The Future of US-Saudi Ties



President Obama and King Sulman bin AbdulazizBy Dr Peter Harris

U.S.-Saudi relations are under intense scrutiny. Officials in Riyadh chafe at U.S. reluctance to engineer the overthrow of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. More importantly, they fear that President Barack Obama’s diplomatic opening to Iran might prove to be a portent of normalized relations between Washington and Tehran. Meanwhile, U.S. lawmakers accuse the Saudis of manipulating oil production with the specific intent of bankrupting U.S. players in the energy industry – a hot button issue in this election year.

Furthermore, criticism continues to mount regarding the kingdom’s longstanding role in funding Islamist extremist groups and its current conduct of the war in Yemen. Could the U.S.-Saudi relationship actually expire? And if so, what would it take for the U.S. to abandon this important strategic partner?

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