The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been under stress for some time. What spells the end of the organization is more benign, yet widely disliked — taxes. Saudi Arabia’s decision to increase its value-added tax by 300 percent means there is now no chance for Gulf economic integration and policy coordination, notes Karen E. Young in an Al-Monitor op-ed. For the GCC, its efficacy and usefulness as an engine of collective growth and mutual interests is probably over. Learn more here.
Turkey’s Reccep Tayyip Erdoğan is an autocrat who seeks to monopolize power and change the principles on which Turkish society operates. Michael Rubin took to the National Interest to assess Ankara’s behavior. He notes that optimists hope that Erdoğan’s defeat in Istanbul last year signals that Turks can reclaim their country and that democracy can still check Erdoğan’s desire to rule for life. But the lesson Erdoğan appears to have taken is not that he must listen to the people, but rather, he must punish Istanbul and become more ruthless in weeding out political opposition. Finish here.
by Abhinav Pandya and Sam Westrop
Sunday Guardian (India)
May 3, 2020
(The Associated Press) A suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktia province on Thursday that looked to target a military compound but exploded before its destination killed five civilians and wounded at least 29 others, including civilians and military personnel, Afghan officials said.
US military support In Sahel: Allies at work
(Breaking Defense) A few months ago Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced a broad review to recalibrate the overall US military posture overseas and align spending as best as possible with the National Defense Strategy priorities – forces to compete with Russia and China.