The Brief, December 2017

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December 11, 2017 

The Repercussions of Saudi Arabia's Regional Policy

In a series of recent moves, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seeks to raise Saudi Arabia's profile as a dominant regional actor in the Middle East. Johns Hopkins SAIS experts said the country risks financial instability, civil unrest, and international chaos.

Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies Jean-Francois Seznec told Voice of America foreign investments in Saudi Arabia will slow down following a political purge and anti-corruption campaign because "no one is going to go there and put $300 million down on a project, if you aren’t sure about the stability of the government." Read more

Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence John McLaughlin wrote in OZY that the Saudi crown prince and likely future king is in danger of bogging down the country in proxy conflicts with Iran in Yemen, Qatar, and Lebanon and "none of these is going well, and in most cases Iran appears to have the upper hand." Read more

Dean Vali Nasr told The Wall Street Journal "Saudi Arabia for the first time is making big regional decisions without consulting the U.S., and it expects the U.S. to follow it and support whatever the Saudi policy will be." Read more

Foreign Policy Institute Fellow Randa Slim told Foreign Policy the Saudis are intent on rolling back Iranian influence in the region and "their approach [in Lebanon] is going to be head-on confrontation by whatever means they have — political and financial." Read more

Associate Director of Strategic Studies Mara Karlin told the BBC if further escalation leads to a Saudi-Iran war, the U.S. would immediately intervene because of its own interests in the Strait of Hormuz, a major international waterway for oil shipments, and the "Iranian army would be severely destroyed." Hear more

The Brief highlights Johns Hopkins SAIS expertise on current events and is produced monthly by the Office of Marketing, Communications, and Strategic Initiatives. Like The Brief? Share it on Facebook and Twitter, forward to a friend, or subscribe.