“What in the World?” Quiz – Week of Jan 28-Feb 3, 2018

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Don’t forget to sign up as a World Affairs Council member (TNWAC.org/join) to be eligible to win the monthly quiz prize.

Check your global affairs awareness with these ten questions taken from the week’s news reports provided via @TNWAC #TNWACquiz.

The only rule is to use the ‘honor system.’  No answer Googling!

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Pete Griffin, Nashville, TN

Patricia Miletich, Nashville, TN

Tara Finco, Lawrenceville, GA

Deborah Monroe, Cambridgeshire, UK

Keith Simmons, Nashville, TN

Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN

Alyza Surani, Lawrenceville, GA

David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL

Well Done!

(If you’re a weekly winner you’ll be entered for the monthly prize drawing but you must be a TNWAC member to win.  TNWAC.org/join )


Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States since FDR (Geopolitics in the 21st Century)

by Bruce Riedel

Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States since FDR

An insider’s account of the often-fraught U.S.-Saudi relationship

Saudi Arabia and the United States have been partners since 1943, when President Franklin Roosevelt met with two Saudi princes―future monarchs representing their father, King Ibn Saud―at the White House. Subsequent U.S. presidents have had direct relationships with those kings and their successors, setting the tone for a special partnership between an absolute monarchy with a unique Islamic identity and the world’s most powerful democracy.

Although based in large part on economic interests, the U.S.-Saudi relationship has rarely been smooth. Differences over Israel have caused friction since the early days, and ambiguities about Saudi involvement―or lack of it―in the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States continue to haunt the relationship. Now, both countries have new, still-to-be-tested leaders
in President Trump and King Salman.

Bruce Riedel has followed these kings and presidents during his decades-long career at the CIA, the White House, and the Brookings Institution. Kings and Presidents offers an insider’s account of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. Using declassified documents, memoirs by both Saudis and Americans, and eyewitness accounts, Riedel’s book takes the reader inside the royal palaces, the holy cities, and the White House to gain an understanding of this complex partnership.


Political histories are often a snooze, but Riedel is a lively, opinionated writer whose sympathy with his subjects’ viewpoints will enlighten most readers.―Kirkus Reviews

Bruce Riedel has written a thorough, insightful and provocative account of the U.S.-Saudi relationship as seen through the eyes of Kings and Presidents. He proves that understanding history is essential to guiding this very important relationship forward during a time of growing regional uncertainty. ―George Tenet, former Director Central Intelligence Agency

This riveting book is essential reading for anyone interested in U.S. policy in the Middle East or Saudi Arabia. Riedel offers a thorough, thoughtful and candid account of the diplomatic highs and lows between two strange bedfellows. A great contribution to the literature by someone who witnessed it play out from inside the policy establishment and who has known the key players.―Robin Wright, author of Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion across the Islamic World

Few if any Americans have the depth of experience of Bruce Riedel in dealing with the volatile neighborhood inhabited by Saudi Arabia. In this excellent new book, Riedel tells the history of US-Saudi ties through the interactions of Saudi kings and American presidents. He leavens the narrative with charming anecdotes, from the movie Ibn Saud saw en route to his meeting with Franklin Roosevelt, to the ‘Dr. No’-style aquarium in the palace of King Abdullah. A must-read for both scholars and the general public, the book raises all the necessary questions about the future of the Kingdom and its complicated alliance with the United States.―Barbara Slavin , Director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council and author, Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US and the Twisted Path to Confrontation

About Bruce Riedel

Bruce Riedel is a senior fellow and director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, part of the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. In addition, Riedel serves as a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy. He retired in 2006 after 30 years of service at the Central Intelligence Agency, including postings overseas. He was a senior advisor on South Asia and the Middle East to the last four presidents of the United States in the staff of the National Security Council at the White House. He was also deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Near East and South Asia at the Pentagon and a senior advisor at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels.

Riedel was a member of President Bill Clinton’s peace process team and negotiated at Camp David and other Arab-Israeli summits and he organized Clinton’s trip to India in 2000. In January 2009, President Barack Obama asked him to chair a review of American policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan, the results of which the president announced in a speech on March 27, 2009.

In 2011, Riedel served as an expert advisor to the prosecution of al Qaeda terrorist Omar Farooq Abdulmutallab in Detroit. In December 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron asked him to brief the United Kingdom’s National Security Council in London on Pakistan.

Riedel is the author of “The Search for al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology and Future” (Brookings Institution Press, 2008), “Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of the Global Jihad” (Brookings Institution Press, 2011; translated into Persian) and “Avoiding Armageddon: America, India and Pakistan to the Brink and Back” (Brookings Institution Press, 2013). He is a contributor to “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran” (Brookings Institution Press, 2009), “The Arab Awakening: America and the Transformation of the Middle East” (Brookings Institution Press, 2011) and “Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979-1988” (Brookings Institution Press, 2012). His book “What We Won: America’s Secret War in Afghanistan, 1979-1989” (Brookings Institution Press, 2014) won the gold medal for best new book on war and military affairs at the INDIEFAB awards. His new book is “JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA and the Sino-Indian War” (Brookings Institution Press, 2015).

Riedel is a graduate of Brown (B.A.), Harvard (M.A.), and the Royal College of Defense Studies in London. He has taught at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies, and he has been a guest lecturer at Dartmouth, Harvard, Brown, and other universities. Riedel is a recipient of the Intelligence Medal of Merit and the Distinguished Intelligence Career Medal.

Source: Brookings

More book information and ordering

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We’ll post the answers and the names of the winner(s) in next week’s quiz.

Here’s last week’s questions and answers:


Week of Jan 21-27, 2018

1. Turkey opened a new front in the Syrian conflict, and potentially worsened already strained relations with the United States by firing on THIS group, fighting in Syria’s Afrin province:

A. The Saudi-backed group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham
B. U.S. forces
C. The Kurdish YPG, or People’s Protection Unit
D. The U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army

Correct Response: C. The Kurdish YPG, or People’s Protection Unit

2. A vote by THIS political party to begin coalition talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) has brought the first sign that four months of political deadlock might be over. There are still several hurdles to be cleared, though, before Mrs. Merkel can begin offering the stability she promised Germany during the September elections.

A. Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU)
B. Social Democratic Party (SPD)
C. Alternative for Germany (AfD)
D. Free Democratic Part (FDP)

Correct Answer: B. Social Democratic Party (SPD)

3. Another infestation of bed bugs on a British Airways flight led THIS country to threaten the airline with sanctions when the blood-sucking vermin were seen crawling on aircraft seats. British Airways holds a monopoly on flights between the UK and the nation in question.

A. Liberia
B. Ghana
C. Sierra Leone
D. Nigeria

Correct Response: B. Ghana

4. Saudi Arabia ended its 35-year ban on showing movies in public by screening THIS 2017 release:

A. The Emoji Movie
B. The Mummy
C. The Dark Tower
D. Transformers: The Last Knight

Correct Response: A. The Emoji Movie

5. During his trip to Chile, Pope Francis drew ire for doing THIS:

A. Refusing to meet with leaders of a LGBTQ movement
B. Celebrating a special mass for anti-immigrant politicians
C. Refusing to meet with leaders of a movement to ordain women
D. Celebrating mass with a bishop known to have covered up sexual abuse by priests

Correct Response: D. Celebrating mass with a bishop known to have covered up sexual abuse by priests

6. In an attack that left 5 people dead and led to a 16-hour siege, four Taliban gunmen attacked a hotel in THIS Afghan city:

A. Kabul
B. Kandahar
C. Jalalabad
D. Herat

Correct Response: A. Kabul

7. Developer of the lighter, less sauce-dependent “nouvelle cuisine,” and founder of the competition that’s come to be known as the Olympics of the culinary world, THIS French chef died at age 91:

A. Jacques Pépin
B. Alain Passard
C. Daniel Boulud
D. Paul Bocuse

Correct Response: D. Paul Bocuse

8. Brexit dealt yet another blow to the UK when the European Union decided to move the Galileo Security Surveillance Centre—responsible for monitoring satellites that control information for phones, cars, planes, trains, and emergency services—to THIS city:

A. Paris
B. Madrid
C. Hamburg
D. Rome

Correct Response: B. Madrid

9. If conditions do not change drastically, Capetown is 90 days from running out of THIS:

A. Money to pay public workers’ salaries
B. Energy reserves
C. Fuel for public transportation
D. Water

Correct Response: D. Water

10. Ex-CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee was arrested this week, ending an intense investigation that started in 2012. Mr. Lee is suspected of having done THIS:

A. Providing North Korea with information on U.S. military preparedness
B. Plotting to kill top U.S. officials
C. Helping the Chinese identify U.S. informants and dismantle spy networks
D. Selling computer security codes to Chinese hackers

Correct Response: C. Helping the Chinese identify U.S. informants and dismantle spy networks

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