The Inside Story of the Saudi Night of Long Knives
Opinion

The Inside Story of the Saudi Night of Long Knives

The House of Saud’s King Salman devises an high-powered “anti-corruption” commission and appoints his son, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, as chairman. Right on cue, the commission detains 11 House of Saud princes, four current ministers and dozens of former princes/cabinet secretaries – all charged with corruption. Hefty bank accounts are frozen, private…

Why Attempts to “Reorganize” Afghan Military Can be Perceived as a Major Challenge for the Region
Opinion

Why Attempts to “Reorganize” Afghan Military Can be Perceived as a Major Challenge for the Region

It’s curious that American advisers in Afghanistan, while citing the decisions adopted at the International Conference on Afghanistan of 2011, as well as NATO’s Chicago summit of 2012, are now forcing Kabul to reorganize its law enforcement agencies. According to their proposal, this “reorganization,” which should begin in early 2018, must result in the reduction…

The BTK Railway is Turkey’s Silk Road Corridor to Central Asia
Opinion

The BTK Railway is Turkey’s Silk Road Corridor to Central Asia

President Erdogan declared that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is “an important chain in the New Silk Road, which aims to connect Asia, Africa, and Europe” while speaking in the Azerbaijani capital during at the opening ceremony for this transnational connectivity corridor. The event was also attended by the Prime Ministers of Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, as…

US Mideast Axis Reels as Russian-Backed Forces Power Ahead
Opinion

US Mideast Axis Reels as Russian-Backed Forces Power Ahead

It’s been a more-than-usual eventful week in the Middle East. Russian-backed forces made yet more significant military gains in defeating US-sponsored proxies in Syria, with a fearsome display of long-range Russian air and naval firepower against militant hold-outs near Deir ez-Zor. That was while Russian President Vladimir Putin was greeted in the Iranian capital Tehran…

Donald Trump’s Best New Policy in the Middle East Would be No New Policy
Opinion

Donald Trump’s Best New Policy in the Middle East Would be No New Policy

President Trump’s stance on conflict in the Middle East is a mixture of bellicose threats and demonisation of opponents combined with rather more cautious and carefully calculated action or inaction on the ground. Leaders in Baghdad, Damascus, Riyadh and Tehran face the same problem as those in Tokyo and London, uncertain where the rhetoric ends and the reality…