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Saudi Arabia to Shift away from the US

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    I am not sure how serious this shift will be but if Saudi Arabia does actually pull away from the US this could greatly shift the nature of power in the Middle East. Further as the US gains energy independence the importance of Saudi Arabia as a strategic ally may decrease.

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/...intelligence-chief-says?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=5

    Saudi Arabia to 'shift away from the US' over Iran, Syria, intelligence chief says

    DOHA, Qatar -- Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief has said the kingdom will make a "major shift" in relations with the United States in protest at its perceived inaction over the Syria war and its overtures to Iran, a source close to Saudi policy said on Tuesday.

    Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that Washington had failed to act effectively on the Syria crisis 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.

    It was not immediately clear if Prince Bandar's reported statements had the full backing of King Abdullah.

    "The shift away from the U.S. is a major one," the source close to Saudi policy said. "Saudi doesn't want to find itself any longer in a situation where it is dependent."

    The United States and Saudi Arabia have been allies since the kingdom was declared in 1932, giving Riyadh a powerful military protector and Washington secure oil supplies.

    The prince's initiative follows a surprise Saudi decision on Friday to reject a coveted two-year term on the U.N. Security Council in protest at "double standards" at the United Nations.

    Prince Bandar, who was Saudi ambassador to Washington for 22 years, is seen as a foreign policy hawk, especially on Iran. The Sunni Muslim kingdom's rivalry with Shiite Iran, an ally of Syria, has amplified sectarian tensions across the Middle East.

    A son of the late defense minister and crown prince, Prince Sultan, and a protégé of the late King Fahd, he fell from favor with King Abdullah after clashing on foreign policy in 2005.

    But he was called in from the cold last year with a mandate to bring down President Bashar Assad, diplomats in the Gulf say. Over the past year he has led Saudi efforts to bring arms and other aid to Syrian rebels while his cousin, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, worked the diplomatic corridors.

    "Prince Bandar told diplomats that he plans to limit interaction with the U.S.," the source close to Saudi policy said. "This happens after the U.S. failed to take any effective action on Syria and Palestine.

    "Relations with the U.S. have been deteriorating for a while, as Saudi feels that the U.S. is growing closer with Iran and the U.S. also failed to support Saudi during the Bahrain uprising."

    The source declined to provide more details of Bandar's talks with the diplomats, which took place in the past few days.

    But he suggested that the planned change in ties between the energy superpower and its traditional U.S. ally would have wide-ranging consequences, including on arms purchases and oil sales.

    Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, ploughs much of its earnings back into U.S. assets. Most of the Saudi central bank's net foreign assets of $690 billion are thought to be denominated in dollars, much of them in U.S. Treasury bonds.

    "All options are on the table now, and for sure there will be some impact," the Saudi source said.

    He said there would be no further coordination with the United States over the war in Syria, where the Saudis have armed and financed rebel groups fighting Assad.

    The kingdom has informed the United States of its actions in Syria, and diplomats say it has respected U.S. requests not to supply the groups with advanced weaponry that the West fears could fall into the hands of al Qaeda-aligned groups.

    Saudi anger boiled over after Washington refrained from military strikes in response to a poison gas attack in Damascus in August when Assad agreed to give up his chemical arsenal.

    Saudi Arabia is also concerned about signs of a tentative reconciliation between Washington and Tehran, something Riyadh fears may lead to a "grand bargain" on the Iranian nuclear program that would leave it at a disadvantage.

    The U.N. Security Council has been paralyzed over the 31-month-old Syria conflict, with permanent members Russia and China repeatedly blocking measures to condemn Assad.

    Saudi Arabia backs Assad's mostly Sunni rebel foes. The Syrian leader, whose Alawite sect is derived from Shiite Islam, has support from Iran and the armed Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah. The Syrian leader denounces the insurgents as al Qaeda-linked groups backed by Sunni-ruled states.

    In Bahrain, home of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, a simmering pro-democracy revolt by its Shiite majority has prompted calls by some in Washington for U.S. ships to base elsewhere.

    Western policymakers say Bahrain's hosting of a U.S. naval base makes it a key ally in keeping open the Strait of Hormuz, conduit for 40 percent of the world's sea-borne oil exports.

    Many U.S. economic interests in Saudi Arabia involve government contracts in defense, other security sectors, health care, education, information technology and construction.

    But American businessmen in Riyadh, who did not want to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said they did not believe the political bumps in the U.S.-Saudi relationship would affect their business significantly.

    "The big contracts are mostly government, but I don't see much political content in who gets the contracts," one said.
     
  2. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member
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    The problem is shift to who? About the only country that's sufficiently more hardline anti-Iran than the US is the Netanyahu regime in Israel...?
     
  3. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    That was my first thought. The PRC would seem like a potential ally since the PRC still needs Mideast oil and they also won't harp on human rights issues in the kingdom but their hands off approach to Iran and willingness to deal with them economically doesn't help the Saudis. The Russians are the same and are more invested in keeping Assad in place. Perhaps the Russians though would be willing to be a patron of the Saudis to stick it to the US.

    Stranger things though have happened in geo politics and a potential Israel Saudi alliance might not be so far fetched. They actually have a lot of interest in common, not just over Iran but regarding stability in Egypt and Jordan.
     
  4. Blake

    Blake Contributing Member

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    Good luck, House of Saud.

    Considering the fact that our weapons are the reason why you are still in power, I would tread lightly.

    So if you are angry about Syria and Iran, then that takes Russia and to a lesser extent China out of the realm as potential "partners".

    Our weapons and training are what keeps that oppressive regime in power. Something they shouldn't forget when they throw tantrums when we won't always do their dirty work for them.
     
  5. Baqui99

    Baqui99 Contributing Member

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    I don't have anything to add here, but Prince Bandar has a ridiculous palace outside of Dhahran from what I recall roughly 20 years ago as a kid. Dude threw pretty lavish parties with free flowing booze and hotties.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. magnetik

    magnetik Contributing Member

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    good. they can fight their own wars instead of using our armed forces as their personal police force. They seem to be at most of these staged terror events and we are being held hostage by the debt we owe them. Terrorists are the Sauds police force and they have no problem admitting it anymore.
     
  7. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine
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    Later crazies.
     
  8. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos MoRley only Fan
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    S.A is the one country nobody likes.
     
  9. Uprising

    Uprising Contributing Member

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    They have ridiculous palaces everywhere in KSA, mansions along the coast. I grew up in Dhahran.
     
  10. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Good luck guys. They are ripe for a revolution. They are a paper tiger to say the least. Many of their own people and the lower level troops hate the Royal Family. This was told to me by one of my brother in laws who was an ex Army Ranger who later worked as a contractor training their army.
     
  11. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Except for their oil.
     
  12. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    Maybe its time to Liberate the oil?
     
  13. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    So what's the problem? Do they have another war in mind that we can fight for them, and we haven't jumped at the chance? What rubbish.
     
  14. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    The last two sentences are the most relevant. For the non-political world this means very little.

    BTW...I moved to Saudi a week ago.
     
  15. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Good luck to you, Rhad. They couldn't pay me enough to live there under that barbaric government.
     
  16. Do_Not_Be_Alarm

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    So the Syria conflict is looking more and more like a proxy war instead of a popular uprising against the Assad regime. Makes me think we're doing the right thing by not involving ourselves. Keep in mind I'm in favor of democracy and support regime change.
     
  17. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    While I am inclined to say "don't let the door hit you on the way out" we shouldn't forget that Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil producer, the wealthiest Arab country, the seat of the holiest shrines in Islam and strategically located. There are obvious benefits to keeping them as a strategic ally to the US.
     
  18. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

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    Hahahahaha that's so funny!! Not only that, but you guys are actually analyzing this as if it's real news!! Priceless.
     
  19. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos MoRley only Fan
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    Dad got paid the big bucks so we moved there when I was a kid and stayed for 7 yrs. Don't really think anybody could pay me enough to live there again.
     
  20. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine
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    Just about everything in the Middle East is proxy and involves religion once you dig down to the roots of it. We should have learned that lesson by now. Let them fight their own wars.
     

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