Monday, April 21, 2014

Drifting, and that is good!

"... The relationship between Riyadh and Washington has been tied to four essential pillars in recent decades: Saudi hegemony over the oil market, the kingdom’s spiritual status in the Islamic world, Gulf security and the war on terrorism after 9/11. However, doubts about the future of these four pillars have emerged.Saudi Arabia’s control of the oil market depends on its possession of spare capacity, estimated at 2.5 million barrels a day. It is currently not certain that Saudi Arabia will maintain this production capacity. In a report issued by Citigroup in 2012, it was expected that local Saudi oil consumption will weaken this capacity gradually, and the kingdom will have to import fuel by 2030.... Moreover, the United States has become less dependent on oil. (and) Riyadh will no longer be able to use oil as a political weapon, as it did in the 1970s, and will struggle to influence Washington to acquiesce to its regional outlook.
The Two Holy Mosques in Saudi Arabia give it its spiritual power in the Islamic world, but this element is changing for several reasons. First, the new communication revolution has disintegrated power and contributed to establishing several spiritual centers within the Islamic world.... 
Second, the kingdom has been involved in regional conflicts against other Islamic forces, whether against Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood. As a result, Saudi Arabia’s influence over Muslims is waning, as indicated by a 2013 Pew Center survey that showed its popularity dwindling in the Middle East.... 
Meanwhile, the war on terrorism, which was considered one of the main commonalities between the two countries in the past decade, has turned into a point of debate between Riyadh and Washington regarding Syria and Egypt. Saudi Arabia supports jihadist Islamic factions in Syria, while Washington considers them to be close to al-Qaeda. Saudi Arabia considers the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt a terrorist organization, while Washington sees it as a political power having the right to participate in the democratic process.
Saudi Arabia is also uncertain of Washington’s commitment to Gulf security. Washington’s perception of security in the Gulf is different than Saudi Arabia’s....."
Bref, Saudia's rulers are rattled & that is good!

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