Saudi Arabia

Ask CFR Experts

What does the generational shift of leadership in Saudi Arabia mean for the United States?

Asked by Matthew Rodrigues, from The George Washington University

Since the 1953 death of Saudi Arabia's eponymous founder, King Abdul-Aziz bin Saud, the country has been ruled by his sons. There will eventually be a shift in power to the next generation, but despite—or perhaps because of—the turmoil spreading across the region, that shift does not appear imminent.

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News Release

U.S.-Saudi Relationship Increasingly Strained, says CFR Report

The U.S.-Saudi relationship has become strained by increasing mistrust and misunderstanding—most recently over Egypt and Bahrain—and gone are the old foundations of the informal alliance: the Cold War and U.S. operation of Riyadh's oil fields. This is the judgment of F. Gregory Gause III of the University of Vermont, in Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East. The two countries can no longer expect to act in close concert, and the United States should recast the relationship as transactional, one based on cooperation when interests dictate, he argues.

See more in Saudi Arabia; Politics and Strategy; United States

Must Read

Vanity Fair: The Kingdom and the Towers

Authors: Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan

In this Vanity Fair adaptation of The Eleventh Day, by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, the authors explore connections between the Saudi royal family, the September 11th attacks, and the Bush administration's suppression of critical evidence.

See more in Saudi Arabia; Terrorist Attacks