Author Archive: James M. Dorsey

James M. Dorsey

is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies as Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, and a forthcoming book with the same title.

Mohammad Bin Salman Visits Theresa May At Downing Street

Saudi Arabia and the West’s Right Wing: A Dubious Alliance

A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud, Stitcher, TuneIn and Tumblr. Traditionally focussed on ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim Islam, Saudi funding in the era of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has been streamlined and finetuned to ensure that it serves his geopolitical ambitions, primarily stymying the expansion of Iranian influence in the Middle East and North Africa and enhancing the kingdom’s global impact.

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Shifting Middle Eastern Sands Spotlight Diverging US-Saudi Interests

A series of Gulf and Middle East-related developments suggest that resolving some of the Middle East’s most debilitating and devastating crises while ensuring that efforts to pressure Iran do not perpetuate the mayhem may be easier said than done. They also suggest that the same is true for keeping US and Saudi interests aligned.

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Khashoggi Crisis: (Re)Shaping US Politics and Relations with Saudi Arabia

The killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have gotten more than they bargained for. The killing has sparked multiple battles that are likely in coming months to shape relationships ranging from that between the United States and Saudi Arabia to those between US President Donald J, Trump, his Republican party, the US Congress, and the country’s intelligence community.

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MbS: For Better or for Worse?

A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud, Stitcher, TuneIn and Tumblr. Embattled Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman could prove to be not only a cat with nine lives but also one that makes even stranger jumps.

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Turkey Plays Khashoggi Crisis to Its Geopolitical Advantage?

With Turkish investigators asserting that they have found further evidence that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed when he visited the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago, Turkey appears to be leveraging the case to enhance its position as a leader of the Islamic World and reposition itself as a key US ally.

A demonstrator holds a picture of Jamal Khashoggi during a protest in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul [Osman Orsal/Reuters]

Khashoggi Rejiggers the Middle East at Potentially Horrible Cost

  The fate of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, assuming that his disappearance was the work of Saudi security and military officials, threatens to upend the fundaments of fault lines in the Middle East. At stake is not only the fate of a widely respected journalist and the future of Turkish-Saudi relations.

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Fragility of Middle East Alliances Becomes Ever More Apparent

A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud, Stitcher, TuneIn and Tumblr. Three recent developments lay bare the fragility of Middle Eastern alliances and a rebalancing of their priorities: the Russian-Turkish compromise on an assault on the rebel-held Syrian region of Idlib, the fate of troubled Abu Dhabi airline Etihad, and battles over reconstruction of Syria.

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Reengineering the Israeli Palestinian Landscape

A possible ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, is proving to be much more than an effort to end escalating violence that threatens to spark yet another Middle Eastern war. United Arab Emirates-backed Egyptian and United Nations efforts to mediate an agreement, with the two countries’ nemesis, Qatar, in the background, are about not only preventing months-long weekly protests along the line that divides Gaza and Israel and repeated rocket and kite-mounted incendiary device attacks on Israel that provoke Israeli military strikes in response from spinning out of control. They constitute yet another round…
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Canada– Saudi Arabia: Questions about Saudi Concept of Sovereignty

The failure of Western allies to rally around Canada in its dispute with Saudi Arabia risks luring the kingdom into a false belief that economic sanctions will shield it from, if not reverse mounting criticism of its human rights record and conduct of the war in Yemen. It also risks convincing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that acting with impunity will not impinge on his efforts to attract badly needed foreign investment.

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