central African state located along the equator, is not typically on the international media’s radar. The relative stability that has generally shaped Gabonese politics for decades largely explains the country’s low profile in the… Continue Reading  

The UAE Campaign Against Political Islam: Implications for London

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed

by Giorgio Cafiero Arguably, of all Arab states, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is least tolerant of political Islam and most determined to weaken its influence throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The rulers in Abu Dhabi, who… Continue Reading  

After Trump’s Syria Announcement, YPG Looks to Moscow and Damascus

U.S. Marines engaged in anti-IS operations in Syria's Deir Ezzor province, October 2018 (Wikimedia Commons)

by Giorgio Cafiero When a plethora of state and non-state actors were collaborating in the struggle against the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) in Syria during the so-called caliphate’s peak, the dominant Kurdish force—the People’s Protection Units (YPG)—cooperated with both… Continue Reading  

Qatar Frees Itself of OPEC

Novikov Aleksey via Shutterstock

by Giorgio Cafiero Qatar’s recent decision to leave the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) effective January 1, 2019 marks the first time a Middle Eastern member has left the cartel. Nonetheless, given Qatar’s national strategic needs and forecasted trends… Continue Reading  

Khashoggi Case Is No Moral Issue for China or Russia

Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Salman

by Giorgio Cafiero Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS)’s exchanges with the Chinese and Russian leaders at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina were rich in geopolitical context. Keen to exploit tension between Riyadh and Washington, officials in Beijing… Continue Reading