LATEST COMMENTARY FROM ALI SHIHABI

A new perspective on Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030

There is a certain amount of confusion among observers about Saudi economic strategy. We can gain clarity on this if we look at the many initiatives of Vision 2030 in the manner that a venture capitalist would look at his portfolio of investments. Doing so, we would see Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman as placing […]

The Question of Iran for Saudi Arabia

As Iran and Israel enter an era of direct confrontation, a lot of attention is now being paid to the position of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf Cooperation Council states, particularly to where they stand on this crisis and how they will behave if it escalates, as it may. The Iranian regime, with its […]

Israel must embrace reality, not ignore it

Once the dust settles post-Hamas, it will be crucial for Israelis to confront the harsh reality of the attack on Oct. 7. The escapist impulse to reduce the motive for the assault to “pure evil” inhibits a deeper examination of the conditions and context that led to these horrors. Even the most extreme and shocking […]

A Saudi-American Alliance?

Today, U.S. influence on Saudi Arabia (KSA) is greatly diminished. This could change, however, if the United States were to formally extend its military umbrella to protect the Kingdom against external threats to its security. A tangible guarantee of U.S. military intent will deter adversaries, play well with Saudi public opinion and thus encourage Saudi […]
Riyadh

The New Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) today is a country working hard to be at peace with its neighbors, striving to bring stability to its region, and actively building strong relationships with key international partners—the US, the EU, the UK, China, and Russia in OPEC+—and is laser-focused on its internal economic transformation. The Khashoggi tragedy […]

President Biden's Visit to Saudi Arabia

US President Joe Biden in his presidential campaign would often say, “Don’t compare me to the Almighty. Compare me to the alternative.” And that is exactly the approach the United States should take in judging foreign governments. Saudi leaders have undertaken a critical and extraordinary transformation of the country that is crucial to the stability […]

مملكة "فلسطين" الهاشمية

إن الاختلال في ميزان القوة للحد الذي يتعذر تجاوزه بين العرب والإسرائيليين، ناهيك عن الفلسطينيين والإسرائيليين، يفرض علينا إعادة التفكير بشكل جذري في نهج حل مشكلة فلسطين. إسرائيل حقيقة واقعة مفروضة على الأرض يتوجب على المنطقة المحيطة تقبلها حتى وإن كان على مضض. فبينما لم يكن لها “الحق” أبدًا في تهجير ملايين الفلسطينيين واستعمار أرضهم، […]

The Saudi Succession And The Sociocultural-Religious Reforms Of Mohammed Bin Salman

The immensity of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reforms in Saudi Arabia have not been adequately understood by outside observers. In a state three hundred years old with a bloody history of conflict in its royal successions, he has resolved a once-a-century royal generational succession and actively marginalized the reactionary clerical class that was effectively […]

A Perceptible De-escalation in The Gulf

A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words.  On the face of it, the recent photo of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman hosting the emir of Qatar and the national security adviser of the UAE at a Red Sea resort is unremarkable. It appears to show three youthful, physically fit leaders enjoying […]
Saudi Arabia After 9/11

Saudi Arabia Two Decades After 9/11

With Afghanistan back in the hands of the Taliban as we approach the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it would be easy to conclude that the Middle East has not changed very much since that fateful day. But while much of the region continues to be convulsed by violence and extremism, the Kingdom, which […]