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Geopoliticus: The FPRI Blog

Geopoliticus: The FPRI Blog

The Sudairi Seven Back on Top

January 23, 2015 - 12:08pm

Tally Helfont is the Director of FPRI's Program on the Middle East.

Friday has been a busy day in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was only mere hours ago that Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (90) passed away and his successor is now firmly in place. The new king, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (79), had occupied the role of Crown... Read more... Tags: Saudi Arabia, Succession, King Salman, King Abdullah

Calling the Same Thing White Today and Black Tomorrow: Is Russia Poised to Annex South Ossetia?

January 16, 2015 - 4:34pm

I do not like to resort to quotes, but in this case, I cannot help it.  Here is a quote from another official document: the Written Statement of the United States America of April 17, 2009, submitted to the same UN International Court in connection with the hearings on Kosovo.  Again, I quote: “Declarations of independence may, and often do, violate domestic legislation. However, this does not make them violations of international law... Read more... Tags: South Ossetia, Georgia, Russia, Vladimir Putin

Abbas Goes to the U.N. Security Council and the ICC

January 14, 2015 - 8:40am

After the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks last spring, the Palestinian Authority headed by President Mahmoud Abbas had a short list of options: (1) start a new, violent intifada, (2) resume negotiations on Israel’s terms (without any preconditions), or (3) move the Palestinian cause forward at the United Nations and other international bodies.

... Read more... Tags: Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Israel, UNSC, ICC

Who attacked Charlie Hebdo in Paris? Assessing a Jihadi Attack in The West, ISIS vs al Qaeda

January 7, 2015 - 11:48am

Today’s terrorist attack in Paris killed 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine; presumably for their perceived insults to Islam and/or ISIS’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.  As expected, media outlets, governments and their citizens want to know who is responsible for the attack.  In years past, arriving at a conclusion regarding culpability occurred... Read more... Tags: Paris Attack, Charlie Hebdo, AQAP, al Qaeda Central, ISIS, foreign fighters, Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH)

Decline in Oil Prices, Currency Pairs, and National Power

January 6, 2015 - 10:28pm

Last autumn, headlines began to declare national “winners and losers” from the precipitous drop in oil prices over the second half of the year.[1]  They contended that the United States and its friends would benefit from the fall in oil prices; and that its most strident adversaries would not.  While largely true, the headlines did not capture the whole story.

Since international prices for oil are quoted in U.S. dollars, the exchange rate... Read more... Tags: oil, natural gas, energy, price, currency, dollar, ruble, yen, yuan, economy, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, Venezuela, Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi, Joko Widodo, Jokowi, Nicolas Maduro