Saudi Arabia

Must Read

Financial Times: Saudi Arabia: A Kingdom on Guard

Author: Roula Khalaf

"Two camps are emerging: one led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which maintains that political Islam is a perilous force that should be confronted; and the other led by Qatar and Turkey's ruling party, which believes in political Islam's ability to transform the region. 'This confrontation has not reached its peak yet,' [Tarek Osman] says. Saudi Arabia's policies might be pursued in the name of stability. But they could well achieve the opposite."

See more in Saudi Arabia; Politics and Strategy

Must Read

NYT: Rein in the Saudi Religious Police

Author: Manal Al-Sharif

"The government, for its part, is wary of clamping down on the mutaween for fear of inciting a conservative backlash and is walking a fine line between the religious police and an increasingly angry populace. While dismantling of the force is unrealistic, this delicate moment opens a window of opportunity for Saudis. By continuing to voice anger and disapproval, the public may provide Riyadh with the leverage it needs to demand police adherence to regulations already in place, and slowly weaken the commission's influence."

See more in Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights; Saudi Arabia

Must Read

Carnegie: What to Make of Saudi Hand-Wringing

Author: Frederic Wehrey

This absence of clear unanimity in the Gulf, combined with the momentum of U.S.-Iranian talks, leave Riyadh few options. Moving forward, it is likely to follow in the broad wake of U.S. policy, but with a greater preference for hedging. It may pursue multiple, overlapping policy initiatives as a form of insurance, some of which may clash with U.S. strategies and goals.

See more in Saudi Arabia; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament

Must Read

Vanity Fair: The Kingdom and the Towers

Authors: Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan

In this Vanity Fair adaptation of The Eleventh Day, by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, the authors explore connections between the Saudi royal family, the September 11th attacks, and the Bush administration's suppression of critical evidence.

See more in Saudi Arabia; Terrorist Attacks

Must Read

WSJ: The New Cold War

Authors: Bill Spindle and Margaret Coker

Bill Spindle and Margaret Coker explore the historical divides between Iraq and Saudi Arabia and demonstrate how recent uprisings in the region have heightened tensions between the two countries.

See more in Iraq; Saudi Arabia; Politics and Strategy

Must Read

MEI: Nuclear Weapons and Saudi Strategy

Author: Thomas W. Lippman

This Middle East Institute Policy Brief examines Saudi strategy and response if Iran acquired nuclear weapons, concluding that the Saudis would much prefer an accommodation with Iran and progress toward its long-stated goal of making the entire region a zone free of nuclear weapons.

See more in Saudi Arabia; Proliferation; Iran

Must Read

CRS: Saudi Arabia: Terrorist Financing Issues

Authors: Christopher M. Blanchard and Alfred B. Prados

This CRS report for Congress reviews allegations of Saudi involvement in terrorist financing together with Saudi rebuttals, discusses the question of Saudi support for Palestinian organizations and religious charities and schools abroad, discusses recent steps taken by Saudi Arabia to counter terrorist financing (many in conjunction with the United States), and suggests some implications of recent Saudi actions for the war on terrorism.

See more in Saudi Arabia; United States; Terrorist Financing

Must Read

WashPost: This is a Saudi textbook. (After the intolerance was removed.)

Author: Nina Shea

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, a 2004 Saudi royal study group recognized the exigency to reform educational material in Saudi Arabia's public school curriculum. The study found that the Saudi public education system advocates a problematic legacy in their religious curriculum that condones violence, repression, and intolerance. Prince Turki al-Faisal, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, made public claims that the Saudi curriculum had been recently reviewed and revised to meet the needs of a more modern education. However, recent copies of Islamic Saudi textbooks that have been translated into English reveal a lack of modernization, which contradicts assertions of Saudi educational reform.

See more in Education; Religion; Saudi Arabia

Must Read

United States Institute of Peace: Saudi Arabia and Iraq: Oil, Religion, and an Enduring Rivalry

Author: Joseph McMillan

Joseph McMillan argues in this USIP report that in the near future, U.S. and Saudi perspectives on Iraq will be quite similar with both countries tightly focused on restoring peace and order and preventing the propagation of terrorism. However, there is also ample room for divergence. Saudi Arabia values its ties to Washington, but its ability to cooperate with U.S. policy will be limited by regional and domestic pressures. Ensuring that Saudi Arabia is a force for stability in the Gulf rather than a source of disruption is a continuing challenge for U.S. diplomacy.

See more in United States; Saudi Arabia; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Must Read

CRS Report: Saudi Arabia: Terrorist Financing Issues

Authors: Alfred B. Prados and Christopher M. Blanchard

This report reviews allegations of Saudi involvement in terrorist financing
together with Saudi rebuttals, discusses the question of Saudi support for religious
charities and schools (madrasas) abroad, discusses recent steps taken by Saudi
Arabia to counter terrorist financing (many in conjunction with the United States),
and suggests some implications of recent Saudi actions for the war on terrorism.

See more in Terrorist Financing; Saudi Arabia