Saudi Arabia: Modernity, Stability, and the Twenty-First Century Monarchy.




Dr. Roby Barrett s Saudi Arabia: Modernity, Stability and the Twenty- First Century Monarchy 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. Dr. Barrett 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.



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