Mark Collins – Shifting Saudi Sands, or, The Kingdom’s Collapse?

At Defense One’sD-Brief“:


Start preparing for the collapse of the Saudi kingdom. That’s the advice from Sarah Chayes of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace [Ms Chayes also has lots of Afghan experience] and Alex de Waal of the World Peace Foundation [more here], writing in Defense One.

“Saudi Arabia is no state at all,” Chayes and de Waal write. Rather, they argue, “There are two ways to describe it: as a political enterprise with a clever but ultimately unsustainable business model, or so corrupt as to resemble in its functioning a vertically and horizontally integrated criminal organization. Either way, it can’t last.”

In their conversations with military and other government personnel, they write, “we were startled at how startled they seemed at this prospect… Understood one way, the Saudi king is CEO of a family business that converts oil into payoffs that buy political loyalty. They take two forms: cash handouts or commercial concessions for the increasingly numerous scions of the royal clan, and a modicum of public goods and employment opportunities for commoners. The coercive ‘stick’ is supplied by brutal internal security services lavishly equipped with American equipment [emphasis added–Canadian armoured vehicles to come].”

So what should U.S. planners do from here? Read on to find out.

And what comes next?  ISIS?

The Caliphate and Burning Down the House of Saud (plus oil)

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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