By Paul R. Pillar at Consortium News
Saudi King Salman visits Washington amid disagreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia on a broad range of issues. Moreover, the disagreements are rooted in fundamental characteristics of the anachronistic Saudi regime.
Many regimes around the world, and the political and social systems of which they are a part, are markedly different from what is found in the United States, but the Saudi polity is one of the most different. The anachronism that is Saudi Arabia represents a major problem for U.S. foreign policy, both because of the impact Saudi-related matters have on the Middle East and beyond and because of the close association between Saudi Arabia and the United States that has come to be taken for granted.
Little of this has anything to do with the just-completed agreement to restrict Iran’s nuclear program, despite the attention that subject has been receiving. Riyadh is more likely to accept the agreement as a done deal — and already has publicly indicated its formal acceptance — than the accord’s opponents in the United States and Israel.
The Saudis will continue to look for ways to discourage others, including the United States, from developing warm relations