Yemen, As Simple as Possible

The biggest battle of Yemen's most recent civil war is underway, and honestly, there's good reason not to know much about what's going on. From Reuters: Arab coalition troops stormed the airport in Yemen’s main port Hodeidah on Tuesday and captured large areas of the compound in battles with Iran-aligned Houthis, a Yemeni military source, … Continue reading Yemen, As Simple as Possible

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The Next ISIS Goal? An Iran-Saudi War

How the mighty have fallen. Like the Axis of World War II, once the Islamic State stopped winning battles, it seems it could only lose them. Just what was the turning point in the battle against IS?  Was it the defeat at Dabiq, the Syrian town central to its ideology as the site of the … Continue reading The Next ISIS Goal? An Iran-Saudi War

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

Egypt’s War On Sunni Supremacism Goes To Libya

From Reuters: Egyptian air strikes destroyed 12 vehicles loaded with arms, ammunition and explosive material trying to cross the border from Libya, the army spokesman said on Tuesday. The airforce acted after hearing that "criminal elements" had gathered to try and cross the western boundary, the army statement said, without giving details on exactly where … Continue reading Egypt’s War On Sunni Supremacism Goes To Libya

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

Why Saudi Arabia Doesn’t Want Those 28 Pages Declassified

The answer, it may seem, is simple: yet another cover-up, yet another scandal brushed under the rug, more nasty men in the halls of power getting away with the terrible things they do. Such a narrative gives us a simple good vs. bad tale of morality, with evil Saudi princes laughing behind closed doors.  As … Continue reading Why Saudi Arabia Doesn’t Want Those 28 Pages Declassified