In terms of foreign policy, September 11 did represent a turning point, but one away from a potentially fruitful approach to the Middle East toward a strategy that was destined to fail.
The Saudi royal family acted quickly after King Fahd's death to appoint Crown Prince Abdullah his successor, and Defense Minister Prince Sultan the new crown prince. Although Abdullah had been the real ruler of the kingdom during recent years and no radical change in policy is expected, his enthronement comes amid serious challenges facing Saudi Arabia.
For decades, Arab regimes have used scare tactics to encourage the United States and Europe to support their repressive measures toward Islamist movements by invoking the image of anti-Western fanatics taking power through the ballot box. However, today’s moderate Islamists no longer match this nightmare.
The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.