Saudi Arabia: The Ceaseless Quest for Security

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Cornell University Press, 1988 - History - 524 pages

Combining vast scholarship and a deep understanding of Arab culture, Nadav Safran has written a sophisticated book about the politics of Saudi Arabia. In a narrative that emphasizes the Saudis' sense of the precariousness of their state and of their position in the Middle East, Safran demystifies the behavior of the Kingdom's rulers.

Security has long been the predominant concern of Saudi Arabia. In 1981, the Kingdom's defense and security budget was an immense $25 billion, the fourth largest in the world, after the United States, the Soviet Union, and China, and the highest in the world on a per capita basis. Safran traces the roots of Saudi preoccupation with security through half a century, discerning political struggles and policy differences in the Saud family and how they have affected the position of the country. His treatment provides an enlightening perspective on the interplay of the politics of the elite; shifting inter-Arab alignments and rivalries; war, revolution, and other cataclysmic events in the Persian Gulf; the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict; and the involvement of the United States in the Middle East.

 

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Contents

Part One The Origins of Saudi Arabia
7
The Second Realm
14
Lessons from the First Two Realms
20
Creating an Empire 19021932
28
Overpowering Peninsular Opponents
36
Mastering the Ikhwan and Rounding Off the Empire
49
Observations on the Creation of the Third Realm
55
Defense Establishment and Strategy
68
The ArabIsraeli Arena 19751979 The Cairo
240
The Geneva Project
251
The Gulf Arena 19751979 Balancing Baghdad and Tehran
265
The Yemens Oman and the Horn of Africa 19751979
282
The American Connection 19751979 Shifting
295
Opposite Pulls
309
Crosscurrents and Uncertainty
352
Living with the Problem
386

Revenues and defense and security allocations fiscal 1948 1952
70
Revenues and defense and security allocations fiscal 19551965
108
Part Three The Reign of Faisal 19641975
113
Managing the Yemen Conflict
119
The October War and Its Aftermath 19731975
151
Saudi Arabia after the Embargo
167
The Defense and Security Perspective 19631975
180
Comparative allocations to Ministry of Defense army internal
184
Comparative allocations to defense and security instruments fiscal
190
Scope
196
Conclusions
212
Strategically Relevant Domestic Developments
220
Ambivalence
398
The Defense and Security Perspective 19751982
420
Retrospect and Prospect
449
Notes
465
190
470
Bibliography
491
Index
509
193
511
295
516
421
517
Copyright

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About the author (1988)

Nadav Safran is the Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle East Studies at Harvard University.

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