Summary: a book just out takes a fresh look at the Benghazi attack that killed the US ambassador to Libya and became a political cudgel rather than an object lesson in the failures of US foreign policy and diplomacy.
Summary: in Libya current events, peace processes and diplomats all seem to be caught in a cyclical game and the country appears to have now gone the full circle, returning to the environment which existed just before the start of the war on Tripoli in 2019.
RUSI associate fellow Samuel Ramani joins Arab Digest editor William Law to discuss Putin’s flagging image in the Middle East, how his stratagems in Libya and Syria are playing out, relations with the Israelis as Netanyahu returns, Türkiye’s role in getting grain moving again and how the Middle East is weighing up its relationship with a leader who in provoking a war has stumbled badly.
Summary: opportunity beckons for Algeria as Europe struggles to meet its urgent need for reliable gas supplies but much needs to change in the energy, financial and industry sectors for the country to realise its full potential as a major European gas supplier.
Summary: as the Russian army continues its chaotic retreat, questions are being asked, opportunities being examined as Putin’s warrior image takes a heavy beating.
Summary: an end to the blockade of Qatar last year has, on the surface, eased tensions between Abu Dhabi and Doha but look a little deeper and the animosity remains.
Summary: with EU authorities investing in deterrence and containment, while abandoning people in distress at sea, the central Mediterranean Sea remains deadly.
At number 2 in the all-time top ten is Christopher Davidson’s podcast Putin’s war plays well with MENA authoritarians which aired 1 April, 2022. Chris is an academic and author of several books on the politics and foreign affairs of the Gulf states and a regular contributor to the Arab Digest newsletter. His latest book published by Hurst is titled From Sheikhs to Sultanism.
Number 3 in the top ten is a podcast that aired 28 May 2021. It featured Aslı Aydıntaşbaş and Cinzia Bianco. Aslı is a Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and Cinzia is a Visiting Fellow at the Council. They co-authored the paper, “Useful Enemies – How the Turkey-UAE rivalry is remaking the Middle East”.
Our podcast Cairo and Ankara: a new axis? ranks number 7 in the Arab Digest top ten podcast list. It was released 18 June 2021 and features Ali Bakir, a research assistant professor at Ibn Khaldoon center for Humanities and Social Sciences in Doha. Ali is an analyst following geopolitical and security trends in the Middle East, and especially those between Turkey and the Arab world. His conversation with Digest editor William Law focussed on the thaw in relations between Cairo and Ankara.