Erdogan and the National Pact: the fallout today from the British Army’s seizing of Mosul in 1918

By Dr Rod Thornton Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently repeated his country’s long-held territorial claim to Mosul and the whole of northern Iraq. Such a claim is based on the belief prevalent in Turkey that this area had, as territory of the Ottoman empire, been illegally seized by the British in November 1918… Read More Erdogan and the National Pact: the fallout today from the British Army’s seizing of Mosul in 1918

Interesting times for the Gulf Arab monarchies

By DR DAVID B ROBERTS With its double meaning, the Chinese proverb ‘may you live in interesting times’ aptly describes the current mood in the Arab Gulf monarchies. These states (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates) are going through a period of intriguing flux. A range of long-held assumptions across… Read More Interesting times for the Gulf Arab monarchies

Saudi Arabia and its anti-terror alliance

DR DAVID ROBERTS On 14 December 2015, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister, Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, called a press conference and announced the formation of a new thirty-four nation-strong Islamic military alliance that would be dedicated to countering the threat of terrorism around the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.… Read More Saudi Arabia and its anti-terror alliance

Reasons to (not) be cheerful in 2016…The Middle East and the Institutionalisation of ‘Least Bad’ Options

After a turbulent 2015, members of DSD’s Regional Security Research Centre (@KingsRegSec) look forward to the coming year and examine the issues that they believe will be prominent in 2016, including the US presidential elections, continuing instability across the Middle East and the various coalitions seeking to counter IS, talks between India and Pakistan on… Read More Reasons to (not) be cheerful in 2016…The Middle East and the Institutionalisation of ‘Least Bad’ Options

UK in the Gulf: to Engage or not to engage?

DR DAVID ROBERTS On 1 November 2015, the UK Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond inaugurated the beginning of works constructing the UK’s first permanent military base in Bahrain in the Persian Gulf since 1971 when the UK withdrew from the region. Using language that almost seemed to deliberately hark back to Britain’s colonial days in the… Read More UK in the Gulf: to Engage or not to engage?