Saudi Arabia’s Counter-Revolution | Marc Lynch
Late at night on Sunday, August 7, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia delivered an unusual televised rebuke to Syria’s Bashar al-Asad calling on him to “stop the killing machine” and immediately begin reforms. The Saudi move against Damascus was only the latest twist in Riyadh’s newly energetic foreign policy. Since March, Saudi Arabia has been in the forefront of a regional counter-offensive designed to blunt the momentum of the Arab uprisings and shape the new regional order to its liking. After a decade of a regional order defined by an alliance of “moderate” autocracies aligned with the United States and Israel against a “Resistance” axis, the Saudis have responded to an age of revolution by leading what many now call a regional counter-revolution. This has placed them at odds with the Obama administration in key theaters, disrupted long-standing alliances, and brought Riyadh to the forefront of regional diplomacy.