As the Arab spring uprisings spread throughout the Middle East in 2011, Obaid explained in a Washington Post article the factors protecting the Kingdom Saudi Arabia from the turmoil: “Its strong economy and weak opposition are clear. Less understood in the West is another critical element: a nationalism that has been fostered by and is strongly linked to the monarchy. These qualities make it highly unlikely that the unrest in other Arab countries will spread to the kingdom.”

Nawaf Obaid is a senior fellow at King Faisal Center for Research & Islamic Studies as well as the private counsellor to HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal.

He was previously an adjunct research fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) and a research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP).

His articles and opinion pieces have appeared in newspapers such as the Washington Post, New York Times, Financial Times, and International Herald Tribune. He is coauthor, along with Anthony H. Cordesman, of “National Security in Saudi Arabia: Threats, Responses, and Challenges” (Praeger/CSIS) , examining the threats to Saudi Arabia's security, the Kingdom's ability to respond to those threats, its armed forces and police, and its organizational competence, or lack thereof.  He is also the author of “The Oil Kingdom at 100: Petroleum Policymaking in Saudi Arabia” (Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2000).

He has a BSFS from Georgetown, an MPP from Harvard, began a PhD at MIT. He is now completing a DPhil at London University's King's College Department of War Studies where he also earned a MA in War Studies.

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