Home inContext How the Saudis Burn U.S. Petrodollars

How the Saudis Burn U.S. Petrodollars

Jonathan Schanzer

Oil recently topped $82, adding to a multi-billion dollar windfall for Saudi Arabia. But Saudi has wasted its petrodollars.

The Saudis have neglected their infrastructure; Riyadh doesn’t have water piped into its houses. Saudis are seething over surging prices of essential commodities. And the Kingdom needs more than a million housing units to shelter its poor, while roughly 2 out of 3 Saudi men are unemployed.

Where has the money gone? U.S. officials believe that Saudi Arabia gives “financial support to Sunni groups in Iraq,” and one writer notes that the Saudis have spent “$87 billion since 1973” to spread Islam throughout the world.

Saudi support for radicalism in Iraq and around the world continues to stoke jihadism. Further, the more Saudi Arabia suffers, the more its people believe that America is exploiting Saudi oil, prompting more Saudis to embrace Wahhabism. Read more here.