Saudi Arabia Plans To Starve Yemen’s Houthis Into Submission

From Reuters: Global food crises worsened significantly in 2016 and conditions look set to deteriorate further this year in some areas with an increasing risk of famine, a report said on Friday. "There is a high risk of famine in some areas of north-eastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen because of armed conflict, drought … Continue reading Saudi Arabia Plans To Starve Yemen’s Houthis Into Submission

The Arab League is useless. Abolish it. 

International organizations get a bad wrap these days; the EU gets knocked about by nationalists and the UN gets slammed for feckless dithering. But you'd be hard pressed to find a international organization more useless, more pointless, and less effective than the Arab League. It's done little for its storied history and given salve to … Continue reading The Arab League is useless. Abolish it. 

More than meets the eye: The Saudis aren’t going into Syria just because they hate Assad

As if the war in Syria weren't worrisome enough, Saudi Arabia is now contemplating open intervention to match the Russians.  Beyond the obvious implications of Saudi special forces shooting down Russian jets, with all the madness that would entail, is an essential question: why?  Why would Saudi Arabia, long one of the few quiet, reliably … Continue reading More than meets the eye: The Saudis aren’t going into Syria just because they hate Assad

The Arab Spring in Review

Five years later, the dismal record of the Arab Spring is all too apparent.  Syria burns, Egypt's new Pharaoh goes from strength to strength, while the Gulf monarchs, having launched war in Yemen, have rarely seemed so lethal.  Democracy, it is clear, did not sweep in with the revolutions of the 2011-12. But that's no … Continue reading The Arab Spring in Review

What oil prices mean for geopolitics

2003 was a different era.  The U.S. waged a war of choice in Iraq; Putin's Russia was seen as a paper tiger; China's economic boom roared but didn't threaten; Dubai was unknown; and the United States seemed like it would forever be an oil importer. Much has changed.  But today, the price of oil dropped … Continue reading What oil prices mean for geopolitics

Bad news made worse: Saudi Arabia is in freefall

It's important to look forward as one year ends and another begins: to make resolutions, regret our mistakes, and to wonder where it could all go wrong in the next 12 months. There are fewer countries on Earth that have as much explosive potential in 2016 as Saudi Arabia. Yes, there are failed or nearly … Continue reading Bad news made worse: Saudi Arabia is in freefall