Building the Future: Jobs, Growth, and Fairness in the Arab World

By Christine Lagarde: Returning from Amman, where we just wrapped up aconference on the future of the Arab countries in transition, I am truly energized by the optimistic spirit that I encountered. Following on the heels of my visit to Morocco, it was an extraordinary couple of days of better understanding the people and the challenges they confront in this […]

Syria Signs First-Ever Offshore Oil Deal, With Russia

Syria has signed an agreement with Russian oil and gas company SoyuzNefteGaz for joint oil exploration off the Mediterranean coast, in Syria’s part of the prolific Levant Basin, according to Syrian, Russian and Iranian state news agencies. The contract will enter into effect immediately despite US and European sanctions against Syria, where opposition forces and Islamist groups […]

Why Is Syria Important to Iran?

Remember Bill Clinton’s catchy slogan “it’s all about the economy, stupid?”  Well when it comes to the Middle East, it’s all about the oil.  The wars, the disputes, the bickering, it all boils down to one thing: oil. To better understand the geopolitics of oil let’s take a good look at a map of the […]

Obama Face-Saving Solution on Syria Emerging

When the world came dangerously close to nuclear war in the Cuban missile crisis, a key issue in resolving the confrontation was how to allow Khrushchev to back down. America’s concession was to remove nuclear weapons aimed at Russia from Italy and Turkey. On paper, this looks like a win-win (indeed, some historians think those […]

Syria and the World Oil Market

The growing likelihood [1], [2], [3] of U.S. military action in Syria seems to be one factor in the recent sharp rise in oil prices. Source: WTRG.   That is not because Syria itself is an important producer of oil. According to the EIA, the country was producing less than 370,000 barrels a day in 2010, only half a percent of […]

G20 to Emerging Markets: We Feel Your Pain

The G20 communique and action plan, along with loads of background documents on the G20 economic program, have been released, though it may have been easy to miss amid the avalanche of Syria news.  The economic agenda was laid out in my colleague Stewart Patrick’s scene setter earlier this week, and leaders appear to have stuck to the […]

Obama on the Verge of Being Handed a Major Defeat on Syria

The Obama Administration is presenting the upcoming Congressional votes on its blank check Authorization to Use Military Force in Syria as justified, irrelevant (since Kerry has asserted that the Administration doesn’t need Congress’ approval can attack even in the face of a no vote), but a done deal nevertheless. None of those claims stand up to scrutiny. […]