US Policy Head Fears Revolution in KSA - KSA Demands Support for FSA

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" The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an antique, the last absolute monarchy in the world, perhaps the last in human history. The Hapsburgs, Romanovs and Pahlavis are gone but the House of Saud survives. But for how long?
Perhaps the greatest international challenge the next U.S. president could face is a revolution in Saudi Arabia if the royal family’s time runs out.
A timely new book, On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines and Future by Karen Elliot House, presents an ominous picture of a country seething with internal tensions and anger.
Sixty percent of Saudis are 20 or younger, most of whom have no hope of a job . Seventy percent of Saudis can not afford to own a home. Forty percent live below the poverty line.
The royals, 25,000 princes and princesses, own most of the valuable land and benefit from a system that gives each a stipend and some a fortune. Foreign workers make the Kingdom work; the 19 million Saudi citizens share the Kingdom with 8.5 million guest workers.
Other fault lines are getting deeper and more explosive. According to House, regional differences and even “regional racism” between parts of the country are “a daily fact of Saudi life.” Hejazis in the West and Shiites in the East resent the strict Wahhabi lifestyle imposed by the Quran belt in the Nejd central desert. Gender discrimination, essential to the Wahhabi world view, is a growing problem as more and more women become well educated with no prospect of a job. Sixty percent of Saudi college graduates are women but they are only twelve percent of the work force. You can hear some of their angry voices in this book.
Since the start of the revolutions in the Arab world in early 2011 the most important question has been will they spread to the Kingdom? The stakes are huge, since one in four barrels of oil sold in the world are Saudi produced.
The American alliance with Saudi Arabia is the oldest alliance Washington has with any country in the Middle East dating to 1945 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with the founder of the modern Saudi state, Abdul Aziz bin al Saud, and fashioned an oil-for-security bargain.
Today the United States needs Saudi Arabia more than ever. Our oil imports are up from the kingdom. The alliance with Egypt is in doubt. Iraq is tilting toward Iran. The Saudis are our critical partner in the war against al Qaeda in Yemen and elsewhere. Saudi intelligence has thwarted at least two al-Qaeda attacks on the American homeland since 2010. Saudi support is important to containing Iran.
Yet the kingdom is also a source of anxiety. European intelligence sources say the kingdom’s rich are still the No. 1 source of finances for extremist Islamic groups including the Afghan Taliban and Pakistan’s Lashkar-e Tayyiba. And the kingdom has all but annexed its small neighbor Bahrain to squash a democratic revolution on the island that hosts the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet.
The current Saudi Kingdom is the third state created by the House of Saud. Two earlier kingdoms — the first created in 1745 — collapsed because of outside pressure and internal divisions created by succession quarrels. All three have been based on a unique partnership between the Saudi royal family and a conservative clerical establishment begun by Muhhamad ibn Abd al Wahhab, one of the most important Islamic figures since the earliest days of the faith. The Saud-Wahhab alliance remains crucial to the Kingdom’s stability today. Since the Kingdom is also home to Islam’s two holiest cities, that partnership has global implications.
House’s new book is a well-researched and argued assessment of the current state of the kingdom. A veteran journalist who has been visiting and reporting on the Kingdom for 30 years, House has interviewed Saudis from richest royals to the destitute poor.
For decades the kingdom has been blessed with good leadership and King Abdullah is a progressive by Saudi standards. But the third Saudi state will soon face an unprecedented succession challenge . Since the death of ibn Saud in 1953, succession has moved only among his sons. Now they are all old, ill and few in number. Sooner rather than later the kingdom will have to pick a grandson of ibn Saud and there is no agreed formula for how to do so other than that the last of the current line will choose from his own sons. The House of Saud will enter a new world then, without the legitimacy its leaders have enjoyed for a century. History is not encouraging; the second Saudi state fell apart over succession problems in the late 19th century.
Revolution in Saudi Arabia is no longer unthinkable. Ironically, the more successfully the revolutions in other Arab states develop, the more likely Saudis will also want a government that is modern, accountable and chosen by the people. But revolution in the Kingdom may come from angry extremists outraged by the Kingdom’s alliance with America. Ms. House usefully reminds us that al-Qaeda remains a strong force under the surface despite a vigorous and so far successful counter terrorist effort by the Saudis (with American help).
On Saudi Arabia concludes with some useful scenarios for what may be coming in the kingdom. There are several possible directions for the future. Absolute monarchies are not usually capable of reform. Like the Soviet Union, once change starts in a deeply ideological authoritarian state it is hard to control. The downfall of the shah 35 years ago proved to be the defining crisis of the Carter administration. Will the next president face a similar crisis across the Persian Gulf? We have a good guide in On Saudi Arabia ."


High youth unemployment and zeal, a succession crisis and schism in the monarchy, and a large pool of dissidents in the non-royal business elite could see Arab Spring style square seizures by the general public.

The first party to revolt will be the Twelvers in Bahrain, Qatif, and Al Hasa along with the Ismailis and Zaidis in Najran and across the border into Yemen. Iran and the Shia in Iraq will aid them.

The second party to revolt will be the Salafi opposition in the zealous cities North of Riyadh and in the Asir Province along the Yemeni border. The Al Qaeda stronghold in Eastern Yemen that stretches from the Saudi border to the coast will serve as a refuge and in-flow point for Jihadist rebels, as will Al Qaeda held portions of Sunni Iraq.

If Saud can't contain these, unemployed youth will swell into the streets of Riyadh and Jeddah in a way mirroring Cairo.


I wholeheartedly support any and all moves made by any political party from stalinists to islamists to undermine the Saudi monarchy.

This regime can't be allowed to last, its destabilizing the entire world and with it gone the US should soon follow.

Team Zissou
I wish, but I'm not holding my breath. I think the US will remain viable enough for the diversity to vote with their feet for it for decades to come. Then it will break up. Then the wars for water and mineral rights start.

As I understand it, when things get too restive, the royals just spread more green around. So long as the rest of the world demands a zillion barrels of oil a day I don't know that the Gulf monarchs are going anywhere but we'll see.
The US is the world's hegemon and warrantor of order, and as such the sole foundation of peace and prosperity on this planet. Were it to fall, the entire Earth would be immersed in a new Dark Age. We as individuals must exert all our strength in defense of the Thalassocracy. The survival of civilization depends upon this.
I agree. Even though they spent billions to develop armed forces, Saudi Arabia doesn't have a proper army. Their soldiers are not loyal like Syrian or Egyptian soldiers, could be considered more as armed civilians who share the same woes with the general populace and will properly turn to their side whenever conflict arises.

I think what's happening is that members of the ruling family are starting to prioritize personal and group interests over the family's well-being.Mutaab Bin Abdulaziz with the king's blessing and the assistance of Khaled AlTuajery is conspiring to be crown prince. The Dismissal of the minister of defence Khalid Bin Sultan, and the appointment of Muqrin Bin Abdulaziz, a weak prince who is kown for his lack of ambition as the king's senior advisor, thus invalidating all the sons of Abdulaziz, could be all seen as part of this plan. Salman could be dissmised easily because he has Alzheimer. Mohammed Bin Nayef, minister of defence, is the only obstacle. A confrontation is likely.

Most of the public are sick of the system but they're not pissed enough to protest in favor of disposing Saud. A minority wants a change of regime but they don't care much about protesting neither do they have the political experience to organise arab spring style protest.

Basically he is saying that the west should give money to the rebels so they wouldn't turn into extremists.
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The USA has had several key planks in its post-WW2 with the two main ones being 1. NATO and 2. its relationship with Saudi Arabia. Knock out either of these and you will seriously set back American power.

With this in mind, the USA will not allow a revolution to take place in the KSA if it does not serve its purposes. More importantly, it is in no one's interest to see Salafis seize power in the KSA, whether that be the USA, UK, China, or Russia.

Saudi Arabia is tyrannical, corrupt, and secretive...the perfect US puppet.