Saudi Arabia – once the United States’ most fervent and dependable ally in the Middle East – has become the United States’ biggest diplomatic liability.
While Saudi Arabia is the US’ largest and most consistent buyer of military equipment ($12 billion in military purchases between 2009 and 2014 alone), the country run by the Saud family also has been a strong funder and protector of extreme Islamic ideologies that are responsible for breeding such groups as al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS. In addition, Saudi Arabia has caused political and diplomatic embarrassment for the US by pursuing a dubious military adventure in Yemen.
The “mutual protection” deal that the Saud family made with extreme Islamic sects – such as the Wahhabis – when the family began its rule over the vast desert empire needs to be put to proper light. That mutual protection pact in effect keeps the Saud family in power while bestowing upon the extreme Islamic religious sects (Sunnis and Wahhabis) huge financial grants, independence, exclusive rule over social matters, and political protection.
It is time for the United States and its Western allies to put into question their “friendly” relationship with Saudi Arabia. There is not a need to protect Saudi Arabia’s vast oil reserves as much as there is a need to put an end to terrorism and the emergence of powerful, well-financed terrorist groups.