Saudi Arabia Enters the Twenty-First Century
The Political, Foreign Policy, Economic, and Energy Dimensions
AUTHOR: Cordesman, Anthony H.
PUBLISHER: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
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As the world carefully monitors tensions in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia increasingly finds itself the center of political scrutiny in both its internal and external relations. With its military capabilities largely dependent upon the United States and other Western forces, Saudi Arabia cannot concentrate on internal change at the expense of external security. This study looks beyond a narrow definition of political stability to examine the implications of Saudi Arabia's changes in external relations with Iran and Iraq, as well as its cooperation with the other Southern Gulf States. Cordesman explores the issue of succession in the Royal Family, the immediate political probabilities, and the generational changes that are occurring.
Growing uncertainties in the world energy market continue to impact nearly every facet of the Saudi economy. Saudi Arabia faces ongoing demographic problems, as well as a need to diversify and restructure its economy. The Kingdom must find a way to adapt its traditional culture, religious customs, education, and political structure to the needs of a modern nation. Such change will come neither quickly nor easily. And with King Fahd's health in question and Crown Prince Abdullah already in his mid-seventies, major questions remain as to how the regime's future will ultimately affect the delicate balance in the entire region.
PUBLICATION DATE: 4/30/2003
CATEGORY: Political Science, Technology & Engineering