July 26, 2014

ISRAEL’S EVOLVING SECURITY CONCEPT

In 1974, a year after the Yom Kippur War, Israel gave Washington a list of requests for weapons to replace equipment lost or damaged in that war. It contained thousands of items, including airplanes, tanks, and armored personnel carriers. In response, the United States dispatched a senior Pentagon official to Israel. He met in Jerusalem with then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Defense Minister Shimon Peres. The official asked why the Israeli list was so extensive, whether Israel had the … [Read more...]

SAUDI ARABIA’S ECONOMIC NEEDS AND THE PRICE OF OIL

  INTRODUCTION Between 2003 and 2008, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil spot price increased by 300 percent. However, the economic crisis that befell the world and reached its peak in December 2008 sent prices back to below the 2004 average. In reference to the crisis, the Saudi Arabian monarchy stated that the drop in the price of a barrel of oil to below $50 to $55 was damaging to its economy and that a continuing drop in prices would be detrimental to the growth the country … [Read more...]

THE POLITICS OF PRIVATIZATION IN IRAN

  Aside from the controversial presidential election in June 2010 and the ensuing political turmoil, privatization has been one of the most debated topics about Iran in both domestic and foreign circles. The Islamic Republic has embarked on a large-scale privatization effort and now competes not only with Middle Eastern countries but also with Western European nations in terms of selling off state assets. Despite the shift toward economic liberalization, privatization in Iran is not new; … [Read more...]

JORDAN’S FUTURE CHALLENGES

Since his accession to the throne in 1999, King Abdallah has successfully steered Jordan’s ship through the turbulent waters of a tempestuous regional context and a complex economic and social situation within the country. The expansion of the economic reforms process agreed upon with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has enabled Jordan to modernize its economic structure, post significant growth rates, and weather the storm of the international economic crisis. Nevertheless, the … [Read more...]

SYRIA’S TRIUMPH IN LEBANON: AU REVOIR, LES ENTENTES

As the Lebanese political crisis worsened, and their own situation became more perilous, their focus became more and more narrow; rather than rallying the Lebanese people to save their state, they focused on rallying foreign support… they remained at war with each other over strategy and control of policy.   Rep. Gary L. Ackerman, chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, on Lebanon's March 14 coalition.[1]  In the wake of the assassination of … [Read more...]

NEGOTIATING THE CLIMATE CHANGE REGIME: THE CASE OF SAUDI ARABIA

  INTRODUCTION  The failure of parties at the December 2009 Copenhagen conference to secure a new treaty on global climate mitigation has elicited various reactions.  Nearly 200 countries participating in the negotiations concluded by merely “taking note” of the Copenhagen Accord of December 18, 2009.  Some have argued that the lack of a viable treaty at Copenhagen reflects the reality of “a world divided” about (a) the facts of climate change, (b) … [Read more...]

THE ARAB GULF STATES AND THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR CHALLENGE: IN THE LINE OF FIRE

As a way to contain Iran’s ambitions, the Gulf states’ policy combines elements of appeasement with a fundamental reliance on the United States as a defending and deterring force. Iran’s determination to continue with its nuclear program, more than ever, is already forcing them to struggle with a different type of threat perception, which so far has made it difficult for them openly to present a united front and thereby function as a counterforce to Iran’s might. The relative weakness … [Read more...]