It’s Complicated

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As dynamics in the Middle East continue to shift, Saudi Arabia has taken on a more aggressive foreign policy approach. According to Perry Cammack, Middle East Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, these changes in Saudi policy are a reaction by the Saudi royal family to Iran’s strategy of “fomenting civil war, promoting sectarianism, and undermining stability.” Furthermore, Cammack explains that despite a cooling in U.S.-Saudi relations in recent years, “Riyadh has no real alternative to Washington as its core security partner.” ​

The Cipher Brief: To what extent is Saudi Arabia’s increasingly assertive foreign policy – intervening in Yemen, cutting assistance to Lebanon, threatening military action in Syria – a reaction to Iranian regional behavior?

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