Saudi Arabia to build world’s tallest tower, reaching 1 kilometer into the sky
Though I generally support ideas like this to draw investment and tourism to areas that really could use it, it is possible that just spending the 1 billion on the poor in Saudi Arabia would be a better approach. It would alleviate so many issues that are directly related to extremism. With that said, this could work well assuming Saudi opens its borders more to tourism and provides the appropriate infrastructure for tourism,.
Saudi fund helps #Yemen develop its rural communities
“The fund agreed to allocate $100 million to Yemen’s Social Fund for Development (SFD) project, $4.2 million to support the activities of Al-Amal Microfinance Bank and $10 million to support the construction of a sanitation system in al-Hodeidah province.”
According to a New York Times article a classified US-led military base named the Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CASOC) located just outside Doha, Qatar has become public during a recent trip by the US Defense Secretary Hagel. During his visit with his counterpart he signed “a new Defense Cooperation Agreement that includes joint training and exercises and other unspecified cooperative military actions.”
Despite Middle Eastern CENTCOM Operations seemingly in withdrawal mode across the region, this announcement illustrates a continued commitment to US engagement in the region and foreshadows an increase in Command and Control (C2) operations with a focus on joint multinational operations. Between the lines, we can read that this means significant logistics & intelligence support to regional allies while running point on Joint Special Operations efforts while including extensive training & support to regional allies’ Special Operations Forces.
Simultaneously the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has agreed to establish a Joint Military Command and Police Force. The GCC consists of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. The GCC is most known for its efforts to assist in stabilizing the Republic of Yemen following the Arab Spring revolution.
The GCC owning its own Joint Military Command with the CASOC being based out of Qatar we are seeing a dramatic shift in Middle East Operations with the GCC on point and the US-led CASOC in the supporting role. Considering the GCC’s anti-Iran stance and concern for stability in the region it is conceivable to see a GCC led operational enterprise across the region focusing on stabilizing Syria, facilitating Yemen’s transition and countering Iranian expansive reach into Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Saudi aid to Yemen is being halted, paused, stopped or some other synonym to not-happening-anymore, according to Al Jazeera. Frankly I cannot do the original article much justice as it details very well the better part of 30 years of aid from Saudi Arabic to Yemen. The ramifications from this may be rather notable. On one hand you have less money coming into a country that is in dire need of support; on the other hand, Yemen faces many troubles with managing this aid, as many countries with developing governments riddled with poverty tend to do. Keeping funds on budget, retaining transparency, eliminating corruption and ensuring the funds reach sustainable solutions that directly impact the people it is meant for; are all issues Yemen struggled with when it comes to accepting foreign aid. There is hope that this will shake Yemen a bit away from being a full-blown welfare state. Arguably, the greatest impact this will have will be to liberate Yemen from its Saudi tethers.