"Saudi Arabia is reportedly threatening to scale back its decades-old partnership with Washington over the Obama administration's perceived weakness in dealing with Syrian leader Bashar Assad, and its recent furtive overtures with the Saudis' arch-enemy, Iran. Articles citing anonymous sources familiar with Saudi policy -- though notably, no articles in major Saudi publications -- have quoted the head of the Kingdom's intelligence services, Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud, as warning of a "major shift" or "scaling back" in the relationship. According to the source cited by the Reuters news agency, the prince told European diplomats "the shift away from the U.S. is a major one... Saudi doesn't want to find itself any longer in a situation where it is dependent."" Washpost
I have said for several years that SA was likely to turn away from the US relationship in search of a situation in which it is not dependent on the US as its sole protector. The forces of Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC are inconsequential. Except for Pakistani troops who have been "loaned" to them from time to time, the forces of the GCC are of negligible weight as instruments of combat power. Some will argue that the point of US materiel sales to Saudi Arabia is not actual use of Saudi forces, but rather the wondrous effect of Saudi political support and Saudi money in the region. There has also been the benefit of Saudi money to some illegal US covert projects when funds could not be obtained from the US Congress. Lastly, the direct financial benefit that has been provided to US based foundations, think tanks, lobbyists, public relations firms and journalists has been impressive for decades. It is not an accident that this story of Saudi unhappiness is being pushed hard in the press.
The Saudis and their Likud phantom allies are unhappy that they recently have failed to move US policy with regard to Syria and Iran. So much money (Saudi), so much political and propaganda effort (Likud/AIPAC) has been expended that these two governments are understandably unhappy at any sign of resistance on the part of the US to foreign manipulation.
Well, to hell with them both! They need us. We do not need them. The US is well on its way to energy self-sufficiency and neither Israel nor Saudi Arabia is really important to the defense of US core interests.
It will be a brave new world. pl