Sunday, March 6, 2011

Document of the Week #7 CIA Study of Widespread Arab Protests from 1980

With popular protests having defeated the authoritarian regimes that once held power in Egypt and Tunisia and (hopefully) bringing the reign of Qaddafi to a terminal conclusion, speculate on which regime will fall next. Much of the speculation focuses on the remaining tyrants in the Maghreb and those on the Arabian Peninsula.

In light of this discussion, I present to you Dissidents in the Arabian Peninsula by the [redacted] analyst(s) with the Office of Political Analysis. In this 24-page study, the CIA documented the activities of anti-regime dissidents, the response of regimes to these activities, and the influence of outside factors such as exile and foreign government support. Based on this study, the following reaction to popular protest and rebellion can be expected from Arabian Peninsula regimes:
  1. Arabian Peninsula regimes like the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia will employ their wealth to temper down opposition. This has already been seen in Bahrain where the King has given out cash payments to his subjects.
  2. Renewed and increased security cooperation between Arabian Peninsula governments particularly those in the Gulf Community Council. Dissidents will no longer find the same level of tolerance in exile as they have previously.
  3. Iran will be of a great concern due to their size and shared religion with the large number of Shia Muslims in Bahrain, Eastern Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.
However, in reading this document, remember the following differences:
  1. Neighboring nations, most notably Egypt, have successfully booted out their entrench dictators.
  2. The countries and entities that fueled the revolts and protests in the document are under pressure themselves. Libya is in the midst a full-scale revolt teetering on civil war, while Iran and the PLO (Palestinian Authority) are facing their own popular revolts. 

    DISSIDENTS IN THE ARABIAN PENINSULA                                                                   

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