World Country Saudi Arabia

About the world country Saudia Arabia, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: All but the southern and eastern portions of the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East. Size: 829,996 sq. mi. (2,149,690 sq. km.). Population: 8,725,000.

Who Really Rules: Saudi Arabia is ruled by the Saud royal family, led by the half brothers who are sons of King Ibn Saud, the man who forged the Saudi Arabian nation-state and ruled it until his death in 1953. The royal family maintains its domestic authority through a combination of religious leadership, marriage with other tribes, control of the country's oil wealth, and military power. The government is unwilling to trust military power to citizens who are not members of, or associated with, the royal family, so it contracts for "advisers" from the U.S. and officers from Pakistan. Saudi Arabia's capitalist class, primarily made up of traditional merchant families, owes its vast wealth to the favor of the royal family.

Internationally, Saudi Arabia is considered a friend of the U.S., which provides it with most of its military hardware and training. Although well armed, the untested Saudi military has little regional influence. As the world's largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia is a leading member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

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