WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 13:  U.S. President Barack Obama welcomes  Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (C) and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia to the White House May 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. Obama is hosting a summit of the Persian Gulf countries in Washington and will move the talks to Camp David on Thursday.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Why Saudi Arabia is kicking back against the USA

Whatever happened to America’s desert kingdom? In the four months since Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud became king of Saudi Arabia, everything we thought we knew about this supposedly risk-averse US ally has been turned on its head.

In a ruling house long known for geriatric leadership, the new king has pushed aside elder statesmen and seasoned technocrats alike in favour of an impetuous and uncredentialled son, Mohammed bin Salman, who may be in his late twenties. Now the world’s youngest defence minister, the princeling is already second in line for the throne, prompting grumbles from Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, about ‘inexperienced youngsters’. As if to make the ayatollah’s point, Salman père et fils have — without bothering to check with the White House — plunged into a disastrous and unwinnable war against Houthi rebels who were until recently the only successful counterweight to al-Qaeda in Yemen.

  • The Saudis are mainly interested in US military protection of the Saudi oil industry. They are clearly aware the Shite Iranians are their number one threat.

    US acceptance of a nuclear Iran is bound to tighten the ass-holes of a lot of the Saudi royal family.

    Obama’s legacy in the Persian Gulf will be flames.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    The writer doesn’t get it that national interest can be a bitch. The Saudis look at the loser in the White House and are now learning how to walk without the American crutch.