French-Saudi ties are at an all-time high, despite Paris’ condemnation of a death-penalty sentence for a 20-year-old protester. But as relations between Washington and Riyadh continue to fray, France is unlikely to supplant the U.S. as the Gulf nation’s most important Western partner.
After the attacks of Sept. 11, America’s strategic paradigm for the conflict with extremism relied on local militaries and governments to secure the places where extremism grows. For some reason, Americans have been slow to learn that, although this was an elegant solution, it hasn’t worked.
Mexico’s drug cartels get all the attention, but another network exerts significant power and does its own damage to the country: an economic cartel that enjoys market domination in major sectors of the economy. These tycoons show how Mexico’s growth is both highly deceptive and terribly exclusive.