Iraqi Shi’i leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s July 2017 visit to Saudi Arabia is evidence of a paradigmatic shift in Saudi policy. Aware that the Shi’a comprise the majority in Iraq, the kingdom appears to be abandoning its previous sectarian stance and is reaching out to the Shi’a population there. The Saudis have thus made use of […]
Click here for PDF The decline of America’s influence in the Arab World has coincided with the rise of Iran’s and the collapse of Middle East’s old order. The result is a power vacuum manifesting itself in a series of regional proxy wars such as those in Syria and Yemen. Not only is a battle […]
This article is a personal account of U.S. Army Colonel Norvell DeAtkine’s experience in dealing with Arab militaries for over 40 years. Based on observation and study of Arab military establishments, he concludes little of significance has happened to change the deeply embedded character of the Arab military mindset. While there is some evidence that […]
The calls for democracy during the “Arab Spring” presented the Saudi Arabian regime with serious challenges. Traditional allies such as the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt fell by the wayside leaving Riyadh practically alone as defender of an authoritarian government. The flames of protest grew closer as both Yemen and Bahrain experienced major unrest. An […]
Since the late 1990s, Saudi Arabia has faced increasing economic challenges. In order to address these problems and to improve the conditions of its citizens, the Saudi regime has gradually increased oil price targets. This article analyzes the factors that have influenced Saudi Arabia’s considerations in setting a preferred oil price target. It also examines the option of diversification of the Arab economy and the creation of new industries as a means of reducing oil prices.
The failure of parties at the December 2009 Copenhagen conference to secure a new treaty on global climate mitigation has elicited various reactions. Nearly 200 countries participating in the negotiations concluded by merely “taking note” of the Copenhagen Accord of December 18, 2009. Some have argued that the lack of a viable treaty at Copenhagen reflects the reality of “a world divided” about (a) the facts of climate change, (b) what count as legitimate mitigation actions, and (c) how obligations are to be distributed internationally. Lack of agreement includes charges of “obstructionist” strategy in the case of Saudi Arabia. These charges are here examined and debated in light of philosophical concern for distributive justice and the Islamic perspective on justice as it applies to pursuit of national interest and Islamic principles of public benefit.