Saudi Arabia

The Impending Clash between Iran and Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is preparing to purchase an atomic bomb from Pakistan to deter Iran.   Read More »

The Dangers of Accepting Iran as a Nuclear Threshold State

If this situation continues, it will become far harder in the future for any state to stop Iran’s determination to acquire nuclear weapons.  Read More »

Ahmadinejad in Abu Musa: Iran’s Lengthening Shadow in the Gulf

In response to the mounting Iranian challenge in the Gulf, the need for American power in the region has only grown.  Read More »

The Berlin Wall of Mideast Oil Comes Down

There is no reason why Israel should feel compelled to race back to the 1967 lines, but rather should protect its legal right to defensible borders, without the sword of Middle East oil hanging over its head.  Read More »

Michael Widlanski on the Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations by Lee Smith

Jewish Political Studies Review 23:1-2 (Spring 2011)    What is the key to understanding the Middle East? Sometimes a perceptive outsider can grasp the political culture of a state or a region better than a native observer or an academic.   Lee […]  Read More »

Wary of the Muslim Brotherhood

What the Saudi reaction to the Muslim Brotherhood illustrates is that the Islamic trend in the Arab world today cannot be painted with one brush, and that under the surface there are deep rivalries and differences between the Muslim Brotherhood and states that until recently were their closest allies.  Read More »

The Arab Peace Initiative: A Primer and Future Prospects

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., Saudi Arabia was under intense scrutiny since 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. In Feb. 2002, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia proposed to Israel “full withdrawal” from the territories in return for “full normalization.”  Read More »

Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism

In the global search for culprits and causes in the rise of terrorism, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold shines a spotlight on a nation many think of as a close ally of the United States: Saudi Arabia. As he explains in Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, Gold believes that the Saudi government is greatly influenced by the Islamist sect known as Wahhabism and, he explains, that influence has lead to Saudi support of terrorism in the Middle East, Europe, the United States and around the world.  Read More »

Saudi Arabia Contends with the Social Media Challenge

Internet surveillance in Saudi Arabia is quite widespread. Many of those involved in filtering are Saudi “U.S.-educated techies” who understand the idea of Internet freedom but don’t think it applies to Saudi Arabia._x000D_
On January 1, the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information announced a new regulation requiring all Internet publishing sites to register and get a license.  Read More »

Sunni vs. Shiite in Saudi Arabia

Wahhabism, the leading stream of Islam in Sunni Saudi Arabia, is extremely anti-Shiite. With Shiite Iran on the cusp of nuclear arms, and with demonstrated victories by Iran’s proxies in Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza, the Saudi rulers cannot afford to be seen coddling local Shiites. Saudi Sunnis expect their leaders to defend the honor and position of the Sunni majority, lest Shiite victories reverse the age-old dominance of the Sunni sect of Islam.  Read More »

King Abdullah’s Illness and the Saudi Succession

If King Abdullah, who is 87, dies, Prince Nayif, 77, will most likely becoming crown prince after current Crown Prince Sultan, 86, assumes the throne. Although every ruler brings his own nuance, the West can be assured that Saudi Arabia will experience no major upheavals as a result of a succession to the throne.  Read More »

Arms for the King and His Family: The U.S. Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

The U.S. State Department has notified Congress of the biggest arms sale in American history – a $60 billion purchase by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Totally offensive in nature, the package, with its attack planes, helicopters, and “bunker-buster” bombs, was clearly designed to deter Iran.  Read More »

Rising Tension between Iran and the Gulf States

The Arab Gulf states are feeling compelled to adopt an appeasement policy toward Tehran while with increasing dread they helplessly follow the nuclear crisis, epitomized by Iranian determination and aggression in the face of American weakness.  Read More »

The Saudi Connection to the Mumbai Massacres: Strategic Implications for Israel

The Mumbai attacks have been linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba and radical Islamic groups in Kashmir generally. Yet it would be a mistake to see Lashkar only as a local organization with only a local agenda. Saudi Arabia has contributed very much to what Lashkar-e-Taiba looks like, how it thinks, its motivation, ideology, and funding. Saudi Arabia presents itself as the protector and the spearhead of the defense of Muslims around the world against what they define as the Western cultural attack.  Read More »

The Erosion of Al-Qaeda’s Power in Saudi Arabia

Following major terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda against housing compounds inhabited by foreign and Arab oil experts in 2003, the Saudi regime launched a major onslaught against the al-Qaeda-led Saudi fundamentalists. Gradually the regime succeeded in eroding the ranks of the Afghanistan war veterans who comprised the operational leadership of the organization.  Read More »