Though Saudi Arabia will remain a strategic partner for the United States, they have proven themselves to be incompetent allies, writes CFR’s Steven A. Cook. If recent years are any indication, much of Saudi foreign policy has proven to be a failure.
Congress overrode a presidential veto to enable the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts. But the law will be a thorn in U.S. foreign relations, and plaintiffs will not likely get justice, says expert Stephen I. Vladeck.
The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has come under unprecedented strains in recent years. U.S. President Barack Obama has openly questioned Riyadh’s value as an ally, accusing it of provoking sectarian conflict in the region.
With oil prices collapsing, Saudi Arabia is facing similar problems that the Soviet Union faced decades ago. Saudi policymakers’ economic reform strategies also echo those of Mikhail Gorbachev. However, different from Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, Saud Arabia’s foreign policy is both confrontational and interventionist. Saudi seeks change, but hopes to keep it in bounds, and may want the world to remain a dangerous place.
Vali R. Nasr, dean of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, discusses rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the subsequent escalation of sectarian conflict throughout the region.
Anyone watching this meltdown unfold has every reason to think of worse-case scenarios, as it will only deepen the Middle East’s widening sectarian divide, intensify the region’s multiple conflicts, and set back efforts to defeat the Islamic State and end the bloodshed in Syria.
The Saudi establishment’s misconceptions about the relationship between their Shiite community and Iran is proving dangerous, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Denigrating Shias as heretics will only inflame their grievances and radicalize the political culture of the region.
The shifting politics of the Middle East has created a convergence of interests between Israel and Saudi Arabia, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. The United States can help by moderating a strategic dialogue that has the potential to counter Iranian influence and rejuvenate the peace process.
The U.S.-Saudi relationship, long bound by common interests in oil and security, is showing strains over what some analysts see as waning U.S. involvement in the Middle East and a more assertive Saudi foreign policy.
Writing in Politico, Philip Gordon explores the key issues the United States and Saudi Arabia should address during King Salman’s visit to Washington. It’s good the leaders are talking, but fundamental strategic gaps remain.
Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen marks a more assertive foreign policy that is less inclined to rely on the United States and could intensify the sectarian rift with Iran across the region, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh.
The Saudi-led military incursion into Yemen signals a major shift in Saudi policy toward the region, one more suited for a post-American phase, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Perceiving that they are unable to reliably depend upon support from the United States, Saudi Arabia is adopting a more independent and aggressive policy to ensure its security.
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