The first of the Houthi wars started, in 2004, while I was the chargé at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa. A decade later, the Houthis have taken over Yemen’s capital, pushing the fragile country toward an uncertain fate.
Regional and foreign policy is the arena where traditional conservative Saudi values and operating methods run up against the challenges of modern geopolitics and aggressive initiatives by many other states and non-state actors.
Despite the speculations over the effects of Saudi succession, the kingdom’s foreign policies are likely to remain unchanged and have been remarkably consistent since the reign of King Fahad bin Abdul Aziz.
Because of the tangled dynamics of Hezbollah’s relations inside Lebanon and around the Middle East, the Israeli attack in Syria — an almost routine event in the last few decades, sadly — actually hit three targets in one, namely Hezbollah, Syria and Iran.
The lives, attitudes and actions of the Kouachi brothers reflect many other elements beyond freedom and blasphemy. It is time to get more serious about the real drivers of tension and violence that plague the multinational, transcontinental universe in which the Kouachi brothers lived.
When normal life and the economy are disrupted briefly, America takes notice. The status quo seems to endanger young black men in the first instance, but many other Americans sense they could be losers also.