It’s Complicated

By Perry Cammack

Perry Cammack is a fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  Prior to joining Carnegie last August, he worked on Secretary John Kerry's policy planning staff.  He also worked on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for nearly a decade as a Middle East advisor to then-Senators Joseph Biden and John Kerry. You can follow him on Twitter @perrycammack.

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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