Saudi Arabia

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Snapshot,
Mohsen Milani

Saudi Arabia is grossly exaggerating Iran’s power in Yemen to justify its own expansionist ambitions. Iran is not the cause of the civil war, nor are the Houthis its proxy. Chaos, not Iran, controls the Arab world's poorest nation.

Snapshot,
Philippe Bolopion and Belkis Wille

The Saudi Arabia-led bombing campaign in Yemen is off to a dreadful start, at least when it comes to the civilian toll. And now that the United States has offered its support, it will be associated with the bloodshed.

Postscript,
Michael Bröning

The establishment of a truly representative Arab army operating under the auspices of a reformed Arab League would be a welcome addition to the region, but the proposed “unified Arab force”—helpful in glossing over tensions among Sunni states but detrimental to relations between the Arab League and Iran—is not.

Snapshot,
Aaron Stein

Although Turkey has sided with Saudi Arabia in Yemen, it won't be backing Riyadh in opposing the region's Shiite powers anytime soon. Rather, Ankara's strategy relies on carefully balancing Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

With the intervention in Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s military is trying to kill several birds with one stone: safeguard the country from an immediate military threat, assert its leadership of the Arab world, and redress what it sees as a geopolitical imbalance in the Middle East between itself and Iran.

Snapshot,
Asher Orkaby

Observers might be surprised to hear of increasingly friendly relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. But a warming of relations—and even coordinated military operationswould hardly be unprecedented, as the historical record makes clear.

Snapshot,
F. Gregory Gause III

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has moved swiftly to consolidate power. In doing so, he has raised the profile of two of the royal family’s so-called third-generation princes and sidelined a number of their cousins. In a family where, for decades, political power has been dispersed among several members, the centralization of power is certain to raise eyebrows.

Snapshot,
Yoel Guzansky and Sigurd Neubauer

This might be the year that changes everything in the Middle East. The reason: a possible thaw in Saudi Arabian–Iranian relations.

Snapshot,
Ellen Laipson

History will show that Abdullah did more than his predecessors to help Saudi Arabia adapt to changing expectations of Saudi citizens, but there was nothing transformative in the short run, and nothing profoundly disruptive or destabilizing either. That may have been his special talent, and a worthy legacy.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

Leadership matters, especially in the Middle East, where institutions are weak and often nonexistent. But charisma and talent, on their own, won’t be enough to dig Saudi Arabia out of the profound generational problems that go beyond Abdullah, his successor Salman, or any leader who will preside over the Kingdom.

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