Posted at January 26, 2015, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on “The day of reckoning for the House of Saud is not far off” warns geopolitical risk consultant John Hulsman
John Hulsman, a leading expert on the political economy of the Middle East, has written for City AM that “the death of long-ruling King Abdullah reminds us of the Achilles’ heel of the system of absolute monarchy.”
In this insightful take on the ins and outs of the Saudi succession, John notes that “to understand Saudi Arabia, the most important monarchy left in the world, we have to dwell in the land of personalities, petty jealousies, and behind-the-scenes power plays, because that is how things are precariously determined.”
He goes on to argue that the problem with the Saudi monarchy succession is that it works horizontally rather than vertically, as is the case in most European systems of kingship. Consequently, monarchs in this system fail to keep up with the times. Whilst this system of succession looks well able to endure in the near term, John believes that the day of reckoning for the House of Saud is not far off.
Posted at November 18, 2014, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Former Washington DC insider John Hulsman explores the “conspiracy” behind Saudi Arabia’s oil war
Writing for London’s City A.M., prolific foreign affairs commentatorJohn Hulsman explores the supposed “conspiracy” behind Saudi Arabia’s oil war. John posits that it seems increasingly likely that the US and the Saudis have struck a secret deal to keep pumping and push down the price of oil.
Firstly, he notes that the Saudis are behaving decidedly oddly: the petro-kingdom has done nothing, nor until last week said anything, to counter the plummeting price in oil. An economics-only energy strategy should dictate that the Saudis reduce pumping to stabilise the global oil price, but this has not happened. John believes there are only two possible explanations as to what is going on:
In the face of the challenge posed by US fracking, Riyadh may be ruthlessly defending its market share, while knobbling its great, emerging American rival in the process.
Riyadh is hearkening back to the 1980s, when a then-secret deal to drive down the price of oil helped to economically destroy the Soviet Union.
John contends that the second option seems more viable. This is because it is being “openly whispered” that US secretary of state John Kerry met Saudi King Abdullah on 11 September this year, to strike a deal that would economically cripple – if for differing but complementary interests – their mutual enemies Iran and Russia.
Posted at August 7, 2013, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Michael Binyon: latest report on Egypt
Renowned foreign affairs journalist Michael Binyon and Catherine Philp discuss the latest in Egypt in the World section of this morning’s Times. Reporting on the news from diplomats and Egyptian sources that President Morsi is likely to be given refuge by Saudi Arabia, Michael and Catherine suggest that “despite their intense dislike of the muslim brotherhood, the Saudis are eager to resolve the stand-off in Cairo.”
The fact that those living in exile in Saudi Arabia are rarely given public or political access is described as “a point that would appeal to Egyptian Army leaders.” Michael and Catherine contemplate Mr Morsi’s options and where he may prefer to be exiled, noting that there continues to be debate over the possibility of his reinstatement.
While Islamists hope the West will support Mr Morsi’s return to power, the interim government is relying on US and EU delegates to convince them that this is not an option. However, it seems there may not be a peaceful resolve as analysts have revealed that Brotherhood leaders would like the opportunity to be portrayed as martyrs through confrontation.