February 20, 2012

Slippery Choices for Gulf States

Center for Strategic and Int'l Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies

AP Photo

 

The Gulf Arab States have a dilemma. One reason that they have been able to avoid upheaval over the last tumultuous year in the Middle East is because they have made their already generous public subsidies even more generous. But within the short-term fix is a set of longer-term problems that could profoundly affect regional stability.

In the most basic sense, wealthy Arab governments increased their spending last year in order to improve internal security. Saudi Arabia, for example, announced plans to spend an additional $130 billion, representing approximately 30 percent of GDP. Much of the money is targeted at housing, salaries, and unemployment benefits-all essentially public subsidies. Qatar, with probably fewer than 250,000 citizens, passed an $8 billion pay...

Read Full Article ››

TAGGED: Middle East

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

February 20, 2012
A World Shaped By Angry Young Men
Afshin Molavi, The National
Last October, amid the din of the Arab uprisings, the euro-zone crisis, the lingering effects of the Japan earthquake, and the US gearing up for a election season, a quiet milestone was passed: the world population hit the seven... more ››
February 15, 2012
Time to Redraw the Mideast Map
Franck Salameh, The National Interest
The maps of the Middle East were drawn by Europeans. It's time to give the residents a say. more ››
In order to avoid enduring setbacks, rigorous groundwork will be required prior to and during a diplomatic meeting addressing nuclear issues within the Middle East. At the same time, structural factors render any prospect for... more ››
February 14, 2012
The Causes of Mideast Instability (pdf)
Center for Strategic & Int'l Studies
An examination of what causes unrest in the Middle East. more ››
February 9, 2012
So Much for the Shia Crescent
Hussain Abdul-Hussain, NOW Lebanon
The power of the once-mighty Shia Crescent is on the decline, and its leaders in Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have only themselves to blame. Instead of using their influence to correct injustice—as per the Shia... more ››