PLEDGE NOW
The U.S., Saudi Arabia And The New Middle East

The United States and Saudi Arabia — longtime allies now divided on some big issues. We look at how they’re both engaging with a reshaped Middle East.

US President Barack Obama with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim, Saudi Arabia, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP)

US President Barack Obama with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim, Saudi Arabia, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP)

For almost 70 years, since F.D.R. famously met with Ibn Saud on his way home from Crimea near the end of World War II, the United States and Saudi Arabia have been bone-deep allies.  The Saudis had the oil.  The US had the military power.  There were issues.  Big ones.  Israel.  Oil embargo.  9/11 and Islamism.  But oil and power attracted one another.  They still do.  But the Middle East is changing.  Riyadh and Washington are at odds on Syria, on Egypt, on Iran, more.  Maybe even on energy.  This hour On Point:  the President visits Riyadh, and the Saudi-US divide.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Gregory Gause, professor of political science at the University of Vermont. Non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Doha Center. “The International Relations of the Persian Gulf.”

Michael Crowley, chief foreign affairs correspondent for TIME Magazine. (@CrowleyTIME)

Shadi Hamid, fellow of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. Author of the forthcoming “Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy In a New Middle East.” (@shadihamid)

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: Obama looks to win back Saudi confidence — “The relationship between the two nations began to fray three years ago when protests against longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak swelled, and Obama turned against him, experts said. Now, Saudi leaders are worried about Obama’s outreach to Iran as Washington seeks to reach a deal over its nuclear program, analysts said. And the Saudis believe the U.S. is not doing enough to help those fighting against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.”

New York Times: America’s Role in Riyadh — “Like their government, many ordinary Saudis are baffled by what they perceive as incompetent United States policies. Most remain notably pro-American and, ever polite, apologize before averring their lost faith in America’s leader, variously described in as ‘feckless’ and ‘addicted to wrong decision-making.'”

TIME: Middle East Matters Most to Obama–Not Putin –“Although Putin is dangerous and nuclear terrorism is an extremely serious threat, neither one sits at the very top of his foreign policy agenda. For a clue towards what occupies the president most, look no farther than his visit Friday with the king of Saudi Arabia. Even after Putin’s thuggish annexation of Crimea, it’s not Russia and Europe that matter most to Obama’s agenda. It’s the Middle East. Let us count the ways.” (You can also read Crowley’s piece, “The King and O,” here.)

POLITICO Reporter Carrie Budoff Brown’s Viral Photos From The President’s Saudi Arabian Visit

https://twitter.com/cbudoffbrown/status/449567914035654656

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 4, 2015
In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. President Barack Obama on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, will unveil the final version of his unprecedented regulations clamping down on carbon dioxide emissions from existing U.S. power plants. (AP)

Tough new carbon restrictions. What the president is proposing, Germany’s already doing. Will the American people buy in?

Aug 4, 2015
Jason Segel as author David Foster Wallace in the new film, "The End of the Tour." (Courtesy A24 Films)

Comedic actor Jason Segel gets serious and takes on author David Foster Wallace in the new film, “The End of the Tour. ” He’s with us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 3, 2015
In this file photo, a South Korean student looks at a picture, which shows how the cyber warfare is going to be waged in the future in the Korean Peninsula if Korean War takes place, at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. (AP)

P.W. Singer and August Cole imagine World War III in a new novel where the battlefront goes deeply cyber.

 
Aug 3, 2015
Police officers block migrants along a road to prevent their access to train tracks which lead to the Channel Tunnel, in Calais, northern France, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP)

The migrant crush at the Chunnel, linking France and England, puts a spotlight on Europe’s migration crisis. We’ll go there.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 31, 2015
Friday, Jul 31, 2015

A regular reminder that RTs are not endorsements, links have specific authorship and patience is a virtue.

More »
3 Comments
 
Q & A: Scott Walker On The Iran Deal, Huckabee Comments
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker explains his opposition to the Iran Deal, his record of statewide electoral victory and why he feels he’s set to win the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

More »
Comment
 
Q & A: Carly Fiorina On Trump, Sexism, And Being Cut From The GOP Debate
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Republican Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of computer giant Hewlett-Packard, joined guest host John Harwood to talk Donald Trump, the upcoming Republican candidate debate and sexism in modern life.

More »
Comment