An alarming article of Newsweek of this morning on Saudi Arabia’s latest moves whether in the Arabian Peninsula or in the US with notably Prince Salman’s visit to The White House on Wednesday confirming that he will see that Saudi Arabia to remain a close consultant to President Trump on matters of security and economic challenges in the Middle East, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Iran nuclear deal.
Nearly four months after the conclusion of an agreement to cut production in the OPEC, tensions between producers are back into the limelight.
For the record, members of the cartel had been able to agree to limit their pumping in order to support the price of crude and this approach was supported by Russia. However, the agreement concluded in November comes to an end in June; questions are being raised about its possible extension. Earlier this week, Kuwait has indicated that he would support such an extension but Saudi Arabia is still expected to clarify its official position. Going onto a new battle of prices in the oil market?
Could this be one of the reasons behind such visit of the Saudi price to Washington?
Meanwhile, Newsweek’s article written by RYAN RIEGG and published on March 17th, 2017 looks at many other reasons and enlightens us on the going-on of behind the scenes, especially in so far as Yemen and other things are concerned.


Will the kingdom turn on its neighbors to head off a revolt at home?

Saudi security forces take part in a parade rehearsal for the annual hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca on September 5, 2016. Ryan Riegg writes that Saudi Arabia’s massive expansion of its military indicates that hawks within the country may choose to use military action as a hedge against domestic instability caused by the kingdom’s economic decline.   AHMED JADALLAH/REUTERS

If Saudi Arabia’s economic reforms, which include the initial public offering of its oil company (Aramco), Vision 2030 reforms and OPEC’s production cuts, all fail, which is likely, then hawks may push the kingdom toward actions that could spark a new regional war.

How Saudi Political System Increases the Probability of War in the Middle East

To raise the standard of living of their citizens, all countries face a choice on whether to grow internally through production of new goods and services, or externally, through the conquest of other countries and territories. [ . . . ]

Saudi Arabia is a theocracy. Religion and state are combined. Power is centralized. No other forms of faith are allowed. No other political parties are allowed. Individual choice in terms of what you can say, what you can watch and whom you can talk to (e.g., women and men cannot speak to each other without the presence of a guardian) is severely limited. Meanwhile, critical thinking in regards to religion is actively discouraged.

Because theocracy severely limits individual choice, it tends to be inhospitable to both creativity and science, both of which are crucial ingredients to economic growth. New products and services tend to be created only when you have a workforce that is free to explore ideas in a society that encourages science and creativity.

Saudi Arabia, like much of the Arab world, is unable to retain scientists or educated workers. Thus, despite spending billions of dollars more on education than any other country in the Middle East and North Africa, the country’s potential for long-term internal growth is severely hampered by a persistent brain drain alongside a chronic failure of performance in science and math. [ . . . ]