The Saudi Driving Ban and the Shadow of the Ikhwan

Reuters reports the historic driving ban reversal: “Saudi Arabia will never be the same again. The rain begins with a single drop,” Manal al-Sharif, who was arrested in 2011 after a driving protest, said in an online statement. King Salman announced the historic change on Tuesday, ending a conservative tradition which limited women’s mobility and … Continue reading The Saudi Driving Ban and the Shadow of the Ikhwan

Saudi Arabia Tries The Waters Of Retrenchment

In 2015, Saudi Arabia's new Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman sent the Kingdom's armies to Yemen.  In 2017, shortly before usurping the position of Crown Prince, Salman organized a blockade on little Qatar, who had dared defy the Kingdom's geopolitical priorities.Both were bold moves fraught with risk.  The Yemen war was meant to roll … Continue reading Saudi Arabia Tries The Waters Of Retrenchment

To Save Saudi Arabia, They Needed A Young King

By most metrics, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is running out of time.  It's finding it impossible to balance its budget after trying to wage a failed price war on shale oil.  It is lurching towards a knowledge economy but hoping that knowledge does not bring a demand for political freedom along the way.  Its … Continue reading To Save Saudi Arabia, They Needed A Young King

The Weapons of Saudi’s Siege on Qatar

Anyone who's ever worked in the Gulf isn't shocked that Qatar missed a deadline.  Badiin, badiin, "later, later," in the local parlance, as yet another meeting fails to happen. In light of that, we shouldn't be so surprised that the Qatar's been given something of an extension.  Reuters reports: Four Arab states refrained on Wednesday … Continue reading The Weapons of Saudi’s Siege on Qatar

Meet Mohammed bin Salman, the Last King of Saudi Arabia

From Reuters: Mohammed bin Salman, 31, was appointed crown prince by his father King Salman on Wednesday, replacing his cousin who is 26 years his senior. This made the prince, who already oversaw defense and energy policy, the most powerful figure in the country by some stretch after the octogenarian monarch. Already more than a … Continue reading Meet Mohammed bin Salman, the Last King of Saudi Arabia