Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this work will be of interest to any reader seeking a better understanding of the political and cultural history in Saudi Arabia. There is a current need for Special Operations Forces, specifically to appreciate the historical, domestic, regional, and other influences on the worldview and decision-making of Saudi Arabia's leaders, particularly those issues that have a significant impact on U.S.-Saudi security relationships. His monograph is a fascinating, condensed history of Saudi Arabia, focused on events and decisions that influence the modern political worldview of citizens in that country. For example, a history of tribes being ruled by outsiders; the pros and cons of alliances with the British and (more recently) the U.S., the impact of global geopolitics (e.g. Cold War), and the impact of regional neighbors' policies and events on Saudi Arabia's domestic and foreign policies (to include its relationship with the U.S.). This volume explains the importance of politically shrewd and pragmatic leaders and the ways that Iran's ambitions and policies threaten Saudi Arabia's regional influence, as well as how the historical fracturing of the U.S.-Iran relationship played well for Saudi Arabia.
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This book also provides a brief overview of Arabia from the early Islamic period to the rise of the first Saudi state in 1744 and then examines the emergence of Wahhabi Islam and First (1744-1818) and Second (1824-1891) Saudi States and the challenges associated with them. He then analyzes the emergence of the Third Saudi State and Saudi Arabia, and the recognition by Ibn Saud of the weaknesses and problems that undermined the previous Saudi States. This leads to the great succession crisis of the 1950s and 1960s when revolutionary Egypt and instability across the region toppled monarchies and threatened traditional regimes. Dr. Barrett highlights contemporary Saudi Arabia from 1975 to 2005 (the year that King Abdullah assumed the throne) and analyzes the reign of King Abdullah and his attempts to rationalize and reform the political, economic, and social life of the nation.
This monograph has value to the military and policy world. It is not only a good explanation of the history of Saudi Arabia, but its greatest value is its succinctness in analyzing and presenting the Saudi strategic culture. It should be of interest to strategists, planners, and leaders interested in the region and the relationship with the Kingdom. The monograph concludes with an epilogue addressing King Abdullah's death on 23 January 2015 at age 90, providing context to the transition to King Salman's government and what the line of succession will look like in the future.
Chapter 1 - The Arabian Context and Emergence of the Saudi State * Chapter 2 - Ibn Saud and the Founding of Saudi Arabia * Chapter 3 - Transition and Crisis: 1953-1975 * Chapter 4 - Modern Saudi Arabia and the Patronage State * Chapter 5 - The Reign of King Abdullah and the Contemporary Reality
This study analyzes Saudi Arabia from the context of its own unique historical, political, economic, and socio-cultural path to a modern patronage state. It also looks toward the coming transformations facing the Kingdom— a generational leadership change, the socio-economic complications of population growth, and the challenges to Gulf security posed by an increasingly unstable region. Saudi Arabia differs fundamentally from the Gulf emirates of Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, the Sultanate of Oman, and the Kingdom of Bahrain. Saudi Arabia is the product of a parallel but very different historical experience. This is the story of three Saudi states, each driven by aggressive expansive policies, a distinct ideology, and each checked in its regional ambitions by the intervention of an outside power whose interests the Saudi state threatened.