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"What If There Was A Coup In Saudi Arabia ..." Topic

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Cacique Caribe04 Nov 2017 2:26 p.m. PST

Who would rush in to bring "stability"?

Turkey, from Qatar?


Personal logo PrivateSnafu Supporting Member of TMP04 Nov 2017 2:51 p.m. PST

You mean like this?


Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member04 Nov 2017 5:53 p.m. PST

Good question. A power struggle between Saudi royal factions is possibly overdue, given human nature and history.

How a prolonged period of civil strife would shake out is very much unknown. All sorts of outside interests would want a hand in shaping any new government and ensuring a steady supply of oil. I suppose the US/NATO has plans to invade and secure strategic regions and resources should it be considered necessary.

I'm not sure what neighboring states have the capacity to intervene significantly and support such an intervention. The Tuks don't have more in Qatar than a small contingent, more a gesture for the Qataris than an expeditionary force. Jordan is not strong enough, I suspect; Egypt is preoccupied; Israel wouldn't dare; Syria and Iraq are broken; Iran is a bit distant and also not a simpatico neighbor, altho' it might have some interest in the closer and more Shiite Gulf region.

Now, the Russians have the logistical capacity for a limited intervention, but not a major operation.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member04 Nov 2017 7:37 p.m. PST

The short answer: "Gas prices would go up anywhere from an additional 2 dollars to an addition 4-5 dollars a gallon, as the coup turns "hot" and protracted and exterior radicalists and opportunists and "countries desperate for more", decide to get involved and lots of explosions start happening.
Iran would so love to see this.

Rakkasan04 Nov 2017 8:13 p.m. PST

Murphy is correct that first and foremost oil prices will shoot up.

Iran would likely use such a situation to support an uprising in the Eastern Province. This area has a Shia majority which has been treated rather badly by the central government for years. It is also the location of most of the oil in Saudi.

No neighbor has the ability to intervene in a major way although there are tribal ties that may be leveraged to extend their influence – the Hashemites in Jordan for example have ties extending down to Mecca and Medina. The Gulf countries all have similar ties/affiliations into the interior or along the coasts of Saudi.

Other countries, like Turkey and Egypt, may justify an intervention to protect the holy sites. They may even ally together to do it.

Other nations/entities (NATO, Israel, etc…) would most likely only intervene if Iranian forces entered the fray.

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP04 Nov 2017 8:23 p.m. PST

Rather interesting article regarding some of finer points of the shake-up ignored by the msm.


Personal logo PrivateSnafu Supporting Member of TMP04 Nov 2017 9:03 p.m. PST

The whole thing is terribly fascinating. I pray that we don't get dragged into some internal conflicts in SA. 15 of 19 wasn't it? Sometimes the world thinks we are so naive. Never forget.

Edit: ‘member this?


Cacique Caribe04 Nov 2017 9:14 p.m. PST

I'm sure Iran's oil clients will be looking to cement some sort of price deal now, before things start to get steep.


Lion in the Stars04 Nov 2017 10:34 p.m. PST

Depends on whether the Wahabbists are getting more power or getting kicked out.

I would expect a joint force of just about every majority-Islamic nation to secure the holy sites. Even Iran.

Russia would like high fuel prices, so they'd probably act to keep the coup/civil war going as long as possible.

If the entire House of Saud was wiped out, I'd expect the various tribes to split into separate nations.

basileus66 Inactive Member04 Nov 2017 10:35 p.m. PST

I read a report in a Spanish newspaper about the new Saudi Arabian Crown Prince. Apparently, he sees himself as a reformist. According to the report, it was he who lifted the ban against women being allowed to drive; and also he was who passed the resolution to allow women attend to sport events, in a limited basis. He is, for Saudi standards, a progressive.

Also, according the report, the Crown Prince declared that Saudi Arabia needs to modernize. Supposedly, he said the newspaper that Saudi Arabia can't continue to trust her future only in oil. Conservatives don't see it that way, so he is maneuvering to force a change of guard, ousting the most reactionaries and replacing them by loyalists.

Gaz004504 Nov 2017 10:55 p.m. PST

Al Jazeera showed the removal of the last non progressive in the Saudi cabinet today, the leader of the National Guard, replaced by a closer associate of the king…..

Great War Ace Inactive Member05 Nov 2017 6:24 a.m. PST

We went over there after 9/11 with c. a quarter million men to keep that from happening when king Fahd was about to die. Had we not been in the neighborhood when he did die, I am sure that radical elements in Saudi Arabia would have tried something then.

Now? The conservatives promote radical Islam to the detriment of the country, so the crown prince is trying to clamp down on them and secure his power base. If the cons don't act now, they will be eradicated. If they do act now, the US will back up the crown prince.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2017 6:27 a.m. PST

Wouldn't Iran love to see the Holy Places in Mecca under Shia control?

Rakkasan05 Nov 2017 7:07 a.m. PST

I am not aware of any such deployment to Saudi after 9/11. Any build up in the region was related to the on going invasion of Afghanistan and preparation for invading Iraq and that began in late 2002. We were fairly decisively engaged by 2005 in Iraq when Fahd died.

Chokidar Inactive Member05 Nov 2017 8:42 a.m. PST

I was always under the impression that in the region it is a given that Pakistan air and ground assets would be available as the quid pro quo Saudi past and ongoing involvement in procurement funding of all sorts.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member05 Nov 2017 7:33 p.m. PST

Iran/Persia has never had control over the Mecca/Medina region, and it's hard for me to see how they could manage to assert such control today, overtly or covertly, in the face of certain Sunni opposition.

Iran in the modern era has not shown a proclivity or ability to project military power beyond its borders except in token ways (e.g., advisors, trainers, and some Revolutionary Guard assets in Syria, some limited financial and moral support for Houthis in Yemen), and only by invitation. Sponsorship of Hezbollah or fringe "terrorist" elements is another aspect but that is a very complicated subject.

More news coming in today seems to indicate the Saudi Crown Prince has launched a little Night of the Long Knives on his perceived opposition. Very Byzantine!

Mardaddy07 Nov 2017 11:43 a.m. PST

And now, Saudi Arabia says Lebanon has declared war on them because of attacks traced to Hezzbolah, and debris from a missile that were intercepted near the capital (launched from Yemen) has been traced to Iran…

So maybe Iran is trying to project after all. Or not. Maybe blame is being tossed to a bogyman to unite the country even if it is not so.

Just like EVERYTHING in the Middle East… It's complicated!

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa07 Nov 2017 2:14 p.m. PST

Its also worth noting the Crown Prince is also in the midst of attempting to privatise huge chunks of the Saudi state. Corruption and the general perception that the kingdom is stuck somewhere around the 13thC might be considered off putting to investors, but I'd still suspect that the recent fall from grace of 40-odd members of the House is at least in equal part rather old fashioned royal politics rather than cleaning house. And recently there have been stories of dissident house members being kidnapped and taken 'home' so clearly there are still very much limits on how much freedom the House is going to allow.

Though I'd add that most of the major players in Sunni Islamic terrorism have over the last few decades been very much anti-house of Saud, the west being arguably just a target of opportunity, and that's not going to change IMO. The question arising from that is just how much of the kingdoms population (not just the clerical-elite) has sympathy with the views of those kind of groups and just how much are the reforms and the toppling of conservative figures in the establishment going to wind those people up? And whether any of those former members of the establishment have sufficient a power base to cause real trouble.

As for intervention I can't see anyone wanting to get involved. It will either be all over very quickly or the country will descend all too quickly into chaos. Its civil society is probably not well enough developed to survive a major shock, and would probably fracture along tribal lines, and its only other voice, aside from the royal family, are the clerics! Personally I think they might lack the cohesion and popular support for an Iranian-style revolution. I'd suggest the most likely result of a civil war is an oil-rich House of Saud successor state and a theocratic state, of uncertain grip on reality, centred on the major religious sites.

Cacique Caribe10 Nov 2017 9:06 p.m. PST

So, have the Saudi really just declared war on Lebanon???


How long before Iran jumps into this mess?


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