Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia and Israel Are in the Same Predicament

Saudi Arabia’s fear after the Iran deal  Read More »

Two Summits with Gulf Arabs – Vive la Différence

Why top Gulf Arab leaders did attend a summit — but with the French president.  Read More »

The Saudi Military Intervention in Yemen

What lies behind the Arab coalition attack on Yemen?  Read More »

Hamas’ Relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia

Will the new Saudi king improve ties with Hamas?  Read More »

Egypt and Saudi Arabia Battle the Jihadist Current

Saudi Arabia has decided to join the battle against jihadists in the Middle East  Read More »

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.
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 »

Russia’s New Middle Eastern Policy: Back to Bismarck?

Vol. 6, No. 25 Russian President Vladimir Putin has outlined a new Russian Middle Eastern policy and has made a precedent-setting visit to Saudi Arabia, and to other traditional American allies in the Middle East. Russia has been increasing its sales […]  Read More »

Global Oil Supply Security and Al-Qaeda’s Abortive Attack on Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia

Had the February 22 attack on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil complex at Abqaiq been successful, oil prices would have likely broken all records and might have caused a worldwide economic crisis._  Read More »

Eran Lerman on Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism by Dore Gold and Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude by Robert Baer

The Grim Wahhabi Face behind the Veil: Reassessing the Saudi Role in World Affairs
Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism by Dore Gold
Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude by Robert Baer
Reviewed by Eran Lerman  Read More »

The Chabad Lubavitch Movement: Filling the Jewish Vacuum Worldwide

The influence of the Chabad Lubavitch movement in the Jewish world has greatly increased over the past decades. The seventh Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994), who died without a successor – and is considered by part of the Chabad Hasidim as the Messiah – was in the 1950s at the origins of the present international outreach campaign.  Read More »

U.S.-Saudi Relations After Hurricane Katrina: Increased Oil Dependency and the Vulnerability of Saudi Oil Installations

America’s trade deficit with the Saudi kingdom (due largely to the purchase of crude) is likely to amount to over $30 billion in 2005, up sharply from about $16 billion in 2004.
The conservative Abdallah has managed to win the support of the majority of Saudis in his battle against the domestic militants inside the Saudi kingdom who have targeted the Saudi regime.  Read More »

The Succession of Saudi King Abdallah, the Oil Market, and Regional Politics

King Fahd de facto governed Saudi Arabia since the crowning of the sickly King Khalid in 1975 – until 1995 when Fahd himself suffered a debilitating stroke. Abdallah, Fahd’s successor, is a conservative ascetic who was never considered corrupt by the population, unlike other members of the al-Saud family.  Read More »

What Drives Saudi Arabia to Persist in Terrorist Financing? Al-Jihad bi-al-Mal – Financial Jihad Against the Infidels

No. 531     23 Iyar 5765 / 1 June 2005   The U.S. offensive against terrorism has succeeded in reducing the extent of global terrorism. However, under the surface, the financial channels that are the arteries of radical Islamic […]  Read More »

The Al-Qaeda threat to Saudi Arabia’s Oil Sector

In the attack on the American consulate in Jedda on December 6, for the first time, al-Qaeda mounted an assault on a "fortified" American facility rather than attacking soft targets. When it turned out that nearly all the victims were Muslims, many Saudis, who were at first pleased by the U.S. humiliation, strongly condemned al-Qaeda. Even the families of the four terrorists killed in the consulate’s courtyard were denounced by their kin.
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Instability in the Gulf and the Threat to Oil Stability

The major increase in strategic oil reserves in the consuming countries could prevent the renewed use of oil as a weapon, as was the case during the Arab oil embargo of 1973. In addition, most of the Middle East’s oil today flows eastward to Japan, Korea, and China, countries that are less likely to be prime targets in a dispute with Middle Eastern countries.  Read More »

How Successful is Al-Qaeda’s Strategy of Depriving the West of Essential Oil?

Developments in Saudi Arabia and Iraq should cause oil prices to decline further and to reach $30-35 a barrel.  Read More »

Al-Qaeda’s Intellectual Legacy: New Radical Thinking Justifying the Genocide of Infidels

The Islamic victory over the USSR in Afghanistan, the creation of the al-Qaeda global network, and the spread of Islam in many Western countries are seen as signs of an Islamic awakening that from the radical Islamist perspective may lead to the restoration of Islam as the world’s most dominant power.  Read More »

Saudi Arabia’s Dubious Denials of Involvement in International Terrorism

Saudi Arabia’s past involvement in international terrorism is indisputable. While the Bush administration decided to redact 28 sensitive pages of the Joint Intelligence Report of the U.S. Congress, nonetheless, Saudi involvement in terrorist financing can be documented through materials captured by Israel in Palestinian headquarters in 2002-3. In light of this evidence, Saudi denials about terrorist funding don’t hold water.  Read More »

Who is Taking Credit for Attacks on the U.S. Army in Western Iraq? Al-Jama’a al-Salafiya al-Mujahida

The new Iraqi Sunni resistance organization al-Jama’a al-Salafiya al-Mujahida offers a radical Islamic platform that contains many points in common with al-Qaeda. It views Americans not just as modern crusaders waging a religious war in the name of Christianity against Islam, but as an infidel people who believe in a new infidel religion – democracy – that is striving to achieve world hegemony.  Read More »

“The War on America Is Not Over” – A conversation with Saudi watcher Dore Gold

Dore Gold, former Israeli representative to the United Nations, is author of Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism. He spoke to NRO last night about the attacks in Riyadh earlier this week.  Read More »

The Suicide Bombing Attacks in Saudi Arabia: A Preliminary Assessment

The suicide bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that left dozens dead – including 7-10 U.S. citizens – should not have come as a surprise. There has been increasing evidence that al-Qaeda, which took credit for the attack, has viewed the Saudi kingdom as one of its main areas of refuge since the U.S. victory against the Taliban in Afghanistan, for a number of reasons:  Read More »

The Kingdom of Incitement

Even with the U.S. winning a lightning victory in Iraq, the question will remain about how to win the overall war on terrorism. The war in Iraq reminds us that the Saudi role in global terrorism still needs to be addressed. The organizational link between Iraq and al Qaeda, identified as Ansar al-Islam by Secretary of State Colin Powell during his address before the U.N. Security Council, was not just a product of Iraqi policy.  Read More »

Reining in Riyadh

Much of the pre-war negotiation between the United States and its allies centered around the question of what should be the next steps in the Middle East after the removal of Saddam Hussein.  Read More »

Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the War on Terrorism

The recuperation of Iraq’s oil industry could prove a major threat to the oil-dependent Saudi economy. Saudi per capita income has fallen from about $23,000 in the early 1980s to about $7,000 last year. Prince Abdallah has attempted to reform the Saudi economy and reduce expenditures on subsidies and perks, including the costly stipends paid to 7,000 royal princes.
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Washington Misled: Saudi Arabia’s Financial Backing of Terrorism

Vol. 1, No. 23     6 May 2002   As a result of Israel’s Operation “Defensive Shield,” new documents have been uncovered from Palestinian offices that directly link the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with financial backing of terrorist attacks […]  Read More »

Saudi Arabia’s Op-Ed Diplomacy: A Public Relations Ploy or a Serious Initiative?

Vol. 1, No. 20   A revealing Washington Post news story on February 26, 2002, reported a striking American public opinion poll claiming that Americans rated Saudi Arabia above North Korea and Syria as a state-supporter of international terrorism. While 64 percent of Americans […]  Read More »

Only Buffer Zones Can Protect Israel

JERUSALEM — It is doubtful that another case can be found in recent history of a nation that has been willing to take greater risks for peace than has Israel. Eight years ago, Israel embarked on a diplomatic experiment by agreeing to grant authority to the Palestine Liberation Organization, an organization whose founding charter called for Israel’s annihilation, and to its leader, Yasir Arafat, in the disputed territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  Read More »

Saudi Arabia in the 1990s: Stability and Foreign Policy

The stability of Saudi Arabia (and the Persian Gulf as a whole) is crucially important to the world’s industrial countries. According to the Gulf Center of Strategic Studies, "oil is expected to account for 38 percent of all the world consumption of energy until 2015, compared to 39 percent in 1993.  Read More »

The Woeful State of Saudi Finances

Saudi Arabia has experienced budgetary deficits in every year since 1983, in sharp contrast with its large surpluses of the previous decade. Between 1983 and 1992 the cumulative deficits of Saudi Arabia amounted to $141 billion, while in the previous decade its cumulative surpluses had totalled $107 billion.  Read More »

The Woeful State of Saudi Finances