The two sides have missed past opportunities to come to a political understanding based on mutual energy needs. They must not do so again.
For a brief moment on January 21, all eyes in German politics will shift from Berlin to Bonn. In the predicted cliffhanger vote at a special party conference in Germany’s former capital, the Social Democrats (SPD) will decide whether to begin coalition negotiations with Merkel’s Christian Democrat bloc (CDU/CSU). If delegates approve a preliminary deal reached on January 12, detailed coalition talks could start in earnest, wrap up in a few weeks, and allow the next German government to take office by Easter.
This article is part of a series reflecting on the first year of the Trump administration.US President Donald J. Trump’s public skepticism toward multilateral organizations has created uncertainty among traditional US allies. Washington’s commitment to NATO, in particular, has been called into question in the first year of the administration. Despite critical rhetoric and ongoing concerns over allied burden-sharing, the Trump administration, alongside European allies, continues to take concrete steps to bolster transatlantic security.
While using unconventional means, the recent developments are part of a clear and well-thought-out strategy put in motion by MbS and his followers, necessary for making important changes to several of the Kingdom’s critical sectors. The elevation of MbS to crown prince, while also reshuffling key posts in the defense forces and ministries, was necessary to increase his political capital and subsequent ability to implement Saudi Vision 2030.
MbS is not only shaking up Saudi Arabian leadership, but is also behind changes to Saudi society and global markets, including social reforms alongside the Vision 2030 economic diversification plan and the possible Saudi Aramco IPO (initial public offering).