Is the US losing its closest and most important Arab ally?

October 23, 2013

That is the claim of a new article from Britain’s Daily Mail:

Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief is vowing that the kingdom will make a ‘major shift’ in relations with the United States to protest perceived American inaction over Syria’s civil war as well as recent U.S. overtures to Iran, a source close to Saudi policy said on Tuesday.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that the United States had failed to act effectively against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was growing closer to Tehran, and had failed to back Saudi support for Bahrain when it crushed an anti-government revolt in 2011, the source said.

The ties between the two nations are deep and long standing, and Saudi Arabia is the lynchpin of the entire US network of relationships in the CAMENA (Central Asia/Middle East/North Africa) crescent.    Scholars, defense professionals and military leaders have all called the Iraq War a strategic disaster, but the loss of Saudi Arabia, or even a significant shift in relations, would have much more severe long term consequences than the failed Iraq gambit.
Ten years ago, the Turks, the Pakistanis and the Saudis were all solidly in the US camp.  Today, none of them are.

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