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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the category “Middle East”

Iran’s Other Generation Gap, 40 Years On

As the Islamic Republic enters its fifth decade, keeping the revolution “alive” will depend on the ability of its image-makers not only to appeal to a younger population that wants change but also to build consensus among members of the younger generation within the regime’s own ranks. The task before the Islamic Republic is to win over a broad cross section of its citizens while simultaneously defining what shape its revolutionary project, and its state apparatus, will take over the long term.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

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Saudi Arabia’s Hold On Pakistan

Since the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has exercised enormous influence on Pakistan behind the scenes through its funding of Ahl-e-Hadith and Deobandi madrassas (religious seminaries), which teach a more puritanical version of Islam than had traditionally been practiced in Pakistan.

Read Here – Brookings

Saudi Arabia: The World’s Largest Arms Importer From 2014-2018

Saudi Arabia became the world’s largest arms importer from 2014 to 2018, accounting for 12 percent of the imports, an increase of 192 percent over 2009-2013, according to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). According to data for 2018, the United States continued to supply the bulk of arms to Saudi Arabia, accounting for 88 percent of all arms sold to the country.

Read Here – Al Jazeera

Is Trump Yet Another U.S. President Provoking a War?

The United States has a long history of provoking, instigating, or launching wars based on dubious, flimsy, or manufactured threats….Today, the question in Washington—and surely in Tehran, too—is whether President Trump is making moves that will provoke, instigate, or inadvertently drag the United States into a war with Iran.

Read Here – The New Yorker

Amid Ratcheting Tensions, Iran Doesn’t Know What Trump Really Wants

Exactly one year after the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, tensions between Washington and Tehran are escalating sharply amid confusion about what, exactly, the U.S. sees as its end goal. For Iran, uncertainty about what President Donald Trump wants to achieve and what he is prepared to do to get there presents a menu of risky choices.

Read Here – World Politics Review

Trump’s Iran Policy Is Counterproductive

Iran is not an existential threat to the United States, but treating it as such could turn it into one. The Trump administration’s concerns about Iran are understandable, but its latest policy is  unnecessary, counterproductive, and harmful to American interests.

Read Here – Defense One

The New Saudi Diaspora

This new, outspoken Saudi diaspora poses several problems for the kingdom. For one, Saudi Arabia spends millions of dollars on scholarships in order to lessen its dependency on foreign labor; it cannot then afford to lose its highly educated young citizens to exile abroad. The diaspora is also creating an image issue.

All the King’s Consultants

Experts play valuable and highly visible roles advising leaders in wealthy liberal democracies and international institutions. But far less is known about what they do—and to what effect—for authoritarian regimes and developing countries. That’s a problem, because autocratic leaders from China to Saudi Arabia increasingly rely on experts, especially from top consulting firms, universities, and think tanks in the West.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Growing U.S. Pressure Is Emboldening Iranian Hardliners

As the influence of Iranian hardliners increases, so does the likelihood that Iran will tap into its underused leverage to raise the costs for U.S. actions against it.

Read Here – The National Interest

Trump’s Big Iran Oil Gamble

The Trump administration’s announcement Monday that it is ending waivers allowing several countries to keep importing Iranian crude is likely to push up oil prices and sour relations with U.S. friends and rivals alike that rely on Iranian energy, all while stoking more tensions in the waters around the Persian Gulf.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

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