Prospects for Proliferation in Saudi Arabia

  • J. E. Peterson
Part of the Initiatives in Strategic Studies: Issues and Policies book series (ISSIP)


J. E. Peterson examines the complex narratives, historic culture, and decisionmaking processes inside Saudi Arabia to formulate his assessment of a low probability that the kingdom will act to acquire nuclear arms in the near term. Peterson identifies triggers within the security threat matrix that may flare Saudi motivation to acquire nuclear capability, including concern over regional disintegration, Israeli provocation, continued Iranian belligerence, and deterioration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or evidence of direct Iranian interference in Gulf States’ domestic affairs; he also argues that the ultimate Saudi reaction will likely hinge on perceptions of the United States as a reliable security partner and its valuation of this relationship. Using his intimate understanding of the royal decisionmaking process and internal operation of policy-building in Saudi Arabia, Peterson offers tailored recommendations to US policymakers concerning the vector points which hold most promise for influence with the Saudis on the nuclear issue.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. E. Peterson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

Personalised recommendations