Saudi Arabia’s new ‘with us or against us’ attitude

(From The National Interest)

This January, King Salman will mark a year as leader of Saudi Arabia.


As the new cabinet in Riyadh adjusts to the personal proclivities and vision of King Salman for the year ahead, it will face pressures to maintain its unity and support for a new set of policies for the Kingdom, even as realities evolve on the ground.

As this last year has shown, King Salman is taking a more robust approach to regional defense and security. While it may be better to be feared than to be loved, rising challenges from regional actors in neighboring states will continue to test the limits of Saudi capabilities and put pressure on the government in Riyadh to hold rank.

Structural and administrative changes in the new Saudi government point to an imperative for engaging a younger generation in policy formation and replacing figures from the previous administration.

Any analysis of Saudi threat perceptions and policy responses traditionally suffers from a lack of accurate information about senior policy-maker views and intentions. However, we can make some tentative conclusions at this point. Read More

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