The U.S.-Saudi relationship is based on mutual expectations that are unlikely to be met. It will endure but it is likely to remain far more fraught and complex and, in the years ahead, increasingly less beneficial for the United States.
A “Gold Standard” nuclear cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia may not be the best way for the United States to balance against Russia and China or restore its influence over nonproliferation policy in the Middle East.
As the Trump presidency passes its one-year mark, it provides an opportunity to take stock of the administration’s Middle East policy. Trump’s short term failures, and even his successes, may lead to unintended consequences that will weaken the U.S. position in the region.
Perry Cammack is a fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he focuses on long-term regional trends and their implications for American foreign policy.
Chubin, who is based in Geneva, focuses his research on nonproliferation, terrorism, and Middle East security issues. He was director of studies at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Switzerland, from 1996 to 2009.
Kim Ghattas is a senior visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she is focused on writing a book about the impact of the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia on the wider region since 1979.