Media Boosts Obvious Saudi Front Group as Neutral ‘Think Tank’

Arabia Foundation Executive Director Ali Shihabi (YouTube)

by Adam Johnson The Arabia Foundation appeared in spring 2016, seemingly out of nowhere, as a Saudi-focused think tank with “ties to Riyadh,” but vaguely independent of the regime. Or at least independent enough so that media wouldn’t represent it… Continue Reading  

Turning Qatar into an Island: Saudi cuts off its nose to spite its face

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman meeting with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad in 2016 (SPA)

by James M. Dorsey There’s a cutting-off-the-nose-to-spite-the face aspect to a Saudi plan to turn Qatar into an island by digging a 60-kilometre ocean channel through the two countries’ land border that would accommodate a nuclear waste heap as well… Continue Reading  

Eight Big Questions on War and Peace for Mike Pompeo

Mike_Pompeo_by_Gage_Skidmore_2

Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took place on Thursday. The International Crisis Group’s Stephen Pomper suggested eight questions that committee members should have asked of Pompeo. Several of these questions were… Continue Reading  

Saudi Arabia and the Nuclear Temptation

Mohammed_Bin_Salman_Al-Saud_2015BA

by Thomas W. Lippman Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and defense minister, Mohammed bin Salman, seems to have gotten what he wanted from his long glad-handing tour through the United States and several European capitals. He met President Trump and brand-name business… Continue Reading  

The Syrian Timebomb is Ticking More Loudly

Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin

by Robert E. Hunter The conflict in Syria could soon take on dimensions that no one outside of that country really wants and with consequences that will have destructive effects far beyond the local issues at stake, notably intensifying US-Russian… Continue Reading