For John, BLUF: The Administration is trying to "pivot to Asia" but the Middle East keeps dragging us back. Nothing to see here; just move along.
You may have missed it, but a week ago the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia turned down a two year appointment to the United Nations Security Council as a "Non-Permanent" Member. Here is a link to an article from the Beeb. The reason given was the fact that the United Nations was running a double standard and the Security Council is in need of reform.♠
Writing in World Affairs Journal, Reporter and Blogger Michel J Totten give us "The Saudi-American Rupture—The American-Saudi alliance is in danger of collapsing". It can be found here.
Here is a key paragraph.
Foreign Policy 101 dictates that you reward your friends and punish your enemies. Attempts to get cute and reverse the traditional formula always lead to disaster. Yet Barack Obama thinks if he stiffs his friends, his enemies will become a little less hostile. That’s not how it works, but the Saudis have figured out what Obama is doing and are acting accordingly.I am not big on the theory that US foreign policy is driven by the need for oil, such as the view that the Second Gulf War was all about control of Iraqi oil. On the other, there is no need to poke our fingers in the eyes of those who export oil. I think Mr Totten gives us food for thought in his article, which I commend to you.
Regards — Cliff
♠ I agree on the need for reform. The five "Permanent" members of the Security Council, the ones with Veto Power, are left over from the victors in World War II, the United States, Great Britain, France, Russia and China. I would think that we need to expand that number, including perhaps India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa. If we fear to many nations with the Veto Power, we could rotate two of those nations on a permanent basis as members with a Veto Power.