Even Saudi allies are questioning its Mideast power plays
Video     Photos     Pakistan     World     Islam     Health     Crime     Islamic News     Business     Society     India     Travel     Middle East     Sport     sci/tech      Contact      RSS
Search

US Escalates Afghan Airstrikes Through Winter, But Will It Matter?

Saudi Crown Prince to form a private army with help from American Blackwater Corporation!

Iranian youth are fully supportive of their political system: Asia Times

Pakistan’s enemy is our enemy, not in favor of Baloch separatists: US

ASWJ-allied Deobandi Fazalur Rehman elected MMA president

Encounter specialist: Can Zardari save his arm child Rao Anwar in Naqeebullah’s murder case?

Waging war against Pakistan army prohibited in Islam: Ex-Terrorist organization Chief Sufi Muhammad

Free Karachi: Another smear campaign against Pakistan in US newspaper

US military edge over Russia, China eroding: Mattis

5,000 Yemen Children Killed or Wounded in War Since 2015

Iran reiterates Missile program non-negotiable

Trump no longer following Saudi-UAE script on Qatar, says former envoy

Allama Raja Nasir lashes out at Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif

Did TTP really assassinate Benazir Bhutto?

A Jewish plot: Pushing India against China, Pakistan and Iran

An old headache: How did Haqqani network bring US on the knees

India successfully test-fires nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile: New Delhi

Saudis wasting billions by buying outdated weapons from US: Analyst

HRW urges UN sanctions on Saudi crown prince over Yemen war

Another minor raped: Why is Pakistan hesitant to hang rapists?

Modi and Netanyahu may get along great, but there are serious limitations to India-Israel relations

Season of protests: Is another national debacle in the offing?

Pakistan attaches importance to significant role of Iran in regional developments: Speaker

Hidden Israeli-Iranian war in Syria

Is Jordan breaking alliance with Saudi Arabia, West?

Russia weights behind Pakistan:  The end of US hegemony in South Asia?

Damage control: Has Trump conceded his defeat against Pakistan?

North, South Korea to march under 'unified flag' at Winter Olympics

US 'arrant erring' on al-Quds futile: Ayatollah Khamenei

Netanyahu: $500mn Israel-India arms deal 'back on track'

Saudi politicization of holy places is unislamic, we will continue to oppose

Israel prepares for air bridge to India over Saudi Arabia

Don’t forget old friends to make new one

Ulema decree against terrorism: Would religious card prove a true success against terrorism?

New network should be created to confront US-Israel alliance: Raza Rabbani

America seeks to use Taiwan against China: Today Online

Pakistan’s ruthless response to US: Why is India worried?

Shafaqna Exclusive: Is Govt hiding arrest of Zainab’s murderer for political purpose?

US new strategy seeks to create complex situation for Iran: Defense minister

Hamas blames Israeli regime for assassination attempt on its commander

US attacking North Korea would be like trying to get rid of Allah: Retired South Korean General

Egypt is not an honest broker for Palestinian reconciliation

Pakistan and Iran consult each other on many issues, says former diplomat

Surrendering of TTP terrorist: Is Pakistan gradually winning war against terrorism?

Inciting Pakistan: Is India inviting conventional war with Pakistan?

The secret behind Sharif's electoral success and popularity

Tel Aviv ‘disappointed’ by India’s rejection of Al-Quds as Israeli capital: Netanyahu

Syria militants in US seeking CIA dollars to ‘confront Iran’s influence’

US ‘policy of Armageddon’ means nuclear attack even against non-nuclear states

Rape, murder of 7-year-old Pakistani girl seem work of serial killer: Officials

Yemeni snipers kill three Saudi troopers in retaliatory attacks

Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution

US to sell 17 Black Hawk aircrafts to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia seeks arrest of citizens on wanted list who are abroad

US deploying 1,000 troops to Afghanistan

Israel Keeps Bombing Syria and Nobody Is Doing Anything About It

Fire-breathing rhetoric: Pakistani guns on China’s shoulder

Meeting with Trump: Did Imran Khan give US a hidden signal for future role?

Netanyahu in India: A dangerous alliance against Pakistan

Pakistan can’t be forced to compromise on national interests: US historian

Netanyahu Visits India: Muslims Burn Israeli Effigies in Protest

US-led coalition intends to create large new border force in Syria: Report

Interference of Saudi Intelligence services in Tehran’s deep operations

Hariri lauds Hezbollah, wants ‘best of relations’ with Iran

16 US troops and officers killed in Afghanistan

A hidden cost: Pakistan’s Psychological cost of war

Security agencies issue threat alert due plots of Daesh and Taliban factions

Can Pakistan’s judicial system punish killers of Innocent Zainab?

Is Balochistan a next ground of proxy war between Saudia and Iran?

ABN| Mass 'Free Zakzaky' protest in Istanbul, Turkey

Trump Gives World Four Months to Change Iran Nuclear Deal

Anti-Trump demonstrators march in Swiss capital

All parties must continue to implement JCPOA: Warns China's FM

Yemen's Displaced Families Escape Death from Saudi War to Makeshift Camps

Amnesty International urges probe after Myanmar’s Army admits its troops killed Muslims

Kasur Tragedy: Is Pakistani nation completely dead?

Trump Says He ‘Probably’ Has Good Relationship With Kim Jong Un

Pentagon Investigates Video of US Soldier Shooting Afghan Civilian

Abandoning the secular dream

Agony of Hazaras: A story of denied Justice

A soft tone: Did US repent on her policy to alienate Pakistan?

Even Saudi allies are questioning its Mideast power plays

Pakistan handed humiliated defeat by New Zealand

Trump paid porn star $130,000 to stay silent over alleged affair: Report

After Yemen’s defensive threat, Saudi buys Israel’s Iron dome

CIA Chief secretly visits India and Afghanistan to make new plots

LHC orders police to arrest culprit behind Zainab's rape and murder within 36 hours

Yemen announces production of new air defense missiles

Secret military cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel – Middle East Monitor

Will Pakistan be in trouble if US demands early repayment of debts?

War of words: Pakistan accuses US for spreading terrorism in Pakistan

Myanmar admits massacre of Rohingya Muslims

‘Congress must take Trump’s finger off nuke button’

Diphtheria claims 48 lives in Yemen within 60 days: WHO

Leaked tapes reveal Egypt’s support for Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Unending bloodshed in Kashmir: Why is not India on watch list?

New Saudi tax makes life of Pakistani expatriates miserable

HRW: Saudi Arabia bans prominent cleric’s family from travel

Qadri’s challenge: Is PML-N inviting the chaos?

Inside Bahraini regime death chambers

2018-01-13 05:47:55

Even Saudi allies are questioning its Mideast power plays

Trending on Saudi social media last week was a clip of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman promising to go on the offensive against his country’s biggest rival and take the fight “inside Iran.”

 

What is clear is that the de facto Saudi ruler has made several regional moves against Iran — and has yet to score a win.

 

If the prince’s enemies aren’t sweating it much, his allies are showing signs of alarm. From the Arab Sunni world, the natural sphere of Saudi influence, to the U.S. and Europe, diplomats have dissociated themselves from the kingdom’s ventures or come out against them.

 

That made 2017 a mixed year for the leader known as MBS. At home, he shunted rivals aside, cementing an unprecedented rapid rise to power. But in Yemen, Qatar and Lebanon, regional countries where the Saudis seek leadership and perceive a challenge from Iran, his initiatives have foundered.

 

“MBS approaches domestic and regional politics in a similar, bold fashion,” said Hani Sabra, founder of New York-based Alef Advisory. “Domestically, this has worked well for him. He’s outmaneuvered many influential relatives.” Abroad, the approach “is creating and intensifying risks,” he said.

 

The risk from the war in Yemen has been brought home to Saudi cities. The Houthis, “said by the Saudis to have Iranian backing”, have fired two missiles at Riyadh since November. While causing little damage, they served as a reminder that after almost three years of bombardment, the enemy — mostly ragtag fighters wearing sandals and carrying AK-47s — hasn’t been subdued.

 

The Saudis haven’t found it easy to draft their allies into that fight. Egypt, for example, heavily dependent on Saudi cash, showed little enthusiasm for sending its soldiers to Yemen — or for Prince Mohammed’s wider plan to combat Iran.

 

In Lebanon, the prince’s intervention was political, not military. The unexpected resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri during a visit to Riyadh in November was seen as a Saudi bid to weaken Iran’s Lebanese ally, Hezbollah. Hariri, “a Saudi client”, had been governing in coalition with the [hezbollah]; now he denounced it as a mortal threat.

 

The power-play backfired. Hariri ended up returning to his job, and even Lebanese Sunnis were critical of strong-arm Saudi tactics. Allies in Europe and the U.S. weren’t happy either. French President Emmanuel Macron intervened directly on Hariri’s behalf. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in an unusual rebuke, said Saudi Arabia should “think through the consequences” of its actions.

 

Tillerson cited Yemen, Lebanon — and Qatar, the target of a Saudi-led economic embargo since June. The measure was intended to punish the monarchy for offenses including its cordial ties with Iran.

 

Those relations have only deepened under the boycott; meanwhile Kuwait and Oman, fellow members of the club of [Persian] Gulf monarchies, have expressed unease at the assertive new style of Saudi leadership. And Turkey, a powerful Sunni country once close to the Saudis, has taken Qatar’s side, using the dispute as a chance to forge closer military and commercial ties.

 

Prince Mohammed, has been emboldened by the alliance he’s forged with U.S. President Donald Trump, based on shared antagonism toward Iran.

 

Yet the Saudi leader runs the risk of overplaying his hand, especially if he tries to use the Iranian protests as an opportunity to weaken the [government] in Tehran, according James Dorsey, a Middle East specialist at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

 

Also, the Saudi pushback is dependent on U.S. efforts to contain Iran, he said — “an increasingly risky strategy” given that Trump has little international support. After recognizing [al-Quds] as Israel’s capital, and with a series of deadlines looming that may lead Washington further away from the global consensus on the Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. is becoming isolated.

 

Domestically, Prince Mohammed has had more success advancing his agenda. He argues that a drastic economic overhaul is essential to end decades of oil dependence.

 

As well as securing his own position as undisputed heir to his father King Salman’s throne, the prince has launched an anti-corruption campaign, detaining dozens of elite businessmen. He has relaxed some of the kingdom’s strict religious rules and outlined plans to sell state assets, bolster private industry and trim public spending.

 

Similar motives may underlie the new foreign policy. Prince Mohammed is scrapping a tradition of “checkbook” diplomacy that didn’t get results, according to Ali Shihabi, executive director of the Arabia Foundation in Washington, who’s close to the Saudi government.

 

“Saudi leaders funneled billions in aid to friends, many of whom used that money to bankroll their own agendas,” Shihabi said in an e-mail. In the face of rapidly growing threats, he said, “the king and the crown prince concluded that Saudi Arabia could no longer rely on outdated policies.”

 

But the near-absolute power that Prince Mohammed enjoys in the kingdom doesn’t extend beyond its borders. He may not be sensitive to the different approach required in foreign policy, according to Sabra.

 

“MBS is either not acutely aware of, or doesn’t care about the details of the domestic conditions in the region’s other states,” he said. “This is often at the root of the problems.”

 

Arab strongmen of the past have found out the hard way that domestic success — consolidation of power and wealth, marginalization of enemies — didn’t allow them to reshape the Middle East the way they hoped.

 

Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser was unable to win a war in Yemen, and then suffered a shattering defeat at Israel’s hands in 1967. Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq for decades; his ventures abroad, including the 1980 attack on Iran and the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, ended in bloody failure.

 

Prince Mohammed, who’s 32, may be attempting to differentiate himself from previous Saudi leaders and from his 81-year-old father, according to Paul Pillar, a former CIA officer who’s now a professor at Georgetown University.

 

“MBS probably feels urgency to make a mark — to show that he is in charge, and to show that he is not a young pushover,” Pillar said. “This implies a greater need than other leaders might have to take risks. Greater risks means more opportunities for failure.”

pk.shafaqna.com

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Categories:  
Tags:   Saudia ، Iran ، UAE ، Muhammad Bin Salman ،
From other agencies (RSS Reader)

Pence heads to Mideast trip

- worldbulletin.net