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
Why would Saudi blockade a fellow Gulf Arab? Qatar proffers a vision of the future Riyadh hates.
Both Qatar and Russia hoped to use the World Cup to build their up their soft power and shortcut development. But the international system headed by the United States was never going to make that easy.
From 1995 until 2013, Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani had one of the best jobs a world leader could ask for. His state, Qatar, was tiny, both in land size and population. That meant, for his day job, he had to balance fewer competing interests; fewer people means fewer needs. His borders were secure, having … Continue reading The Failure of Qatar’s Foreign Policy Has Come; Or, Everyone Conforms Eventually, Even Rich States
What's a Qatar, and why should you care? First off, it's pronounced "Qatr," with no "-ar" sound, even though that's how it's written in English. If you insist on saying "Qat-AR," do it in your backwoods. Anyway, with Qatar having the third largest proven natural gas reserves in the world, this is one tiny country … Continue reading Saudi Arabia Clamps Down on Little Qatar (Or, How Not To Waste Billions Trying To Be Something You’re Not)
Iran's back in the news - deal or no deal, they ask? Much of it hinges on internal factors nobody knows except the Iranian government's higher ups. You can flip a coin and be just as likely to be right, so we won't bother. Across the Gulf, the shiekhs and kings (and one sultan) watch … Continue reading The Geopolitical Game of the Persian Gulf (Or, how all the king’s men are increasingly screwed)