The Case for a Grand Strategic Bargain Between the KSA and the USA

Everyone wants something in diplomacy and the way to get it is usually through rapprochement and emphasis on common interests. MBS is an unconventional leader with a special mind; as an autistic person I can appreciate that he thinks differently than most other players in the international community and is clearly resented and perhaps even feared for that. Is MBS autistic? I don’t know and I would not speculate on that matter but his mind clearly sets him off from most other people in suggesting that he is not neurotypical. What does MBS want? A US-Saudi defense pact. What does the US want? A renewed Saudi commitment to stable oil prices. MBS is clearly playing diplomatic hardball with the international oil price in an astounding way that many people would consider reckless, yet those people need to recognize that the future of his nation is at stake and MBS is literally desperate considering the military threat from Iran. What is Israel’s view on this? Years ago Israel would have been resolutely opposed to a US-Saudi defense pact but Jerusalem would surely agree provided that complete Saudi normalization with Israel would be included in the diplomatic package. Indeed, this was the diplomatic bargain that MBS offered the US on one of Jake Sullivan’s visits to Saudi Arabia in 2021. What is clear is that direct Israeli mediation is absolutely pivotal to resolving this through strategic dialogue between Riyadh and Washington. Indeed, a US-Saudi defense pact is an Israeli interest as the KSA constitutes strategic depth between Israel and Iran and protecting that strategic depth is pivotal to Israeli national security. Clearly everything possible needs to be done to enhance, deepen and strengthen the American-Saudi-Israeli triangular relationship.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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