An inability to predict where the next weather, cyber or terrorist-related attack will occur has placed a premium on understanding
There has been plenty of discussion about the impact of the persistent low oil price on economic performance, employment, and political stability. Less discussed has been its impact on foreign direct investment (FDI), particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The governments of Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have for many years funded anti-Shia political and military movements in the Middle East without any substantial resistance from the international community.
It would be nice to be able to say that the threat of Islamic fundamentalism has peaked in Africa, and that the worst is over, but given the current state of affairs that simply is not the case. In all likelihood, the threat will grow -- considerably -- in the years to come.
As the United States ramps up its 'no boots on the ground' war against jihadists in Iraq and Syria, the stream of threats emanating from the region appear to grow ever wider and deeper.
Largely an exercise in fantasy, like the longest-running science fiction show on the planet, NATO, since the end of the Soviet superpower erased the Cold War fear of a Red Army surge through the heart of Western Europe to the Bay of Biscay, has been an institution in search of a new mission and an accident waiting to happen.
Russia is a well-ingrained enemy of the U.S., and vice versa. For that reason, not too much effort is required to dust off and re-oil the propaganda machines on both sides of the Atlantic.
The crisis in Iraq highlights how sectarian conflicts are tearing Arab countries apart, with Syria serving as the most extreme example. Throughout the Arab Awakening, leaders have taken advantage of religious and ethnic divides in order to gain or stay in power, and they have systematically subordinated the rights of the non-ruling sectors of society.
In spite of all the resources devoted to fighting Somalia-based Al Shabaab in recent years, the group has grown stronger, and continues to cross the region's borders with impunity. The same is true with Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
A plethora of pundits, law makers and think tanks continue to criticize the Obama Administration for presiding over what appear to be persistent failures in the foreign policy arena. Opponents are quick to attack the perceived lack of meaningful progress.
With the GCC countries facing their own youth bulge and implementing labor nationalization policies, the prospects of growing intra-Arab labor mobility looks dim. Protectionism will only lead to greater unemployment, frustration and radicalizing of Arab youth, leading to more extremism.