The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

NIMR VehicleUnlocking Growth: How the Gulf Security Sector Can Lead Economic Diversification

By Karen E. Young and Michael Elleman

The Gulf Arab states have been investing in their military capacities for decades. That spending commitment has mirrored a growing ability and willingness to shape the security environment of the wider Middle East and North Africa region, as evidenced in direct military interventions in Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya and military support in Syria. With this increased capacity and political will also come an opportunity for economic diversification. This paper offers a brief survey of current defense industry market and production capacity in the Gulf Arab states and articulates the rationale for diversification in the security sector.
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Turkish lirasTurkey-GCC Trade and Business Relations: Banking and Finance Sector Engagement

By Karen E. Young

Financial ties between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Turkey mutually support economic growth and diversification. Investment flows and banking sector ties have fluctuated since 2014, but over the last decade and a half the general trend has been an upsurge in shared investment opportunities. Turkey is a prime destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) from GCC countries, especially in banking, and for investment by private equity firms based in GCC countries, especially the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 
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The Bridge blog
Ali Abdullah SalehCan Saleh’s Death End Yemen’s “Equilibrium of Misery”?

By Stephen A. Seche

It would be no small irony if, in death, former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh advances the cause of peace in his impoverished homeland far more than he ever seemed interested in doing during the final years of his life. Saleh, who died December 4 at the hands of the Houthi rebels, was an unlikely partner and major enabler of the Houthis, the armed insurgency that in September 2014 swept down from its northern redoubt on Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia and seized the reins of Yemen’s government by force.
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Trump and PenceTrump’s Jerusalem Statement May Foreclose any “Outside-In” Initiative with Gulf Arab Countries

By Hussein Ibish

Whatever domestic calculations prompted President Donald J. Trump to announce on December 6 that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move its embassy there from Tel Aviv, the international consequences are likely to be far-reaching and almost entirely negative. This announcement puts Palestinian leaders, notably Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in an utterly impossible situation. It will also make it extremely difficult for Gulf Arab countries, specifically Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to explore the possibility of a greater dialogue with Israel based on shared concerns about the growth of Iranian power in the Middle East.
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Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al Ahmad al SabahKuwait Struggles for Unity at Home and in the Region

By Kristin Smith Diwan

As Kuwait hosts the annual Gulf Cooperation Council summit this week in yet another push to find an antidote for Gulf acrimony, stakes are rising. A zero-sum battle for Gulf supremacy –  Iran versus Saudi Arabia; the self-proclaimed anti-terror quartet versus Qatar – places Kuwait in an untenable position, and threatens its model of civic accommodation. Kuwait’s relatively open politics and careful balancing of societal constituencies – Sunni and Shia, liberals and Islamists – look anomalous in today’s maximalist Gulf, and increasingly under threat.
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Khalid al-Falih and Alexander NovakOPEC Extends Cuts but Market Uncertainties Remain for 2018

By Diane Munro

OPEC and its non-OPEC allies reached an agreement at their November 30 meeting in Vienna to formally extend production cuts to the end of 2018 with the deal subject to review at a biannual meeting in June. The parameters of the agreement remain the same, with the coalition of 24 OPEC and non-OPEC participating countries maintaining production cuts of 1.8 million barrels a day (mb/d) in an effort to reduce global inventories to the targeted five-year average level. 
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BitcoinGulfCoin: The New Petrodollar?

By K. Elizabeth Salome

In financial circles, cryptocurrency is the elephant in the room: Everyone can see it, imposing itself onto the existing order, and yet no one is willing to address it. Not so for the Gulf states – they are throwing parties in its honor. Globally, digital currencies and the blockchain technology they ride in on have received a lukewarm response – if any at all. They are, after all, unchartered territory. 
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AGSIW in Arabic

أخفق الرئيس دونالد ترامب في خطابه القصير يوم الأربعاء الذي أعلن فيه اعتراف الولايات المتحدة الرسمي بالقدس عاصمة لإسرائيل، والبدء بعملية نقل السفارة من تل أبيب إلى القدس، في تقديم أي مبرر أخلاقي أو سياسي أو عملي يمكن فيه لهذا القرار أن يخدم المصلحة القومية للولايات المتحدة، أو أن يعزز من سمعتها ومكانتها كوسيط تقليدي في المفاوضات الطويلة والمعقدة بين الفلسطينيين وإسرائيل، أو أن يحيي ما يسمى بعملية السلام المجمدة التي لم تحقق أي تقدم يذكر منذ انهيار محادثات كامب ديفيد في سنة الفين
اطلع على المزيد

In addition to original content, in Arabic is regularly updated with new Arabic translations of AGSIW's analysis. Recent translations include:
Ali Abdullah SalehYemen's Future Looks Grim After Saleh's Killing

By Peter Salisbury

Saleh will be remembered as the man who shaped modern Yemen in his own image, but who was more willing to burn the country to the ground than relinquish power. Yet without his deal-making skills, the civil war he helped to spark and the devastating humanitarian crisis it caused are only likely to get worse.
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Past Event
UAESF 2017UAESF 2017: Defense Industry and Economic Diversification

Under the patronage of H.E. Sultan Al Mansoori, the minister of economy of the United Arab Emirates, the second annual UAE Security Forum brought together decision makers and business leaders to identify promising opportunities for private sector growth and innovation with special attention to the security sector, as an engine of economic growth, job opportunities, and technological advancement.
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In the Media
Marcelle WahbaSpeaking with The National, Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba, AGSIW president, commented on the formation of a joint military alliance between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia: "The formal resolution issued today forming a joint cooperation committee between the UAE and Saudi Arabia is no surprise." She continued, "I believe it’s been in the works for quite some time."

Stephen A. Seche on BBCExecutive Vice President Stephen A. Seche appeared on Al Jazeera, VOA, and BBC World News to discuss former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's death. Speaking with BBC, he commented on Saleh's decision to break his alliance with Houthi rebels: "He was a master opportunist and this may have been another opportunity for him to see a way out of a jam that he had gotten himself into with the alliance with the Houthis in the first place." Speaking with NPR, Non-Resident Fellow Peter Salisbury discussed Saleh's legacy: "He was the fulcrum of pretty much everything that happened. Even when he was out of power, he was really dictating terms." 

Speaking with Reuters, Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish commented on U.S. President Donald J. Trump's decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital: "Trump did not distinguish in any meaningful sense between West Jerusalem and occupied East Jerusalem." Ibish additionally appeared on i24 News and commented for CNN: "I haven't heard anyone articulate a single national security interest as to why now."
Karen E. YoungSenior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young attended the IISS Manama Dialogue as a delegate, December 8-10.

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