Perhaps this is a wakeup call. The US has for too long sacrificed values for interests with many Middle Eastern partners. An energy-independent America could act from a position of values with all of our Middle Eastern partners, representing a sea change in the US’s regional relationships. Washington’s leverage would increase vastly, finally enabling the US to vocally demand change that the Middle East so badly needs. This is the change that Jamal Khashoggi called for — and an outcome Khashoggi would embrace.Read More
Netanyahu’s visit to Oman must be viewed now as a potentially positive step for peace in the Middle East. But it is unclear how much Oman has to offer. Only time, and the elusive details of the Trump peace plan, will tell.Read More
If MbS survives, which is still likely, the United States will confront the distressing fact that the Saudi ruler is “modernizing” his country in ways that could well prove tumultuous. There is little to love in the Saudi royal family. There is nothing to like about what has happened since the Saudi-Wahhabi fusion in 1744. But there is something to be said for consensus within a deeply conservative society trying to change. The Muslim Middle East is littered with the wreckage of strong, oh-so-modern men exercising their wills. Saudi Arabia is a potentially explosive laboratory where cautious men need to prevail.Read More
While the chancellor believes that her policies favor nuclear nonproliferation and stability in the Middle East, they are viewed by the Saudis and other Middle Eastern states as policies that favor Iran. Holding Riyadh accountable for the Khashoggi murder is certainly laudable. But the move will ring hollow among Arab states if Berlin neglects to hold Tehran to account, as well.Read More
In the wake of Khashoggi’s murder, the Trump administration must thread a needle as it seeks to punish the kingdom while trying to salvage a strategic relationship. It can do so, even as it focuses on the kingdom’s rights record, by keeping all leverage options on the table. If Riyadh wants to preserve its partnership with the U.S., it can take a first step by improving its human rights record and course-correct towards policies that reflect U.S. values.Read More
The possibility that the country of five million could be a peace broker.
Is Saudi Arabia’s crown prince joining a long line of absolutist rulers in the Middle East?