Agence France-Presse reported that the Arab world lost $2.5 trillion in recent months from the global economic crisis. Kuwait’s Arab Times noted that more than $600 billion in losses result from stock market losses and declining oil prices. Many Arab investors believe the worst is yet to come.
Jonathan Schanzer notes in the summer ’08 issue of inFOCUS that the deficit of oil-rich Arab states stems from a failure to invest in education, technology, and economic liberalization. Rather, as Sarah Stern notes in the most recent issue of inFOCUS, Saudi Arabia spends millions annually to export Wahhabi Islam. Similarly, as Michael Leeden noted in the inaugural issue of inFOCUS, Iran spends millions to finance, arm, and train Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terrorist groups.
Oil has now plummeted to $42 per barrel. Yet, oil producing states continue to expend fortunes to gain influence in other states – either through the sponsoring of terrorism or the teaching of radicalism. As long as this continues, these states can be expected to remain in a state of economic malaise.