F. Gregory Gause has a very thought-provoking piece in Foreign Policy about Saudi Arabia’s recent posture toward the Assad regime in Syria in the context of the ongoing “Arab Spring” turmoil in the region. By coming out against the Assad regime, Gause argues, that now makes three Arab countries that Saudi Arabia has come out against, after Libya and Yemen. This hardly paints a picture of Saudi Arabia as “champion of the status quo,” argues Gause.
The piece is certainly worth reading in full for some perspective on the issue.
Meanwhile, Marc Lynch in Foreign Policy takes the opposite stance in this piece.
“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.”