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December 29, 2020

2020 in Review
Ten World Figures Who Died in 2020

I wrote yesterday about ten Americans who died in 2020 who shaped U.S. foreign policy during their lifetimes. But Americans are not the only ones who influence world affairs. Below are ten world figu…

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen attends a memorial service for late Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui at a chapel of Aletheia University in New Taipei City, Taiwan September 19, 2020.

March 10, 2020

Saudi Arabia
Why Current Saudi-Russia Oil Price War Is Not Déjà Vu

It’s happened several times before: geopolitical tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia have led to a dramatic drop in oil prices in years past. But the breakdown in Saudi-Russian cooperation in oi…

A gas station worker wearing a protective face mask sits next to a petrol station, after Saudi Arabia imposed a temporary lockdown on the province of Qatif following the spread of coronavirus, in Qatif, Saudi Arabia March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

August 25, 2015

Middle East and North Africa
Did Mahmoud Abbas Just Resign?

There’s a bit of confusion about the recent "resignation" of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. What actually happened? Abbas wears three hats, as his predecessor and mentor Yasser Arafat did: head o…

June 19, 2019

Iran
Iran, the Strait of Hormuz, and Hard Power

I woke up this morning thinking I would write a blog explaining just how challenging it would be for Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz for a prolonged period of time. This is not to say that there c…

Explosions that damaged two tankers south of the Strait of Hormuz on June 13, 2019 come a month after four vessels were targeted in "sabotage attacks" off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

March 1, 2019

North Korea
Global Conflict This Week: Negotiating with North Korea

Developments in conflicts across the world that you might have missed this week.

Trump-Kim summit

October 15, 2018

Saudi Arabia
Déjà vu, Saudi Style

The longer I write about oil, the more I have become convinced that names and faces can change but the basic storylines repeat themselves. For students of history, it might be tempting to say that th…

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks as he welcomes Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 20, 2018.

August 6, 2018

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Reading The Trump Administration in Ramallah

Does the United States seek relations with Hamas in Gaza and to undermine the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leadership in the West Bank? Palestinians officials and insiders asked me this qu…

Trump Abbas 2

July 12, 2018

Israel
The Sad Fate of the Socialist International

Once upon a time, the Socialist International was an extraordinary organization. Founded in 1951 as a successor to various prior socialist groups, it was staunchly democratic and anti-Communist, and …

May 15, 2018

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The Damage Done in Jerusalem

Washington has already enabled Israel’s permanent occupation, and with the relocation of the American embassy to Jerusalem willingly given up a crucial leverage issue with the Israeli government.

A Palestinian demonstrator with a slingshot looks on during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City.