For the most part, the Saudi monarchy, discrete and secretive, was willing to let their longtime ally, the United States, take the lead in pursuing a Middle East agenda with which the Saudis generally concurred. All of that has changed within the last year.
What should President Obama do about Syria? What are the global implications of gridlock in Washington? Why are our world leaders failing to lead and who can hold them accountable? These are a few of the issues addressed here by Dr. Ian Bremmer, President of Eurasia Group.
Seeing the spy chiefs' questions in front of a Parliamentary Select Committee threw up one clear question for me: was this really a proper public inquiry into the outrageous bugging of heads of states around the globe, or was it a cynical PR exercise?
In a way, Kerry's affinity with a now-moribund elite goes beyond style. Trying to resolve conflicts in the Middle East, investing time and energy on dealing with Iran, or schmoozing with the Russians, seem like parts of an outline for a plot of a movie from the 1970s or '80s.
If you haven't worn the uniform, you don't know what that's like. You're also prone to underestimate what can go wrong as well as what can be achieved, to make blithe assumptions based on unfounded notions and no experience at all.
Before we let exaggerated cries of a readiness crisis scare us into letting the Pentagon off the hook on further budget cuts, we need to think harder about what we want our armed forces to be ready to do.
There is no harm in this being a short phase of rest to catch one's breath for each of the United States, Russia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the ...
If Francis can deal with the fact that his followers are not sheep but humans able to think for themselves, those with no hereditary hotline to heaven can learn from his humility. None of us has all the answers.
Secretary of State John Kerry has attempted to pacify the angry royals. Instead, the Obama administration should tell America's foreign "friends" that Washington acts in the interests of the American people, not corrupt dictators.
A recent bout of polio cases in Syria is a terrifying side affect of the current civil war. However, we can make progress in the fight for a stronger public health system.
Humanitarian military interventions are prohibited under the United Nations Charter, Article 2(4) and (7), and constitute the crime of aggression. In practice, the doctrine would encourage chronic attacks by the strong to pulverize the weak.
War and violence become abstracted the further we are away from them. All of our exposure boils down to news reports and research updates that try to capture in words, numbers and images a fact that can never be truly conceptualised; brutal destruction of individual human beings.
How can you combat atrocities against civilians or the tragedy of child soldiers, or defend women's rights, if journalists are not free to report the facts, to draw attention to abuses and appeal to the public's conscience?
The tragedy that has befallen the Syrian people demonstrates the horror that the lack of American leadership could precipitate. The Obama administration failed to understand the nature of the Assad regime and its predictable conduct.
Roméo Dallaire should be the hero of an opera. His story certainly has all hallmarks of genuine tragedy -- and it embodies many of the key themes of the last century and evokes the Syrian debacle as well.
Is Iran seeking to stretch out the negotiations to complete its bomb making or at least get to a point it can sprint to do so -- or merely out to do medical research and provide energy, as it claims? This question can be answered in short order by looking for "smoking guns."