- By Ian Bremmer<p> Ian Bremmer is president of Eurasia Group and author of the newly released Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World. </p>
Did everyone notice the Saudis suggesting that further sanctions against the Iranians are well and good, but that they’d rather see a quicker resolution? (The FT did, with the Saudis saying that they meant the Middle East peace process. Umm, that’s not credible. And not what they’ve been saying privately.)
I’d discount hints at support for the more direct approach as 90 percent bluster, since the Saudis know the Obama administration is completely committed to the present course. But the absence of routine communications between Saudi Arabia and Israel gives you the remaining 10 percent — many in the kingdom could think of worse outcomes than having the Israelis "resolve" their looming Iranian nuclear issue through surgical strikes.
At one level, given the attendant risks in the region, it’s an eye-opening assertion. At another, in the absence of Bush administration hawks willing to keep the "or else" drumbeat going, it’s a little less surprising.
Having said that, when I was in Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago — the geopolitical issue most frequently brought up was neither brewing tensions with Iran (No. 2 issue) nor the potential for a failed state and cross-border terrorism coming out of Yemen (No. 3 issue) … but the enormous investment opportunities afforded in a stabilizing oil-rich Iraq. Not at all where the Saudis were a year ago. Interesting.
Blake Hounshell is managing editor at Foreign Policy, having formerly been Web editor. Hounshell oversees ForeignPolicy.com and has commissioned and edited numerous cover stories for the print magazine, including National Magazine Award finalist "Why Do They Hate Us?" by Mona Eltahawy. He also edits The Cable, FP's first foray into daily original reporting, and was editor of Colum Lynch's Turtle Bay, which in 2011 won a National Magazine award for best reporting in a digital format.
Blake joined Foreign Policy in 2006 after living in Cairo, where he studied Arabic, missed his Steelers finally win one for the thumb, and worked for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies. Blake was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Awards prize for young journalists for his reporting on the Arab uprisings, and his Twitter feed was named one of Time magazine's "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011." Under his leadership, in 2008, Passport, FP's flagship blog, won Media Industry Newsletter's "Best of the Web" award in the blog category. Along with Elizabeth Dickinson, he edited Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future, the memoirs of former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.
A graduate of Yale University, Blake speaks mangled Arabic and French, is an avid runner, and lives in Washington with his wife, musician Sandy Choi, and their toddler, David. Follow him on Twitter @blakehounshell.| Passport |