Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, has seen the ongoing engagement and security guarantee that the US has with Japan, and he wants a similar deal for Saudi Arabia. MBS will have to offer something pretty attractive to get the US involved in the region again.
As of now, the only offer on the table is formal relations with Israel (in exchange for some undefined concessions to the West Bank Palestinians) and the ~high honor~ of having troops stationed in Saudi Arabia. That’s probably not going to cut it, but it does highlight how concerned the Saudis are about the US pulling out of the region.
Israel is on board with any US involvement, as it would take some weight off their struggling coalition government. But the absence of the Palestinians in all talks up to this point brings into question the seriousness of these negotiations.
This region of the world has been a thorn in the side of the US for decades, and jumping back into the thorn bush won’t be on the calendar anytime soon. If Saudi Arabia and Israel really want to make a deal happen, it’s time to head back to the drawing board.
While some speculate that Xi is moving away from G20 in favor of BRICS, he didn’t even show up to the opening ceremony of the BRICS business forum. So, this announcement doesn’t indicate any political angle; it’s just a reminder of Chinese leadership’s ongoing and accelerating failure.
Xi has purged the Chinese political system of anyone who can form thoughts and potentially challenge his power, leaving him as the judge, jury, executioner, and everything else of importance in China. Even if Xi happened to be the smartest person in the world (which I won’t even comment on), he is still human.
Xi can only do so much alone, and the lack of competence across the Chinese system means that policy stalls wherever Xi is not. While Xi will send a replacement to the summit, concerns over China’s leadership capabilities are mounting, and the question remains – what is next for the Chinese people?
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Hey Everybody. Peter Zeihan here coming to you from Colorado. And a lot of you have written in asking about ongoing conversations among the Americans, the Israelis and the Saudis about some sort of broad spectrum political and security deal. At the moment, there is it one. It’s not imminent. It’s not even clear what it would be. But the talks are absolutely going on.
So I would just wanted to kind of give you an idea of what is so much at stake, but what the players are thinking. So this is all Saudi Arabia’s idea specifically. Remember Mohammed bin Salman, who was the crown prince? He’s the guy who’s in his thirties who’s running the place. His father, King Salman, is the one who’s probably mentally a vegetable at this point.
So the crown prince really is already in charge of everything. There’s a lot of generational disputes going on which are shaping the talks. But ultimately, what the Saudis want is ongoing American engagement to give them a security guarantee that is on the scale of what the Americans have with the Japanese. The idea is that you station some forces in-country.
Therefore, an attack on the country is considered an attack on the United States and will raise the ire of the military forces of the United States in order to take off and destroy the attacker, who in this case would most certainly be Iran. It’s not clear that the United States is interested at all after 70 years, the United States is finally getting out of the region.
Global war on terror is over. The U.S. is broadly happy with that situation. So in order to get brought back in, the U.S. would have to be offered something fairly significant. And what the Saudis are offering is normalization of relations with Israel. And it’s not that that’s not interesting, but that’s just not anywhere near enough to justify the United States putting its soldiers in harm’s way and beating Iran into a war.
In addition, the Saudis are thinking that just the honor of having military forces in Saudi Arabia would be so high that the Palestinians could get tossed in as a side benefit, with Israel being forced to recognize some sort of shift in authority when it comes to things like the West Bank. This is a long shot. The United States is largely done with the region and the Saudis are basically etching out a position where most other players are the ones who have to give something just for the honor of having a deal with Saudi Arabia.
It screams of Saudi arrogance, specifically by Crown Prince and by himself. Remember that NBC has basically established himself as a bit of a cult of personality, and he’s steadily edged everyone with experience and the older generation out of the system. The talks are being managed by, I believe, one of his brothers. But this is Saudi Arabia. He has like a billion brothers, so that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
In fact, it means that if the talks go sideways, he can always execute his brother and just move on as if nothing happened. So I don’t have particularly high hopes that this will happen. But it is interesting from a few points of view because it shows how insecure the Saudis are as the Americans are pulling back from the region.
Now, on the Israeli side, they think that this is all great. Anything that brings the Americans more enmeshed into the region to something that Israel’s broadly going to support, because that means that their troops don’t have to do it. And Israel is a country of less than 8 million people. So having the superpower do things for Israel is something that Israel’s always been a big fan of, but the U.S. hasn’t.
Now, specifically with the Israelis and the Americans right now, relations are not great, largely because the Kurd government of Israel is a little wackadoo. It’s made up of a series of populist and nationalist and religious parties that are somewhat either hateful or stupid. And the Prime Minister Netanyahu is fully aware of that. He had to make a lot of compromises in order to cobble together this coalition.
He knows it’s not working very well. And if he can get a deal with the United States on anything, it would relieve some of the pressure that Washington has been putting on his government versus Palestinians of housing issues and military deployment and economics and and intellectual property theft. There’s a long list of irritants in the relationship right now.
Anyway, that’s where everyone kind of stands with one other a little bit that indicates that you shouldn’t expect this to get resolved very soon and that it’s not clear from the Saudis just how serious they are or are not about looping the Palestinians into the abyss. The older generation, the one that’s in the process of being shown, the door by members.
They’re the ones who are reasonably dedicated to the Palestinian cause. And if in whatever final communique comes out of this deal, Senate, it works. The Palestinians are included. Then you know that in the U.S. is not nearly as powerful as we all thought, and the older generation still has some breath and life left in them. If the Palestinians get at most a cosmetic concession or not mentioned at all, then you know that NBS is large and in charge because he doesn’t care about Palestinians at all.
And weird because this is the Middle East and this is how it works. At this point, the Palestinians haven’t even been consulted or invited to the negotiation table, which is ironically how, you know, that this may be a serious series of talks. All right. That’s it. If something more comes of this, I’ll let you know. Take care.