The Leavenworth Way of War

History Discussion at CGSC

Building Stablity

King Abdul Aziz Al Saud was recognized as a great natural leader, embodying the physical courage and leadership of a great warrior, the sensitivity and instincts of a diplomat, and the devotion and humility of a religous man.  Much of the credit for the success of Saudi Arabia can be attributed to his leadership abilities.  Another reaon for King Abdul Aziz’s success uniting the Arab tribes was the relative geographic isolation of the Saudi center of power, Riyadh, from the area of interest to the Europeans –especially the British (before oil was discovered).  Thus, King Abdul Aziz was able to build up his military and political capacity without the interference of an outside, non-Muslim, power.  His power base was truly indigenous.  Which of these reasons was most important?  What other factors allowed King Abdul Aziz Al Saud to build the Saud Dynasty into the most powerful, and most politically stable in the Middle East?

May 8, 2009 - Posted by | A652, leadership | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. King Abdul Aziz Al Saud exhibited many leadership traits and qualities that people tended to gravite towards. King Abdul Aziz was able to demonstrate compassion and respect towards those he conquered in the Arabian Peninsula. I would argue that what made King Abdul Aziz successful was his ability to blend the qualities of being a warrior, diplomat, and a devout religious man into being King. Other qualities that enabled King Abdul Aziz form his Kingdom into a success was his ablity to interact with other world leaders demonstrating interpersonal and executive skills needed to help his Kingdom prosper.

    Comment by MAJ Brady Gallagher | March 31, 2009

  2. Without a doubt, the personal traits and natural leadership and diplomacy of Ibn Saud were key to his ability to consolidate power and build a kingdom on the Arabian peninsula. But I think the most important factor was the geographic isolation that he enjoyed and the fact that oil had yet to be discovered in his area of influence. There is little doubt that the British would have paid a lot more attention to him if he was a coastal power that threatened their LOCs from India. If they had not been isolated, the Ikhwan that he loosely controlled would have doubtless clashed with the British and produced a conflict that he would have found difficult to survive.

    Comment by Wayne Wilson | March 31, 2009

  3. Charisma is a leadership trait that cannot be developed or taught it is innate. When combined with the desire to promote the culture of a country it can be a very strong driving force.
    Now enter geographical isolation such as the US has enjoyed and one can begin to understand how Saudi Arabia has enjoyed much regional success and stability.
    Saud dedicated himself to the promotion of his people and ensuring SA is a leader in not only the Arab world but the international community as well.

    Comment by Daniel Meyerhuber | April 29, 2009

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