Beginning with a review of existing theories of international relations that discuss policies of penetration, this study examines current politics of the Arab regional order. Four different aspects of penetration are reviewed, including intra-Arab threats, rivalry between Arab states to occupy a central position, historical legacy, and multinational companies. The role of Arab elites in processes of penetration by means of their links with international powers and interests is also considered. The study looks at ‘soft’ penetration through an analysis of language, education, media, and civil society organizations, as well as “blatant penetration” like the occupation of Iraq and the spread of foreign military bases. Beyond Arab state actions, the paper also considers intervention by neighboring regional states. The paper finds that variation in the development of political, social, and economic systems has a corresponding influence on the levels of foreign penetration, infiltration, or influence. It also finds that analyzing the Arab region as a single regional system reveals a deep level of military, social, and economic penetration on all levels.