Accession Number:

ADA422194

Title:

Saudi Security: Challenges in the Post-Saddam Era

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2004-03-01

Pagination or Media Count:

68.0

Abstract:

Events at the beginning of the 2lst century have brought a fundamental change to the security environment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of a significance not witnessed in the region since the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The fall of Saddam Husseins regime in 2003 eliminated the most significant external threat facing Saudi Arabia. At the same time, internal threats to the Kingdom appear to be increasing. The demographic and economic challenges facing the Kingdom are contributing to internal instability. Increased instances of political violence, particularly suicide bombings against targets within the Kingdom, have been carried out by terrorists linked to al-Qaeda. These attacks have targeted Westerners and, for the first time in May 2003, non-Saudi Muslims. This paper examines the security challenges facing Saudi Arabia at the start of the 21 century. It argues that while external threats to the Kingdom remain, the greater threat to security may lie within the Saudi state the result of a failure to address current political realities. Major security challenges include the threat from Iran, economic and demographic pressures, the question of succession within the ruling al-Saud family and maintaining the U.S.-Saudi security partnership, a relationship which has endured over 50 years.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE