Saudi Arabia and Nuclear Weapons: How do countries think about the bomb?, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Saudi Arabia and Nuclear Weapons

How do countries think about the bomb?, 1st Edition

By Norman Cigar


238 pages

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Nuclear proliferation in the Middle East remains an issue of concern. Saudi Arabia’s actions will largely rest on Iran’s decisions, and discussions and preparations within Saudi Arabia would suggest that it is ready to react to potential shifts in the region’s nuclear powers.

Saudi Arabia and Nuclear Weapons uses an "inside out" approach that emphasises the Saudis’ own national interests in relation to the nuclear threat, and their understanding of the role of nuclear weapons in defense, foreign policy and the concept of deterrence. It is the first study with comprehensive use of the local Arabic language military and civilian media to provide this understanding of official thinking and policy. The Saudi case study is contextualised against the prevailing proliferation models, to conclude that the Saudi case shares both commonalities and elements of uniqueness with other proliferation cases, implying the need for a ‘multi-causal’ approach. Its comparative analysis also suggests potential implications applicable more broadly to the issue of nuclear proliferation.

A comprehensive study of Saudi Arabia’s attitude to nuclear weapons, this book offers an exploration of nuclear proliferation that would interest students, scholars and policymakers working in Middle East studies, as well as Military and nuclear proliferation studies.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: The Dynamics of Saudi Strategic Culture and the Decision-making Process Chapter 3: Developing Nuclear Threat Assessments Chapter 4: Analyzing the Threat in Riyadh: Why Would a Nuclear Iran Be So Dangerous? Chapter 5: Thinking in Terms of Solutions – How to Stop Iran Chapter 6: Thinking in Terms of Solutions-- the Evolution in Saudi Thinking toward a Nuclear Option Chapter 7: Thinking about the utility of Nuclear weapons: deterrence and Beyond Chapter 8: Where Does the Civilian Nuclear Power Sector Fit In? Chapter 9: The Religious Sector-- Legitimization and Accountability Chapter 10: A Nuclear Environment and Foreign Policy: Reshaping Relations within the Gulf Chapter 11: The Rouhani Era in Tehran and a new age of anxiety in Riyadh Chapter 12: Coming to terms with the 14 July 2015 Nuclear Agreement: Saudi Anxiety overcome? Chapter 13: Conclusions and Implications

About the Author

Norman Cigar is a research fellow at the Marine Corps University, from which he retired as Director of Regional Studies. His research focuses on WMD and jihadist warfare in the Middle East, and he is the author of Saddam’s Nuclear Vision: An Atomic Shield and Sword for Conquest.

About the Series

UCLA Center for Middle East Development (CMED) series

The UCLA Center for Middle East Development (CMED) series on Middle East security and cooperation features new and original scholarship on many of the most critical issues facing the region. Each book presents a variety of perspectives on a specific topic, such as democracy in the Middle East, dynamics of Israeli-Palestinian relations, Gulf security, and the gender factor in the Middle East. Aside from covering the key issues facing the region, the series also features a number of sub-themes under a single heading, covering security, social, political, and economic factors affecting the Middle East. Most books feature a multinational collection of authors who, for political reasons, do not always publish in the same volume or collection, so no matter what the issue, specialists from within and beyond the region offer a broad range of different viewpoints.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Middle Eastern
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies