The future of U.S.-Saudi relations

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The Quincy Institute hosted a public Zoom discussion on Wednesday, May 27 at 2 PM ET on the future prospects of the U.S.-Saudi relationship in light of America’s increasing energy independence and desires to withdraw its military from the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and the United States have had close ties for decades. The U.S.-Saudi relationship was built on a tacit quid pro quo of Saudi oil for America’s guarantee of security. However, the relationship has been challenged at various points by conflicting interests, including Saudi Arabia’s recent oil price war with Russia, which harmed American shale oil producers and caused several U.S. politicians to call for a “rethink” of the relationship. In the context of a possible post-oil future and an increasingly multipolar geopolitical order should the U.S. revise its relationship with Saudi Arabia? Would tougher love between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia help stabilize the region, or would it undermine U.S. national interests and intensify existing rivalries in the region? How will Saudi Arabia react to what increasingly appears to be an inevitable U.S. military drawdown in the Middle East? The panel included Madawi al-Rasheed, visiting professor at the Middle East Center of the London School of Economics; Greg Gause, Professor of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University; and Aaron David Miller of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The conversation was moderated by Annelle Sheline, Research Fellow for the Middle East at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute, offered opening remarks.


Madawi al-Rasheed

Dr. Al-Rasheed is a visiting professor at the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics, former professor at King's College, and the author of numerous books on Saudi Arabia, most recently "Salman's Legacy: The Dilemmas of a New Era in Saudi Arabia."

Greg Gause

Dr. Gause is Professor of International Affairs and John H. Lindsey '44 Chair at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University. He also serves as the Head of the International Affairs Department at the School, He is a frequent commentator on Gulf affairs. His most recent book is The International Relations of the Persian Gulf (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Aaron David Miller

Dr. Miller is a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. For more than two decades Miller served in the Department of State as an historian, analyst, negotiator and adviser on Middle Eastern issues to Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State.He has written five books, including his most recent "The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President."

Annelle Sheline

Dr. Sheline is a Research Fellow in the Middle East program at the Quincy Institute and an expert on religious and political authority in the Middle East and North Africa. Sheline received her doctorate from George Washington University’s department of political science and is a non-resident fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.